Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy.
― Mary Berry

-Hello lovely people of the WHI community!
First order of business: Happy October! Fall is already settled in, Halloween is just around the corner and in no time it's gonna be Christmas! Yay!

October is the month where I really feel the fall vibe. It's not a transitional weather like on September, but it's not really all that cold like on November. (Either way, there's bound to be some PMS-ing moments from global warming.) I love spending my days in the kitchen, baking, or tucked under my blankets, reading or watching Netflix. So, here, I thought I'd share two of my favorite fall recipes with you guys to try at home.

🍂|Hot cocoa

marshmallow, food, and chocolate image autumn, fall, and leaves image
The classic fall beverage.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk (Dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir well. Serve immediately.

🍂| Baklava

baklava, cake, and dessert image food porn, Hot, and miam image
A mediterranean favorite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • large pinch of ground cloves
  • 16-oz package phyllo dough, thawed
  • 18 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

HONEY SYRUP

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup honey

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Stir to mix.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Unroll phyllo and measure briefly against a 13 “x 9″ x 2” baking pan. 4. Trim a little of the phyllo to better fit your baking dish.
5. Now spread the phyllo sheet on top of a damp towel, and cover with a second damp towel. This will help keep the phyllo dough from breaking while you work to assemble the baklava.
6. Lightly brush the baking dish with a bit of the melted butter. Take one sheet of phyllo and line the baking pan with it, fold in any excess. Brush the phyllo sheet with butter and gently press in the corners and sides of the baking pan.
7. Lay another phyllo sheet on top, brush with butter, and press into the pan as you have done with the first sheet. Lay another sheet on top, brush with butter, and press into the pan as before. Continue layering and buttering each phyllo sheet until you have used up 1/3 of the phyllo package. Distribute half of the nut mixture evenly over the top sheet.

8. Layer another 1/3 of the phyllo following the same process as before. Now distribute the remaining half of the nut mixture over the top layer.
9. Layer the remaining phyllo sheets following the same process as before.
10. If needed, trim off excess phyllo. Generously brush the very top layer of phyllo with butter.
11. With a knife, cut diagonal lines, 1/2 inch deep, in the phyllo to make out 1 1/2 inch diamond pieces. Do not press the knife all the way down.
Bake on a low rack for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. IMPORTANT…Because ovens vary, be sure to check your baklava halfway through baking.
12. While the baklava is baking, make the honey syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat stove-top, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Add the honey; stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove syrup from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
13. When ready, remove the baklava from the oven and immediately pour the cooled honey syrup to cover the entire hot baklava. Let set to completely absorb the syrup.
14. A few hours later, cut the baklava carefully through the earlier marked pieces.


And that is the end. I hope you try out these recipes and if you do, tell me if you liked it!

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As always, thank you for reading and supporting my writing. It means the world to me!
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@lameillusions  
Feel free to message me if you need a friend or if you want to collab.
See you next Sunday!
―XOXO, Saskia