• Dark Muscovado Chocolate Cake

    Dark Muscovado Chocolate Cake

    There are two types of cakes: cakes and Cakes. The difference is in the taste; cakes are just cakes, when they are technically properly made, they are tender, they are sweet, they are always a treat. On the other hand, Cakes are game changing. They are full of mmms and uhhhs, they thrill your taste buds, they elevate you to a baking star in the eyes of your social scene.  The secret in making a Cake lies in the ingredients. Any given cake consists mainly of flour, sugar, fat, eggs and liquid. And for chocolate cakes, cocoa or chocolate, or both. As a cake is the sum of its parts,…

  • Dark Muscovado Ice Cream recipe

    The recipe for this Dark Muscovado Ice Cream is as simple as the simplest custard-based ice cream recipe. One only has to replace regular white sugar with dark muscovado sugar in a vanilla custard-based ice cream recipe and the result is an ice cream everyone will rave about. For those not accustomed to dark muscovado sugar, it is a sugar with character. It is dark brown in colour and has a wet-sand texture. It’s fudgy and gooey. It has a characteristic taste of its own, which is like the darkest caramel with earthy molasses tones. Even though dark muscovado sugar looks very much like dark brown sugar, they are very…

  • orange ice cream

    Orange Ice-Cream recipe

    You have these fresh oranges, so bright and flavourful, you feel your mouth drooling just by looking at them. When you juice them, their juice is sweet and sour, aromatic and refreshing. When you grate their peel, the zest sings and the aroma carries your imagination away to green fields with blossoming orange trees and blue skies. You want to capture their essence and share it with others. You think of the orange ice cream you once bought and you set off to reproduce this flavour. You choose a recipe and proceed. When the perfectly cloudy stuff is churned, you take a spoonful and bring it to your mouth. Hmmm……

  • butter crunch

    Buttercrunch Toffee with Pistachios and Strawberries recipe

    Buttercrunch toffee usually consists of layers of crunchy caramel, chocolate and almonds. The idea of caramel and chocolate is old school in the history of confectionery. But, still, it is one to feel excited about, as it is pretty easy to make on your own. And yes, even if you are new to toffee making. It is one of the most valued homemade gifts one can make; especially during holidays when everyone is up to their ears with cookie doughs.  The recipe I provide you with here is for a 35 cm x 40 cm (14 in x 16) slab which is broken roughly into pieces. We usually distribute it…

  • Chicken hand pies

    Savoury Chicken Hand Pies recipe

    This Chicken Hand Pies recipe was originally posted on my favourite blog seven years ago. I first made them on my son’s birthday party when he turned one and they were consumed with such excitement that I knew it was a keeper. The pastry is made with butter, it is a perfect, flaky crust that melts in your mouth. The filling is pretty unusual as it contains no cheese or béchamel sauce along with the chicken; rather it consists of paprika, chorizo, olives and raisins, resulting in a savoury hand pie which bursts with flavour. These savoury hand pies are so much favoured in our house that we frequently make…

  • baked camembert serving suggestion

    Melted Camembert à la Different Beast recipe

    There is a brunch restaurant in Athens, Greece, called Different Beast,which might be the cosiest place in town. It is owned and run by Evita and Alex, a wonderful young couple, who, if one is to judge from the space they have created and the way they treat you, are two of the warmest people around. We frequently visit it with my girlfriends, especially on our Ladies’ Night out, every other Friday. The main reason, beyond the unique ambience and the elaborate cocktails, is this dish, in which we will indulge on cold winter nights. In a tiny pan, wrapped in parchment paper lies a wheel of Camembert cheese, melted to perfection…

  • dondurma ice cream recipe

    Dondurma Ice Cream (aka Kaimaki Ice Cream)

    Dondurma ice cream, flavoured with mastiha, originates from Turkey and is also extremely popular in Greece, where it is known as Kaimaki ice cream. It is a thick, soft, creamy and stretchy ice cream, which refuses to melt, so is perfect to eat on a very hot day. But it is also the ice cream to enjoy on a cold winter day as it has a warm mouth-feel. The secret to this texture lies in salep (aka salab or sahleb), an ingredient sold in powder form. Salep is made from wild orchid tubers cultivated in certain areas of Turkey and makes a natural thickener for ice cream; it gives it…

  • tahini ice cream

    Tahini Ice Cream recipe

    He is sitting next to me in a quiet, empty restaurant, talking with his thick voice and a strong rural accent. He is in his late 50s, looking a decade older than he actually is, tall and thin, always sitting straight, always looking you in the eyes. I have just asked him what the sesame plant looks like and all of a sudden the story of its cultivation begins unfolding in front of my eyes. I can picture him, a 10-year-old boy in the early 70s, sowing the sesame seeds in the vast, sunny fields of northern Greece. The sesame plant is a short bush he says, which loves well-drained,…

  • Lemony chickpeas with fennel

    Oven Baked Lemony Chickpeas with Caramelized Fennel recipe

    Chickpeas. Oh, those little fellas that, after being soaked in water overnight, can be transformed into the best of dinners. Of course, I do not mean the ones in cans. Those are just to be kept for the hummus-of-the-desperate-evening when you have to come up with something edible and all you have is this can, a jar of tahini and some forgotten vegetables hanging around at the bottom of the refrigerator. But when it comes to actually cooking a hearty dinner, dried chickpeas are the only option. Because, not only do they soak up all the flavors they are cooked with, but, when they are properly baked, they can also…