Orange cake-with olive oil

Today, I’m going to show you how to bake a healthier but delicious cake.

It’s true that cakes are everyone’s favorite treat, especially children’s.

There are numerous variations as far as the filling is concerned.

From desserts, the orange cake (together with chocolate cake) is my favorite one.

However, cakes do not always have to be extra fatty.

A clever trick is to change butter for olive oil.

Plus, if you could find an Extra Virgin Olive Oil (of low acidity),

you will favor you cake with an extra delicate aroma.

Last but not least, this is SUCH AN EASY RECIPE. Good luck!

ORANGE CAKE with olive oil

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

4 eggs

1 cup of sugar

2 cups of flour

1 orange with the peel

3 tsp of baking powder

HOW TO:

In your mixer, put the orange, whole, with the peel but without the core.

Press the button for a few rounds and squash it well.

Take off the blade and put the stirrer in your mixer.

Add the olive oil, the eggs, the sugar and the squashed orange.

Press the button for a few rounds to blend the ingredients.

Then add the flour and the baking powder. Blend some more.

Take your baking mold (I use a round one of 22 cm/8.6 inches)

 

 

pour just a drop of olive oil and spread it all around,

using your hand or a brush.

 

This way your cake will come out easily, when it’s time to serve.

Bake your orange cake in a preheated oven at 180oC for 45’-50’.

 

If you want to see whether your cake is ready or not, take a pointed knife and dig it all the way into your cake.

If the blade comes out covered with the white filling that means the cake is not baked yet.

The knife must come out clean.

You may wonder if just one orange is enough for the entire cake.

Trust me it is more than enough. The aroma from the fresh orange is reinforced

by the aroma and the slight bitterness from the peel.

And all these are being “softened” by the extra virgin olive oil.

That is why I don’t recommend to use other kind of oil.

Well, that’s it. Decorate with some powder sugar or sliced almonds.

I really hope this orange cake will become your favorite, too.

Please, let me know what you think, ok?

 EXTRA TIP:

You can pour on your hot-just came out of the oven- cake some orange flavored syrup.

This way you will have the juiciest orange cake ever…

For the syrup:

2 cups of water ,1 cup of sugar

The peel of one orange, 1 small cinnamon stick

 

Bring the ingredients to boil and let them for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let aside to cool down.

When your cake is taken off the oven, slowly pour the syrup on it.

 

The syrup must be used either cold on hot food or hot on to cold food.

If both the syrup and the food are cold (or hot), the syrup

will not be absorbed and you will have a “muddy” result.

 

 

Try it out and let me know what you think, ok? Bye, bye and good luck !

 

 

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Sweet Valentine-by Jamie Oliver

“A Bellini is the perfect drink for any special occasion. I’ve used tinned peaches here so you can be certain the fruit will be lovely and soft, rather than struggling to blitz harder, out-of-season fruit. Tinned peaches are also the kind of thing most people have lurking at the back of the cupboard and this is a brilliant way to use them up!”

 INGREDIENTS

 • ½ x 400ml tin of peach slices, in fruit juice

• 750ml bottle of champagne, chilled

 METHOD

 “Add the peaches and their juice to a food processor or liquidizer. Whiz for a few minutes until really smooth.”

Divide the peach purée between your glasses – you want a couple of centimetres worth in each one, then gently top them up with champagne. Be careful as it can easily bubble over and you don’t want to waste any champagne! Serve immediately and enjoy.”

 

Be my (Greek) Valentine !

Saint Valentine’s Day is coming and you are still searching for the perfect dessert that will seal your sweetheart’s heart…

Well, look no more. Here’s a cheesecake that you ‘ve never tasted before. From Greece only for you…Enjoy !

CHEESECAKE “BAKLAVA”

Preparation time: 40 min

For 16 portions

INGREDIENTS:

1500 gr spread cheese

225 gr flour

450 gr sugar

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

400 gr milk

1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough

500 gr walnuts

250  gr sugar

1 tsp of cinnamon powder

350 gr butter, melted

400 gr honey

HOW TO:

With the help of the mixer, beat the spread cheese with the sugar very well. Then, add the eggs one by one until the mix becomes fluffy.

Add the flour and then the milk.

Take your baking pan (30X40cm) and butter the bottom with a brush. Divide your phyllo dough as you will use half of them at the bottom and half on the top. Start spreading the dough one over the other brushing them with the melted butter (otherwise they will stuck on each other).

In a multi blender, grind the walnuts with the 250 gr of sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle half of them over the dough.

Pour the cheese cream and sprinkle with the rest of the walnuts. Then continue to lay the rest of the dough (don’t forget to butter in between).

Bake the cheesecake into a preheated oven in 180oC for 70-80 minutes.

When ready, take it out of the oven and pour over the honey which you have just heated up.

Let it to cool down and cut into pieces.

Extra tip: For extra sweetness why don’t decorate the plate with fresh strawberries?

After all, it’s Valentine’s day!

Winter! It’s time for “Hot Spiced Red Wine”

This recipe is very old with many variations in all over Europe. It is a traditional drink for the winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween. It is consumed warm, it is very easy and very quick to prepare it and, believe me, whoever tastes it will give the thumbs up.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 bottle of red wine

4-6 tablespoons brandy

40 gr. sugar

1/2 nutmeg

1 cinnamon steak

6 cloves

the skin of 1 lemon

1/2 skin of an orange

HOW TO:

In a casserole with 300 ml water, add the spices, the fruit skins and the sugar.

Let them come to boil slowly, but not to bubble. Just until the sugar is melted.

Then add the wine. All the time, we must not let the mix bubble.

We remove from heat and we add the brandy.

Strain the wine into a warm jug or directly into warm glass.

Pour in the glasses and decorate with a star anise.

I would advise to accompany this wine with something salty like cheese or crackers.

Extra sweetness is not so good because it tends to go into the head very quickly.

And… drink it slowly!

The easiest orange jam!!! A special treat for kids

Today, I’m gonna give you not just an easy recipe for home-made jam but my favorite orange jam.

My refrigerator never misses this easy and delicious treat. Especially in winter time, like nowadays, it’s my favorite time to pick Seville oranges from the streets and blend them with orange, lemon and mandarins to prepare a sourish, nature coloured jam wich everyone likes. It is perfect with toasted bread in the morning, with yogurt in the evening, as a layer over a cake, a perfect match for pancakes, even as filling for home-made cookies.

Children are gonna love it, take my word for it, and mother can relax offering to their kids something juicy & healthy.

Here is the original recipe made only with orange. If you want to add the extra fruit, just increase portions equally.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Oranges with the thick skin

Sugar

Water

 

HOW TO:

Wash and peel the orange.

Make sure to keep the 1/3 of the orange skin because we will put it in the jam.

In a pot we put the orange, the skin and enough water to cover them and we boil.

We boil the orange until it is soft enough to prong with a fork. We take it out of the pot and let aside to cool down a bit.

We take our mix out of the pot but we don’t throw the water. In a multi-chopper, we grind the orange with the skin.

Be careful to grind the orange but not the skin.Take them out of the multi-chopper and place them in a pot.

We add an equal amount of sugar (if our mix of fruit and skin is three cups for example, we add three cups of sugar).

We boil the jam in medium heat, blending with a wooden spoon until it becomes a firm, homogenized jam.

Approximately for 15 minutes.

When our jam is ready, we can keep it in glass, sterilized jars for a long period of time provided that we always use a clean spoon. So, never lick your spoon and dive it into the jar…

* HOW TO STERILIZE THE JAR:

Wash the jar with warm water and soap. Place it into the oven into 120° for 15-20 min. Turn off the oven, take the jar out and place it upside down on a clean towel. Leave it there until it’s time to use it. When you fill it with the jam, place it upside down until it cools down completely. Only then, you can place it into the refrigerator.

 EXTRA TIP:

If our pulp is too thick, we can add some water (not too much)

from the water in wich we boiled the orange.

Panacotta – The “Greek” approach

PANACOTTA WITH “KATIKI” CHEESE

Panacotta is a very popular dessert worldwide. Everyone has tasted some version somewhere.

Here’s a very easy, quick, semi-salty version that I like very, very much.

Katiki cheese (in Greece called : “Katiki Domokos“)

can be found in Greek markets,

or ethnic groceries and cheese specialty shops.

It’s a soft cheese, ideal to use as a spread with appetizers, too.

KATIKI CHEESE:

100 gr : 10g proteins, 3g carbohydrates, 13g fat
INGREDIENTS:

600 gr cream

100 gr milk

60 gr sugar

3 gelatine sheets (soaked in cold water to soften)

300 gr “katiki” cheese

FOR THE SAUCE:

300 gr honey

50 gr warm water

1 tsp of freshly ground pepper (black, white, red pepper mix)

PREPARATION:

In a saucepan, pour the cream, milk and sugar over a medium heat.

When it starts to inflate remove from heat and pour in the gelatine sheets.

Add the “katiki” cheese blending vividly until you see a smooth cream. 

As soon as it cools down, serve in small cups and place them

in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours.

When ready to serve, pour some sauce over each panacotta with a tbsp.

That’s it!!! Your friends and kids are gonna love it.

KADAIFI (or KATAIFI)-Delicious Greek pastry

INGREDIENTS:

500 gr “kadaifi” dough

1 cup of Aegina pistachio, minced

250 gr butter of milk (or simple butter)

¼ cup of sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

For the syrup:

4 cups of water

6 & 1/2 cups of sugar

1 lemon skin       

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp of honey

¼ cup of Aegina pistachio, minced for decoration

HOW TO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Unravel the “kadaifi” dough and divide into 5 equal pieces and those 5 pieces into 6 smaller ones.

In a bowl, mix together the cinnamon, pistachio and sugar.

Soften the butter into a small casserole. Be careful not to burn it.

With a brush, butter the first piece and place in the middle a tsp of the mixed ingredients (cinnamon,pistachio etc)

                      

Roll it, closing both edges so that the filling stays inside. Don’t roll it very firmly, more like a caress.

Continue the process with the rest of the dough pieces.

Place all of them into a well-buttered baking pan and sprinkle with the rest of the butter.

Cover them with a silver foil and bake into a preheated oven in 160 C. for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 30 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and leave it to cool down. Prepare the syrup.

Boil all the ingredients for 5-7 minutes. Take it off the heat and with a large spoon slowly pour it on the “kadaifi”.

Finally, sprinkle with the pistachio for decoration. Leave it to cool down and serve into small pieces. If you like, you can assort it with vanilla ice cream. It’s simply D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S !!!

Pistachio-The Greek “treasure”

Pistachio trees have been cultivated in the Greek island of Aegina since 1860, later spreading to other parts of Attica and Greece.

Throughout Aegina, the dominant variety is known by the name ” Aeginis”, or “koilarati” meaning ” round”, a variety considered high-yielding.

The climate of the island is ideal and the soil composition is unique. This is the reason for the exceptional flavor and aroma of the Aegina’s pistachio.

The exclusive right to identify the pistachio as “Aegina pistachio” was secured

by the E.U. regulation of 1263/96, protecting the local pistachio from those of other regions.

Please, follow my next post for one of the most famous and delicious Greek pastries:

“KADAIFI”

Crispy Apple Chips-Kids friendly !

 I found this inexpensive, kid-friendly recipe on the internet. Because I love apples, I decided to go for it.

It is crispy, easy and the kids love it because it look like a sweet. The happy thing is that they can eat tons of them. Enjoy !

Five apples, I prefer the green ones, they are my favourite.

Cut them into chips.

Spread the apples on two baking sheets so the chips stay in a single layer.

For 25 chips 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Granny Smith apples, washed but not peeled

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a shallow dish, combine the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the apple to form a flat surface. Place the apple on a cutting board. Using a small sharp knife, place a knife at the top of the apple and slice downward vertically to make 1/16-inch thick slices, working your way in toward the core. As the core appears, turn the apple. Repeat on all sides and with all apples.

Dip the apple slices in the sugar mixture, turning to coat each side. Place the slices about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Turn the slices and bake for about 40 more minutes, until the sugar melts and glazes the apples. The slices should become crisp when set aside to cool for several minutes. If some of the apple slices are thicker than 1/16 inch, they may not become completely crisp, but will still taste fine or, if you prefer, you can bake the thicker slices for a few additional minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

 

 

Extra tip: For more flavor, serve with ice-cream, vanilla.  Delicious !!

 

Yoghurt pie from Crete

I found this recipe in an old cooking magazine. I haven’t tried the recipe’s dosage but since I make yoghurt pie with those exact ingredients, I know that the result will taste …yummy. Again, the simplest ingredients can do magic. Enjoy!

Ingredients

• Sugar, 1 ½ cup

• Butter, 1 cup

• Flour (for all-purpose), 3 cups

• Yoghurt, 1 ½ cup approximately

• 5 Eggs.

• Baking Powder, 3 tsp

• Lemon, 2 tsp, the lemon zest

* Be sure to use the same cup for all the ingredients otherwise, the dosage will be unequal.

Method

With the mixer, we beat the butter with the sugar until it becomes white.            

Next, we add the egg-yolks and the yoghurt until the mix becomes smooth enough.

We add the flour, the baking powder and the lemon zest.

With a fork, we beat the egg-whites and the 2 tsp of lemon separately in a bowl.

We add it into our mix.

We stir all the ingredients well and we pour the mix into a buttered baking pan.

We bake into a preheated oven for about 1 hour at 180 oC, until it takes a golden color.

 

 

*When serving we can pour on top cinnamon powder and you will have a healthy, with low-calorie dessert which by the way has its roots in the Ancient Greece.