Kihi

I don’t review and rate products on this site, but once in a while I’ll mention some things that have graced my kitchen. Mentioned time and time again on this blog and in my life, is bougatsa, a Greek breakfast pastry filled with custard, cheese or meat. You can see some great videos about bougatsa here, so please check it out! I’ve only had the custard version and I love it. Bougatsa must be served warm and must have the perfect pastry to custard ratio. My dad surprised me the other day with a couple of packages of a frozen filo custard pie. This spiral pie is called “kihi with vanilla cream”. I don’t know what kihi means, but this product is pretty much a bougatsa in the shape of a spiral. I thought this was a really good version for people like me who miss bougatsa (and Greece!) and don’t have time to make it. I do prefer the non spiral frozen bougatsa I had from the same supplier though. The custard is very tasty but a bit too much filo to custard in the ratio. Nonetheless, I’m very happy to have one more in the freezer. All I need to do now is make a frappe and pop it in the oven one morning. Nice.

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Kudos to all the volunteers at this year’s Greek fest! We had a really great time this Father’s day enjoying the food, music and dancing that the Greek fest is known for. Unfortunately they ran out of lamb – gasp! – but I loved my Greek plate, so I didn’t mind. I was super proud of my niece and nephew who danced their hearts out, so proud that I may have forgotten a bit of etiquette when trying to take these photos, I guess I think I’m shorter than I really am, and may have gotten in the way. That’s life in the trenches folks. Some of these pics are a bit noisy, but I plan to do a series of experiments to improve on that. The fest was great but it’s really too bad they ran out of lamb, I would love a rotating lamb on the spit image right now. Sorry PETA.

Karidopita

It was my mom’s birthday this weekend so I decided to make her karidopita – a walnut syrup cake. Greek food culture is full of nut and syrup cakes, a favorite anytime of year. I had a lot of fun researching various recipe variations and was thrilled with how my version came out. This cake is very moist and not too sweet and extremely simple to make, perfect for parties and birthdays!

Everyone has a karidopita version they call their own. The basics are the same : walnuts, some spices, and a syrup for soaking the cake. Some people use flour, some people don’t. Many recipes call for crushed toasts , rusks, or bread crumbs with no flour at all, while others use just flour and no crushed anything. Some people use nutmeg and some just stick to cinnamon and cloves. Citrus can be added, as well as liquer. I saw one recipe with milk, and one with shortening, another with butter and more with oil, either vegetable or olive. I also just stumbled upon one that has sour cream- that one doesn’t sound like one yia yia would make. I would eat it, but my mother would not! She has her lines in the sand clearly marked and she draws the line at sour cream.

I decided to compromise on the flour issue by using some flour with a combination of Panko bread crumbs. Panko is a flaky crumb made from the white center of a loaf of bread, not the crusts, and they worked out beautifully. My mom and the rest of the family really enjoyed the cake and I definitely will make this again.

The Cake

Please click images below for instructions.

6 Eggs
1.5 C Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 Short Water Glass Olive Oil
2 C Ground Walnuts
1 C Flour
1C Panko Bread Cumbs
2 tsp Cinnamon
1.5 tsp Ground Cloves
3 tsp Baking Powder

The Syrup

Remember that hot syrup needs to get poured on a cool cake! I called my sister-in-law for clarification – thanks girl!

1.5 C Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
3C Water

See? What a pretty cake to serve  yourself or share with guests!

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banner-mosaiko

Time for chocolate! I didn’t see a lot of chocolate in the Greek desserts I grew up with. In fact, I don’t think any of the Greek desserts my mom made ever used chocolate. My mother-in-law made a version this, and at the time I didn’t realize it was a Greek thing. Pinterest and You-Tube is full of recipes for this dessert: a cocoa and icing sugar based dessert that is full of crushed biscuits, chocolate chunks and nuts. Apparently the Italians have a version called chocolate salami. Many of the recipes I’ve seen contain brandy and others use orange juice, but I skipped both of those and added coffee. I will definitely make this again because it is so easy and really tasty! Next time I will use less biscuits and add more chocolate, but other than that, it was really good. Moasaiko is often rolled in a log and sliced, but I used loaf pans and topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I actually changed my mind and took one out of the loaf pan and transferred it to a round pan for a different look. No matter how you slice it, moasaiko is really really good and looks really pretty when you serve it.

I used the recipe from My Greek Dish as a starting point for my first attempt. There are lots of great resources online for this one, but it is very easy to make the recipe your own. No rules!

Note: I think I’ll skip the eggs and add some whipped cream in the chocolate next time. I will show that version another day!

Please click images below for instructions.

2 C Butter
1/2 C Sugar
2 C Icing Sugar
6 Table Spoons Cocoa
4 eggs
Some coffee
Vanilla Biscuits (I had 2 350g boxes – that’s too many!)
Vanilla
Walnuts
Chocolate Chunks
Slivered Almonds

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