Blueberry, basil & lime yogurt cheesecake

in Desserts, Taste -

A light and fluffy blueberry, basil & lime yogurt cheesecake, made with cottage cheese, yogurt and the pretties blueberries.

I spent many of my teenage years dreaming of making the perfect cheesecake; the inspiration was Miranda, a friend of my parents. Everything she made, and still makes, was delicious, beautifully presented, utterly satisfying and warming, the way only a meal made with lots of love and attention can be. My favourites were her cheesecake and tiramisu. I marvelled at them for years, their perfect shape, layers of goodness and flavour- my god, so much flavour! [READ MORE]

Strawberry, basil & lime cream cheese tart

in All recipes, Desserts -

Celebrating this year’s Mother’s Day with this a dessert as sweet and pretty as my mom: a strawberry, basil & lime cream cheese tart!

Strawberry, basil & lime cream cheese tart

Mother’s Day(s) are always bittersweet for me; they are a celebration, of course, but also a reminder of how much I miss my mom. It’s been many years since I left home, I should have been used to the distance by now; I haven’t. Instead, the longing to see her and my dad has been lingering, at times mellower and others stinging as hard as that first night I spent alone in my first apartment.

I’ve written here about my mom time and time again. The impact they’ve have on me in general and my cooking and eating habits specifically is very lasting and one I carry with great pride. Even though my childhood and adolescence have not been idillic (and I believe they rarely are, to be frank),  they have been full. Of experiences, stimuli and opportunity, discipline and freedom, tension and drama- but also lots of love. [READ MORE]

Strawberry, coconut & lemon cake

in Desserts, Taste -

Enjoying the season’s prettiest fruit with a delicious strawberry, coconut & lemon cake, dusted with way too much icing sugar.

Strawberry, coconut & lemon cake

When I spot the first strawberries of the season, shinny, chubby and pinkish red, I can hardly contain my joy; as much as I love citrus and their juicy flesh and irresistible hues, strawberries for me signify the beginning of spring; they bring to mind sunshine and time spent outdoors, not to mention all sorts of delicious desserts. I cherish everything about them, from their beautiful colour to their taut sweet flesh, so I always first have them on their own, with a few drops of lemon juice. Then comes the baking. [READ MORE]

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

in Desserts, Taste -

These hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies are sweetened by petimezi (grape molasses) and baked until soft and a little crunchy around the edges. 

Hazelnut & raisin olive oil cookies

Last Saturday, I had the great joy to once again take photos at Oliveology’s cooking workshop. It’s no secret I have a huge soft spot for Marianna’s shop; everything is so carefully selected and brought over to London after much thought, consideration and testing, always in pursuit of best quality products*. The workshops follow the same philosophy: they are relaxed yet informative, introducing Greek cuisine and tradition through tasting and hands on preparation. The recipes are created by Despina Siahuli (another big soft spot right there) and every dish I’ve tasted time and time again there is filled with the best ingredients, bursts of flavour, goodness and an ever so slight sense of nostalgia, with which I am only too familiar. On that day, the menu included some of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had- which also proved to be entirely fool proof and filled with all the good stuff. [READ MORE]

Citrus & rosemary olive oil polenta cake

in Desserts, Taste -

Celebrating the most beautiful fruits of the season with this bright citrus & rosemary olive oil polenta cake, in partnership with Olive Tree London.

Citrus & rosemary olive oil polenta cake

There aren’t many things I love about winter; crisp, icy mornings with the promise of a timid sun, Christmas and the anticipation and family gatherings, comfort dishes with strong, familiar flavours, light fruity desserts, warm coats & fluffy scarves- that’s more or less it. I very much dislike the cold and dark days which drag forever always bring me a little down. Still, the one thing I always like about winter is that it is followed by spring. The cold months seem to prepare us for the explosions in colours and smells which are never too far away and for that, I am forever grateful, forever patient. That and citrus fruits. See, in my mind, they always stand somewhere between winter and spring. Offered in abundance during the cold, gloomy months, yet their beautiful colours alluding to the brightness that’s sure to follow. [READ MORE]

Honeyed kumquats, yogurt & thyme

in Breakfast, Desserts, Taste -

Honeyed kumquats are a real treat, especially for breakfast, served with thick yogurt & fragrant thyme over crunchy toast. 

I’ve gone back and forth before deciding what to do with the heaps of kumquats from my parents minuscule trees. While your suggestions inspired both research and tremendous appetite, I found it almost impossible to settle on a recipe. While I was trying to make up my mind, I must have eaten a third of them, with no preparation at all, pith, seeds and all. I just find them so very delicious, impossibly fragrant, lightly bitter and with a lovely texture. I’ve added them to salads in place of oranges and in warming, creamy oats and, before deciding anything else, I knew I had to make my mom’s delicious kumquat marmalade. And yet, I didn’t. See, they were so pretty, so bright and shapely I refused to chop them down. Instead, I made a preserve of sorts. [READ MORE]

Cranberry, citrus & pecan brown butter cake

in Desserts, Taste -

Sweet and a little sour, soft and bursting with seasonal goodness- there’s lots to love in this cranberry, citrus & pecan brown butter cake.

Cranberry, citrus & pecan brown butter cake

There was a time when I was oblivious to cranberries and their beauty. They sure are a peculiar bunch: perky and bright red, a sight for sore eyes indeed, yet tart and mostly accessible when they are cooked. Instead, come spring I paid my respects and showed love to other berries: soft sweet blueberries, my favourite of them all, perfect in a summer pie, a fragrant cake or rich overnight oats; also delicate raspberries and the ever so slightly tart and chubby blackberries. [READ MORE]

Cinnamon, clove & clementine dark chocolate brownies

in Desserts, Taste -

These gooey cinnamon, clove & clementine dark chocolate brownies have a subtle Christmas fragrance and an irresistible texture.

Cinnamon, clove & clementine dark chocolate brownies

After an almost three-month hiatus from baking, boy am I glad to be back! I thought I hadn’t missed it, but I realised how mistaken I was with the first batch of brownies that came out of the oven: the kitchen was hot and smelled like kitchens really should, the brownies were set, but also soft and almost bubbly and I was content. You can never really go wrong with brownies and these came out dizzyingly fragrant and impossibly gooey: filled with almost two bars of dark chocolate, cinnamon, cloves & clementine zest, perfectly seasonal and appropriately festive.

Indeed, you can’t go wrong with brownies and these are definitely a festive winner, made in partnership with Home Run. I’ve enjoyed their excellent services time and time again and perhaps you should too? You could get all the ingredients for these beauties within the hour. Not bad, especially for this time of the year. Not bad at all. [READ MORE]

Red wine & grape molasses poached pears with mascarpone

in Desserts, Taste -

Celebrating one of the season’s stunners fruits in one simple dish: red wine & grape molasses poached pears with mascarpone, cinnamon & cloves.

Red wine & grape molasses poached pears with mascarpone

I didn’t always love pears; up until recently, apples, all kinds of them, always took centre stage come autumn and winter. Pears were always in hand none the less, since every time I’d bite into one’s juicy, sweet flesh I’d think that they really were quite special. Yet, I never though ‘Damn, I wish I had a pear now’, nor would I excitedly reach for one when in need of a sweet, fresh bite or a quick snack. This year though, I somehow found myself hopelessly attracted to them. I can’t recall how it happened, nor is it really essential to trace down that first spark. Since they first appeared in markets, I’ve been buying them in heavy rotation and enjoying them on their own or incorporated into various dishes. In thick, steaming hot quinoa or oats with maple syrup and a dollop of almond butter, sitting pretty on a cheese platter or dunked in melting Camembert, or cut in thick slices and topped with Maldon salt flakes and a drizzle of honey- they’ve become a true favourite of the season. [READ MORE]

Brown butter & hazelnut apple cake

in Desserts, Taste -

This brown butter & hazelnut apple cake is a variation of the one my mom’s recipes: simple, unapologetically straightforward and perfect for fall.

Brown butter & hazelnut apple cake

Enamoured as I am with apples, every autumn they are appear on our table frequently and in different ways: roughly chopped, tossed with dried fruit, toasted nuts and folded into creamy oatmeal; sliced thinly or turned into a jam, topping thick slices of toasted bread, along with tahini and sweet honey; cut in big chunks and added last to cider chicken stews; mixed with pears and spices to fill buttery dough for pies. I have experimented with many different recipes in the last couple of years, yet my favourite by far is my mom’s apple cake. The main reason is possibly nostalgia and missing her and my dad a little too much; but it’s also the flavour, simple, straightforward and utterly satisfying, as well as its rustic looks, with thick apple slices, which she cuts in a hurry on her worn wood cutting board. [READ MORE]