The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

A Spell in Provence

A Spell in Provence

Friday, 8 July 2016

Two Desserts Recipes from Greece...Thank You Denysé Bridger!


Today it's not one, but two, recipes I am featuring on the blog thanks to multi-published author Denysé Bridger. Denyse's romantic short story -  ALL OR NOTHING - is published in the recently released anthology LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES, and is set in Greece...so we will be enjoying two traditional sweet recipes from Greece!

ALL OR NOTHING by Denysé Bridger

Casino Coranthos is a playground for wealthy, bored people, but for some, it’s also a place where dreams and promises change lives forever. When a letter becomes part of an unexpected inheritance for Ryann Thomson, her aunt’s past brings her face to face with Ariston Katsaros, a man haunted by loss and driven by anger. As the attraction between them sizzles and grows, can Ryann convince him she isn’t looking to rob him or his father, or will she become a casualty of Ari’s vengeance? In this dangerous game of all or nothing, her heart and future happiness are at stake.

LETTERBOX LOVE STORIES is available from Amazon here
Hello Denysé, and welcome. What can you tell us about your Greek recipes today?


 Loukoumades (Greek Donuts with Honey and Walnuts)

– A traditional Greek delicacy

Loukoumades are little bite-sized fluffy sweet honey puffs (the Greek version of donuts), which are deep fried to golden and crispy perfection. Greek donuts (loukoumades) are traditionally served soaked in hot honey syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon and garnished with chopped walnuts or toasted sesame seeds. Simply irresistible! For the chocolate lovers (like me!) go over the top and drizzle these delicious Greek donuts (loukoumades) with some rich chocolate sauce!

For the loukoumades:

1 cup of lukewarm water (40C)

1 cup of lukewarm milk

15g active dry yeast (0.5 oz.)

3 and 1/4 of a cup flour

2 tbsps sugar

1 tsp salt

4 tbsps olive oil

oil for frying

For the garnish

1 1/2 cup honey

cinnamon powder

chopped walnuts

loukoumades-2



For the chocolate sauce:

200g dark chocolate, chopped (7 ounces)

110ml water (4 fluid ounces)

75g caster sugar (3 ounces)



Instructions

To prepare this traditional loukoumades recipe, start by making the dough. In the mixers bowl add the water and yeast. Stir with a fork and wait for 5 minutes, until the yeast dissolves completely. Into the same bowl, add the rest of the ingredients for the dough and whisk at high speed (for about 2 minutes) until the mixture becomes a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour to rise.

Into a medium sized frying pan pour enough vegetable oil to deep fry the loukoumades. Heat the oil to high heat until it begins to bubble. Test if the oil is hot enough by dipping in some of the dough for the loukoumades. If it sizzles the oil is ready.

Dip a tablespoon in some water and spoon out some of the dough into the hot oil. Repeat this procedure until the surface off the pan is comfortably filled. You should dip the spoon in the water every time, so that the batter doesn’t stick on it.

While the loukoumades are fried, use a slotted spoon to push them into the oil and turn them on all sides, until golden brown. Place the loukoumades on some kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

When done, place the loukoumades on a large platter, drizzle with the heated honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped walnuts.

If you are in a mood for some chocolate, replace the honey with chocolate sauce. To prepare the chocolate sauce for the loukoumades, add in a saucepan the sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the chocolate (chopped) and whisk, until the chocolote has melted and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the warm chocolate over the loukoumades, sprinkle with some roughly chopped walnuts or almonds and enjoy!

Tips:

The perfect traditional loukoumades (Greek donuts) are crispy and golden on the outside and fluffy and airy in the inside. To achieve the perfect texture for your loukoumades give the dough time to rise and it will reward you with its distinctive air-y fluffiness. When preparing this loukoumades recipe, the key is to use the right temperature. Always dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let the dough to rise in warm environment. If the room temperature is low, a little trick is to preheat the oven to 40-50 C, turn it off and place the dough in the warm oven. Deep fry the loukoumades in hot oil. Make sure to fry them in batches, so that the surface off the pan is comfortably filled, otherwise the loukoumades will probably stick together and the temperature of the oil will decrease. You don’t want your loukoumades to become mushy and less crunchy on the outside.

Give this traditional Greek loukoumades recipe a try and enjoy with a full spoon of vanilla ice cream on top!



And now for recipe number 2!

Kariokes (Walnut-filled Chocolate Crescents)

Delicious chocolate and walnut filled crescents dipped in more chocolate! Soft and with an unexpected crunchy bite, these delicious treats are very popular among the chocolate lovers during Christmas time. Best part? They’re dead simple to make, with the preparation lasting less than half an hour and no baking required, you have to try them!

Ingredients

250g sugar (9 ounces)

250g water (9 ounces)

125g dark chocolate, cut in small pieces (4.5 ounces)

85g butter (3 ounces)

300g walnuts, chopped (10.5 ounces)

zest of 1 orange

juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tbsps)

450g Pettit beurre biscuits, powdered (16 ounces)

1kg dark chocolate for the coating (35 ounces)

Instructions

To prepare the filling for the kariokes, pour in a pot the water and sugar and bring to the boil; let it boil for a few minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pot from the stove and add the butter, the chocolate (cut in small pieces), the orange zest and the lemon juice; blend until the chocolate has melted and the ingredients combine.

Pour the mixture in a bowl and mix in the powdered biscuits and chopped walnuts; blend, until the ingredients combine.

On a working surface, line some plastic wrap and pour in 1/3 of the mixture. Form the mix into a roll, wrap it up and put it in the fridge overnight. Repeat the same with rest of the mixture, forming 3 rolls, about 17cm long and 3-4 cm thick. Leave in the fridge overnight.

A little bit  before you take the rolls out of the fridge, start making the coating. To melt the chocolate it is best to use a bain-marie (or double boiler), a piece of equipment used to heat the chocolate gently and gradually to fixed temperatures so that it doesn’t burn. If you don’t have a Bain-marie, break the chocolate into small pieces and drop into a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water and place the bowl on top so that it rests on the rim of the pan (the bowl should not to touch the water). Place the pan, with the bowl on top, over low heat until the chocolate has melted, whilst stirring occasionally.

Take the rolls out of the fridge, unwrap the plastic wrap and slice them in equal slices, about 1cm thick. Dip each piece in the chocolate, using a fork and then place on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper; repeat with all the pieces. When done, let the kariokes to cool down, at room temperature (not in the fridge), until the chocolate thickens.

Thank you so much for these delicious recipes all the way from Greece!


5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much, Marie. Both these yummy desserts are part of the story, as well. :)

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  2. Yes, Denysé,they are indeed part of the story! They sound absolutely delicious.

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  3. These desserts looks scrumptious. I can't wait to try them.

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    1. They do indeed, Marian. I hope you enjoy them! Thank you very much for visiting and for your comment.

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  4. These look like very, very yummy desserts. My husband does a lot of the baking and I'm going to get him to try these soon. Thanks for sharing, Denyse.

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