Rose-flavored summer sweet
Serves 8 people
A simple and
refreshing Cypriot dessert.
Ingredients: 8 heaped tablespoon corn flour
8 level tablespoons sugar
8 cups/ 1 1/2 liters/ 2 3/4 pints water
4 tablespoons rose water
Extra sugar and
rose water, for serving
Method: In a large pan, stir the corn flour
and sugar in 2 cups/375ml/ 13 fl oz of the
water until blended. Add the remaining water, switch on the heat and stir
continuously with a wooden spoon to avoid any lumps forming. As it
begins to bubble, add the rose water and lower the heat. Continue stirring
for a few minutes until thickened. Pour into wet bowls and leave
to cool and set.
The next day,
refrigerate for several hours. Before serving, have a large
bowl ready filled with cold water. Wet your hand and carefully push the
mahalepis out of their bowls into the water. Serve with extra
sugar and rose water.
refreshing sweet is perfect for the summer months. As an
to the usual white machalepi, replace the rose water with
a rose-flavored syrup, to make pink machalepi.
Syrupy Fillo Pastries with Almonds Makes 20-25 pastries
Ingredients: 1 cup/ 110g/ 4 oz almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup/ 75g/ 3 oz caster sugar
2 level teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup/ 60g/ 2 1/2 oz butter
1/2 cup/ 100ml 3 1/2 fl oz corn oil
450g/ 1 lb fillo pastry, approx. 30cm/
12" square per sheet
For the syrup: 2 cups/ 375ml/ 13 fl oz water
1 1/2 cups/ 250g/ 9 oz sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
4-5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons honey
rectangular baking tin, approx 36cm/ 14 1/2" in width
Method: To begin, mix the nuts, sugar and cinnamon
in a small bowl. Next, melt
the butter with the oil and have a pastry brush handy.
Lightly grease the baking tin with some melted butter/oil.
Remove a sheet of
pastry and use it to line the baking tin, folding over any
excess pastry. Brush
lightly with the butter/oil. Repeat with four more fillo sheets
to brush in between each layer but leave the fifth sheet
a third of the nut mixture over the pastry. Repeat until you
layers of nuts. Add a further five sheets of fillo pastry. Keep
unspoilt sheet for the last layer. Fold any excess pastry
underneath to keep
the top tidy and brush with any left over butter/oil.
score with a sharp knife cutting half-way down into the
to make diamond shaped portions. Sprinkle with a little water
and bake in a
pre-heated oven Gas 6/ 400°F/ 200°C for 30 minutes. Then
temperature to Gas 2/ 300°F/ 150°C and bake for a further 20
until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and leave to
To make the syrup,
heat the water in a small saucepan with the sugar,
cinnamon and cloves. Boil for 5 minutes (uncovered). Next add
and continue boiling for a further 2 minutes removing any froth
which may form.
Discard the spices and pour the hot syrup over the cooled
paklava. Cool for
several hours before cutting into portions. Paklava keeps well
refrigerator for up to one week.
For the syrup:
1 cup/200ml/7 fl oz water -
1 cup/175g/ 6oz sugar
1 stick of cinnamon -
5 whole cloves
2 teaspoons lemon juice -
1 tablespoon rose water
Oil, for frying
Sift the flour into a large basin and add the salt and corn flour.
Mix the instant potato in 150ml/ 5 fl oz of the water and dissolve the
dried yeast with a few teaspoons of the water. Add both to the flour together
with half of the remaining water. With your hands, beat the mixture
until thoroughly combined. Gradually pour in the remaining water and
continue beating until it resembles a smooth batter. Cover with a tea-towel
and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the
syrup. Heat all the ingredients, except the rose water,
in a small saucepan and boil (uncovered) for 10 minutes. Stir in the
rose water and leave to cool until required.
Before you begin to
fry, have a cup half-filled with oil and a teaspoon handy.
Next, half-fill a wide, thick based pan with cooking oil. Have the basin
of batter near to the pan. Heat the oil until hot. Wet your
water and place into the mixture. Take a handful of the
batter, make a first
until a ball of the mixture pops out of the
top of your hand. Use the teaspoon
to lift of the ball and drop it
straight into the hot oil. (For larger loukoumathes,
use a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon). Continue to do this until the
pan is full
(do this in several batches). Fry for about three
minutes, turning occasionally
until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drizzle the syrup
over the top (spices
discarded). After each batch, remember to wet your hand
frequently dip the teaspoon into the cup of cold oil as this will
batter slip off the spoon. Cool before serving.
If liked, honey may
be drizzled over the loukoumathes or you can sprinkle
them with caster sugar. Best eaten same day
(Traditional New Year's Cake)
When the cake is cut on New Years Day, everyone is
keen to find the coin as whoever does is meant to have
good luck throughout the year. In days gone by, wealthier
people would actually use a real gold coin!
1 + 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brandy
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Royal Icing (optional)
Whip eggs and
sugar until very light. Add oil, melted butter and vanilla.
Stir in orange juice, brandy, flour and baking powder just until
Place in a greased and floured round cake pan. Place a
into cake mixture. Sprinkle almonds around edges. Bake at
until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool and remove from pan. If desired, write the new year on top
royal icing and sprinkle with icing sugar.
1 egg white
1 + 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
Whip egg whites,
slowly adding icing sugar and lemon juice.
Adjust consistency by adding a few drops of water for thinner
or icing sugar for a stiffer icing. Spread or pipe on cake and let dry.
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