Food & Wine

Desserts

Karidopita / Καρυδοπιτα

Karidopita. A mouthwatering , dark, spice scented walnut pie. Widespread throughout Greece, it is one of the oldest and most traditional Greek desserts. Scented with cinnamon and gloves, almost always served with a ball of ice cream, it has a flavor that is not easily forgotten.

The recipe varies slightly from one region to another, so it can be found with some small variations such as adding rum or cognac in the dough.

 

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Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 800 g granulated sugar
  • 800 g water
  • 1 stick cinnamon

For the walnut pie

  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 360 g hard flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 120 g milk
  • Butter, for the pan
  • All-purpose flour, for the pan

Method:

Syrup:

  • In a pot add the sugar, the water and the cinnamon and cloves
  • Transfer over medium heat and let it come to a boil until the sugar melts.
  • Remove and set aside to cool well.

For the walnut cake

  • Preheat the oven to 170ο C (340ο F) set to fan.
  • In a mixer’s bowl add the butter, the sugar, the vanilla, and beat with the whisk attachment at high speed, for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the flour, the eggs one by one, the milk and keep beating. Wait for each egg to be incorporated before adding the next.
  • In a blender add the walnuts, the cloves, the cinnamon, and beat so that the walnuts have the desired size and consistency that you want in your cake.
  • Transfer the walnuts to a bowl and add the flour, the baking powder, and the salt.
  • In the same mixer’s bowl add the solid ingredients and mix all ingredients together with a spoon or a spatula.
  • Butter and flour a 25×32 cm baking pan and spread your mixture in it. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cake
  • Remove and immediately pour the cold syrup over it, using a serving spoon.
  • Allow 1 hour for the whole syrup to be absorbed, and serve with vanilla ice cream.

(Do not refrigerate, it may cause the syrup to crystalize.)

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Easter Stenciled cookies

One of the easiest and prettiest ways to decorate the cookies and enjoy time during quarantin days with your childrens…
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Ingredients for 15 cookies:

  • 190 g butter, at room temperature
  • 110 g icing sugar
  • 300 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder

For the decoration:

  • Cookie cutters of desired shape
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Pastry brush
  • Stencils

Method:

  • Add the butter in a mixer’s bowl and beat it with the paddle attachment at high speed, for 4-5 minutes, until fluffy.
  • Add the icing sugar and keep beating for 4-5 minutes using the paddle attachment at low to medium speed.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour with the vanilla and add them to the mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture looks like wet sand.
  • Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it with your hands until it is thick and malleable.
  • Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Transfer one of the pieces to a baking shett lined with parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and, with a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it has the same size as the baking sheet.
  • Remove the parchment paper and cut the cookies using the cookie cutter. Follow the same process for the remaining dough, too.

Decoration:

  1. Place the stencil on top of the cookie. Use a pastry brush  to pick up cocoa powder and pat the cocoa powder onto the stencil.
  2. Lift away the stencil carefully. Do the same for the rest of the cookies, then bake for about 15 min (180°C / 356°F)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Koulourakia: Ancient Τraditional Greek Easter Cookies / Κουλουρακια βουτυρου

  • After the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire- – which also included Greece – by Constantine the Great, (Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity ) he was the first to offer as gifts to his officials, the so-called “palatine bread”, today’s butter cookies and sweet bread (tsoureki). The shape of  these Easter cookies and breads varies depending on local traditions.The best known is the braid. Braids and knots come from pagan times, as symbols of the removal of evil spirits.

 

  • So one of the ancient culinary Easter traditions in Greece is the butter cookies called “koulourakia” (kuluràkia).  During Holy Week they are found in abundance in Greek bakeries and home kitchens. The dough is mainly made of butter and must be of excellent quality. Low quality butter will give horrible results without consistency,  flavor and aroma. For this reason, every home has her favorite brand. My favorite brand is Greek from the historical region of Thessalia and  it is the award-winning Flegga Dairy Company, synonymous with high quality for more than 60 years.  The flour used for this recipe is a biological all purpose Italian flour; the same also biological eggs and organic oranges.

 

  • Have a Holy and Blessed Easter 2020. Warmest thoughts and wishes to all the people who are suffering from loneliness and pain.

 

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Ingredients for 35 – 40 pieces: 

  • 300 g butter
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, medium
  • 120 g orange juice
  • orange zest, of 2 big oranges or 3 small
  • 50 g brandy
  • 1 kilo all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 50 g milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk, diluted in 2 tablespoons water

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190ο C (375ο F) set to fan.
  • In a mixer’s bowl add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.
  • Then, add the eggs one by one, the orange zest and juice, the cognac, and keep beating.
  • In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and mix with a spoon.
  • Add half of the solid ingredients into the mixer, the milk, the salt, and keep beating for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the remaining solid ingredients, and mix with a serving spoon until the ingredients are homogenized. Then, knead with your hands until a dough is formed.
  • Cut a 30 g piece, shape it into a strip, and wrap it  like a braid (see gallery below)
  • Follow the same process for the whole dough.
  • Transfer the cookies into baking pans lined with parchment paper, spread with the egg wash (1 egg yolk, diluted in 2 tablespoons water)
  •  Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Let them cool and serve

 

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Chocolate Quinoa Flakes Breakfast

In these quarantine days where everything flows slowly,  i taught my daughter how to prepare her own breakfast. This recipe is so simple that even a little girl can prepare it, obviously with the supervision of an adult.

Chocolate, quinoa flakes, smushed banana, milk and water. You only bring to boil these 5 ingredients for few minutes and it’s ready to eat. Quinoa Flakes are mechanically flattened grains of quinoa, similar to rolled oats;  provide all the health benefits of whole grain quinoa with a more familiar breakfast texture and a much quicker cooking time)

Garnish with dried and fresh fruits of your choice or a ball of ice cream. As the cream does not contain sugar, agave or maple syrup cannot be missing. The advanced cream is kept in the fridge for the next day. Just add a spoonful of milk or water and heat it over low heat, stirring constantly.

For the presence of quinoa it is one of the most nutritious & healthy breakfasts for everyone. Quinoa is gluten-free pseudo cereal, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. (Ηistidine, Ιsoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine)

It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

 

 

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Ingredients for 2 persons:

  1. 100 gr quinoa flakes 
  2. 100 gr dark chocolate
  3. 1/2 cup  milk (about 125 ml)
  4. 1/2 cup water (about 125 ml)
  5. 1 ripe banana mashed 

Fresh and dry fruits cut into small pieces

Agave or maple syrup for topping

Method: 

In a little pot combine the first 5 ingredients. Mix well with a spoon. Bring to a boil, then reduce over low heat and boil for about 2 – 3 minutes (until creamy).   Stirring costantly

Serve in bowls. Top with fruits and a generous amount of agave or maple syrup.

As the cream does not contain sugar,   agave or maple syrup cannot be missing.

The advanced cream is kept in the fridge for the next day. It should be firm, so just add 1 – 2 spoonful of milk or water, whisk together until incorporated. Heat it over low heat, stirring constantly


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Portokalòpita ( Orange pie con phyllo)

Portokalopita is a typical Greek dessert made of phyllo, oranges (Portokàli means orange) and syrup. There are various recipes for portokalopita. I propose the one with whole oranges in which the peel of the fruit is also used.

Orange peel has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, containing high percentages of Vitamin C, is an indispensable aid for the immune system. Also is suitable against acidity, cholesterol and bacterial plaque in the mouth, helping digestion and intestinal transit. It is an excellent ally for those who have to fight cholesterol, as it helps to clean the arteries and counteracts the formation of clots, promoting cardiovascular health.

As it will be used the whole fruit, it is essential that it is organic and not treated with any type of pesticide.

 

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Ingredients:

For the syrup

  • 700 g granulated sugar
  • 500 g water
  • juice of 3 oranges

For the orange pie

  • 2 whole organic oranges
  • 450 g phyllo dough sheet
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 250 g seed oil
  • 250 g milk
  • vanilla
  • 3 eggs

(Some butter and flour for the pan)

To serve: chocolate or stracciatella ice cream

Method:

  • Spread the phyllo sheets onto your working surface. Let them dry for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile prepare the syrup. In a pot, add the sugar, water, orange juice and transfer over medium heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ο C (356ο F).

 

  • With your hands, crumble the phyllo sheets until they broken up into small pieces. Place them into a large bowl.
  • Wash and cut 2 whole organic oranges into small pieces. Remove the seeds
  • Blend them into a food processor until they are almost  pureed
  • In the same food processor add all the other ingredients: 3 eggs, sugar, milk, seed oil, vanilla. Mix until blended.
  • Pour this mix into the bowl with the phyllo. Mix very well with a ladle.
  • Spread butter and sprinkle flour onto a 32×25 cm baking pan. Spread the mixture inside, bake for 90 min (180C / 356F)
  • Remove from the oven. With a ladle pour the cold syrup over.
  • Allow 30 minutes for the syrup to be absorbed. Cut in pieces and serve with chocolate or stracciatella ice cream.

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The oranges for this particular recipe must be 100% organic and without any type of synthetic pesticide. If used, must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured.

 

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Vasilopita (New Year’s Coin Cake)

Vasilopita is a New Year’s Day traditional cake in Greece and many other areas in eastern Europe and the Balkans. The cake contains a hidden coin which gives good luck to the receiver.   Usually  the night of the new year, the moment of the change of the year, the cake is traditionally cut by the oldest member of the family, and the individual who receives the portion of the cake which contains the coin is considered blessed and lucky for a whole New Year.

This age old tradition commenced in the 4th century, when Saint Basil , who was a bishop, wanted to distribute money to the poor people in his Diocese. He wanted to preserve their dignity, so as not to look like charity,  he commissioned some women to bake sweetened bread, in which he arranged to place gold coins. So the families in cutting the bread to nourish themselves, were pleasantly surprised to find the coins.

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Ingredients

  • 300 g butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g icing sugar

1st mixture:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 7 g mahleb
  • 2 g mastic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • zest of 2 oranges

 

2nd mixture:

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla powder or liquid
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 80 g milk

 

3rd mixture:

  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Decoration:  icing sugar

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180* C (350*F) Fan.
  • In a mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar, with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat for another 5 minutes. (It is important that the butter is at room temperature. The softer it is the fluffier your mixture will be.)
  • While you are waiting, add the remaining ingredients from the 1st mixture (apart from the orange zest) and beat them in a blender along with a tablespoon of sugar, until they become powdery. When ready, add the orange zest and mix.
  • Add this powdery mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed.
  • Add all the ingredients from the 2nd mixture, in batches. Release the mixing bowl and add the ingredients from the 3rd mixture. Mix with a large spoon.
  • Grease a round 25 cm spring form baking pan and dust with flour. Transfer the batter to the baking pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • When ready, remove from oven. Allow the cake to cool completely. Pour the icing sugar over it and serve.

Tips:

The secrets for this recipe are two. The fresh biological eggs and the butter. Produced by The Greek Award Winning Dairy Company “Flegga“, this goat butter gives a velvety consistency and a truly inimitable flavor. Rich source of several vitamins such A, D, E, (E is a powerful antioxidant) B12, K2 (K2 protects against heart disease and osteoporosis). Most of the saturated fats in butter are short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the most common of which is butyric acid. Butyric acid is a unique component of the milk fat of ruminant animals, such as sheep, and goats. Reduces the  inflammations in the digestive system and has been used as a treatment for Crohn’s disease.

This is all due to the free grazing of healthy animals under the sun in one of the most pristine areas of Greece. In the heart of the National Park of Pindos.

Flavors:

Mahleb or Mahalepi (Greek : Μαχλεπι) is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry, Prunus mahaleb.   Mahleb is rich source of fatty acids, phytosterols and antioxidant phenols (good for hypertension and colesterol) also contains vitamins B1, B6,  E, a tocopherol, proteins, essential oils

Mastic (GreekΜαστίχα) is a resin obtained from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) cultivated  in the Greek island of Chios. Mastic releases a refreshing flavor similar to pine and cedar.   Mastic resin absorbs cholesterol, it has antibacterial properties, acts as an oral antiseptic, aids digestion, tightens the gums, heals wounds and scientists discovered that when it is administrated even in small doses it cures stomach ulcers.

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Melomakàrona

Melomakarona are traditional Greek Christmas cookies. Typical ingredients of these biscuits are flour or semolina, sugar, orange fresh juice, cognac (or similar beverage), cinnamon and olive oil. Immediately after baking, they are immersed for a few seconds in cold syrup made of honey, sugar, dissolved in water. Finally, they are decorated with ground, as well as bigger pieces of walnut.

The word “melomakarona” is a combination of the two Greek words: “mèli” which means honey and “makàrona” which comes from the ancient word “makaria” and means “blessed”

 

 

 

For the 1st mixture:

  1. 400 ml orange juice
  2. 400 ml vegetable oil
  3. 180 ml olive oil
  4. 1/2 tsp clove
  5. 2-3   tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4   nutmeg
  7. zest of 2 oranges
  8. For the 2nd Mixture:
  9. 1 kg flour

    1 tsp baking soda

  10. 50 g icing sugar

 

For the syrup:

  • 500 g water
  • 800 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g honey
  • 3 stick(s) cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 orange, cut in half

 

  1.  

  1. Boil the ingredients for the syrup 2-3  hours before you start making the melomakarona so that there is enough time for the syrup to cool.

1. Boil all of the ingredients for the syrup, apart from honey, until sugar melts.  Remove from heat.  Add the honey and mix till combined.

  • let syrup cool for 2 – 3 hours. It must be cold by the time the cookies come out from the oven.
  • You can prepare the syrup from the day before.

 

2.Preheat the oven to 190° C (370*F)

To make the cookies, you need to prepare 2 separate mixtures.

3.Mix all the ingredients for mixture 1 thoroughly using a good whisk.

4.Add the ingredients of mixture 2 and mix softly for a little while, just until the flour is fully incorporated in the rest of the mix. Be careful not to overwork the cookie dough because the oil may start to seep out and then they won’t turn out crispy.

5.Mold cookie dough into oval shapes, 3-4 cm in length, 30 g each. Try to keep them as similar as possible.

6.Bake at 190°C for about 20-25 minutes until they are crispy.

7.As soon as you remove them from the oven, soak the hot cookies in the cold syrup for 20-30  seconds.

8.Allow them to drain on a wire rack.

9.Drizzle with honey and chopped walnuts.

 

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Pastiera (Neapolitan Easter Dessert)

Neapolitan pastiera is an Easter dessert made with cooked wheat, eggs, ricotta cheese, and flavoured with  flower water (Mille fiori aroma). It is usually eaten at Easter and according to tradition, every family in Naples prepares one during the Holy Week. The recipe for this “cake” probably derives from the breads made from milk and honey that were commonly eaten during the baptism ceremonies the night of Easter when Constatine was Emperor. The modern version of this dessert was invented at the convent of San Gregorio Armeno (located in Naples historic center). A nun decided to make a cake using the ingredients that symbolized life and resurrection.

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Ingredients for Pasta Frolla:

  • 5 oz butter
  • 4 oz confectioners sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ lb all-purpose flour
  • vanilla
  • lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

 

1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor just until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, 6 to 8 times.
2. Whisk together  egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest. With processor running, add egg mixture; process just until dough begins to come together. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface; lightly knead to form a ball.
3. Divide dough into 2 pieces, and gently press into flat disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

 

 

 


Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • ½ lb granulated sugar
  • ½ lb cooked wheat
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 oz mille fiori water
  • 3 oz mixed candied fruit
  • 1 oz confectioners sugar

Follow the steps below (slideshow)

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Before removing from the tray, wait until it has cooled enough. Serve at room temperature .

Store pastiera  in its pan covered with plastic wrap in a cool place (room temperature) (Never store pastiera in the fridge. Only in cool place)

 

 

 

 


Sicilian “Pan d’ arancio” (Whole Orange cake)

” Pan d’ arancio” means orange bread.  Is a traditional cake recipe from Palermo. All the fruit is used, only the seeds are discarded. The whole orange with all the peel is blended & added in the mixture.

Full of flavor and nutrients. Extremely quick & easy to make. Baking a cake doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe work well for cupcakes too,  you can add mini chocolate chips in the mixture,  an orange icing or chocolate frosting on the top.  Perfect for hungry kids at school.

Orange peel is rich of polyphenols (helps keep the gut healthy and is important in helping to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease), vitamins A, Cfolic acid B9 (a water-soluble B vitamin) and other B vitamins, calcium,  copper,  magnesium and dietary fibers, essential oils and carotenoids 

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Ingredients for the cake

  • 2 organic oranges, washed and cut into pieces
  • 100gr seed oil (or 100 gr softened butter)
  • 300gr all purpose flour
  • 16 gr baking powder
  • 250gr sugar
  • 100gr milk
  • 3 eggs

Ingredients for the icing

  • 300 gr icing sugar
  • 1 orange (juice)

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F
  2. Puree the diced oranges in a food processor.
  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients over the purèe (flour+baking powder, sugar, eggs, seed oil, milk)
  4. Mix  until blended
  5. Grease and flour an 9″ (23cm) pan lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes (The cake is ready when a knife or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean)
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow to cool completely
  8. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake

 

Icing: In a bowl,  mix together the icing sugar with  half of the orange juice.  Whisk until there are no lumps.   You can adjust the consistency  to your liking  by adding more powdered sugar or juice, to thicken or thin it out.

Pour the icing over the top of the cake.

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Saragli’

Saragli’ is a traditional Christmas Greek sweet with plenty of grated walnuts and crispy phyllo drizzled  with sweet and spicy syrup.

It is basically  “baklava”  that is rolled instead of layered. Phyllo sheets are brushed with butter, covered in a seasoned walnut mixture, and rolled up. 

If you like crispy pastries, dried fruits, an intense scent of cinnamon and cloves in your home, this is the right recipe for you! Merry Christmas!

This recipe has been adapted by Akis Petretzikis saragli recipe

 

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Ingredients:

For syrup

  • 500 g granulated sugar – 300 ml water – 4 cloves – 1 cinnamon stick – Rind from 1 orange – juice of half orange

For saragli

  • 400 g butter
  • 100 g walnuts
  • 100 g almonds
  • 100 g pistachio nuts
  • 2teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 packages phyllo dough (900 g)
  • pistachio nuts, ground, for serving

Syrup:

  • In a pot, add the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange rind.
  • Place pot over medium heat.
  • In about 2-3 minutes, as soon as the sugar melts, remove pot from heat.
  • Add the orange juice, stir and set aside to cool.

Saragli’:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  • In a food processor  grind the walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and cloves together. You don’t want to finely grind them but you don’t want to have large pieces because they will rip through the phyllo dough.
  • Transfer the filling to a bowl and transfer the melted butter to a separate bowl.
  • Preheat the oven to 160° C (320° F)
  • Spread out the phyllo dough on a clean working surface.
  • Lay one sheet of phyllo dough separately on your working surface. Drizzle with melted butter, making sure not to let the brush directly touch the phyllo.
  • Cover with another sheet of phyllo and drizzle with butter.
  • Spread the filling over the entire surface.
  • Place two wooden sticks in the middle of the phyllo and roll the smaller side towards the middle, leaving an empty space at the edge.
  • Do not roll too tight and gently press the ends together towards the middle with your hands, creating folds in the phyllo and remove the sticks.
  • Brush a 30×40 cm baking pan with butter and add the sargli.
  • Drizzle with butter immediately and repeat the same process until the baking pan is full of saragli rolls.
  • When the pan is full, drizzle any leftover butter over the sargli rolls.
  • Bake for 70 minutes.
  • When ready, remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the scorching hot saragli rolls.The temperature of the pastry must be always opposite than the syrup. This is the key for a successful baklava /saragli’
  • Allow them to soak up the syrup for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with ground pistachio nuts and serve

Caprese (Flourless chocolate/almond cake from Capri)

There are several apocryphal stories about the cake’s origin. A legend told that an Austrian princess married to the king of Naples wanted the Sacher cake (Austrian chocolate cake), but Neapolitan chefs didn’t know this recipe, so they improvised by using a typical Neopolitan ingredient: almonds.

One is of a baker fulfilling an order for an almond cake by a few tourists at his bakery in the 1920s. The baker forgot to add flour to the mix, but the tourists liked the resulting cake and considered it a delicacy. Another account ascribes the invention to two heirs of Austrian painter August Weber, who created it at the Strandpension Weber in the 1930s. 

Although its origins are unknown, several aspects of its creation are known. The cake was first created by the hospitality industry of the island of Capri and it was created primarily for tourists to the island. At first, it was likely served in tea rooms. As it became more popular, restaurants incorporated it into their menu.1-IMG-20171212-WA0000-01-01

1-Snapseed4Ingredients:

  • 200g  dark chocolate, minimum 70% (melted and cooled)
  • 200gr unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 200g sugar
  • 5  eggs, ‎separated
  • 200gr ground almonds (blanched)
  • 1 small glass Strega liqueur (optional)

Method:

 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Beat the sugar and butter until creamy, add 1 egg yolk at time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the melted butter, ground almonds , the liqueur and the melted chocolate. Mix well.
  • Beat stiff the egg whites with a pinch of salt and add to the mixture, folding gently.
  • Line a cake tin with wet greaseproof paper, pour the cake mixture in it and cook for 40 minutes.
  • When cooked cool 20 min then remove from the tin
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, then dust the top with powdered sugar
  • If you prepare Caprese for Christmas you can decorate it with ice cream cones Christmas trees (Hold each cone and coat it  in melted chocolate or nutella. Then cover with ground coconut , groung almonds, colored sprinkles ecc)

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My big fat Greek baklava

Baklava is  a rich, sweet pastry popular in Middle Eastern countries made of layers of phyllo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.

Baklava is normally prepared in large pans. Many layers of filo dough, separated with melted butter  are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts—typically walnuts,pistachios or almonds  is placed  on top, then more layers of phyllo.  Most recipes have multiple layers of phyllo and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry.

Greek version of baklava is  made with 33 dough layers, referring to the years of Christ’s life. 

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How to cut it in diamond shape (4 steps)

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Repeat the same procedure for all quarters

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Ingredients

Ingredients or the syrup:

2 cup water

2 cup white sugar

1 orange peel

2 cinnamon sticks

1 cup honey

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160° C.   In a bowl, melt the butter .
  2. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 33×23 pan.
  3. Process the nuts until in small, even sized pieces. Combine with  cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves powder. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough.Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Repeat  more times until you have 10 sheets layered.Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut/almond mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go.Continue to repeat the nut/almond mixture and two buttered sheets of phyllo until the nut mixture is all used up. The top layer should be about 10 sheets deep. With a cuisine scissors cut out all edges of phyllo.
  4. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan.  Bake baklava for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and crisp and the lower phyllo layers beneath the nut/almond mixture are thoroughly baked through. To test this, use a knife to lift up a corner of one of the pastry rectangles from the center of the pan so you can peek at the bottom layers . If the top starts to get too brown before the pastry is cooked through, lay a piece of foil over the top.
  5. .While baking, make the syrup.Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add  orange peel, cinnamon sticks and honey. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup it . Serve at room temperature. 

Blueberries fresh cheese crostini

Very easy , quick & healthy snack for kids . Rich in fibers, vit K , vit C . vit B6 , vit E , vit A , selenium , anthocyanin , potassium , copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial substance), magnesium , phosphorus , manganese , calcium

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Ingredients:

  •  French baguette or other bread of your choise
  • Goat cheese (but you can use any creamy fresh cheese such ricotta,  robiola, Philadelphia, stracchino, creamy blue cheese  etc. )
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Herbs of your choise (rosemary , mint , thym . basil )
  • Honey

Method:

  • Cut the baguette from side to side or into thin slices
  • Lightly toast it in the oven
  •  Spread it – with a spatula or knife – with fresh cheese
  • Top with fresh blueberries , honey & chopped herbs
  • Enjoy this union of creamy flavors, blue sweetness & magical scents from nature ❤ !

Blueberries are heart healthy , brain & immunity boosters, cancer fighters. Keep your eyes healthy, low in calories (1 cup of blueberries=85 calories). Rich in fibers

 


Spiced red wine poached pears cream filled/ Γεμιστα αχλαδια ποσε’ σε κοκκινο κρασι με μπαχαρικα/Pere ripiene di crema al vino rosso speziato

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Poached pears in spiced red wine ( filled with mascarpone cream)

Ingredients:

  • A.  3 pears (peeled-stalk intact) , 1 bottle red wine , 250 gr sugar , 2 cinnamon sticks , 2 star anise , orange & lemon peel
  • B.  For mascarpone cream : 100 gr mascarpone (or Philadelphia cheese) , 1 tbs honey, cinnamon . chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

  • Put all ingredients (A) except the pears  in a saucepan just large enough to hold the fruits and bring to a boil
  • Place the pears into the wine mixture then simmer uncovered for about 40-45 min. or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Transfer pears to a bowl and continue to boil the poaching liquid until reduced to half (about 20 min. until is thickens)
  • Now use an apple corer to scoop out the seeds and fill the pears center with the mascarpone cream

Mascarpone cream: Combine mascarpone or Philadelphia , honey , cinnamon , chopped walnuts into a bowl . Mix until smooth and creamy

 Ways to serve poached pears :

1.You can serve it  with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream , greek yogurt , whipped cream.

2.In a dish or in a glass put pears and some mulled wine (or other liquor 80 proof and above ⇒40% alcohol by volume) and apply a flame to the liquor. We recommend a long lighter. Before you light the drink, remove any alcohol you don’t want to catch fire from the area.

Serve warm, putting a few chopped walnuts or  almonds into each glass and enjoy!1-christmas 2015492-christmas 2015481-christmas 2015362-christmas 201554

 


Figs cream (No cook recipe)

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Grape must pudding – Greek Moustalevrià

Moustalevria (Greek: μουσταλευριά) or moustopita (Greek: μουστόπιτα) is a sort of pudding made of grape must mixed with flour and boiled until thick. It may also include almonds, walnuts, and other nuts.

Grape must is the juice from pressed grapes before fermentation, and is often used as a sweetener in traditional bread recipes, as well as in the preparation of desserts and candy. This grape must pie is a favorite, especially popular at grape harvest season when the must is fresh.1-CUCINA 33

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Cherry Clafoutis

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Ingredients:

  • Butter, for coating the pan
  • 12 ounces fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted (about 2 cups)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for dustin

Method:

    1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a medium oven-safe frying pan (about 10 inches in diameter) generously with butter and arrange the cherries in a single layer; set aside.
    2. Combine the eggs, milk, sugar, extracts, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Add the flour and whisk until just combined (small pockets of flour are OK). Pour over the cherries in the prepared pan. Bake until set, puffed, and light golden brown around the edges, about 30 minutes.
    3. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes (the clafoutis will deflate). Cut into wedges, dust with powdered sugar, and serve warm.
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Red fruits & Fruyo vanilla “Tiramisù”

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A very  quick , easy and healthy dessert  rich in folic acid , Vit A, C , potassium , antioxidants ( anthocyanins , lycopene)  mineral salts , calcium . magnesium.

Ingredients for 2 persons : 6 savoiardi cookies (ladyfingers)

200 gr red fruits ( gooseberries , currant berries , bluebberies, blackberries , raspberries , cherries, strawberries)

1 Fruyo fat free vanilla greek yogurt (Fage)

Method: 1.Blend the fruits all together

2. Arrange cookies on the bottom of a glass

3. Sprinkle the fruit mix over cookies so they are well saturated

4. Add Fruyo

5. Repeat if you want with another layer of  savoiardi – fruit mix – yogurt

6..Complete the top layer with fresh fruits. Bon appétit !

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