Chocolate Almond Baklawa

Chocolate Almond Baklawa

Chocolate Almond Baklawa excerpted from Dine in Palestine by Heifa Odeh. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photography by Doaa Elkady.

Dine in Palestine by Heifa Odeh. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photography by Doaa Elkady.

Bring the bold flavours of Palestine into your own kitchen with this comprehensive collection of Middle Eastern recipes by Heifa Odeh.

From familiar favourites like moussaka and tobouleh, to more complex meals like Musakhan, Palestine’s national dish, this book includes everything you need to know to cook the full range of Palestinian dishes. With streamlined techniques honed through her online cooking course, Heifa makes it easier than ever to enjoy Arab cooking.

From bold-flavoured breakfasts like Tomato and Lemon Flatbread and satisfying mains like Harissa Pomegranate Molasses Salmon to sweet treats like Fig and Honey Pistachio Cake and beyond ― each dish is also halal to make meal times more inclusive for Muslim holidays and gatherings. With dishes featuring the best Middle Eastern ingredients like figs, pomegranates, sumac and za’atar, every dish offers a taste of Palestine.

Whether you have been making Arab cuisine for ages or you are looking to expand your repertoire, this cookbook has something for everyone. This book includes 60 recipes and 60 photos.

Dine in Palestine: An Authentic Taste of Palestine in 60 Recipes from My Family to Your Table by Heifa Odeh is available at, and  

Chocolate Almond Baklawa

This is such a well-known dessert that is seen across the Mediterranean in many forms. Baklawa is what we call baklava in the Arabic language. The most traditional in our region is baklawa with walnuts and simple syrup, but baklawa is so versatile and is great to get creative with. So, for you, I have this Chocolate Almond Baklawa. The first time I had chocolate with phyllo, I was won over. I still think about it to this day. The buttery, crispy phyllo and the subtle, yet prominent chocolate just worked. That moment inspired this recipe. I truly don’t believe it is baklawa if there aren’t nuts, and my go-to combination is almost always chocolate and almonds, so here they are, creating magic for the taste buds. The simple syrup also has a hint of coffee to accentuate the flavour of the chocolate in the baklawa. If you didn’t know, baklawa is even better on the second day, as the flavours will have had time to really develop and meld together. The same goes for this wonderful recipe.

Makes: 2-3 dozen pieces

6 oz (175 g) 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped

14 oz (397 g) unsalted whole almonds, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 (16-oz [454-g]) package of phyllo dough, thawed

2 sticks (226 g) of unsalted butter, melted


1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar

1 cup (240 ml) water 

1 ½ tsp (2 g) instant coffee

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Mix together the chopped chocolate, almonds and cinnamon. You can either chop each ingredient by hand or with a food processor one at a time and then combine everything.

In a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking pan, lay half of the phyllo sheets flat and evenly in the pan. Trim the edges if it does not fit exactly.

Add the chocolate-almond mixture on top of the phyllo, spreading it out evenly.

Place the rest of the phyllo sheets on top of the filling, and then with a sharp knife, slice across the shorter side and then slice diagonally to create diamond-looking pieces. You can also easily make square pieces. Either will be great!

Pour the melted butter all over the top evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes, until the baklawa is lightly browned on top.

While the baklawa is baking, make the syrup by combining the ingredients in a small pot. Stir together on medium-high heat until it starts to boil, and then let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until it thickens slightly. Set this aside. You should taste some coffee flavor in the syrup. If you like it more pronounced, feel free to add more instant coffee and stir.

After baking, pour the warm syrup immediately all over the top of the baklawa. Let the baklawa cool completely to room temperature to absorb the syrup. Baklawa is best the next day!

Reprinted with permission from Dine in Palestine by Heifa Odeh. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022.

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