It’s been a week since the blog awards competition started. Your response has really touched me! As a little thanks for all your lovely comments and support I made one very simple but loved Greek dessert: loukoumathes! Honey puffs, or Greek beignets.
Loukoumathes is a dessert that has followed me throughout my childhood summers. It’s little fluffy dough balls deep fried and once out of the pot covered in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and nuts. A little bit like New Orleans beignets, as a dear friend likes to recall, only without the icing sugar.
My childhood summers were spent in an unpretentious super old fashion sea side spa town, Methana. Grandpa would go to relieve rheumatic aches and pains, I would tag along to be relieved by mid summer Athens heatwave. There was military discipline, we would hit the beach by 8am, back to the flat around 10, just enough time for a shower and elevenses. A bit of play then lunch, then nap, even though I could never really do siesta. It was my quiet time with comic books and I’d run down to the beach for an afternoon swim. Then I would have to make myself ready for the big part of the day: afternoon stroll! A walk at the sea side promenade that would be accompanied by a treat: loukoumathes!
Grandma would sip on lemonade, grandpa some coffee accompanied by tiny Turkish delights and I would launch a full attack on a hot plate of doughnuts all sprinkled with honey and cinnamon!
Now I would probably have you wonder, was I allowed dessert everyday? I wondered at this myself, and then I remembered what a miserable eater I had been back then. A skinny little kid, constantly running around, grabbing a couple of mouthfuls of food and then back out there running with other kids. Because play in the 80’s was out on country roads, with bikes and hide and seek among prickly pear trees. My grandparents were weighing me almost daily: 500 gr more on me, it would have been an achievement. It never happened. I just wish I could eat the same amount now without putting a gram on. But hey, a sweet little bit is all you need. Let’s go make them.
Ingredients for approx. 30 loukoumathes:
For the dough
- 1 sachet of dried fast-action yeast
- 120 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 250 gr of all purpose flour
- 120 ml lukewarm milk
- vegetable frying oil
- ground cinnamon
- walnuts or any syrup and jam you available
Important tip for success
Make sure your liquids are lukewarm, at 37 °C. If too hot you will kill the yeast, if too cold the yeast will not activate.
For guaranteed results, heat up your oven at the lowest temperature for 5 minutes. Switch it off and let the dough mixture leaven in there.
What to do:
- Place in a large bowl the flour, sugar, salt and the dried fast-action yeast.
- Start adding the warm milk and water, mixing thoroughly to dissolve any lumps. It should be a runny but pliable dough that looks like this:
3. Once all the ingredients are mixed, it should be left to rest and rise for 1-2 hrs. 4. Once risen, you are ready to fry. Heat up the vegetable oil of your choice and place spoonfuls of dough until golden. 5. Rest the puffs on some kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil. 6. Sprinkle honey, cinnamon and nuts and you are ready to serve!
Loukoumathes are best enjoyed warm and fresh out of the pot. Chocolate works wonders on them too.
And before I forget, the VIMA gourmet foodblog awards competition will be running all the way through to December. Please visit the nominations page and browse some of the most talented Greek foodbloggers. And if you want to vote me, I’m in the Best Greek cooking in English, you can click below to see my profile.
from Athens with love