Next stop – The Morocco Pavilion! Located within the World Showcase at Epcot, this pavilion can be easy to overlook. There is no giant landmark that draws attention, no movie or ride found within, and no street performers. Without the bells and whistles of the other pavilions, guests can often walk right on through. If this is you, you are missing out on a plethora of unique merchandise, delicious tastes and smells and architecture that makes you feel like you’re wandering through a bazaar.
Spice Road Table
There are 3 dining options in The Morocco Pavilion:
1. Restaurant Marrakesh: a table service restaurant tucked away in the back of the pavilion with live music and belly dancers.
2. Tangierine Cafe: a quick service location offering casual Moroccan fare such as Mediterranean shawarma, kebabs, and hummus.
3. Spice Road Table: a table service restaurant with a beautiful indoor/outdoor setting located on the lagoon.
This week I created Baklava, which is a rich and sweet pastry that can be found on the dessert menu at Spice Road Table. I found a really great recipe posted online by Back To Our Roots, which I have included below.
Serving Size: 1 9″ x 13″ pan
- 1 lb raw, unsalted nuts
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp each of the following spices:
- ground nutmeg
- ground cloves
- ground cardamom
- 1 16oz package phyllo dough at room temperature
- 1 cup melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. Chop the nuts very fine and mix the ground spices into them.
3. Unroll the phyllo and cover it with plastic wrap and then with a damp cloth.
4. Place 4 to 6 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of your baking dish and brush generously with the melted butter.
5. Sprinkle 5 to 6 tablespoons of the nut mixture evenly over the phyllo.
6. Add 2 more sheets of phyllo dough and brush with butter.
7. Continue to layer the nuts and phyllo sheets, brushing the sheets with butter as you go, until you have used all of the nut mixture. For the top layer of phyllo, use 6 to 8 sheets, buttering each one.
8. Using a very sharp knife, cut the Baklava all the way through, into 4 long rows. Then cut diagonally to make diamond shapes.
9. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.
I will admit, this recipe called for a run to the grocery store as it features many spices that I don’t normally use. However, now that I have them in my pantry, I will certainly find more recipes that call for Mace, Cardamom, Cloves and Nutmeg.
The recipe did seem a bit intimidating at first, but I actually found it quite simple to put together. First, I chopped up all of the nuts. I did this by hand with no problem, but if you have a food processor it would definitely make this step easier and quicker!
I then alternated layers of well buttered dough and the chopped nuts.
I decided to use puff pastry dough instead of the traditional phyllo dough, which is why my baklava looks slightly different. They came out a little fluffier and delicious!
After cutting my Baklava into diamond shapes and placing it in the oven, I got started on the syrup.
- 1 cup packed sucanat or brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- The peel from 1 orange – washed, cut in strips, and pith removed
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
1. Combine the brown sugar and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Add the honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peel and return to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Remove and discard the cloves and cinnamon sticks. The orange peel is now “candied”.
5. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and mix well.
6. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
7. After removing the Baklava from the oven, immediately spoon the syrup over the top. Allow the Baklava to cool completely before serving.
The syrup is what really brings this dish together and makes each bite melt in your mouth! With brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, cloves and orange peel, I could have just dunked my spoon in it all day.
The best part of my baklava making experience was that my whole house smelled like Christmas! With your baklava fresh, you can now cuddle up, put on Aladdin, light some incense, and feel like you are back exploring Morocco.
Follow us on social media so you can follow our Cooking Around the World Showcase journey. Next week, we are recreating a special dish from Japan! Can you guess which one we chose?