Walnut, Cinnamon and Halloumi Baklava

Walnut, Cinnamon and Halloumi Baklava

The texture of the crispy phyllo and the crunchy filling are perfect here with the warm halloumi. Most phyllo is sold frozen; defrost it slowly in the fridge, and handle with care. Serve the baklava warm if you can — so that the cheese remains soft — straight out of the oven with some ice cream and a drizzle of the syrup. It also works at room temperature, with a coffee, but once it has cooled don’t be tempted to reheat it in the oven.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 9 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/240 degrees Celsius. Mix together all the ingredients for the filling and set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Place one sheet of pastry in an 8-by-8-inch/20-by-20-centimeter baking pan, preferably one with low edges, arranging the pastry so the sides of the sheet rise up the sides of the pan. Brush with a little butter and continue in the same way with 7 more sheets of pastry, brushing each with butter, until you have layered 8 sheets of pastry.
  3. Step 3

    Scatter the grated halloumi on top of the pastry and then sprinkle all of the walnut mixture over evenly. Place another layer of pastry on top, pressing down securely. Brush with more butter and continue with the remaining 7 layers of pastry in the same way. Brush the final layer with butter and use your fingers to gently tuck the pastry edges underneath the baklava so you get a neat edge (a bit like making a bed).
  4. Step 4

    Using a small sharp knife, cut the baklava into 9 or 16 pieces, allowing the knife almost to reach the bottom, but not quite. Transfer to oven and bake for 18 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through baking until baklava is dark golden-brown and crisp on top.
  5. Step 5

    While the baklava is baking, make the rose water syrup: Heat sugar and 1/3 cup/90 milliliters water in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, swirling every once in a while until the sugar has dissolved and started to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add lemon juice and rose water and let simmer gently for 6 to 7 minutes, until you have about 3/4 cup/180 milliliters of slightly thickened syrup left. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Step 6

    As soon as the baklava has been removed from the oven, pour two-thirds of the syrup over it and sprinkle with rose petals, crushing them slightly as you go. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly, and then serve each slice warm, with an extra 1 or 2 teaspoons of syrup drizzled on top.