design*sponge, Istanbul, and chocolate hazelnut baklava

A week before I left on my trip to Istanbul, Turkey, I got a surprise email from the lovely Kristina Gill of design*sponge’s in the kitchen with series, asking if I would be interested in submitting a recipe. Of course my answer was a resounding “heck yeah!”. I thought about what I could make, and bounced a few ideas back and forth with Kristina. I fell back on an old standby and told her I would shoot and submit the recipe when I returned from my trip.

After an incredible week in exotic Istanbul, I was completely enamored with everything Turkish; the city, the people, and especially the food. On one of our last days in this wonderful city, we sampled some amazing baklava from the famous Baklavacı Güllüoğlu. They had seemingly dozens of different varieties, but the one I was drawn to the most (and a customer favorite from what I hear), was their chocolate baklava. Thin sheets of chocolate phyllo, layered with nuts and chocolate. Crisp, chewy, sticky, decadent. I was smitten. It dawned on me what I should really make for my post: a twist on that baklava, a chocolate hazelnut version drizzled with cardamom honey!

Check out the full post with more photos and recipe on design*sponge… thanks Kristina and Grace!

special delivery

the perfect Turkish snack, of course with some hot çay (Turkish tea)

warmed up, with a scoop of vanilla, oh so good!