A semolina cake flavoured with syrup and mastic (mastiha) and soaked with a sweet syrup
Greeks love sweet and sticky desserts; so much so that there is an entire class of desserts called Siropiasta, which loosely translates to syrupy or syrup-soaked. There are many ways to get your syrup on, whether it is with traditional Greek pastries like galaktoboureko or baklava or with the lesser known cakes like portokalopita and revani.
A pretty cake with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry swirls
Our childhood’s were predictable in many ways. Sundays were for church, summers were enjoyed in Greece or Cape Cod, and weekends were spent with friends and family. When it came to food, there were things we could expect as well. We knew that Fridays meant fakes for supper, that we would be expected to help forage for wild dandelion greens, and that ice cream would be neopolitan.
Vegan chocolate and strawberry cookies are delicious little bites, which could easily be called brownies
Don’t you just love it when you can convince yourself that dessert is healthy…or at least, not horribly bad for you?! We do! and that is exactly what we do with these vegan chocolate and strawberry cookies. Not only are these two-bite cookies (which could just as easily be called brownies)vegan (automatically healthy right??!!), but they are also incredibly easy to whip together. Also fun, they contain a secret ingredient which makes them that much more lovely. Who doesn’t love a recipe with a secret ingredient?
Greek halva is a semolina based vegan dessert; We have flavoured ours with apples and raspberry
This is an example of what happens when you take basic principles, and then let your imagination run free. The basic principle here is halva-making. Semolina based halva (not to be confused with the tahini based dessert which goes by the same name) is really versatile, and once you understand the basic premise of how to put one together, it becomes very easy to make it your own. We have already shared with you our parents’ basic halva recipe, flavoured with orange and studded with raisins. It’s delicious and it’s a very popular dessert during periods of lent (halva is both dairy and egg free). We’ve also shared with you a vegan chocolate halva, which is a bit more decadent, because, chocolate. But the halva story does not end there.
A syrup cake made with phyllo and infused with orange flavour
As far as desserts go, this is a weird one. Phyllo, which is a staple in Greek cooking both in savoury and sweet recipes, is usually used to hold things together. Think the spinach in spanakopita or the creamy custard in bougatsa, delicious fillings wrapped in phyllo. Phyllo used this way is lovely, convenient, and typical. Although intimidating at first, working with phyllo in these recipes is easy when you get the hang of it. Still, you always have to be careful not to dry it out or tear it. Truth be told, phyllo can be a little finicky.
A classic upside down apricot and molasses cake which tastes of gingerbread and happiness
There is something so old-fashioned about an upside-down cake; whenever we make this dessert we feel that we should wear long, flowery dresses with embroidered aprons and then serve it with Salada in vintage tea cups and conversation about good books and family values. We’re not actually sure when the first upside-down cake was made, but we’re pretty sure it was a long time ago and that it created quite a happy commotion. Our upside down apricot and molasses cake creates a bit of a fuss too – and it’s all good!
A simple make-ahead dessert that can be dressed up or down
One of our favourite treats growing up was a creamy vanilla pudding that came from a box. This product, imported from Greece, was one of the only “processed” foods that our parents ever made for us, and we loved it! Whenever we would see the unique blue box with a corn on the cob design on it in the pantry, we got pretty excited. We remember how our parents would mix this pudding powder with milk, cook it while stirring slowly and serve it in shallow bowls. Occasionally they would add a topping of fresh fruit (sliced bananas were a particular favourite) or a spoon sweet they had previously made and preserved. We still see this box of pudding in the Greek grocery store we frequent, and although we have considered picking one up for old times sake, we’re a little worried that our adult taste buds won’t love it as much as we used to. Uncomfortable about disrupting such fond food and family memories, we’ve decided to create something similar, using ingredients we know we love.