Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coconut Christmas Tree


This Christmas Tree is dedicated to all of my readers, family and friends.
May they all have a Merry Christmas!!
Thank you for all your love and support!
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Coconut Christmas Tree
Serves 16 small portions

Ingredients
130gr egg white (4 egg whites)
15gr light brown sugar (1 tbsp)
5gr vanilla sugar (1 sachet)
60gr shredded coconut
100gr chocolate (any type you wish)
¼ tsp orange essence


Preparation Method
1) With an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the sugar and the vanilla to form a stiff meringue.
2) Gently mix in the shredded coconut and form 16 small balls (ping pong size balls).
3) Bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes at 180ºC and then continue baking for another 6 minutes at 150ºC. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
4) Melt the chocolate; mix in the orange essence.
5) On a flat surface form the 1st layer of the tree. Cover with chocolate and continue the process until you form the Christmas Tree. Decorate with candies of your choice.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stuffed Rolled Chicken


This recipe was made with simple and light ingredients. 
Few years ago I used bacon instead of vine leaves and Halloumi cheese instead of Edam Light cheese. I have to admit that I truly liked this version more than the previous one.  
It was light, very tasty and guilt free J !!!
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Stuffed Rolled Chicken
Serves 4
215 Calories per serving

Ingredients
7 large vine leaves
2 medium pieces of chicken breast
2 ½ slices of Edam cheese (low fat)
400g spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Ginger
Thyme, Oregano

Preparation Method
1) Wash and boil the vine leaves for 2-3 minutes. Drain and allow them to cool down.
2) Boil the spinach. When all the liquid has evaporated, add the olive oil and spices.
3) With a meat hammer, lightly beat the chicken. Add the spices and herbs.
4) On a large piece of aluminum foil place the nonstick paper.
5) Spread the leaves on the non-stick paper and on top of the leaves place the chicken. Place the slices of cheese on top of the chicken and then spread the spinach on top of the cheese.
6) Wrap the chicken roll * and place it in a Pyrex. Add 1 cup of hot water in the Pyrex.
7) Bake in a preheated oven at 220ºC for 40 minutes. Add an extra glass of hot water, and continue baking for another 40 minutes at 180ºC.
8) Allow to cool slightly before you cut the roll into slices, and serve.

* The roll should be well wrapped in the foil so that the water will not penetrate the chicken.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bookworm Birthday Cake for Quadruplets

This birthday cake was made for four kids who celebrated their 6th birthday, on the 13/12/2011.

Two boys and two girls. Quadruplets! 

The cake was delivered to their school and they blew the candles having their classmates singing to them. Pupils and teachers seemed excited with the cake design and as I was told later on, they were very pleased with what they tasted as well.

I made a double fudge chocolate cake.

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The lollipops were made of melted chocolate and smarties, and they were  given to the kids as a gift.


Instead of using a wooden stick to keep the head and tail in place, I used a spagetti.  The cake was taken to a school so I wanted to make sure that the kids wouldn't hurt themselves...

 I used a knife to create the page effect.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Light Cheesecake with Anari Cheese


As you all know by now I am in a diet for the last three months. How do I feel? What did I achieve up to know? Well, allow me to keep this just for me… I am not ready to talk about this for the moment and I am not sure whether I will be in the future, but from what I realized up to now is that no one can lose weight without sacrifices. I love food, I enjoy food in all its forms and the thought of just having something to survive does not sound good to me. Actually it sounds pathetic to me. Let’s hope that I will manage to reach my goal…

My dietitian, Mr. Ioannis Kerimis, makes his best to help me achieving my goal. In general we negotiate, and finally we agree to what I should eat, but I have to admit that actually he sets the menu. Few weeks ago he asked me to prepare a recipe that he could post in his site, so I decided to try a lighter version of cheesecake.

I used a Cypriot unsalted cheese called Anari and I tried to reduce calories down to the minimum. My dietitian was very pleased with the result, and he said that he prefers this cheesecake version to the original one. I like both, but I have to admit that I truly love the baked New York Cheesecake version, with the 1000 calories per piece :-).
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Light Cheesecake Recipe
Serves 10
270 Calories per piece

Base Ingredients
150gr (13) light digestive biscuits
25gr (1/3 cup) organic oats
30gr (2 tbsp) vegetable butter (melted)

Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup cold water
2/3 cup hot water
20gr gelatin powder (2 sachets)
475gr fresh unsalted Anari cheese
200gr Greek yogurt (2% fat or 0% fat)
110gr (2/3 cup) light milk (1.5% fat)
100gr (2/3 cup) fructose sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

Base Preparation Method
1) Process biscuits until fine. Add oats and melted butter. Process until combined.
2) Press mixture over base of a 24cm pan, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Filling Preparation Method
1) Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Then add the hot water and allow gelatin to fully dissolve.
2) Beat Anari cheese, yogurt, milk, fructose sugar and vanilla essence for 10 minutes, or until you get a smooth light mixture.
3) Add dissolved gelatin and beat mixture for 2 more minutes.
4) Pour filling mixture over pan; refrigerate over night.
5) Serve plain or with fruits, sugar free jam, nuts or dusted unsweetened cocoa powder.

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Birthday Cakes

In this post you can find some of my latest birthday cakes. I hope you like them...
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This cake was made for a friend of mine called Andri. She wanted a simple decoration.
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This, double tier cake, was made for a gentleman called Henk.  As I was told he looks younger than over, so on the top tier was written "You will always be forever young!"
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 Demetrios celebrated his first birthday a few weeks ago.  His mother wanted a winnie thyme cake for him.
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My niece, Markos, celebrated his 11th birthday on the 25th of November.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pirates Cake

When I use rum I always think of pirates and Cuba, that’s why this cake is called “Pirates Cake”. In 2004 I visited Cuba and I was very impressed to watch how Cubans make their rum that made me use rum in almost all my recipes. I use it even in the traditional Greek sweets, and believe me, it gives my recipes such a great taste and aroma that everybody is asking what is my “secret” ingredient.

I used ganache for the filling and coating of the cake, because I wanted my cake to have a bit of a color, and also because my son Nicolas would only eat it if I had some kind of a chocolate in it. You can use any filling that you like. I truly believe that strawberry or orange fillings would be perfect with this type of cake as well.
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Pirates Cake
Cake Ingredients
¾ cup vegetable oil
350gr caster sugar (1 ½ cup)
3 large eggs
2 tspns rum
1 tspn vanilla essence
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tspn baking powder
350ml evaporated milk
100gr Greek yogurt (approximately 1/3 cup)

Ganache Ingredients
250ml fresh cream
300g dark eating chocolate (chopped)
½ tspn butter
½ tspn rum

Cake Preparation
1) Beat oil with sugar until well mixed.
2) Add one by one the eggs. Each egg has to be well mixed with the oil mixture before you add the next one. Then add the rum.
3) Sift flour and add the vanilla essence. Add half of the flour to the oil mixture. Then add half of the milk. Do not over mix.
4) Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the flour and the milk.
5) Finally add the yogurt and combine.
6) Divide the cake mixture into two 20cm round pans, and bake in a preheated oven at 170ºC, for 45 – 50 minutes.

Ganache Preparation
Prepare ganache by bringing cream to a boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate, stir until smooth. Finally incorporate in it the butter and rum. Mix well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chef's Hat Birthday Cake

This birthday cake was made for a woman called Despo. I never met her, but from what I heart she is an excellent cook.  This cake was her daughter's idea and from what I was told later on, Despo loved it.
It was a chocolate fudge cake filled with chocolate cream and covered with white fondant.

 I love creating new designs, and this cake was a challenge for me...
 Happy Birthday Despo!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Elegant Wedding Cake

Few weeks ago my best friend, Antonis, gave me a call asking for a simple wedding cake.  I was more than glad to proceed with this task and I started talking with the bride to be, Anna, about what she wanted.  The only restriction that I had is that they wanted a chocolate cake that would not be too sweet.  The rest would have been my decision.
I thought of an off white two tier cake with modern designs. I even thought of using black for the designs. Then I thought of a more elegant version with flowers, but I did not know what flowers to choose.  Finally, I decided that lilies would be a beautiful idea.
Flowers were the first to be made, and then the covering fondant.  I made a mistake with the color I used, and instead of an off white I ended up having a peach fondant.  I was very frustrated at first and I was about to make a new one, but then, I thought that it would look pretty if I used it as the bottom cake, and voila… The cake looked very elegant!!!
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The happy couple after the wedding!



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I was so pleased to see that my first effort in making lilies was successful that I forgot to capture the making procedure. I promise that I will give you a tutorial on how to make them in a future post.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chanel Small Flap Bag Birthday Cake


My colleague, Mary, gave me a call a few days ago telling me that her daughter will celebrate her birthday on the 23rd of October and that she wanted to have a special cake prepared for her. Since Antonia, her daughter, is a very modern young lady, I thought of a Chanel Bag. Mary emphasized, that she wanted an impressive cake that Antonia would love the minute she saw it.

I started thinking of how I could make this cake look impressive, so the first thing that came in my mind was that it would look better if I placed the bag on a cake looking like a cushion, but then I thought that this wouldn’t be enough so I thought about adding a shoe and a bracelet to the cake.

Everything on this cake was edible, made with fondant and gumpaste. The cushion was a chocolate fudge cake and the Chanel bag was an orange cake.

Antonia was very impressed with the cake, and her friends too!

Happy Birthday to Antonia!!!
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The orange cake was covered with white chocolate ganache cream. Ganache helped this cake to stay moist and fresh. 

 Then it was covered with fondant.


The final details were made after the cake was assembled together. For the silver details I used a silver edible color. I have to admit that it took me quite a while to finish all those bits and pieces.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"POETRY" CAKE: Pieces Of European Treasure Recited by Youth

Approximately one month ago, my friend Olympia send me a message asking me whether I could create a cake decorated with eleven flags, for a dinner party that was going to be held in a hotel in Limassol.
The dinner was held for teachers that took part in an educational seminar. The theme was POETRY, which stands for Pieces Of European Treasure Recited by Youth. Actually below you can find all relative details concerning POETRY.


"POETRY: Pieces Of European Treasure Recited by Youth" is Comenius Project which aims to motivate students to become more interested in their own country’s traditional and modern anthological treasures and share them with their fellow students in the rest of Europe.

The ten partner schools are located in Cyprus, Lithuania, Spain, Belgium, Romania, Estonia, Italy, France, Poland and Portugal. The students taking part are 15 - 19 years old.

The participants will be involved in a variety of activities. As the project progresses, they will interview writers, poets and historians. They will prepare videos, leaflets, calendars, attend lectures and book presentations. They will visit museums, conduct their own researches in libraries and on the internet, participate in artistic competitions. They will write essays, poems and songs.

The POETRY website will be the main method of dissemination of our work and the place where all the students will meet, exchange ideas, throughout the course of the project, and become friends.

The climax of our project will be the "POETRY Night Live" where students will perform their own creative work, their poems and songs and share them with the public.

Protecting and preserving our common cultural heritage is every European citizen's responsibility and duty. Hopefully, by the end of this project, our students will be well aware of that, and ready to contribute in achieving it!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gun and Garden Birthday Cake - Guest Post By: Michal (michalmarie.com)

There are many cake lovers, makers, bakers and even eaters in the growing community of sweets, each with his own style and technique. I find it more than enriching to interact and meet those talented artists, perhaps grow a small community of "cakers", so appropriately called. That's why I'm happy to meet Eftychia, she sweetly (no pun intended) agreed to do a post swap. Her initial guest post on my site was a unique take on the art of mosaic pieces. This was a great start for our hopefully continual cake-ship!

Now, I give back what I like to call- Gun and Garden.


The world of gardening, shooting and those things unfamiliar became just the very opposite when I had to come up with a cake for He who likes both. Yes, my father in-law was having a Birthday and I was making the cake. I wanted to practice my patience and decided to make some gum paste figures.

I painted the fence with cocoa powder and water paste. Therest of the details on top were made with gum paste- fondant dough (about 1part fondant to 2 parts gum paste). The garden soil is coffee grounds with aslab of brown painted underneath to make sure it is solid brown.
Michal Marie Cake Designer: http://www.michalmarie.com/

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mosaic Heart Birthday Cake (My Guest Post in Michal's Blog)


A few days ago Michal invited me to write a guest post for her blog. I was so excited for this invitation because Michal is excellent in everything that she does. Her cakes are masterpieces and she is an inspiration for me.

Here you can find the link to this guest post of mine: http://www.michalmarie.com/2011/11/mosaic-inspired-cake/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Magician's Hat Birthday Cake with a Suprise!

This was Nicholas birthday Cake which was actually made in 3 steps.
In a previous post I showed to you how I made the Edible Magician's Playing Cards, then I made the Magician's Hat and the cake.  Actually the cake was prepared by somebody else, but I have to admit it was very tasty!
Nicholas was very pleased with the result and I was excited to see him enjoying his birthday cake. 
Now I am curious to see what he is going to choose for next year :-) ...

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The hat was made almost a month before the birthday party, because I wanted to be sure that I would have enough time to fix any possible mistakes or unexpected "accidents".
 I used fondant with Tylos Powder for all the hat decoration. It worked out pretty well!



When all the pieces were put together, I brushed the whole hat with vodka, so there were no excess powder sugar left.




I wish Nicholas a Happy Life and I hope that the next year's challenge will be fantastic as this one!!!

Dream of Cakes

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