Chocolate Baklava Bracelets (Asawer El Sit)
Delicately crisp phyllo rings with a creamy chocolate center, a sprinkling of sea salt and crunchy pistachios! Plus…recipe VIDEO included!
This post is sponsored by Cadbury Dairy Milk Egypt, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that believe in me.
Who can deny the greatness of classics? Their rich history, humble familiarity and sweet nostalgia give them an exceptional status in the food world.
So I think it’s about time we play!
Today, we’re taking a classic and giving it the chocolate treatment. Because then again…who can deny the greatness of chocolate?
Cadbury Dairy Milk Egypt and I have teamed up together to bring you a delicious chocolate lovers’ take on a beloved classic. Chocolate Baklava Bracelets; better known as Asawer El Sit.
Asawer El Sit, meaning Lady’s Bracelets in Arabic, is a charming little baklava variation popular in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Like so many foods we share in this region, they come in different names like Bulbul Yuvasi, Turkish for Nightingale’s Nest, and Lady’s Naval in other countries. Clearly, the names have been derived from their round shape that’s created by wrapping shirred rolls of phyllo into rings. The hallowed centers are then filled with nuts, typically pistachios, after they’ve been baked.
We ain’t getting rid of the pistachio here, because we love ’em, but we’re giving them an upgrade by sitting them atop a creamy bed of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate that’s been sprinkled with sea salt. So you get crunchy, you get creamy, you get sweet, you get salty, and stomach gets happy.
As much as I love chocolate, I’m usually hesitatant about adding it to Middle Eastern desserts, because if we’re being honest here, they don’t always go well together. The pastry is almost always pretty sweet to begin with, thanks to the indispensable shower of sugar syrup, add to that the sweetness of chocolate, and chances of ending up with a sugar bomb is quite high. But I couldn’t be happier with how this one turned out.
The sugar syrup here is kept to a minimum to make way for the added sweetness of chocolate. The light sprinkle of sea salt, together with the savoriness of pistachios, balance everything out in what can be best described as true bliss. I’m a sucker for textural contrast, so the crunch of the phyllo and pistachios against the creaminess of the chocolate, make this a winner in my book.
I love a great recipe with a number of ingredients I could count on one hand, and this one is exactly that.
You’re only gonna need:
- Cadbury Dairy Milk plain chocolate
- Phyllo dough
- Sugar Syrup (I always use that one, since I always have it on hand, but recipe for a small quantity is added below)
- Ghee (clarified butter can be used instead)
- Sea Salt Flakes…Oh wait…that’s 6! Ok…so let’s just make that one optional instead of coming with another clever analogy ? Kidding aside, it really is optional though.
These bracelets are so fun to make as they are to eat. Check it out!
At first they may seem a bit tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be rolling like its your job. First things first; ALWAYS keep the phyllo you’re not working with covered under a layer of plastic wrap topped with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. That’s super important, as dried sheets will crack as you roll them.
Then begin by placing a long rod or stick like a dowel, pencil or straw at the edge of a small square of phyllo, then so very loosely roll the square of phyllo around the rod. If you wrap it too tightly, you’ll have a hard time getting it out of the rod, which could cause tearing.
Leave the last 2cm of the phyllo unrolled, because this will become the bracelet’s base later on.
Then placing each hand on both ends of the rolled phyllo, carefully push both ends towards the center to shirr like an accordion.
Slide the shirred phyllo out of the dowel and curve to form a circle, pressing on the ruffled end to form a flat base. Then press ends together to adhere slightly.
You’ll want to arrange the bracelets so that they are touching one another. This will reduce the chance of the rings opening up during baking. Then brush with melted ghee and into the oven they go.
As soon as they come out of the oven, brush with syrup. As you can see, we’re being stingy with the syrup this time around…
Because a square of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate is about to be nestled in. Other than the fact that it is one delectable piece of chocolate, I just love how it’s just the perfect size for the bracelet’s center. It’s like they’re made for each other.
You’ll then gonna let them hang out together for a while to let the warmth of the rings melt the chocolate, and make them so irresistibly shiny. Then use a toothpick to swirl the chocolate squares to fully cover the base of the ring.
A light sprinkling of sea salt flakes, followed by pistachios and you got yourself a confection that is almost too pretty to eat.
For the Sugar Syrup:*
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- Small squeeze of lemon juice
For the Baklava Bracelets:
- 1 (500g) package phyllo dough, thawed (please see notes below for brand recommendation
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140g) melted ghee (or clarified butter *instructions below)
- 3 packages (90g each) Cadbury Dairy Milk, plain
- Sliced pistachios, for garnish
- Sea salt flakes (optional)
To make the Sugar Syrup: (can be substituted with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Big Batch Sugar Syrup):
- In a small saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and squeeze of lemon juice. Set over high heat. Try to avoid stirring it as it heats to prevent crystallization from happening. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the syrup thickens slightly. Set aside to cool completely before using.
To make the Baklava Bracelets:
- Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 160C/320F.
- Unwrap and unfold the phyllo on a large cutting board and smooth out with hands to flatten. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo stack in half. then cut each half in quarters. You should now have 4 equal squares. Cover phyllo with plastic wrap, then top with a damp kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.
- Working with one square of phyllo at a time, keeping the rest covered, place a long rod or stick like a dowel, pencil or straw at the edge nearest to you.
- Loosely roll the square of phyllo around the rod, leaving the last 2cm at the end unrolled.
- Placing each hand on both ends of the rolled phyllo, carefully push both ends towards the center to shirr. Slide the shirred phyllo out of the dowel and curve to form a circle, pressing on the ruffled end to form a flat base, making sure it has no gaps or a hole in the middle. Press ends together to adhere slightly. Repeat with remaining phyllo squares.
- Place phyllo bracelets on a rimmed baking sheet, arranging them so that they are touching one another. This will reduce the chance of the bracelets opening up during baking.
- Brush bracelets with the melted ghee (or clarified butter) and bake until crisp and golden brown in color; 25 to 30 minutes.
- As soon as they come out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup over them. Then while still very warm, place a square of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate in the center of each bracelet. The heat of the bracelets should be sufficient enough to melt the chocolate, if not, then return the baking sheet to the now turned off warm oven for a minute or two until the chocolate turns shiny & becomes very soft.
- Using a toothpick, swirl the chocolate squares to fully cover the base of the ring. Lightly sprinkle some sea salt flakes (if using) over the chocolate, followed by pistachios.
- Allow the baklava bracelets to cool completely until the chocolate sets before serving. Leftovers can be stored, covered tightly with foil for about 1 week.
- If you have syrup hanging around from this Big Batch Sugar Syrup recipe, you may use 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of it, instead of making the recipe above.
- My preferred phyllo brand to use in this recipe is Al Sonbola. It is the best choice of what I have available in Egypt. Make sure to use the best quality phyllo brand available to you, that has little to no tears. Inferior brands will crack and break as you rolls them.
- To clarify butter, melt 200g butter slowly over medium low heat until the milk solids have separated from the butterfat. and collected on the bottom of the saucepan. Remove the pan from heat, let the butter settle for 10 minutes, then carefully skim the foam from the surface with a spoon. Slowly pour the clear butterfat into a bowl, leaving all the milk solids behind in the saucepan. You should end up with about 150g clarified butter.
Recipe is a Cleobuttera Original.
Measurements Note: All recipes of this site have been developed using weight measurements. Although US volume measurements have been included for your convenience, it is highly encouraged that you weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the best possible results. Due to the sensitive nature of baking, kitchen scales are proven to yield more accurate and consistent results than measuring cups. Enjoy!
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