Cardamom Honey Baklava Ice Cream in Phyllo Cups

This was really delicious. I must confess, when I made baklava, I didn’t make it just for the baklava–I made it for this dessert. This isn’t to say baklava by itself isn’t amazing (which it most definitely is), but why settle for one amazing thing when you can have two? Yes, I made baklava so that I could use it as an additive to cardamom honey ice cream.

The cardamom-honey ice cream custard-base really stole the show–it was intense, just the right creamy texture, sweet, and just out of the ordinary. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices that really is beyond my ability to describe–it works so well in savory and sweet applications, kind of like cinnamon–and in this case, it really gave the ice cream an incredible flavor backbone.

Combined with chunks of baklava, you had a great contrast visually, texturally, and flavorally (go, made up words, go!)–crunchy, cinnamon spiced nuts, delicate, flakes of buttery pastry, pockets of honeyed, rose-scented syrup–oh it was really something. I’ve said it before, but we have a new favorite ice cream ever in the Mulligan household, and this is it (I should just keep a list off to the side…). This was an ice cream complex enough in taste that you really just had to sit there and think about it…in between each ravenous, lustful spoonful, of course.

Since I made this dessert for a small dinner party, I wanted to dress it up a little as a bowl of ice cream, no matter how great it tastes, just doesn’t look all that elegant. Since I still had baklava handy, I decided to serve them side by side (kind of as a reminder that there’s baklava in the ice cream), and it only seemed fitting with all of the phyllo dough at play, that I have a faux-ice cream cone, in this case, a cup made of saffron-butter brushed phyllo dough. Every plate was quickly cleaned, so I’d say this dessert went over rather well. 😉

  • ~2 cups worth crumbled/chopped chunks of baklava
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 15-20 cardamom pods
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Phyllo cups (optional–this yields 6 cups, scale up as desired)
    • 2-3 Tbsp butter
    • 4-5 sheets phyllo dough
    • Even more optional: pinch of saffron

Begin by slitting the cardanom pods and exposng the inside. Place these in with the milk in a saucepan and scald (do not boil). Remove this from the heat and let it steep for at least 30 minutes to infuse the milk with cardamom flavor.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the color changes.

Set up an ice bath with a bowl of cream and mix in some ground cardamom. Place a strainer over this and set this aside.

Reheat the milk, and once nice and hot, temper the egg mixture with it before you mix the eggs into the hot milk saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, figure somewhere around 5-10 minutes.

Pour this hot mixture through the strainer into the cold cream and mix well, adding the honey as you mix. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it right against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer this to the fridge for 6 hours.

With the custard prepared, now coarsely chop up some of your baklava and transfer this to the fridge (not that baklava needs to be chilled, but you do want it to be cold when mixed with the ice cream later).

Once the custard has chilled sufficiently, churn it in your pre-chilled ice cream maker for about 20 minutes, and once time is up, add in the chopped chunks of baklava, churning for an additional minute or two. Transfer this to an airtight container and move to the freezer overnight.

Now normally, the ice cream making endeavor would end here, but there’s one more flourish that will make for a great looking plate when serving time comes around: the edible bowl, in this case, the ever appropriate phyllo cup. You can do this well in advance of serving time.

Begin by laying out your phyllo dough (thawing out if using store bought) and melting and clarifying your butter. Crumble the saffron and let it steep in the melted butter for a few minutes before you get to work.

Follow the usual phyllo dough layering procedure: lay a sheet, brush lightly all over with clarified butter, lay on another sheet, repeat. For these cups, stack about 4 or 5 sheets. Also, preheat the oven to 350°F.

With the phyllo stacked up, slice the phyllo into squares big enough to fill each hole in your muffin pan (for me, that meant 6 squares from my initial phyllo sheet).

Either grease the muffin pan, or, for something easier, ensure the underside of your phyllo sheet also gets brushed with butter before you carefully press the phyllo squares into each hole in the muffin pan. Don’t worry about the shape being perfect–semi-jagged/flaky edges just look rustic, but if its really sloppy, clean things up a bit.

Once you’ve built all of the cups, put this in the oven for about 8 minutes, keeping an eye on them towards the end to ensure that they only brown a little bit and don’t burn. Once done, get them out of the oven and out of the muffin pan so that they don’t cook any further and give them time to cool.

If making these well in advance, do not refrigerate or they’ll lose that flaky, crispness.

When you finally go to serve this, fill the phyllo cup with a good scoop of ice cream, accompany with a piece of baklava, and give a swirl of syrup on the plate. For the syrup, I reduced a bit of the honeyed baklava syrup to be even thicker than it already was (by the time I got the photo, you’d never know any more :-P).


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40 Responses to “Cardamom Honey Baklava Ice Cream in Phyllo Cups”

  1. nina Says:

    You are right, why settle for 1 treat when you can have two. However, you have out done yourself on this one. It looks utterly delicious!

  2. kittie Says:

    Fabulous – gorgeous dessert, gorgeous ideas, stunning pictures. Nice one Mike!

  3. grace Says:

    i know lots of people leave comments on various food blogs saying how much they’d love a bite of whatever was created, but in this case, i mean it ever so sincerely. baklava is my FAVORITE dessert, and i love cardamom too. i really, really, really want a bite, nay, three servings of this delightful concoction. i’m madly impressed and a little bit smitten.

  4. Raquel Says:

    Amazing! Sheer genius! I am at a total loss for words! Thanks for this inspiring post!

  5. Deeba Says:

    Visually, texturally, and flavorally…words on the go!!! Mercy Mike…have pity on those who live tooooooooo far away to even dream of getting a single helping. You are raising the stakes too high; will never get this far! Fantastic !!

  6. Peter Says:

    Mike, you’re showing us Greeks up with baklava! lol

    The ice cream sounds fabulous and the phyllo nests are quite novel, bravo my friend.

  7. pam Says:

    You’re married right? Your wife is the luckiest woman in the world. Really.

  8. Lisa Says:

    Goodness! You’ve outdone yourself with this one! I wasn’t hungry until I read your post. Beautiful!!

  9. Kevin Says:

    Baklava ice cream sounds really good. I like the use of the cardamom!

  10. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    Mike this is a wonderfully creative dessert!

  11. Marie Says:

    Mike, You out did yourself with this delicious creation!!

  12. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) Says:

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I think I like the saffron-butter brushed phyllo dough most of all…(no, it’s the ice cream…no, it’s definitely the baklava…no, no, it’s the phyllo cups!)

    Great job with this dessert…(so hard to choose, I like it all so much!)

  13. Jeff Says:

    drool….You are slowly convincing me to return the ice cream maker to the playing field.

  14. Aparna Says:

    This looks sinfully delicious. You’re very creative. And cardamom is my favourite spice. I use it whenevr I can.:)

  15. Anali Says:

    That is one beautiful dessert!

  16. Helen Says:

    Oh my goodness! This is fantastic. I love the idea of the honey-cardamom ice cream and with the pistcahio baklava! It’s genius!

  17. noble pig Says:

    Oh my goodness. The drool has reached the floor. This is so cool and just so creative. You rock Mike, seriously.

  18. Bellini Valli Says:

    Two wonderful desserts Mike…are you going to make me choose??

  19. heather Says:

    what a delicious sounding flavor combination! it sounds absolutely delicious!!!!

  20. Vani Says:

    Wow! How amazing does that look!! Loved the strawberry oats bar too.

  21. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    These look so much better than the ones I used to get in Middle Eastern restaurant near our old place. And I have to try those strawberry bars too! Thanks, Mike.

  22. Laurie Constantino Says:

    Oh. My. God. This is incredible. You are a genius.

  23. Shari Says:

    I’ve never had ice cream with baklava, but this sounds amazing!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  24. Jan Says:

    Now that is a great idea Mike – how yummy!!! Great pictures too.

  25. the caked crusader Says:

    oh my……!
    One concern – my invite seems to have got lost in the post!

  26. IVY Says:

    Mike this is absolutely stunning. Baklava is one of my favourite Greek desserts and cardamom, which I have only recently discovered, has become one of my favourite spices.

  27. RecipeGirl Says:

    Wow, what a genius dessert! So fancy!! I love the phyllo cups to hold the ice cream, and the pairing with baklava sounds absolutely decadent.

  28. giz Says:

    What a smart idea and I’ll bet the house smelled like total heaven with the cardamom in this recipe.

  29. White On Rice Couple Says:

    The title alone is just delicious and beautiful! I can just imagine how it tastes too . Everything from the cardamom to the honey to the custard base is perfect! The combination of the two together is definitely a splurge too!

  30. Helene Says:

    I’m always surprised of what you make. I love baklavas and great idea to make cups for the ice cream. Lovely.

  31. Y Says:

    Looks like an intense dessert experience! Intensely good, that is. The ice-cream alone sounds so divine.

  32. MariannaF Says:

    Oh wow, nice!! Laurie from referred me to here after having commented on my ice-cream which included cardamom too :-) Yours looks amazing, and the baklava is just a PERFECT match with cardamom& honey!! Yum!

  33. katie Says:

    And the calorie police didn’t arrest you for this?
    Do you have any left? Mon mari’s in the hospital…he wouldn’t notice if I popped over for some… Really! Is there any left?

  34. Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » May 2008 Roundup Says:

    […] Nectarine Cake from Life’s Smorgasbord, Dimply Plum Cake from Meet Me in the Kitchen, Cardamom Honey Baklava Ice Cream in Phyllo Cups from Mike’s Table, Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce from My Own Sweet Thyme, Honey and Pear […]

  35. Tartelette Says:

    Ok…the ice cream machine is out and the bowl chilling…..NOW!!!

  36. You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts: The Roundup! from Mike's Table Says:

    […] a Cardamom Honey Baklava Ice Cream in Phyllo Cups. This ice cream had an intriguing and strongly cardamom-infused custard with chunks of baklava […]

  37. What makes a Greek Salad Greek? Says:

    […] saw at Mike’s Blog a dessert served in phyllo cups and then I saw at Elly’s an appetizer made in phyllo cups. It’s been […]

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    […] ??? ??? ?????? ??? Mike ??? ?????????? ????????? ???? ?? ???????? ????????? ?? ????? ???????? ??? ???? […]

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    […] to add a flavor of intrigue, but not so much that either of these additives took over (although they both certainly work beautifully on their own). This combination in itself is surprisingly harmonious and […]

  40. alara Says:

    i have searched about baklava.. and at the end of my research i have found out that the invators of baklava are the ottomans which means are the turks. so whose desert are you selling to whom. sincerly yours, up to your ass!! what else are you going to steal from turks!!! :)) what is next! :)

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