Archive for April, 2011

Hot and cold – the secret behind baklava!

April 18, 2011

Travelling from Greece each time, I’d always carry 3 kilos of baklava from Thessaloniki with me! I don’t know how I managed, but my arms were almost coming out of their place from baklava, carry on luggage and suitcase.

The syrup would stay within the package if I was lucky, otherwise I’d leave a small trail of sugar stickiness behind me.

Baklava by Greekfoodlover

Baklava by Greekfoodlover

In London I have tried many baklavades (the plural form for baklava in Greek) but never found one that is like the Greek ones I have had in Thessaloniki. Now there are many opinions as to which Zaharoplasteio (Ζαχαροπλαστείο) does the best one in the Greek culinary capitol, but London is starved of what I regard as the proper baklava. Either it’s too dry, or the syrup has no flavour, or not the right flavour.

Baklavadakia

Baklavadaki

The funniest thing that happened to me was years ago, in St Christopher’s place at a Turkish Restaurant there. The waiter brought me what he called to be the syrup, separately: a slice of lemon, two tea spoons of sugar and a cup of hot water. The idea was that I mix the sugar in the hot water and add the slice of lemon and then pour it over my dessert. Just like that!

Are you confused, or are you laughing?

The ingredients are more or less correct for making syrup but the ratios are totally wrong. You need a lot of sugar to make the syrup and to get it to combine well with the baklava one of them needs to be hot and the other cold! Ideally, you’ll pour the very hot runny syrup over a well cooled down baklava. Never hot syrup on hot baklava and never cold syrup on cold baklava either.

My search for the baklava has ended now that I’ve been making my own baklava, and usually we serve it in the Greek Supper Clubs or as a small treat in some of the Greek Cookery Classes.

But now with Easter week and the preparations for one of the biggest religious holidays in Greece, Easter being as big if not bigger than Christmas, we’re holding the first ever Tsoureki Greek Cookery Class! The aim is to bake Tsourekia from scratch and see the whole labour and process behind making these wonderful braided sweet breads.

Tsourekia

Tsourekia

If you’re not able to join the Greek Cookery Class 20 April, we have home-made Tsourekia available this week to save your Easter. Place your order via greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

Limited availability but place your order in time to also arrange delivery/pick up, if you’re London based.

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Tsourekia in London!

April 18, 2011

Greek Cookery Class is back on Wednesday 20 April 6:00pm-10:30pm with an Easter special but if you’re in London and unable to join the class there is a solution for how to get your Tsoureki in time for Easter, just go towards the end of this post.

On Wednesday’s session you’ll learn to make a traditional Greek Tsoureki, an Easter speciality which is like brioche, but a braided style bread which is sweet. A light meal is included in this class as the baking will take long time and lots of effort.

The class is held close to Liverpool Street/Old Street stations.

We’ll bake together and our teacher is a well experienced cook who’s been making Tsourekia for nearly 40 years. Expect the class to last for 4-4,5 hours. The cost is £40 per person, pre-payment only. The fee includes all ingredients, your meal (which for this occasion will be prepared in advance) and Tsoureki to take home with you for your Easter feast.

Tsourekia

You need to bring 1 clean tea towel to roll the Tsoureki into and take home with you and your drink. That’s it!

It’s very informal, good fun and you get to meet people who share the love of food and cooking together. To sign up, email me back with your name and anyone else you’d like to sign up, friend/colleague/partner on email:

greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

First come first served, limited space only, so please book early to avoid disappointment!! I also offer personalised gift vouchers if you want to give the class as a present.

For pictures and info and to get a feel of what we’re up to visit us to see our previous 50++ classes and Greek Supper Clubs on:
www.facebook.com/GreekCookery under photos.

Looking forward to cooking together some of the best Greek food in London.

How to get Tsourekia without baking them myself?

This option is for Londoners!

We’ve got home-made Tsourekia available, get in touch with us to get your own. Limited availability but place your order soon and we’ll do our best to bake some Tsourekia for you. Delivery or pick up options, for further details contact us via greekcookeryclass(AT)gmail.com

The Greek Cookery Class Easter Special is sponsored by Total Greek Yoghurt http://www.totalgreekyoghurt.com/