Bebinca: Indian Sweet Potato Pudding/Cake

The recipe, by Mayukh Sen, was published in the NY Times Cooking, in a piece he wrote about chef Nik Sharma. “The lightly sweet pudding cake is an ideal fall dessert — a far less stressful alternative to a more labored pie,” Sen writes.

The mild taste of this unusual sweet is certainly a wonderful complement to the spicy Indian dishes; for my version I love to add crystalized ginger to give it a slight kick.

 

 

Mayukh Sen notes that Mr. Sharma riffs on a traditional dessert from the Indian state of Goa, using a base of coconut milk, eggs and sweet potatoes that are roasted and then puréed, perfumed with nutmeg. “…the addition of maple syrup is a distinctly American touch. (Mr. Sharma likes to make this for Thanksgiving.) Be sure to leave time for the bebinca to cool and set — at least 6 hours in the refrigerator, but preferably overnight,” Sen writes.

 

 

Yield: 8 servings

 

 

(more…)

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Dried Fruit, Pistachio, and Orange Olive Oil Cake

A moist, fragrant, and barely sweet vegan cake that can be a treat with tea or coffee, or enjoyed as a snack any time of day. It should be made a day in advance, and it keeps for at least a week, getting better each day if stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature.

 

My mother used to bake a cake similar to this during Lent. We were not so religious as to follow the rules of the Church, which prohibited eating any food derived from animals during the forty days before Christmas and before Easter (and on many other occasions). We were simply continuing a family tradition which dictated that various foods or sweets should be made at a particular time of year.

The caramelized ginger, my recent addition to the recipe, enhances the rich flavor of this cake that has a dense texture, somewhat like an English fruitcake. 

 

Makes one 12 X 5 inch (30 X 12cm) cake (more…)

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Apricot Tart with Rose Geranium Yogurt Mousse

In June, when we find plenty of lovely local apricots, we buy quite a lot and after eating the more ripe ones, we usually halve, pit and roast the rest, then freeze them to have at hand and make tarts, or top a flat bread, complementing them with spicy smoked cheese.

 

Make the mousse a day ahead, or even a couple of days before. When you are about to serve the dessert, assemble the pre-baked puff pastry and serve the mousse on the side.  

 

Serves 6-8   (more…)

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Our Traditional Olive Oil, Vegan Cookies

Greeks don’t need to substitute and invent intricate vegan cookies, as the most common ones we make at home, or buy at the bakeries all over the country, are usually baked with olive oil instead of butter.

I got the recipes from my mother and grandmother and I only slightly tweaked  them.

Both most favorite cookies –the Koulourakia with Orange, and the dark deep-flavored Moustokouloura Cookies, were baked using olive oil and no eggs.

 

Americans and northern Europeans are not the only ones loving their crunchy, fragrant cookies. Greeks usually accompany with cookies their coffee in the morning or afternoon. (more…)

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