Monday, December 30, 2013

Savoiardi cake with buttercream and caramelized almonds (luscious cake from Aigio-Pelloponese)

hello and merry christmas to all! this is a dessert my stepmother used to make when i was young. this christmas she made it and offered it in the christmas table and i was very happy to taste it again...
this is a recipe her mother and grandmother made. it is a very rich cake and has only 8 ingredients.
 you won't be disapponted!
Savoiardi cake with cream and caramelized almonds

you will need

800 gr savoiardi (preferably from a pastry shop)
400 gr sugar
400 gr good gresh cow butter like Lurpak
400 gr almonds without skin
4 tubes of vanilla powder
12 egg yolks
1 cup of cognac
13 greek coffees (prepared earlier so the residue sits on the bottom and they are not hot)

how to

put the yolks and the sugar in a big bowl and start beating with the mixer in a medium speed for about 30' so that all the sugar is dissolved and the mix becomes whitish and creamy .

add the butter (which you have taken out of the fridge hours ago and is soft) in pieces and keep beating for another 30'.

in a small bowl mix the coffee without the residue and the cognac.

dunk for a sec the savoiard from one side and then the other side and in a deep plate start arranging them so that they cover the whole bottom.

when the bottom is fully covered, apply 1/3 of the cream evenly with the help of a spatula.

after the cream is laid, start putting another layer of slighty soaked savoiardi in the coffee-cognac mixture.

spread the rest of the cream on top of them.

put it in the fridge and start the process of caramelizing the almonds:

in a pan over hot fire put the almonds and quickly sprinkle them with about 1/2 cup of sugar, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and starts to melt.

keep stirring from time to time so that the almonds don't burn and when the sugar is almost like the colour of dark caramel remove from fire and spread them on a piece of silicon mat or parchment/baking paper.

try to separate them while they are hot, one to one, because when the caramel hardens they break and lose their shape.

when the almonds are totally cold and hardened, spread them on the top of the cream with their pointy side in.

ta da!


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Red wine mushroom risotto with mascarpone

Red wine mushroom risotto with mascarpone, served

for 4

you will need:

1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
white agaricus mushrooms roughly sliced
1 cup arborio rice for risotto
1 cup of bordeaux red wine
1 cup of boiled water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 grated carrot
1/4 orange lentils (or plain lentils will do)
1-2 tbsp mascarpone
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp fresh roughly chopped dill (heaped)
1 tbsp fresh roughly chopped parshley (heaped)
pink himalayan salt, freshly grated pepper to taste

how to:

in a pot, pour the olive oil and when it becomes hot, add the chopped onion and let them cook in high heat until they acquire a slight colour and become tender.

add the rice and stir constantly.

add the chopped mushrooms while stirring and the butter.

after some minutes, when the rice and the mushrooms develop their aromas, pour the wine in and keep stirring.

add the lentils, grated carrot and when it drinks up the wine, add a cup of boiled water and stir.

keep stirring until the water is diminished.

add the dill, the parsley, the mascarpone and the grated parmesan when the rice is cooked and done, after about 10'-15' and mix well.

serve immediately.


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sun dried tomato dip with cream cheese and yoghurt

you will need:

200 gr cream cheese
6-7 slices of dried tomatoes
2 tbsp sheep yoghurt full fat or plain greek yoghurt
2 tbsp of chives
1/2 cup of dill
1/2 cup of parsley
1/2 small onion
juice of 1/2 lemon
some drizzles of olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

put all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until the mixture has acquired an homogenous texture and you can see only miniscule bits of them.

you can dip crackers, breadsticks, potato chips or toast some bread and spread it on it.

also it is fantastic on cucumber and carrot slices or basically any kind of raw vegetables.

another idea is to boil some potatoes, cut them to pieces and use 1-2 tbsp of the dip and mix them all together.

it has a great full taste

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

coconut cream ice cream with 3 ingredients (egg-free)

this ice cream was kinda inspired by Laura Vitale, while i was looking for a recipe to use my unsweetened can of coconut cream. her recipe calls for a type of coconut cream that is sweetened which i haven't seen or used because here in Greece you can only find the unsweetened type, so i thought i'd add the sweetened condensed milk and the outcome was simply amazing!
i put the cans and the carton in the fridge beforehand and of course a day in advance remember to put the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer so they are all nice and chilled.
of course there are other ways to make ice cream without the maker so if you do not own one, you can google something like "how to make ice cream without icecream maker" or such and thousands of suggestions and ideas, videos and photos will come up.
anyway, enough with the blabbering! let's get down to business...

you will need:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 can of unsweetened coconut cream

1 small carton of heavy cream (200ml)

1-2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

how to:

take these 3 ingredients out of the fridge and pour them in a metal bowl, stirring them well for 1-2 minutes with a whisk (add the vanilla too if you wish).
after well combined i put the bowl back to the fridge for some minutes just to make sure they are chilled.
start the ice cream maker and start pouring the contents of the bowl in.
when the ice cream is done, pour in a medium container and put in the freezer until is set.

it yields about 3 servings so if you need more just double or triple the ingredients.

i tried to make it without the ice cream maker and it is still soft and easy to serve, i didn't even stir it every 30'-60' as you are supposed to...nope, it stays nice and smooth on its own. try it!

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

the Recipe of Nutella! (the BEST I have ever tried)

and it is so simple!

easy as 1-2-3-4!

you only need 4 ingredients and it yields 1 large mason jar or 2 medium.

here you are:

100gr grinded hazelnuts (or leave them to bigger bits, depends on your taste)

200gr dark chocolate 52% cacao (you can find them in Lidl)

300gr butter

400gr sweet condensed milk (a can)

how to:

break the bar into pieces and put in a bain marie.
when melted, put the butter and after it has incorporated, pour the condensed milk and stir!
in the end stir in the hazelnut powder or bits.
put in jars or containers.

ta da!

it couldn't be easiest and its taste is the closest thing to nutella I have ever tasted.

you can preserve it in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, but I doubt it if it lasts that long!

when colder it gets harder, kind of the texture the nutella has when it is put in the fridge.

UPDATE: i put the mixture in a bain marie again and then in the blender and the texture became more velvety smooth, here's a new picture:

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

chicken with peanut sauce

for 6 people

I paired it with some baked sliced zucchini and eggplants 

6 chicken fillets

for the marinade:
100ml soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
cayenne pepper
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp peanut butter smooth
1 clove of garlic crashed

peanut sauce:
200 ml coconut cream
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
juice of 2 limes
150 gr peanut butter crunchy
1 chilli crashed
2 tbsp soy sauce
150 ml chicken stock
100 ml heavy cream
1 large onion

how to:
mix all the marinade ingredients and add the chicken fillets and leave for at least 2 hours in the fridge to marinate.

when they are ready bake in the grill or bbq until done.

in a pot, drizzle the oil and cook the thinly cut onions until golden.

add all the ingredients except the chicken stock and the cream.

let them shimmer for 5-6 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients (stock and cream).

cut the fillets in long pieces and serve over cooked noodles and pour the sauce on them.


(the recipe was found on the can of coconut cream from oriental express and it was really amazing!)

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Monday, July 22, 2013

yoghurt and lime cheesecake

things you will need:

for the cream:

  • 250 ml heavy cream (very cold)
  • a can of sweetened condensed milk (cold, too)
  • strained greek yoghurt ('stragisto' full fat)
  • juice of 2 limes (and some shavings, if you like)
  • 1 tsp of agar agar diluted in 2 tbsp of cold water

for the base:

  • 3 cups of plain cookies (i used homemade gluten free, crumbled in the processor)
  • 3 tsp of sugar (my homemade cookies were a bit on the unsweetened side, adjust the sugar accordingly)
  • 3 tbsp of soft butter (just leave it out of the fridge for some hours)
  • some white chocolate shavings and leave some for the decoration
How to:

line a springform pan with cling film .

put cookies in a plastic bag and beat the sh*t out of them with a rolling pin or whatever's closer (a hammer, a heavy pan/pot...).

...of course you can always put them in the processor until sandy.

mix them with the butter until they become crumbly and add the white chocolate shavings.

put them in the springform pan when ready and press them well with your fingers until they form a crust base.

pour the cream in a cold metal bowl and start beating with the mixer until fluffy and soft peaks form.

add the sweetened milk and keep beating.

add the yoghurt and continue beating.

add the juice and the diluted agar-agar.

when all ingredients have come together in a whitish fluffy mix, pour them on the crust base in the pan and level with a silicone spatula.

sprinkle some crashed cookie crumbles from the base and some white chocolate shavings and/or lime shavings.

i have put cookie crumbles and white choc shavings.

refridgerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.



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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gluten-free coconut cake with egg whites

Well as you might have guessed, due to my recent icecream experiments I was left with a great amount of egg whites. I was looking for a way to cook them when an old experiment with sweet condensed milk and coconut popped in my mind. At a birthday party of mine some years ago, I had come up with an interesting coconut recipe and I thought that this is the time to recreate it at last, because they had turn up quite tasty. And I'm saying 'they' because I had made it in the form of cupcakes.

Here you are:

You will only need 3 ingredients for this amazing gluten free cake:

200 gr of desiccated coconut

a can of sweet condensed milk

6 egg whites

Beat the egg whites until stiff in a clean bowl and fold the coconut and the sweet condensed milk in.

Pour the mixture in a loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven in medium heat until dark golden brown, as shown in the picture.
If you bake it less it may not be done inside.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Homemade Tahitian Vanilla Ice cream

I have bought an icecream maker a month or two ago.
I wanted to buy one really badly a while now and when I found it in the supermarket for 25-30€ I thought to myself: "What the heck, maybe it'll worth it".

And it did.

Since then, it would be a lie to say that I haven't tried at least 4-5 recipes for vanilla icecream.

I LOVE vanilla.

In EVERY possible way.

I love it in my perfume, in cigarettes (well, I used to, that is, I have quitted smoking like 4 months ago), as a flavored yoghurt, icecream, custards, fabric softener, candles and the list is endless...

Anyway, to cut a long story short, today I think I might have made the BEST vanilla icecream I have ever tasted.

Yes, I am not overreacting.

You HAVE to try this, trust me. I am sure I haven't discovered that recipe and many people must have made a similar or something very close to it, or even that same recipe, but that doesn't change its greatness.

Needless to say that the condensed milk makes it much creamier than adding milk, cream and sugar in it and  in addition to the yolks the custard becomes more dense and flavorful with the right amount of sweetness.

Well here it is:

400 gr. of heavy cream
400 gr of sweet condensed milk (the can is 397gr so use it all and don't bother opening a new one for that 3 gr off)
use the empty can of sweet condensed milk two times and fill it with
one time with whole fat milk
and second time with water
1 vanilla bean (I had Tahitian)
4 egg yolks

 Pour the cream, the sweet condensed milk, the milk and the water (once you empty the can use it to count the quantity of the milk and the water) in a medium pot over medium heat.

On the cutting board cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds with the back of a knife
and put them in the pot with the milk, cream and water.

Stir well with the whisk, so these seeds of heaven get incorporated.

Separate the egg yolks and put them in a bowl and whisk them a little.

With a laddle take some of the pot mix of milk and cream and pour slowly in the eggs while whisking constantly. In others words, temper it so the eggs don't get lumpy.

When tempered pour them in the pot, continue to stir
 and watch over it because if the mix gets overheated it will curdle and we certainly don't want that.

The mix with thicken after some minutes.

We are after a light kinda runny custard texture and when achieved, remove from heat and put it aside to cool off so you can put it in the fridge.

When it is cooled down you can put a plastic wrap on the pot with the custard and it is advisable to put it on the custard so it touches its surface and no air gets on it because if it does it will form a skin and as you might have guessed we don't want that either.

After 4-5 hours on the fridge the custerd will get cold and we want it as cold as it can get, we put it in the rotating icecream maker and wait until the goodness is ready and when ready, we put it in a container on the freezer.



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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fried Eggplant

One large eggplant, cut into round disks, about 1cm in thickness
Two eggs
1/4 cup milk
Black pepper
Olive oil for frying
Cut the eggplant into disks and arrange on a plate. Salt both sides well. Let it sit for an hour. Rinse well with cold water and pat the disks dry.
Scramble the eggs and milk. Add a fair amount of cracked pepper and a couple of pinches of salt.
Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil in the pan. Do this on medium high and don't let it smoke.
When the olive oil is hot enough that it will bubble a little around a piece of eggplant, dunk the eggplant pieces in the egg mixture and put them in the olive oil. Don't crowd them. Fry them in turns rather than pack them too tight. Fry for a few minutes until the bottom is golden. Flip. When both sides are golden brown. Remove and put on paper towels. Continue until all the eggplant is done.
 But it is also great room temperature, and even cold the next day. 

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

παγωτό βανίλια (παγωτομηχανή)

Υλικά (για 6-8 άτομα)

80 g ζάχαρη 

500 ml γάλα 
1 βανίλια Bourbon 
8 κρόκοι αυγών 
65 g ζάχαρη 
300 ml κρέμα γάλακτος

§             Ζυγίστε την 80 γραμμάρια ζάχαρη. Πάρτε δύο κουταλάκια του γλυκού, και τα ανακατεύουμε με την βανίλια σε ένα ξύλο κοπής. Αυτό γίνεται για να διαχωριστούν οι κόκκοι βανίλιας ο ένας από το άλλο έτσι ώστε να μπορούν να αναμιχθούν καλά στο γάλα.
§             Γάλα, ζάχαρη, βανίλια αναδεύονται μαζί σε ένα κατσαρολάκι το οποίο θερμαίνεται έως το σημείο βρασμού. Στη συνέχεια, αφαιρέστε το κατσαρολάκι από τη φωτιά και αφήστε το να ξεκουραστεί για 15 λεπτά.
§             Εν τω μεταξύ, χτυπήστε τους κρόκους με τη ζάχαρη μέχρι να ασπρίσει το μείγμα.
§      Ρίχνουμε το μείγμα του γάλακτος το οποίο ως τώρα πρέπει να έχει κρυώσει καλά, στο μείγμα των αυγών, ανακατεύοντας καλά.
§             Χτυπάμε την κρέμα γάλακτος μέχρι να αποκτήσουμε μια ελαφρά χτυπημένη κρέμα και διπλώνουμε στο μείγμα αυγών και γάλακτος. Αναδεύεται ήπια μέχρι να μην υπάρχουν εξογκώματα και το μείγμα να είναι ομοιόμορφο.
§             Ενεργοποιήστε την παγωτομηχανή και ρίχνετε το μείγμα μέσα Το μείγμα αναδεύεται σε παγωτομηχανή για 40-60 λεπτά, ανάλογα με τις επιδόσεις της μηχανής και αναλόγως το επιθυμητό αποτέλεσμα.


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