Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Travelling Tic Tac Toe!

My little one likes playing tic tac toe very much!

We play on paper, use an app...... You get the idea.

So, I decided to make a small tic tac toe game, using pebbles we had picked up from the beach!

I used a permanent marker and a small pouch. I tied it with satin ribbon.

Easy and cute, right?

She likes using it even at home!


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Chocolate cheesecake!

A twist on my classic baked cheesecake!

I often make my favourite baked cheesecake. This time I made it chocolate!

Instead of digestive biscuits for the base, I used plain chocolate cookies.
For the filling, I simply added melted milk chocolate, about 200gr.
Everything else remained the same.

Easy and oh, so good!!!!

You know me, I have to have my chocolate!


Monday, 28 November 2016

Chocolate chip cookies with marzipan!

Do you like marzipan?
Me, I adore it!
I eat it on its own. I nibble it while I am supposed to bake something with it.

I buy it ready, I make it myself, whatever, it is so good....

So, I made chocolate chunk cookies the other day, using a recipe I love and as there was some leftover marzipan in the cupboard (forgotten....), I added it on the cookies.

The cookies themselves are soft, so I simply took a cookie, folded it around the marzipan piece and ate it. There is no better way to eat a cookie and enjoy the combination of chocolate, brown sugar and marzipan!



Monday, 31 October 2016

Brown butter carrot cookies!

I love brown butter. I like the taste and the smell, even the process of making it, all these brown bits that start to form!

I found I recipe that seemed interesting.

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies
recipe adapted from here

170gr butter
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 egg
170gr sugar
185gr carrots, shredded
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
240gr all purpose flour

* Put butter and cinnamon in a small sauce pan and heat until the butter begins to brown and smells like caramel.
* Throw away the cinnamon stick and pour the melted butter in a mug and place it in the fridge for 30 min.
* Beat butter until smooth.
* Add sugar and the egg and beat until combined.
* Add carrots and vanilla and mix until just combined.
* Add salt, baking powder and flour.
* Form small balls of dough with your hands and place on baking pans lined with parchment paper.
* Bake in a preheated oven 180oC for about 18 min.until the centres are set.
* Cool on a wire rack.

There were tasty and smelled nice. Quite fragrant actually! They are a very good choice, if you have a lot of carrots and it is also a nice alternative to a carrot cake!


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies!

It is actually my goal to try and bake as many sugar cookies as possible in every possible flavor.

This time it was pumpkin!

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

1 dose basic sugar cookie dough
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
a little orange food colouring, optional

* Prepare the dough as directed and add the pumpkin puree, spices and orange food colouring, if you want.
* Roll, chill, cut and bake until the edges are golden.
* Remove from the oven, cool a couple of minutes on the pan and then place them on a rack to cool completely.

If you like, you can frost them. I left them plain and colourless and were great!


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Orange Almond cake - gluten free!

I baked a lovely gluten free cake using my homemade almond flour. Paired with oranges, it is a mouth watering dessert.

Almond Orange cake
recipe from my mom

2 large oranges
250g almond meal
250g granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
5 large eggs

170gr apricot jam
2 tbsp water
Blanched almonds to decorate

* Place the oranges in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until soft enough for a skewer to go through with ease.
* Top up the water from time to time so as to keep the oranges fully submerged and spin the oranges around occasionally so that they cook evenly.
* When ready, drain and leave to cool.
* Chop them coarsely, skin and all and puree finely in a food processor.
* Preheat oven to 170C. Line the bottom of a 22cm round cake tin with parchment paper and butter it. Also butter and dust the sides with flour. Set aside.
* Whisk the almond meal, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
* Beat the eggs on medium-high speed for about 6 minutes until light and fluffy.
* Turn off the mixer and pour the orange puree and almond mixture into the eggs. Mix on low speed until just combined.
* Pour into prepared tin.
* Bake for 1 hour or until the top of the cake is just firm when pressed gently.
* Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack.
* Once cool, invert the cake onto a serving plate and remove paper.
* Pour the glaze over the cake and brush it all over evenly.
* Decorate with almonds.

** To make the glaze, simply boil the jam with the water for about 5 min until it becomes thick and syrupy. Pass it through a sieve and it's ready for glazing!

Almond cakes are traditional. Everyone in Greece knows them and many women have at least one recipe in their collection!

It tastes great when cold, right out of the fridge.

It also freezes great. Thaw it on the counter overnight.....

.... unless you are G. He took a piece out of the freezer, left it 30 min. on the counter (literally) and ate it. He said it was so good, that he prefers it this way. Cold, dense and orangy. I didn't taste it, so I have to take his word for it, but when it comes to desserts, he knows what he is talking about!


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Chocolate Icebox "Cheesecakey" Dessert !

Well this is a very belated post indeed!

A little while back it was Easter Sunday in Greece.

As tradition has it, we were all gathered together for the big Easter Sunday lunch feast, which is comprised mostly of meaty dishes. Lamp, kokoretsi, frigadeli with liver, sausages, etc....... You get the idea!

Also as tradition has it in my family, I made the dessert! Usually I make my very favorite classic baked cheesecake, but this time I opted for something fresher.

I don't often make a no-bake cheesecake, so I don't have a specific recipe that I always use. When I do make one, it is a classic vanilla cheesecake with fruit compote topping (sour cherries or strawberry).

This time I wanted something with chocolate!

The title of this post says "cheesecakey", because there are other ingedients in this dessert as well except cream cheese, so it is not a clear cheesecake....

Icebox "cheesecakey" dessert with chocolate
recipe adapted from here

750gr chocolate cookies stuffed with vanilla filling
100gr butter melted
500gr cream cheese
200gr icing sugar
300gr instant chocolate pudding + the milk needed to make it
600gr instant chantilly cream + the milk needed to make it
1 tbsp vanilla extract

* Crush the cookies to rather coarse, but not very fine, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish.
* Combine them with the melted butter.
* Take a round pan (about 35cm) and press the cookies to the bottom.
* Mix the cream cheese with the icing sugar.
* Prepare the chantilly.
* Mix cream cheese mixture with 1/2 of chantilly and spread over the cookie layer.
* Prepare the chocolate pudding and spread it on top of the cream cheese.
* Let it set for a little in the fridge.
* Spread the remaining chantilly on top of the chocolate and sprinkle with the reserved crushed cookies.
* Let it sit in the fridge overnight.

See these layers? Crunchy bottom, cheesecake freshness, chocolate heaven, chantilly lightness and more crunchiness....

A few notes:
- It is AMAZING!
- The cookie layer is a bit hard, from the butter, so it takes a little efford to cut the bottom when serving.
- It is AMAZING!
- At first, as the dessert is cold, the pieces will hold their shape. As it gets more to room temperature, though, it will start to "slide"!. Put it back in the fridge!
- It is AMAZING!

As you may have noticed.... this dessert is soooo good! It is the great ending to a huge feast, as it is light and cool!

Everyone loved it!