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Honey and orange juice drench flaky diamond shaped pieces of baklava. The chocolate and date filling is a welcome departure from the usual nuts. Since the pastry is very sweet, do as the Greeks do and serve in the afternoon or evening with coffee or tea.
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
- 12 sheets phyllo pastry
- 2⁄3 cup butter, melted
- 3⁄4 cup liquid honey
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Toast pecans on baking sheet in center of 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until fragrant; let cool. In bowl, toss together pecans, dates, chocolate, sugar, cinnamon and orange rind. Set aside.
- Place one sheet of phyllo on work surface, keeping remainder covered with plastic wrap and damp towel. Brush lightly with butter. Fold in half crosswise; brush lightly with butter. Place in greased 13 x 9 inch cake pan. Repeat with three more sheets of phyllo for a total of eight layers.
- Sprinkle with ONE-THIRD of the chocolate mixture. Lightly brush two more sheets of phyllo with butter; fold each in half and place over chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with another ONE-THIRD of the mixture. Brush two more sheets of phyllo with butter; fold each in half and place on top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate mixture. Brush remaining phyllo with butter; fold each in half and place in pan. Brush top sheet with remaining butter. Tuck in any excess.
- Using sharp knife and without cutting all the way through to filling, make long diagonal cuts, 1 1/2 inches apart, through top layers of phyllo, first in one direction, then opposite, to form diamond shapes. Bake in center of 350°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and flaky on top.
- TOPPING: Meanwhile, in small saucepan, whisk honey with orange juice; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Spoon over hot baklava. Let cool completely on rack. (Baklava can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.).
- In bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over baklava. Cut into diamond shapes. Makes 24 servings.
- Canadian Living’s Best Chocolate.