There you go, the recipe in English. Can you guess what it is about? :)) Of course, you are a smart human being. Now, that you know, I must tell you that this recipe is not mine, it is as old “as time” and very popular around the world. I knew about it before I cooked it. But, when I decided to try it, I said I would find the one I am comfortable doing it. In the Practical Encyclopedia of Easteuropean Cooking, 1999, there it was. My mum had a recipe, I had neighbours who did it, friends and so on. But it happened that I wanted to do it later, when I was abroad and I am content with what I found. This is mine, in a way. And now I want to share it with you. You probably say, why? Aren’t there enough already? And I say: why not? :))
- 175 g/ 6 oz/, 3/4 cup butter, melted (remember, go with 80-82% fat)
- 400 g/ 14 oz packet filo pastry, thawed if frozen
- 30 ml/ 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 60 ml/ 4 tbsp lemon
- 50 g/ 2 oz, 1/4 cup caster sugar (or any sugar you have in the kitchen)
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 10 ml/ 2 tsp cinnamon
- 200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups blanched almonds, chopped (replace almonds with nuts if you don’t have them)
- 200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups walnuts, chopped
- 75 g/ 3 oz/ 3/4 pistachios or hazelnuts, chopped (again, replace with more nuts :))
- chopped pistachios, to decorate (or go nuts :)) )
- 350 g / 12 oz/ 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
- 115 g/ 4 oz/ 1/2 cup clear honey
- 600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 strips of thinly pared lemon rind
- Preheat the oven to 160 °C, 325 °F, Gas Mark 3. Brush the base of a shallow 30×20 cm/ 12×8 in loose-bottomed or Swiss roll tin with a little of the melted butter.
- Using the tin as a guide cut the sheets of filo pastry with a sharp knife to fit the tin exactly. In case you don’t have a similar tin, or you want to use all the pastry, remember that you have to add more ingredients. Do your maths.
- Place one sheet of pastry in the base of the tin, brush with a little melted butter, then repeat until you have used half of the pastry sheets. Set the remaining pastry aside and cover with a clean dish towel
- To make the filling, place the lemon juice, honey and sugar in a pan and heat gently until dissolved. Stir in the lemon rind (half of it), cinnamon and chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly.
- Spread half the filling over pastry, cover with 3 layers of the filo pastry and butter then spread the remaining filling over the pastry.
- Finish by using up the remaining sheets of the pastry and butter on top and brush the top of the pastry liberally with butter.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully mark the pastry into squares, almost cutting through the filling. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until crisp and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the caster sugar, honey, water and lemon rind in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar and honey have dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil for a further 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Take the syrup off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Remove the baklava from the oven. Remove and discard the lemon rind from the syrup then pour over the pastry. Leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve, decorated with chopped pistachios.
Tip (for the lazy ones, myself included): use baking paper in the tin and brush it with melted butter. This way, you will have a cleaner and easier to wash tin.
Posted in Desserts, Turkish, Vegetarian
Tagged almonds, baklava, baklava recipe, baklava syrup, dessert recipe, easteuropean cooking, filo pastry, hazelnuts, honey, lemon, lemon juice, pistachios, syrup, the practical encyclopedia of east european cooking, traditional recipe, turkish dessert, Turkish recipe, walnuts
Yes, sometimes I go bananas. For different and crazy reasons. But then I would not feel I am alive. Staying alive is another reason. So I’d rather go bananas. ; )) As I have a bit of time now I remembered I haven’t written on my beautiful, lovely blog for a while. When I think that all started 3 years ago, in 2010, I always wonder how the time has passed. The time passes, how this happens depends only on us. All in all, it has been wonderful though and here I am writing again another recipe I’ve done years and years ago. As you probably have guessed (because the clue is in the title, you cheeky monkey, me cheeky monkey 😉 ) today we will eat some bananas. As I am a civilized monkey 😛 I will use the fire. Do you know how to make fire? Well, wait for the rain and lightning. There you go, you have fire now. Be careful not to set yourself on fire because then we will have a flambé human being. God forbidden! I have a weird sense of humour today, indulge me and have some fun. I keep forgetting: the recipe is from “Good Housekeeping Cookery Book”, 1985.
- 25 g (1 oz) butter
- grated rind and juice of 1 large orange
- 2,5 ml (1,2 level tsp) ground cinnamon
- 4 large bananas, peeled
- 50 g (2 oz) Demerara sugar (or just plain sugar if you don’t have Demerara)
- 60 ml (4 tbsp) dark rum
- orange shreds and slices, to decorate
- cream or vanilla ice cream to serve (or whipped vanilla cream)
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the orange rind and juice. Stir in the cinnamon, then add the bananas and cook for a few minutes, until softened.
- Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the rum, set alight and stir gently to mix.
- Decorate with orange shreds and slices and serve immediately with cream, whipped cream or ice cream.
Posted in Desserts, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged banana, banana recipe, butter, cinnamon, dark rum, demerarar sugar, dessert recipe, flambe, flambe bananas, flambe bananas recipe, Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, rum
It’s that time of year when the world falls in love… ❤
It’s that time of year when the world falls in love…with food too. And definitely with something like frosted fruit and chocolate baskets. This is a special dessert for a special moment. You choose the moment. Or me, it doesn’t matter. In fact, if I think of it, all the moments are special so yeah, have it this everyday if you want. I amuse myself now as I think you will tell to your special someone in your life, one hot summer day, ‘Let’s have frosted fruit…’ To cool yourself down or not. Is it hot here or it is just me… kidding.
Now, about the serious stuff. I got the recipe from a 2005 Somerfield Magazine and loved it all the way. Thank you for reading, now it is time to get back to work. See you soon.
Frosted Fruit and Chocolate Baskets
Preparation time: 35 minutes (plus chilling time to set)
- 200 g (7 oz) Belgian plain chocolate
- 115 (4 oz) mascarpone cheese
- 115 (4 oz) Greek style yogurt
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) icing sugar
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) brandy
- 55 g (2 oz) cranberries (if you can’t find fresh fruits, try frozen ones)
- 55 g (2 oz) raspberries
- 55 g (2 oz) blueberries
- 1 clementine
- granulated sugar to sprinkle
- non-stick baking parchment
- Cut four 18 cm (7 in) squares of non-stick baking parchment and mould each firmly around a small dish or jar to make a flat base in the center. Place each in a small dish to support the sides.
- Break up the chocolate and heat gently until melted in a bowl over a pan of hot, not boiling, water. Spoon a large spoonful of chocolate into each paper mould and use a small paintbrush to spread the chocolate up the sides, making a jagged edge. It is best to spread the chocolate evenly and fairly thickly or it will break very easily when you remove the paper. Chill in the refrigerator to cool.
- Mix together the mascarpone, yogurt, brandy and 15 ml (1 tbsp) icing sugar. Carefully remove the paper from the chocolate baskets and spoon the mascarpone filling into the baskets.
- Moisten the fruit very lightly with a little water and sprinkle with granulated sugar to ‘frost’. Arrange the fruits on top of the baskets and sprinkle with the remaining icing sugar (sifted). Decorate with frosted rosemary or mint sprigs.
Posted in Chocolate addictive, Desserts, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged Belgian plain chocolate, blueberries, brandy, chocolate, chocolate recipe, clementine, cranberries, dessert recipe, frosted fruit and chocolate baskets, frosted fruit and chocolate baskets recipe, frosted fruit recipe, Greek style yogurt, mascarpone, mascarpone cheese, plain chocolate, raspberies, somerfield magazine
I did this too: Cumberland Rum Butter. I remember, when eating this, that I said to my family: “I would do it again”. But I never did. 😦 May be it’s time to repeat the experience and use this lovely butter with cakes and other home-made sweets. Merry Christmas!
Posted in Desserts, English, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged Christmas, christmas pudding, christmas recipe, Cumberland Rum Butter, cumberland rum butter recipe, dessert recipe, English recipe, traditional Christmas pudding, traditional Christmas recipe, traditional recipe
I will be quick today. I have to go somewhere and I don’t have much time for stories. I just want to tell you that this is a very easy and quick dessert, loved by everyone and the source of it is a card named ‘Delicious Meals Made Easy’ from London, in the time when London found out that it would host the Summmer Olympic Games.
Preparation: 15 minutes
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 284 ml (10 fl oz) pot of double cream
- 275 g (10 oz) natural yogurt
- 450 g (1 lb) fresh raspberries (or frozen ones, defrosted, but I don’t recommend)
- 100 g (4 oz) plain chocolate mini flakes, lightly crushed
- 4 mint sprigs to decorate
- In a bowl, mix together orange juice, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Whip cream in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir in yogurt and orange juice mixture.
- Put three-quarters of the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Using a spoon, press the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard seeds.
- Divide half the cream mixture between 4 dessert dishes. Pour half raspberry purée over the mixture in the dishes. Gently swirl through the 2 mixtures to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle over half the chocolate flakes.
- Top with the remaining cream mixture, raspberry purée and chocolate flakes. Put remaining whole raspberries on top. Decorate with mint sprigs and serve at once.
Posted in Desserts, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged cinnamon, Delicious Meals Made Easy, Dessert, dessert recipe, double cream, easy recipe, mint leaves, nutmeg, orange juice, plain chocolate, raspberry, raspberry dessert, raspberry dessert recipe, yogurt
In the Orthodox countries like mine, we celebrate Saints Constantin and his mother Elena on the 21st of May, so the persons named like that are phoned/or told “Happy name’s day!”. As I am Elena, I was told “Happy name’s day!” a lot yesterday, in fact, most of the day I spent it in the phone answering and talking. It is a traditional custom to do that, or to visit friends or relatives to wish them the same. I had visitors, of course, a couple of friends and I had a nice day. A big surprise expected me when all my colleagues from a previous job wished me in chorus on the phone “Happy name’s day!”. I could hear them crying. That was so nice of them and totally unexpected.
Because of this beautiful name I thought of a recipe that it bears it and I came with a very special one that I made in London for the first time, years ago. I made it at home again, just once, for another special occasion and my mom had the chance to eat something fine, elegant, exquisite and delicious. And not just her.
I have found the recipe in “Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook”, 1992 at the “Stunning Desserts” chapter. Stunning it is. But at home I was not entirely satisfied with what I had so I searched on the Internet and found another recipe and now I am presenting a mix from both. In my humble opinion this is one of the best recipe I have eaten and the feeling can’t be described. When I talk about food, about the recipe I have tried I feel them again, with all that it comes along. A good food gives you something special, a happiness and a smile on your face. If I may say so, it is as satisfying as making love.
Poires Belle Helene
- 4 cooking pears (preferably Conference)
- 50 g (2 oz) sugar
- 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
- lemon rind and lemon juice from a whole lemon
- 150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (high quality and at least 70 % cocoa)
- 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or Poire William liqueur
- 1 or 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream per person (optional)
- a few almond cookies (thin and crisp, no matter what shape you choose, or more authentic “tuiles aux amandes”)
- 200 ml double cream
- vanilla sugar
- Put the sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a deep pot and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Peel the pears quickly (to prevent discoloration), leaving the stalks on. Cut out the cores from the bottom and level them so that the pears will stand upright.
- Submerge the pears if possible in the pot and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Drain the pear, cover and keep the juice. Let them both cool down.
- Make the chocolate sauce. Bring the pear juice to a boil in a small pot and allow it to evaporate until half of the volume is left. Discard the lemon rind from the syrup. Place the small pot in a bigger one, half full of water (“Bain Marie”) and place over medium heat without allowing the water to boil. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the warm pear syrup, stirring until smooth and shiny. Add Poire William or orange-flavoured liqueur for a special twist. And yes, you can dip a finger to taste. ONCE. 😉
- In another bowl, whip double cream with vanilla sugar to make crème Chantilly.
- To assemble, place one pear in each dish, upright. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the chocolate sauce on the pear and ice cream. Add crème Chantilly. Stick 1 or 2 almonds thins in the ice cream.
- Serve immediately. I know you can’t wait to taste. But wait: there is somebody missing. Yes, your loved ones.
Posted in Desserts, English, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged almond thins, Conference pears, cream Chantilly, dark chocolate, Dessert, dessert recipe, double cream, French cuisine, french dessert, french recipe, Good Housekeeping - All Colour Party Cookbook, lemn rind, lemon juice, orange-flavoured liqueur, pear recipe, pears, Poire William liqueur, poires Belle Helene, poires belles helene recipe, tuiles aux amandes, vanilla ice cream