20120213-103507.jpg

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, my man is no exception. And chocolate is one of his weaknesses. So when it came to finding the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day it had to be pure chocolate cake decadence. Nothing says “sagapo” (that’s Greek for “I love you”) like a heart shaped molten lava dark chocolate cake. I found the recipe through one of my iPhone app obsessions, Foodgawker. It’s also gluten free for those of you with special dietary needs.

I actually made these a day in advance so that come dessert time tomorrow, we can simply pop the chocolate cakes in the oven for 11-13 minutes. (An unbaked chocolate cake is pictured above.)

We gave them a test run this past weekend. Ice cream is a good accompaniment to chocolate cake, but I think we will try homemade whip cream tomorrow. Yum!

Now for the details. Enjoy!

Molten Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe
Adapted from: The Gluten Free Fix

Ingredients

  • 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, preferably 60% (or more) cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon of brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour, firmly packed

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Grease 4 ramekins (heart shaped if you have it!). Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter: place 1-2 inches of water in a small pot on the stove and bring to a simmer, place a heat safe bowl over the top of the pot, gently melt together chocolate and butter in the bowl, stirring constantly. Remove the bowl from the pot and let cool slightly for one minute (you don’t want to cook the eggs!)

In a small bowl whisk the eggs, honey, coffee, vanilla and coconut flour, add mixture to the melted chocolate. Mix just until well blended. Pour into greased ramekins. Bake for 9-11 minutes.* Remove from oven immediately after the center slightly puffs up, the cakes should still have a liquid middle. If they cook too long the consistency will be thicker, still tasty just not molten. Gently run a knife around the ramekin to release the cake from the sides and invert onto serving plate.
Serve warm with fresh berries and whipped cream (or vanilla bean ice cream).

*add a few minutes to the baking time if your batter was kept in the fridge.

Greek Festival Crescents

Just in time for your holiday baking! This is a super easy recipe and can be served as a accompaniment to coffee in the morning or as a sweet anytime. These cookies are subtly sweet, so they are sure to please any crowd. Makes 12-15 cookies.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup hazelnuts or almonds, or a combination of both
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp brandy, or Metexa Greek brandy
  • ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (Note: you can use whole wheat flour, but the end result will be a little “heavier” tasting)
  • Orange-flower water
  • Powdered sugar

Easy and festive

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly butter. In a food processor, chop the nuts finely but without reducing them to ground nuts. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and brandy, then stir in the nuts. Sift the starch and flour over the mixture and stir. Add more flour if necessary in order to create a firm dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a clean working surface. You may wish to lightly flcrescents_sugar250our your hands. Break off a small piece of dough and roll into a small ball, then place the ball on the clean surface and roll into a 3 inch log, tapering into pointed ends. Shape into a crescent and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the crescents are made. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the cookies are firm but not too brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Pour the orange-flower water into a small bowl. Place the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Dip the crescents into the water quickly and then into the sugar to coat them completely. Store them loosely in an airtight container.

 Holiday Cookies

Watermelon and Feta Salad

For this week’s Greek recipe I went back to an oldie but a goodie. And on this first day of summer, what better treat than fresh watermelon and feta salad!

The recipe can be easily adapted to include other seasonal items such as arugula and onion. And I have even tried it with balsamic vinegar instead of the citrus. You can easily experiment with the acid in this recipe. Enjoy!

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Watermelon, cut in large slices
  • 4 oz Feta cheese (spring for the quality stuff like Dodoni for this recipe, it’s worth it!)
  • Fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice, about 2 tbsp
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from Kalamata olives preferred!)

Method

Place the watermelon on a serving platter. Top with feta cheese, crumble or leave in large chunks. Drizzle the fresh squeezed citrus over them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh mint leaves. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

 

Stuffed EggplantWe tried this recipe last night and it was super easy and delicious and it has me brainstorming new twists on this Greek favorite. For instance how yummy would this be with bechamel sauce on top? Or with Japanese eggplant to make smaller portions? Yum!

Here’s the recipe:

Stuffed Eggplant with Ground Lamb

Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1 Large eggplant
  • 1/2 lb Ground lamb
  • 1 Garlic clove chopped
  • 1 Small onion
  • 1/4 cup Dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup Fresh parsley
  • Fresh oregano
  • 1/4 Kasseri, or other hard Greek cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter

Method

Cut the eggplant in half. Scoop the pulp from the center of the eggplant halves, chop into small pieces and place into a small mixing bowl. In a frying pan, saute the eggplant halves in butter until soft and place into a glass baking dish. Saute the lamb, garlic and onion in butter in the frying pan over medium-high heat, until meat is browned. Add to the pan the eggplant pulp, parsley, oregano, wine and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the eggplant is soft and translucent. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sprinkle the eggplant halves with salt and pepper. Fill the halves with the mixture and place in the glass baking dish. Add about 1 cup of chicken stock or water to the pan. Sprinkle the eggplant halves with the cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until cheese is brown and eggplant is cooked through. Serve warm, serve topped with a scoop of tomato sauce and fresh parsley or garnish (optional).

 watermelon lemonade

Yummy and refreshing watermelon lemonade

It’s only May, but the sun is shining in Southern California and it feels like summer is already here.  There is something about a fruity cocktail, enjoyed outside in the evening that brings back memories of tropical vacations and good times with friends.

Below is the recipe for Watermelon Lemonade, adapted from the California Sol Food Casual Cooking from the Junior League of San Diego.

Cheers! Yamas!

Watermelon Lemonade Cocktail

Recipe adapted by Allison Baloglu, from the California Sol Food Casual Cooking from the Junior League of San Diego


Makes about 8-10 servings

Ingredients

4 cups pureed seeded watermelon
2 cups water, sparkling water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1-2 cups of vodka (optional, omit for a non-alcoholic beverage)
1 cup sugar

Preparation

Step 1: Puree the watermelon in a food processor or blender.  Squeeze several fresh lemons and set the juice to the side.

Step 2: Mix the watermelon puree, water, lemon juice, vodka and sugar in a large pitcher.  Stir to mix well.  Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.

To Serve: Fill a glass with ice.  Pour the lemonade over the ice and garnish with lemon and sprigs of fresh mint.  Enjoy responsibly!

Note: Omit the vodka for a non-alcoholic version.  Try replacing the sparkling water with sparkling wine or regular tap water for a variation of this cocktail.

© 2017 The Accidental Greek Allison Creative