tagged ‘lemon’

Blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake

in Desserts, Taste -

This blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake is exactly how I love a cake to be: simple, sweet, delicious, maybe a little messy and oh so satisfying. 

Blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake

I don’t remember when exactly, but somewhere along this weekend, it dawned on me how long it’s been since I last made a cake. I’ve spent the better part of the weeks leading up to Easter trying to make tsoureki and failing spectacularly, time after time. I was left with more flat, dense, delicious yet overall miserable looking sweet breads I knew what to do with. I was also left with an overwhelming desire not to make a dessert for quite some time- enough for my bruised pride to heal and all of me to stay away from sugar and butter and all them beautiful things I had been struggling with.

Blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake

Until I suddenly realised how much I’d missed making a cake. A damn simple one, tasty, wholesome and as far from perfect and pristine as possible. You can’t often go wrong with such a cake; the formula is simple and utterly unimpressive: sugar and butter; then eggs and maybe milk or yogurt too, followed by fragrant additions and any little extra bit. Finally, necessarily, our mighty white powders. A little folding, a little spooning and some baking time later you know what you’re in for: it’s not extraordinary, nor fancy, not even that much exciting. But then again, there’s lot to be said about little, familiar comforts.

Blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake

This blueberry cake is simple and sweet and fragrant; it’s bursting with sweet, sticky blueberries and has the flavours of lemon and mahleb, that sweet Middle Eastern spice, much beloved in Greece too and part of what gives tsoureki its unique aroma (see, after 5 or so unsuccessful attempts and thankfully a few stellar ones, I have been left a little knackered and also a lot in love with mahleb). It is also messy and very much not polished. It’s stellar when covered with lots of icing sugar or served alongside vanilla ice cream- but it doesn’t really need either. Simple, sticky, messy and delicious. Exactly my kind of dish.

Blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake

Blueberry, lemon & pine nut cake

(loosely based on this recipe)

WHAT

250 gr fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

juice from 1 medium lemon

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves very thinly sliced

250 gr all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

115 gr unsalted butter, very soft

200gr golden caster sugar 

1 teaspoon mahleb

zest from 1 medium lemon

3 medium eggs

1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk)

to serve: icing sugar

HOW

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC); butter the bottom and sides of a round baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the blueberries with the lemon zest and basil and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and smooth; add the lemon zest and mahleb and combine; add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the milk and combine.
  5. Add the dry ones one big tablespoon at a time, with the mixer running, until incorporated.
  6. Spoon half of the batter onto the pan and top with the basil blueberries. Cover them with the remaining batter and flatten the top with the back of a tablespoon.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour, or until the top is golden brown and an inserted bamboo skewer comes out clean.

 

 

 

Salmon & cream cheese crêpes

in Savoury, Taste -

Light and delicate, these salmon & cream cheese crêpes are perfect for any time of the day, as well as a great savoury addition to Pancake Day.  

Salmon & cream cheese crêpes

As a child and teenager, I seldom spent much time thinking about Easter and the traditions before and around it. See, I was fascinated by and forever enamoured with the sparkle of Christmas. I still love the winter holiday very much, but the older I get, the more I find myself drawn to Easter. The reasons behind it are not religious, but rather related to my fascination with the significance of traditions and their different expressions. [READ MORE]

Spinach, dill & lemon basmati rice (spanakorizo)

in Savoury, Taste -

Spinach, dill & lemon basmati rice (spanakorizo)

This spinach, dill & lemon basmati rice is my friend Zoe’s version of spanakorizo (spinach rice) a Greek dish which is both widely loved and loathed. I used to belong to the latter category; I passionately despised spanakorizo, even when it was prepared by my mom, a truly exceptional cook. I expressed and emphasized my dislike at any given opportunity, but that never phased her (she’s had years of intense practice not paying much attention to most dramatic declarations occuring at home): instead, it was the dish she’d prepare for my sister and me every time we’d return home from London. I mean, every.damn.time. And every damn time, I’d give it a try and every damn time, I’d dislike it even more. [READ MORE]

Lemony & spicy eggs en cocotte

in Small bites, Taste -

Lemony & spicy eggs en cocotte

The last week or so has been kinda different; Mike’s in LA on business (and by business I mean the freakin’ OSCARS, for which Stutterer, the little gem he did the cinematography for, has been nominated WON AN ACADEMY AWARD! Wait, what?!?) and I’m in London, up to my eyeballs in work . Since he left, things have been infinitely more quiet, the house impressively decluttered and my days significantly less fun. [READ MORE]

My grandma’s almost ravani

in Desserts, Taste -

AlmostRavani-620-3

As I’ve mentioned on yesterday’s post, my grandma was a mess in the kitchen. Yet, she had a recipe book (mostly because she had to, I think) which has now been passed on to me. About a third of it is blank, and although all the recipes are written in her beautiful calligraphic handwriting, quite a few are incomplete, lacking ingredients or directions. Really, I would expect nothing different from her. [READ MORE]