Summer hasn't been very nice to us this year. So far we've had rain, thunderstorms, cooler than usual days and everything in between. Longing for a hot summer afternoon spent on a porch, somewhere very quiet, with a slice of peach pie, some home made lemonade in hand and Billie Holiday tunes in the background seems foolish at this point.
August is usually my month of cold soups, iced drinks, grilled fish and salsas. This year it's a bit different. I had hot chocolate for breakfast this morning. That should explain a lot...
Last week however, I spent a lovely afternoon at home with my new favourite summer read and one of the best cook books I've ever owned: Postcards from Portugal by Tessa Kiros. This book will immediately make you want to jump on a plane bound for Portugal. Given the fact that Portugal is just a tad farther than my local green grocer's I decided to take a quick trip to the latter. I couldn't really find all the ingredients to make anyhting from the book, so I made the best of what I had at home. We had an Andalusian gazpacho, some corn on the cob with mint and feta butter and these yummy, albeit not so summery chocolate-hazelnut cigars to finish. By the end of the meal, we all felt like we just had a great day. A great day, indeed.
Chocolate and hazelnut baklava cigars
130 g dark chocolate, chopped
250 g toasted hazelnuts
140 ml runny honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
6 sheets filo pastry
70 ml melted butter
Preheat oven to 390 F. Combine chocolate, hazelnuts and spices. Add to a food processor and coarsely chop. Add honey and pulse until mixture comes together. Lay one sheet of filo on a clean working surface. Brush with butter. Fold in half, then brush again with butter. Spread two big tablespoons of chocolate- hazelnut filling along the edge closest to you. Fold in the two sides, then roll up tightly. Place on a baking tray. Brush again with butter. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes.
Serve with a vanilla ice cream affogato and you'll be in heaven.