Showing posts with label Sweet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sweet. Show all posts

Greek yogurt macaron, with a honey core

Apr 23, 2015

I often wonder what could be characterized as a typical Greek flavor in pastry; and I usually come to the conclusion that yogurt and honey make a pair that many could consider as a classically Greek. So if I make a panna cotta with Greek yogurt and honey, would people think that this Italian dessert has a Greek twist? I can’t judge but it definitely tasted good. Since I have started this ‘alchemy’ of turning famous desserts into Greek with the addition of yogurt and honey, I have discovered that French macarons lend themselves to the treatment!
The first time I ever saw macaron was five or six years ago when I started reading food blogs and came across the blog Tartelette. I remember how beautiful they looked in the pictures. Then I tried them in a pastry shop in Athens and was sure I should try making them myself. My research on the internet showed that macarons are more or less the ‘’Holy Grail’’ of every avid food blogger and I decided I needed one more cooking book, this time one specializing  on the  macaron. Pierre Herme’s ''Macarons'' proved the ideal master class on macarons since he is world famous for all those incredible and unique flavors. Pierre Herme uses the Italian meringue method which has proven to be almost foolproof in my case. 
Now I had to create a Greek yogurt ganache since I couldn’t find any reference on the internet and it turned out that it was a very good idea. The sweetness of the white chocolate is balanced by the mild sour taste of yogurt, creating a very interesting ganache but, this time, with a Greek character.

Tahini, coffee, and pistachios: vegan cake

Mar 25, 2015

In Greece during the Great Lent when dairy products, meat, and eggs are not   consumed (at least for those who still keep these traditions), tahini based recipes enrich their diet with nutritious elements. Tahini, a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds, is a super food and, added in soups and other vegetable or legume based dishes, it plays a vital role in good nutrition. It contains many vitamins and minerals and is also rich in protein, - 25 percent by weight!  
In this blog you may have noticed that several recipes, sweet or savory have the ending pita in their name. That is because we tend to call pita any batter which is baked in a flat baking pan.  
So today’s special is Tahinópita, a dairy and egg free cake with tahini as a basic ingredient. Although the original recipe calls for cinnamon and cloves, I decided we had enough cinnamon this winter so a small twist in this cake’s makeup was inevitable: coffee and orange zest in this case. They match really well with tahini and its nutty flavor. Even if you are not vegan you won’t feel that its texture lacks the fluffy lightness usually achieved only when eggs are used. 

Sweet raisin buns flavored with cinnamon.

Feb 10, 2015

Raisin buns (σταφιδόψωμα), are for the Greeks what croissants are for the French: a sweet doughy breakfast delicacy. Every morning you can find them on sale inlocal bakeries next to bread rings and cakes.
 Raisins and sultanas are great sources of energy for the human body, exactly what you need with a cup of tea or coffee to start your day. For many centuries the small dark currants and the larger blond sultanas have been an essential part of the agricultural economy of the Peloponnese. At the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, in particular, the English would import raisins in exchange for salted cod from the North Sea. As a result of this exchange,salted cod became, and still is,a special favorite at Peloponnesian tables.
 When baking bread for the family, my grandmother would often save a piece of her sour dough to make a small loaf of raisin bread, or feta bread. The contradiction of the slightly sour taste of the bread with the sweetness of the raisins is something I always recall from her cooking. Although my grandmother didn’t use any flavoring, these buns today are usually flavored with cinnamon and can be made either with whole-wheat flour or a gluten free mix.