Showing posts with label sugar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sugar. Show all posts

Greek honey balls-loukoumades-drizzled with honey and cinnamon

Loukoumathes (pronounced loo-koo-mah-thes) is one of the most common and easiest desserts to make. Every restaurant in Greece will offer loukoumathes as a dessert after a meal, and sometimes as a token from the restaurant owners to its patron’s for eating there.
The last time I had loukoumathes in Greece was on one of my recent trips there. The loukoumathes I had were enormous. They were more like a large donut than the traditional “donut hole” shape they usually have. Those loukoumathes were large enough for 2-4 people to share.

Loukoumathes can be eaten drizzled with honey or sugar syrup, or even drenched in plain sugar. At the beaches in Greece, there are stands that sell loukoumathes drenched in sugar and cinnamon. A sweet treat to break the day between swimming in the blue waters of the Aegean sea and sunbathing under the warm Greek sun. Other times they can be served along with ice cream, crushed walnuts and/or pistachios.

They are best served warm. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 50 servings)
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon rind
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup canola oil*

Directions
Mix the yeast with 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Let it stand for 1/2 hour till dissolved and bubbly.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, with the baking soda, baking powder, salt, lemon rind and sugar. When the yeast is dissolved add it to the dry ingredients along with the 1.5 cups of lukewarm water. Mix well with a mixer on medium speed for a couple of minutes till all the ingredients are well incorporated. Cover with a towel and let it stand in a warm place for 2 hours.

Heat up about 1 cup of canola oil in a frying pan. With two spoons dipped in water take some of the dough and drop it in the hot oil. Continue to drop the dough by the spoonful, but make sure you don't overcrowd the pan. Fry them till they are lightly brown turning them over until both sides are cooked. Lower the heat if you think that you don't drop them fast enough. When browned, remove from the oil and place them in a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

Serve warm drizzled with honey and cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (19.6g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 47
Calories from Fat 21
Total Fat 2.3g
Saturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 37mg
Potassium 16mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.8g
Dietary Fiber 0.2g
Sugars 0.1g
Protein 0.8g

Note: * for the calories to be correct on the frying portion of this recipe, I only logged in ½ cup of canola oil. I added 1 cup canola oil in the frying pan but only used ½ cup for the frying.

Note: **if you prefer to serve the honey balls with sugar syrup, the recipe for this is below the picture.


Syrup**
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

Make the syrup
Pour the sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium and let it cook for 10-15 minutes while stirring. The syrup should be clear by the time you are done, and very slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Drizzle over hot loukoumathes.

Chocolate Orange Swirl Cake

This is an easy and tasty coffee cake that you can make in an afternoon. It's also a nice after school snack for kids coming home from school. My mother used to make this cake not only on special occasions but to have as an everyday snack, with an afternoon coffee or even later in the evening. What can go wrong with a bit of chocolate anyway. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 30 servings appr. 1.5 oz each)
2 ¾ cups flour
3 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. orange rind
3 eggs
1 cup skim milk
2 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions
Sift together the flour the baking powder and the salt. Set aside.
In a bowl beat together the canola oil, sugar and vanilla till blended. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the skim milk. Mix well.
Preheat oven at 350° F.
Butter and flour a Bundt cake pan.
Separate 1 cup of the cake batter in another bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix well together. That's for the swirl of the cake.
Pour half of the yellow batter in the greased and floured Bundt pan. Pour the chocolate batter over it. Don't swirl it just let it take its own shape. Pour the rest of the yellow batter over the chocolate batter. Bake at 350° F oven for one hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.534 oz (43.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146
Calories from Fat 49
Total Fat 5.4g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 16mg
Sodium 50mg
Potassium 99mg
Total Carbohydrates 23.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 13.8g
Protein 2.1g




Pumpkin Orange Ribbon Cake

I was looking in making a pumpkin bread or cake with some kind of cream cheese filling.  I was craving the nuttiness of a pumpkin but also the sweet and savory taste of cream cheese filling.  

As I was looking through my cookbooks (and I have tons of them) I came across a card of pumpkin ribbon bread, that if I recall correctly, came through the mail with something but I don't remember what. That was when we still lived in Canada.  I kept the recipe card because the picture  looked good.  I had never tried to make it before.  There is no  name on the card from which cookbook or cookbook author came from so I really cannot give any credit to whoever came up with the idea of a pumpkin ribbon bread.  Needless to say I tried it first as the recipe ingredients and measurements requested.  I was a bit disappointed though when the recipe asked for two loaf pans and (I did use two) but the batter and the cream cheese filling was not enough to fill the loaf pans or enough batter to cover the cream cheese filling.  However, it tasted good.  But the presentation was not so great.  So I had to try and make it again.  This time I changed the amount of the ingredients.  I used a bit more of cream cheese and went with the less fat cream cheese, I used the whole can of pumpkin pie filling instead of a cup, added a bit more orange zest in the cream cheese filling and a bit more spice in the batter.  I also used a Bundt cake pan and let it bake for 1.5 hours.  It came out moist and delicious (the original recipe being a "bread" came out quite dense and didn't look like it was cooked through for the cooking time the recipe requested).  And the cake was quite photogenic, if I say so myself .  It's a nice fall or winter cake.  Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 30 servings)

Cream cheese filling
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 egg
2 tsp grated orange peel

Pumpkin Batter
15 oz   cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Directions

For filling:
Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Add the egg and orange peel. Beat well together till creamy. Set aside.

For the pumpkin batter:
Beat together the pumpkin, oil and eggs. Add the sugar, flour, salt, cloves, cinnamon and baking soda. Mix well. Grease a Bundt cake pan. Pour 1/2 of the mixture in there. Spread the cream cheese mixture and finish with the remaining batter. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with orange slices.  The cake stays well in room temperature.  But after a day or two, store in in refrigerator.  Or you can store in refrigerator and decorate with icing sugar just before serving.  

I was also able to freeze part of the cake.  A few days later when I needed it, I let it defrost at room temperature, sprinkled it with icing sugar and served it.  It was still moist and tasted well.  

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (53.1 g) appr. 2 oz each serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155
Calories from Fat 67
Total Fat 7.5g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 21mg
Sodium 121mg
Potassium 44mg1%
Total Carbohydrates 21.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Sugars 14.9g
Protein 2.0g





Greek Almond Macaroons - Ergolavi or Amygdalota Gluten-free

You can find these cookies at the sweet shops all over Greece. I always loved them, and wanted to make them. Since I can't find them in North America, the closest recipe I came up with, tasting anything close to these cookies, were the coconut macaroons that I used to make every Christmas while we were in Canada. When a neighbor in Greece told me that the only thing these cookies needed were some egg whites, ground almonds and sugar, ...well then, I had to try to make them on my own. With a little of experimentation I perfected the recipe ingredients and here they are: the Greek Almond Cookies or Ergolavi (I have no idea where the name "Ergolavi" came from, and I don't think anyone in Greece does either*) or Amygdalota (meaning made from almonds) as they are called in Greece. They are easy to make and they are gluten free. Enjoy!

Makes 27 servings approximately 1.2 oz each

3 cups finely ground almonds - pulverized
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla
1¼ cup slivered almonds

Melted butter for the cookie sheets and the palms of your hands to roll the cookies -- about 6 tbsp.

Beat the egg whites with the sugar. Add the pulverized ground almonds, and vanilla. Mix well together. Grease 2 cookie sheets generously with butter. Also, grease your palms with butter while shaping the cookies. Shape them into 1 1/4" balls. Roll in slivered almonds. Place on cookie sheet far apart. Cookies will spread.

Before they go in the oven

Bake at 325° F oven for 20-25 minutes till the edges are brown and they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. Let them cool before removing them from the pan, and place them in an airtight container or they will dry out.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.097 oz (31.1g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134
Calories from Fat 67
Total Fat 7.4g
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.6g
Dietary Fiber 1.8g
Sugars 13.0g
Protein 3.6g

Ready to serve!  Enjoy and Merry Christmas!


*Note: If anyone looking at my website knows where the name "Ergolavi" has come from, please feel free to email me or put it in the comments below.



If you try this recipe and like it please comment below. If you like what you see on this blog, feel free to follow it and share with your friends.  If you have any questions post them in the comments box.



Lady Fingers Custard Pie


I made this dessert the other day and it came out delicious.  I found peach and strawberry pie fillings at the grocery store, which is not common, and I got excited about making this custard pie.  I used Dr. Oetker's vanilla pudding, that you can find at any ethnic food stores.  This is the boiled type pudding, the one you cook over the stove, but you can also use instant pudding and pie filling.  I use Dr. Oetker's, because it doesn't have any soybean lecithin or soybean oil, like the instant kind.  

As for the apricot brandy, is quite optional.  You can substitute for Metaxa brandy, or any other flavored brandy.  I thought the apricot will go nice with the peach topping.  Enjoy!


Makes 24 servings

3 oz Dr. Oetker's vanilla pudding
4 tbsp sugar
4 cups skim milk
17 cookies Lady Fingers
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp apricot brandy (optional) 
21 oz peach pie filling
21 oz Strawberry Pie Filling or Topping

In a saucepan pour Dr. Oetker's vanilla pudding and add the 4 tbsp sugar. Stir. Mix with the 4 cups skim milk, and cook over high heat stirring constantly till it begins to thicken. When it starts to thicken, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking, for another minute or so. Remove from heat. It cooks in about 3 minutes total.

In a bowl pour the 1/4 cup skim milk and add the 1 tsp of apricot brandy. Stir to mix. Soak the lady fingers one at a time and layer in a 12x7 baking dish.

Pour the custard over the lady fingers and refrigerate till set.

When set, spread the peach pie filling, and strawberry pie filling, alternately to create stripes. Refrigerate and serve when ready to eat.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 4.311 oz (122.2g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178
Calories from Fat 6
Total Fat 0.7g
Saturated Fat 0.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 102mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.3g
Dietary Fiber 0.3g
Sugars 22.3g
Protein 2.9g

Enjoy!


Melomakarona – Greek walnut cinnamon honey cookies

I remember my grandmother making these when I was young. I distinctly remember the occasion when she came over showing my mother how to flatten the cookies in your palm, add the filling and then shape them into ovals. I was very young around 5-6 years old. From then on my mother used to make these honey morsels every Christmas. When I started my own family, I too began the tradition of making these cookies.  

Melomakarona or Greek walnut-cinnamon-honey cookies are very traditional cookies during the Christmas holidays. They are also healthy since there is no butter in the recipe. You can substitute the vegetable oil with olive oil. I always used vegetable oil when I made these cookies. Now I make sure that the vegetable oil I use is free of soy, so I use canola oil. I am hesitant in using olive oil for desert type cooking, since olive oil can be a bit overwhelming. Even though the olive oil in the United States comes from some European countries, I find it a bit stronger than the Greek olive oil that’s produced in Greece.  

You can substitute 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 cup melted butter. But even with the vegetable oil these cookies are delicious. Enjoy!

Melomakarona – Greek walnut cinnamon honey cookies                       

Makes 56 cookies (approximately 1.3oz each)

Filling and topping
15 tbsp ground or finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

Cookie batter
2 cups vegetable oil (like canola oil)
1 cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
½ cup brandy or cognac
1 tbsp orange zest (peel of 1 orange) 
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
6 cups flours
2 tbsp extra flour for kneading

Syrup
2 cups honey
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

Finely chop the walnuts. Add the ground cloves, cinnamon and sugar. Mix well and set aside.  

Beat together the vegetable oil with the sugar, orange juice, brandy, cinnamon and orange zest. Shift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the wet ingredients. Blend. Knead with your hands and add flour, as needed (about 2 tbsps). Take portion of the dough about 2” ball and roll it between your hands. Flatten it in the hollow of your palm and add about ¼ tsp of the filling. Pinch the dough together to seal it and shape it into an oval shape. Place the cookies in a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° oven for 25 minutes until coppery brown.  

Make the syrup
Bring honey and water to a boil – about 5 minutes. Skim off any foam. Lower the heat and drop the cookies one at a time in the honey. Do not overcrowd. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place them in a platter. Continue simmering the cookies in honey until done. Sprinkle with the rest walnut-cinnamon mixture. Drizzle the cookies with any syrup that might be left over. 

Nutrition Facts 
Serving Size 1 serving (38.3 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138
Calories from Fat 81
Total Fat 9.0g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 45mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.3g
Sugars 14.0g
Protein 0.6g



Right out of the oven



Dipped and drizzled with the honey syrup and the nuts. 
Merry Christmas! Enjoy!

















Cherry Cheesecake with Almond thin cookies for crust

I’ve been making this cheesecake for the past 35 years. It’s a Canadian recipe that I used to use. Both my daughters love this cheesecake. It’s light, easy to make and needs no baking. The original recipe asks for graham crackers crust. I found out though that graham crackers have soybean oil and since I am trying to stay away from any foods that contain soy, I experimented with a different crust. I found these almond thins at the European section of our local market. They are called Anna’s almond thins and they are Swedish.

 They contain no soy or any hydrogenated products (I used only one box).  This is a great desert to take to pot luck dinners or holiday parties. Enjoy!

 Cherry Cheesecake with Almond thin cookies for crust

Makes 35 pieces (approximately 2.4 oz each)

Crust:
1.5 cups crushed almond thin cookies
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp sugar


Filling:
1 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup Realemon Lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla


Topping:
1 – 21 oz can cherry pie filling

Preparation: 
For the crust, crush the cookies by placing them in a ziplog bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. In a 12x7.5 pyrex pan pour the crushed cookies, add the melted butter and the sugar. Mix well and pat it at the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate.

For the filling: in a bowl put the cream cheese and beat with an electric beater. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk while beating. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and continue beating till light and fluffy. Take the crust out of the refrigerator and pour the filling in. Smooth the top and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. It chills quite fast, but overnight will chill it quite firmly.  

When chilled pour the cherry pie filling on top and serve. You can cut it into individual pieces and then top with the cherry pie filling. 

Note 1: The above ingredients will also accommodate a 9” pie plate
Note 2: You can substitute the almond thins with graham cracker crust or nila wafers crushed. They are both equally good.  
Note 3: For topping, you can substitute blueberry or strawberry pie filling. They both taste good.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (66.6 g)
Amount Per Serving 
Calories 233
Calories from Fat 82
Total Fat 9.1g
Saturated Fat 5.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 218mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.6g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Sugars 19.5g
Protein 4.5g


If you try this recipe and like it, please comment below.  If you like what you see on this blog, please feel free to follow it. Thank you.



Mixed Berry Sauce

5 cups mixed berries (I used strawberries and blueberries)
 7 tbsp sugar

 Wash and clean the berries. In a deep saucepan, add the berries and the sugar. Turn the heat on. With a potato masher, mash the berries. Let the berries and sugar cook while stirring constantly with a spoon. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer while stirring constantly. Let it cook for another 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. If it doesn’t look that thick in the beginning, don’t worry. As you let it sit, and it cools it will thicken.  

Once cooled pour into jars and refrigerate. It will last up to 3 months. Use to top ice cream or plain yogurt, or use it as spread for toast. It goes quite well on French toast or use as a topping for cheese cake.   

Makes about 20 servings of 2 tbsp per serving 




Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.355 oz (38.4g)
 Amount Per Serving
 Calories 35
 Calories from Fat 1
 Total Fat 0.1g
 Saturated Fat 0.0g
 Trans Fat 0.0g
 Cholesterol 0mg
 Sodium 0mg
 Total Carbohydrates 8.7g
 Dietary Fiber 1.3g
 Sugars 6.9g
 Protein 0.2g
 Vitamin A 1%
 Vitamin C 13%
 Calcium 0%
Iron 1%




 

Ravani - Greek Semolina Cake


I have been craving this cake for quite some time now.  So today, I decided to make it.  My mother used to make it often, while I was young.  The semolina gives it a different texture than any typical flour cake.  The lemony syrup (you actually don’t taste it a bit), gives it that extra flavor.  It’s not too sweet but it goes well with coffee, or as an afternoon snack. 

Enjoy!!!

Ravani – Greek Semolina Cake with Lemon Syrup 

32 pieces (approximately 2.5oz each)

For the cake

1 cup unsalted butter melted, or at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs separated
1 cup milk
1 cup semolina flour (durum wheat)
1 and ½ cups flour
4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Rind of one lemon

For the syrup

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Juice of ½ a lemon

The cake

Heat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a 9x13 ovenproof glass pan.

Preparation ingredients

Prepare the flour mixture by mixing the flour, semolina, and baking powder together.  Set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar till creamy.  Add the egg yolks one at time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla extract and the rind of one lemon.  Add the flour mixture alternating with the cup of milk.  Beat well.  Set aside.

Beat together the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the batter mixture until blended.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until it is lightly golden brown.  Or, if a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (The cake will rise while baking). 
The batter and the greased pan

The batter in the oven proof pan, before it goes in the oven


The syrup

While the cake is baking prepare the syrup.  Pour the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Lower the heat to medium and let it cook for 10-15 minutes while stirring.  The syrup should be clear by the time you are done, and very slightly reduced.  Remove from heat.  Add the lemon juice and stir until dissolved. 

When the cake is done, let it cool for a while.  Cut into diamond shape pieces or squares and while it is still warm pour the syrup on top.  The cake will absorb all the syrup.  Serve with some icing sugar sprinkled on top, or just plain.

Out of the oven, cooled with the syrup and with some sprinkled icing sugar on top. 


Nutrition Facts*
Serving Size                                         1 serving(66.7 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories                                              176
Calories from Fat                                  59                                % Daily Value
Total Fat                                               6.6g                             10%
Saturated Fat                                       3.9g                             20%
Cholesterol                                           39mg                           13%
Sodium                                                 53mg                           2%
Total Carbohydrates                             27.8g                           9%
Dietary Fiber                                         0.4g                             2%
Sugars                                                 19.2g
Protein                                                 2.3g

*The nutrition facts include the syrup.