Fig, honey and manouri cheesecake – 3 years of Eat Yourself Greek

Celebrating with a sweet bite

fig, honey and manouri cheesecake @eatyourselfgreek

On every birthday, it’s an opportunity to look back at the year that passed and see how far you have reached. Eat yourself Greek doesn’t have all the Greek recipes, neither has my galaktoboureko gone viral. Homely, traditional recipes rarely fall under the A-list of popular, unless you are really fond of homely flavours. Eat Yourself Greek is very much about simple and clear flavours and it is travelling its way through the blogosphere like a small boat that has opened sail on a fine breeze. This alone is reason enough to get a sweet treat: honey and fig cheesecake with manouri. Continue reading

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Amygdalota of Mykonos

Sweet Greek flavours

Traditional Greek sweets always distanced themselves from gooey, melty chocolate or fluffy cakes. The sweetest pleasures are found bottled in crystal jars to preserve small bites of fruit from one season to the next, our famous ‘spoon sweets’ that are, in essence, wholesome marmalades. Along with fruit and vegetable preserves the next best thing is nuts. Walnuts and almonds grind their way into small delicious bites. There are many versions for baking these small almond or walnut based delicacies. For Mykonos, I chose amygdalota: fragrant almond based bites, dusted in icing sugar, a soft reminder of the white washed houses.

Head straight to the recipe.

Traditional Mykonian amygdalota require very few ingredients: almonds, eggs, sugar and floral water. This minimalism of ingredients is reminiscent of times less lush. In the dry, wind whipped Cycladic islands, scarcity of ingredients calls for resourcefulness and delicacies suffice in few but delectable ingredients. This is the case of Amygdalota, so popular in Mykonos. There are a handful of almonds, a bit of sugar, a fluffy meringue and fragrant rose water to lift the mix up. Execution of the amygdalota recipe however calls for the baker skills. Once the fine mix of ground almonds meets the meringue, oven temperatures should not be harsh on the oblong shaped cookies, but gently wrap them in heat to consolidate the mixture and bring out their fine flavours. Amygdalota are not overtly sweet, but rich in almond flavours and floral water. Greek coffee could not be in better company.

Ingredients (makes approximately 40 pieces)

  • 400 gr almonds
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 ml floral water
  • Icing sugar for dusting

How to make them: 

  1. In a food processor, grind the almonds with the sugar until their texture resembles a fine powder. It’s best to grind them in small batches.
  2. Beat the egg whites into meringue.
  3. Add the meringue to the powdered almonds and sugar and mix gently to incorporate.
  4. Form small, almond shaped balls with your hands and layer them on a baking tray.
  5. Bake at 120°C for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Spray them with floral water as soon as they get out of the oven and let the amygdalota cool down.
  7. Once at room temperature, roll in icing sugar to coat.

I hope you enjoy amygdalota as much as I do. Drop me a line when you make them.

From Mykonos with love,

Eugenia

PS: This Mykonian amygdalota recipe has been photographed for Greek Flavours and first appeared in their website, you can find them here.

 

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Thoughts and recipe on mayiritsa

Traditional Greek Easter dishes

mayiritsa @eatyourselfgreek

There is one Greek dish that can easily claim the prize of the most controversial of all dishes as far as Greek cooking is concerned. It’s a soup, it has plenty of greens, we enjoy it during Easter and it has a secret ingredient that could make you squeamish. For those in the know, you have already guessed the dish: mayiritsa! For those new to the dish, just name five animal organs you have never seen on a plate: Bingo! Continue reading

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Campari and sanguini jelly

inspired by the Greek 80’s

Campari blood orange jelly

Greece in the 80s, what was it like? There is an exhibition running in the center of Athens, at Technopolis, dedicated to this bittersweet decade, focusing on contemporary life, from politics to architecture – with a wonderful reconstruction of an urban 80s household – to music, fashion and toys. There were a couple of talks on food and I admit I didn’t get a chance to pop by. But the exhibition in itself is a great opportunity to retrospect and of course, cook. There is Campari and blood orange jelly!

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Chocolate energy bars

to leave or not to leave

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Greek heatwave is officially here from this weekend but up in the UK debates get heated for an entirely different reason, EU referendum & a potential Brexit is upon us. Although living in Greece, where political debates seem to be second nature to the degree I feel entirely desensitised by politics, this one referendum had me thinking. Cheer up though, there are some delicious chocolate energy bars to give you all the energy you need, be it on the beach or thinking about polling stations. Continue reading

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Ekmek kataifi

Divine pleasures, reloaded

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Ekmek kataifi is one of the most lavish amongst traditional Greek desserts. Sweet, yet not too sweet, creamy yet not too rich and as airy as fleeting fluffy clouds on a spring morning. The way its different textures and levels of sweetness combine will have you going for a second helping or perhaps a second tray. Continue reading

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Eton mess

a quick and dirty pavlova

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Strawberries, there are two things that spring to mind at the hearing of the word: i-want-to-have some-now and England. Why England? Because they have the smallest, tastiest and most fragrant little berries to show off, especially this time of the year. By far my favourite fruit, little punnets of strawberries would be flooding the markets from mid-May to early July and you could even go strawberry picking just a little further south of London. Along with strawberry punnets comes Eton mess, the ultimate meringue-strawberry dessert. Continue reading

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tsoureki braiding

with lots of tips

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Greek Easter is here and I have thrown myself into a tsoureki making frenzy. Every household has a favourite recipe to make these sweet loafs, I have grandma Ntina’s that I posted last year. Of course I made some tsoureki again this year, braided one this time. I braided my tsoureki with two designs: with 6 strands for largers tsoureki and a more playfull and slightly easier braid with 2 strands for smaller tsoureki or for large and round tsoureki. Continue reading

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