Artos: Spiced bread

September 12th, 2014 § 0

I know I haven’t been around lately, let’s keep it up with a mouth watering and easy to do Greek spiced bread.

In ancient Greek artos meant loaf of bread, nowadays it is generally used for celebration bread generally in church.

It is a kind of spiced bread with mastic and/or mahleb flavours. This recipe is only with mahleb.

  • 40 gr fresh yeast
  • 2 orange (freshly squeezed juice)
  • 1/4 cup a good quality cognac
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t mahleb
  • 1 t anice seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 t cloves powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 900 gr all purpose flour
  • Put the water, anice and cinnamon stick in a bowl and boil at low heat for 15 minutes.

    Remove the cinnamon stick and let cool the syrup.

    Activate fresh yeast cube by mixing it with 1/4 cup of luke warm water and 2 T flour.

    Add orange juice and let it be foamy or show signs of expansion (about 10 minutes).

    Add sugar, cognac, mahleb, vanilla and cloves powder. Wait 5 to 10 minutes.

    Add olive oil and stir.

    Mix baking powder and flour. Add this mixture to the liquid mixture gradually.

    Make a soft dough.The dough should not stick to your fingers.

    Put the dough in a large greased round tray.

    Let rise in a warm place about an hour until double in volume.

    Bake in 180° C pre-heat oven until golden brown for about an hour.

    A perfect bread for breakfast!

    Cherry Cake

    July 1st, 2014 § 0

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 80 gr milk
  • 100 gr butter
  • 1  cup flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 300 -350 gr cherries
  • 1/2 cup almonds (I used coarsely crushed walnuts)
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

    Wash and pit the cherries. Cut 12 cherries in half and set aside to be placed on top of the cake during baking. Heavy fruits like cherries tend to sink to the bottom of the pan while baking. In order to eliminate this problem, I save some cherries aside to add halfway through the baking time to make them float on top of the cake.

    Cut the rest of the cherries into quarters for the cake batter.

    In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, ground almonds or walnuts and baking powder.

    ?eat the eggs and sugar until light colored.

    Add vanilla, butter and milk one by one until incorporated.

    Add gradually the flour mixture. Finally add the quartered cherries.

    Put the batter into a greased pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

    Bake in 175° C pre-heated oven for 15 minutes then remove from oven. Arrange the remaining 12 – 14 cherries on the top of the cake.

    Return the cake to the oven immediately and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or  a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean.

    If the cake over browns, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.

    Serve warm or at room temperature preferably with a scoop of ice cream.

    One May day with friends and family

    May 27th, 2014 § 0

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t. grated lemon rind
  • 1 t. vanilla extract powder
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy.

    Add vanilla, lemon juice and rind.

    Then add sifted flour with baking powder.

    Pour the mixture into a greased tart pan.

    Bake in 180° C pre-heat oven about 20 minutes.

    Let cool the tart.

    for the seven minute frosting:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T water
  • vanilla extract powder (optional)
  • Place sugar, egg white, cream of tartar and water to a bowl in the top of a double boiler.

    Set bowl over pan of simmering water. (bain maire)

    Beat with electric hand held mixer gradually increasing speed for 7 minutes.

    Beat in vanilla.

    The frosting can be made 2-3 hours ahead and chilled to have a good consistency to spread.

    for top:

  • Choose fresh fruits like banana and plum
  • You can change the fruits with fresh berries.

    Skin bananas and cut the fruits in thin slices.

  • crushed hazelnuts
  • to assemble:

    Remove the tart from tart pan and reverse it.

    Spread the sven minute frosting on the reverse surface of the cake and place your desired fruit slices.

    Finally decorate the center of the cake with crushed hazelnuts to give richness.

    Sultana Rum cake

    November 29th, 2013 § 0

    A traditional Carribbean culinary custom cake.

    Dried sultanas and black currants are soaked in Rum for several months,

    sometimes a year prior to making this cake. It requires long period of Rum bath.

    Brown sugar and long cooking time, makes its dark colour.

  • 2 eggs
  • 60 gr brown sugar
  • 120 gr flour
  • 90 gr butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup Rum
  • 100 gr dried sultanas
  • 100 gr dried black currants
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • Combine washed black currants and sultanas in a bowl. Soak them in Rum for about an hour until the Rum is absorbed.

    Cream butter.

    Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.

    Beat eggs with brown sugar until foamy.

    Combine the egg mixture to the flour mixture.

    Add butter also, soaked black currants and sultanas.

    Pour into a greased 10×20 cm tin.

    Bake in 160° C pre-heated oven for about an hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

    for glaze: (optional)

  • 3 T bitter orange jam
  • 1 t Rum
  • Combine bitter orange jam or citron jam with Rum and make a glaze.

    Brush the glaze over the top of the cake.

    Walnut cake ~karidopita

    September 26th, 2013 § 0

    A combination of walnut with cinnamon. Although it is a cake with syrup it is soft, flaky and light!

    Here is a fabulous Greek cake..

  • 6 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup walnut (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup rusk ( 1 package of rusk makes a cup of rusk powder)
  • 1 T flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon powder
  • 1 t muscat nut (grated)
  • 1/4 cup a good quality Cognac
  • 3 t baking powder
  • Using your food processor, powder the rusks (some call Zwieback toasts).

    Add the coarsely chopped walnuts, flour, cinnamon, muscat nut powder and baking powder to  the rusk powder.

    Beat egg whites in a small deep bowl and make stiff.

    Beat egg yolks with sugar until the mixture is light in colour.

    Fold the egg whites to the yolk batter. Use a spatula and scrape down from the sides of your bowl to the middle.

    While you do this folding action, add walnut mixture at a time.

    Add Cognac to the mixture.

    Bring up the batter from the bottom over the top and fold it until the egg mixture mixed in.

    After one portion is completely folded in, add another portion. Do not stir, but fold with care.

    Grease a deep baking pan. Sprinkle with rusk powders.

    Pour the batter to the baking pan and bake in a preheat oven at 180° C for 25 minutes.

    In the meantime prepare the syrup.

    for the syrup:

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 t vanilla powder
  • In a small sauce pan place sugar, vanilla and water. Set over medium heat, bring to a boil.

    Simmer on medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes.

    Add the lemon juice and simmer for another five minutes.

    Pour gently the syrup at a time to the cake until it is absorbed.

    Cut into diamond shapes and serve.

    Best with vanilla ice cream on top.

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