Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Flying

I do fly fairly regularly when joining ships and of course when coming home, so I spend plenty of times on airports and in planes......not always fun! So I thought let's write about it!

Athens International Airport is actually very nice, everything is there and they are pretty organized. It is easy to check in and find everything one needs. Just be aware, even in the international departure only Euros are accepted. I run out of Euros and wanted to get a way, please go and change money on the exchange counter....but who would change USD just to buy a coffee for Euro 3.60....not me!!!!

The "Food Court"

Next stop was Dubai. I had the great pleasure to spend 4 hours in the airport....yes right as if it is a pleasure to sit and wait for a connection. But I must say that Dubai airport is lovely, yes of course there is all the shopping but how much can one buy.....surely lots of people could buy loads, but I am not such a shopaholic. I was on Terminal 3 checked out the shops a bit and yes they are all nice, very nice. But the best is what they call the Food Court. This is definitely not your usual food courts. On both sides of the terminal is a huge space, more like a park, with restaurants, take aways and bars. One can sit and relax, buy a news paper and actually easily spend the couple of hours between flights. There is everything, from McDonald's and Burger King to the Italian Trattoria, a Sushi and Champagne bar, lovely coffee shops and pastry shops. Yes, that is what I call a food court.

I got this huge Cappuccino for $6.00 and it was even served to the table. Dubai airport is getting top marks from me. The only small downfall is maybe that the electronic stores on Terminal 3 are not the greatest, everything else is really good. I arrived at 4 AM local time and everything is open, yes they go non stop, and then by 8 AM the airport was really full of travelers, but not that it was over full.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

6 weeks of fun!

The six weeks I have been on the ship in the Aegean Islands has come to an end. It has been a great time, learning and seeing loads of new things, tasting wines, sweets and other delicacies, meeting and working with new people, making new friends, but now it is time to go back home to the family for a while. It is not easy to be away from my loved ones and it is not easy for them, but is is just something we have to do at the time being.

The galley team was fantastic, we had a great time and I was able to implement a couple of new dishes, train the baker and up the standards by a bit.

Then of course I started to write the Blog and it is actually a lot of fun, I had to learn first how everything works, but now I am getting organized and learn more and more about all the things one can do with a blog. Sometimes the blog is published too early and I have to change things and re-publish, sometimes the photos are not the way I like it, then I missed the first comment from a "stranger", wow, how did she find my blog?, but I think it is all slowly coming together.

Here is a photo with my guys in the galley, they are very hard and dedicated workers, 7 days a week, 6 to 10 month without a break. The only time they really can take off is when the ship is in Istanbul as then there is no loading and everybody has a couple of hour time to go out. In Piraeus we have major loadings getting food on board for the 150 guest and 95 crew, for 14 days, that is a lot of food. We usually have a little top up in Rhodes, especially on the way back for the lettuce and berries. It is then as well when we get the local wine on board

The menu is always the same, a 7 day cruise and then one starts again from day one. I am glad that I do it only for 6 weeks, it does get a bit boring after a while and I have started doing specials to keep the cooking interesting.

Then of course I did a lot of bread, mainly because I wanted to get into the baking, but as well to train the baker here with some different bread, not just the pre-mixes which are just not as nice as a proper artisan bread. It was amazing to see how my bread has evolved and how I was able to learn what is happening, what difference it makes if there is a little more water in the dough or less, proving in the cold galley over hours or in the proving cabinet withing 30 minutes, all these little things which make a difference. I am by far not a master baker, but find it very enjoyable to bake fresh bread every day.

My last day here is in Piraeus, loading for another 14 day journey. All the fridges are empty and ready to be packed again, it is three hours of hard labour to get everything in, as the loading is all done by hand. One big truck and a couple of special deliveries. It fits all and will be used over the next 2 weeks, then everything starts from the begin again!!!
I wish you guys all smooth sailing and good luck in the future, it was a pleasure working with you! God Bless!

Now it is off to the airport, flying tonight at 11 PM. Lets see what the airports on the way home have to offer and of course the "delicacies" served on the planes!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What killed the Detox

What do you mean....Detox, for what?

Mmmmmmmmm, maybe to get rid of all that "poison" I fed my body over the past six weeks?

But that is not poison! It is food, glorious food!

Mmmmmmmmm, yes, but what about the countless Danish Pastries, Croissants, Ice Cream, Bread, Desserts, Chocolate, Turkish Delights.........shall I continue?


Yes, the pants just feel a little tighter than 6 weeks ago and as a friend of mine does a Detox from time to time, why shouldn't I try?

Because your body is a temple and should be treated with respect, love and care; because you have food smells around you all the time; because it is not that easy and your mind is weak when it comes to food!

Yes maybe, but so far I am doing good, had just fruit for breakfast, some sliced oranges and an apple as a snack.........I got a terrible head ache from not drinking coffee, I am suffering beyond belief when the pastry chef took out 6 trays of freshly baked choc chip cookies and have no idea how I will survive lunch!!!!!! HELP!!!!

Your mind is weak!!!! Food, glorious Food!!!!!!

Oh, I am suffering, maybe I should have visited the Gym more often.

What do you mean more often, you walked past it twice in the past six weeks with no intention of putting a foot in it.

Yes you are right, but YOU said the body is a temple, so why should I hurt it?


OK, I agree, a little bit of sport would have been good and honestly, I have no idea how long I will hold through with the Detox, maybe another 10 minutes or another 2 days.......I guess the first one is closer to the truth!


Ohhhhh, I crumbled! I crumbled into little pieces like a scrumptious apple crumble with a little vanilla bean, still warm with a touch of whipped cream......Professional habit, I have to taste what goes out to the guest........ that just killed the Detox.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Turkish Cheese

Yes I am a Cheese Lover......Wine, Bread, Sweets you name it I love it. Anything to do with food. And I like to share it with everybody. Food is such an interesting thing, everybody has their own taste, their own opinion how something should be done, it is a never ending topic. I guess a food blog is a little bit like a food channel on TV, just without the moving and sound, but one can travel with the blog while sitting at home in the arm chair, looking at the photos, and then trying out the one or the other recipe in the kitchen. I think the tomato tart already found some fans, according to Face Book, which I really enjoy, again, food for me is all about sharing, there are no secrets......nearly none.
Now, back to the cheese; on the spice market in Istanbul is a section where the tourists go a bit less, it is just outside the market, along the wall, where there are a whole lot of stands selling dried fruit, nuts, vegetables, fish, meat and of course cheese. I was very intrigued to see this funny looking cheese, looking similar to roughly shredded chicken. Of course I was able to taste and it is actually a bit like Mozzarella, just a bit more sour, but still very nice. Then they had this hard cheese next to it, looked delicious, tasted delicious. It had a similar sour hint, but then a nice pepperyness and nuttiness, lovely. Of course I had to buy some to bring back to the ship and share and for 10 Turkish Lira per KG, which is about $7.50, one can't complain that it is expensive!
That's the two cheeses I bought, The one on the left is called "Low Fat Cheese from Erzurum" The one on the left an extra strong "Cheddar from Ezmi"

But of course, like I said, it is all about sharing, so we had a little "Cheese Tasting" that night with a couple of friends. Some nice wine, home made nut bread and a little beef carpaccio to start.

Greek Wine

I love wine, I love tasting new wines and I love tasting unusual and local varieties, even if it is not always the greatest wine. Being in Greece I just have to taste the local wines, so I went out in Rhodes to one of the bigger estates to try the local delicacies.......not all of them bowled me over I have to admit. In Greece the white wine production is bigger than the red wine and generally I prefer the whites here. Even most of the reds tasted are rather light bodied and often served chilled like a white wine.

I think the most well known wine is the Retsina. Here in Rhodes it is made from the local grape variety Athiri and then Pine resin is added during the fermentation. This has been done since 2000 years. It is amazing just the smell in the glass is overpowering with Pine and Eucalyptus flavours. It is a flavour one has to get used to, if one really wants of course. I just had to get a bottle to take home and for 3 Euro one can't complain.

Then of course they make a lot of sweet wines, red and white. I am a sucker for sweet wines, especially noble late harvests and botrytis infected wines, but here they were just sweet, a little one dimensional. I guess I have to try the VinSanto on Santorini, they are well known for that.

I was able to join a tour of Rhodes and part of the tour was the tasting. Yes I liked the historic part of the tour, the palace of the knights, the fortified walls, the history, but to be honest, this time I joined more for the wine tasting than anything else.....and the tasting was not what I expected. We went to a big Coop named Cair and two big tour buses just left the tasting area, so I knew that there wouldn't be an in depth tasting, but what we received was more a "why do you bother us" attitude, the wine was poured so fast that we struggled to taste a wine before the glass was re-filled with the next wine (I guess one could literally call it a blend!)

But somehow I could make out what I drunk and then after the lady behind the counter poured 8 wines in a time frame of 5 minutes she walked away to be ready for us to storm to her other counter and buy wine......yes right. So we could take a bit more time to taste the wines, read the labels and make up our own story where the wine was grown, and, and, and.

Oh, by the way, the six bottles in the photo are now in my suitcase and will come with me to South idea if they will arrive the way I hope they will, but that is just me!!! I will be hopelessly overweight and will have to schmooze again big time at the airport to get them all through. OK, the seaman's book helps, I can travel with 40 kg, but still till the moment the suit cases are checked in I will be a tiny bit nervous.....OK, a bit more than a tiny bit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Turkish Delight

Last day in Istanbul, so firstly I wanted to see the Hagia Sofia. It is amazing to be there, the Hagia Sofia is opposite the Blue Mosque, they look similar to heach other, just that the Hagia Sofia is good 1000 years older, finished in 536 AD. Unbelievable what they built then, at the time the biggest Christian church. Then 1540 about the Ottoman Empire cam and the Hagia Sofia was converted into a mosque till 1938 when Ataturk declared it to be a museum. 1500 years old and still standing, this is awesome and when standing inside the church one is humbled.

Then on the way back I wanted to do some shopping, I needed to try some of the traditional desserts, the Turkish delight. Now of course what happened in the shop was that I got side tracked by this funny looking rolls, they are still Turkish Delights but called Sultans Delight or "Sultan Muzlu" They are, what else would I expect, as sweet and a little chewy like the normal Turkish Delight.

I just went into this lovely little pastry shop, full of Baklava, Turkish delights, Cakes, Fistik Sarma, a Pistachio roll, just with enough Fyllo pastry around to hold the sweet paste together, and chatted away to the two guys there, with very little English, as my Turkish in non existent, they told me what the different desserts are, and I even got some small tasters, especially when they found out that I am a chef of one of the cruise ships, so of course I had to take as well a business card from the shop, just in case I would need a whole lot more of these delightful dainties.

4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons rosewater
1 cup confectioners sugar
Vegetable oil or shortening

Preparation:In a 9 inch baking pan, grease the sides and bottom with vegetable oil or shortening. Line with wax paper and grease the wax paper.

In a saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water on medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine cream of tartar, 1 cup corn starch and remaining water in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until all lumps are gone and the mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring when the mixture has a glue like consistency.

Stir in the lemon juice, water and sugar mixture. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, Allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Once the mixture has become a golden color, stir in rosewater.

Pour mixture into wax paper lined pan. Spread evenly and allow to cool overnight.

Once it has cooled overnight, sift together confectioners sugar and remaining cornstarch. Turn over baking pan containing Turkish delight onto clean counter or table and cut with oiled knife into one inch pieces.

Coat with confectioners sugar mixture. Serve or store in airtight container in layers separated with wax or parchment paper.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tomato Tarte Tatin

I think this is one of my all time favoured starters. I lost count how many I have made of there scrumptious little tarts already, but never got tired of it. So I feel it needs a space on my Blog. The beauty is that it combines the tartness of goats cheese with the slight bitterness off the rocket and the sweetness of the Sherry vinegar scented caramel. Yes it is not my recipe, but most chefs get their ideas from somewhere, I think there are just a handful of chefs who really invent new food, them being mainly Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal and other chef in the same line of "Molecular cooking".

I think as a chef one shouldn't just take a recipe strait from someone else, but use it as a base and change it to ones own liking.
So here is the recipe for 10 tartlets.

5 ea Roma Tomatoes
20 ea Garlic gloves, peeled
20 ea Pearl Onions, peeled
30 ea Black olives, de-piped
Olive Oil, EV
100 g Sugar
25 ml Sherry Vinegar

Puff Pastry

50 g Fresh Goats Cheese
50 g Cream Cheese

Rocket leaves

Firstly make a confit with the peeled shallots and garlic. This is simply done by simmering them very slowly in olive oil with a twig of thyme and rosemary, some pepper corns, bay leaf and lemon zests. When the onions and garlic are soft cool them in the olive oil. Like this they can be kept easily for a week or two.

Then cut the tomatoes in quarters, put them on a baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and coarse pepper, then roast in the oven for 2 to 3 hours at around 80 o C.

For the caramel brown the sugar in a pan till light brown. Take the pan off the heat and carefully add water and sherry vinegar. If you add only sherry vinegar then it will burn as the caramel is too hot. If you like to have a bit more acid in the caramel, add a bit more vinegar later. Put the pan back on the stove and boil the caramel for a minute or two, till all the sugar is completely dissolved.

Mix goats cheese and cream cheese together till smooth, season to taste.

Use tartlet forms with about 5 cm diameter and pour a little caramel on the bottom. The left over caramel is used for the dressing. Then layer first the tomatoes, then Onions, garlic and olives. Make sure you use a good quality olives, Kalamata or similar.

Then top the tartlet with puff pastry and bake in the oven till golden brown. Turn the tartlet over, use the remaining juice in the dressing.

Plate the rocket, then the tartlet on top and garnish with a dollop of goats cheese. Drizzle with the Sherry-Caramel dressing and get the praise, lol!!!!!

Kusadasi Fishmarket

We needed some fresh fish, so off we went to look for a little fish market. In the past few ports the fish markets weren't great if there were any, but Kusadasi has a market in walking distance to the ship. It is not too big, but I was amazed by the variety of fish available, Seabream, Dorado, Sardines, Mackerels but then as well a couple of beautiful John Dory, Gurnard, Monkfish and Red Mullet. There were loads of Prawns as well, but I wasn't so sure if they were frozen before, as it often happens, or fresh, even so i was assured that everything is very fresh......yes freshly defrosted! But still I was in heaven, the fresh black mussels looked already delicious and I couldn't wait starting to cook them........then the big shock came when I enquired about the price. I know I look like a tourist and working on one of the cruise ships doesn't make things cheaper, but I nearly had to sit down, 10 US$ per kg mussels was the very cheapest I could get. The Mackerels and Sardines were around 16 US$ and John Dory and Red Mullet were up there in the late twenties and early thirties. Usually in Rhodes I get a delivery of fresh fish, Seabream and Dorado for an average of US$ 8.50 and the Mussels I get for US$ 6.
So here on the fish market we started off with drinking some tea, exchanging some words about how business is going and then we started to handle about the fish, how much...what is your best price...OK, but I need 2 kg of this fish, what is your best price on that is too much, all I am prepared to pay is......and so it goes on. I am not a good negotiator, usually (especially in the Far East) I would think (or even say) Oh Wow, that is so cheap!!!! But here I have to be tough.....I think when I walked out of the fish market I didn't get a good deal but at least I could negotiate the price down by quite a bit. I am sure so that the shop owner has a good laugh thinking that there goes an other tourist and I was able to take the money out of his pockets.

The fish was absolutely beautiful, totally fresh, nice tasting, firm and just lovely. I only got some Sea Bream and Dorado, the only fish that was more or less in my budget, but yes I could have gone wild!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BBQ: Gas, Coal or Wood?

We had a lovely BBQ last night. The weather was just perfect, no wind at all, lovely coal and the backdrop of Bodrum and the castle. Usually there is a bit of wind and at least one of us gets smoked during the evening, feeling like a smoked ham by the time the BBQ is finished. We usually use a char coal grill and prepare the meat and lobster tails for about 150 people. Now of course the big question is, which is the best to use for a proper BBQ, gas, coal or wood? I am personally a total wood fan, not just because it is nice to sit around the fire, but if one has good wood, the coal will be good as well. On top of that, it usually takes a bit longer till the coal is ready, so the whole BBQ or Braai in South Africa will be nice and relaxed. I wonder what other peoples preference is.

I guess for 150 people a BBQ is not that relaxed anymore as there is a lot of food going out. So we usually pre cook the meat a bit to make sure nobody has to wait too long. Our usual selection is Pork Spare Ribs, Lamb Chops, Marinated Chicken and Lobster Tails, then a little carving with a Suckling Pig and one of my favorites: grilled Flank Steak, finished off with a can of local beer to stop the cooking process....mmmmm

Of course there are the salads as well, starters and bread. I am not even starting with the desserts......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jerusalem Artichokes

Today we decided to put something different on the menu, Veal Fillet on Jerusalem Artichokes, Savoy Cabbage, Fingerling Potatoes and Mange Touts. Really nice to do something different for a change.

The Jerusalem Artichokes were just beautiful, a not so often used vegetable. It is often called Sunchokes or in French Topinambour. It is a root, looking a little bit like Ginger but having its own lovely flavour. It has some nuttiness and is a little bit tart, very nice and refreshing.

One has to put the peel roots strait in some water with a bit of lemon. Then I usually just cook it in salt water till soft and puree it. Then I add a bit of pureed potatoes to give it a bit more substance.

The Savoy Cabbage is just shredded, quickly blanched and tossed in EV Olive Oil, tiny bit of Shallots......roast the veal fillet, keeping it whole and then just slice it......yes cooking is fun.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gluten free Muffins

Having to cook for a celiac is not always easy, especially when it comes to baking. I am busy trying to find a "perfect muffin base which is home made but tastes good. So I started browsing the net to find an easy muffin recipe. I think most people are put off cooking special diets as they can't find the ingredients, like Xanthan gum, so I started playing with the recipes.

The first try of a highly rated recipe was a total flop......too liquid, puffing up and then...flat, bummer. So I took the same recipe and added some more of the flour mix, bingo, we are going in the right direction. So the second try is a lot better, I just feel there is a bit too much sugar and baking powder in the recipe, so I have added more flour and the third try is now in the oven.
No, still not happy, let me change the recipe again! I wonder where is good old Mr. McGee with his book explaining what is happening while I bake the muffin, would like to read it up and see where I go wrong. This is getting ridiculous, when is the muffin trial ending?????

Good, now we got everything right, I did two different batches with NR. 4 and 5 and NR. 5 worked well. I had a couple of people in the bakery for tasting and they all liked it very much. Now we can use the basic mix and just add the extras like chopped apples or choc chip or blueberries.

On the photo one can see try number 2 to 5. Number one is too embarrassing to post, a total flop!

One can truly say that this recipe is tried and tested, lol

And here the recipe

3 cups gluten free flour mix
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp gluten free baking powder
0.25 tsp salt
0.5 ea vanilla bean scraped
2.5 ea eggs
0.5 cup milk
0.5 cup butter melted
2 ea apples in cubes
0.5 cup raisins

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the wet ones, stir quickly together to form a batter.

Bake in the pre-heated oven at 160 o C for about 20 to 25 min or till golden brown.

Of course one can exchange the apples and raisins with anything like chocolate chips or blueberries.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Save the Bluefin Tuna

Finally some good news. I just heard that the European Union is considering a total ban on the Blue fin Tuna fishing. That is great news as it is just a question of time till there is no more Blue fin Tuna. Apparently France and Italy have already reduced quotas last year drastically, meaning that within two days the quota was fished......and both countries are accused to have fished more than the quota allows! It is such a marvellous fish and predator and we need to preserve it! We need to boycott Blue fin Tuna wherever we see it on the menus. I truly hope that we are able to save this wonderful creatures and hopefully will be able to enjoy the wonderful meat in future again. In the mean time there are so many other great fishes which can be used for Sushi and Sashimi, so I think there is no shortage on marvellous tasting fishes!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Having fun

So far I played around a bit with my baking, but boy, I got this urge of playing baker more and more and instead of just doing one bread, I did two types. The Ciabbata was light and airy and just puffed up in the oven, the baguette did as usual its own thing and I the bottom of the bread looks nicer than the top, so I just turn it around. The breads on the picture is what I did this morning, if i continue like this the baker can go on leave soon......maybe not. Anyway, I can see that it gets easier each time I do the breads and think that I will continue doing them for a long time.......

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I just came back from a lovely walk though Rhodes, what an amazing town, so much history, one feels like a knight! I took the tour around the fortification of the town, a path lesser traveled, but lovely and peaceful. The most amazing thing, apart from the walls going up on both sides is the smell of the pine trees and the sound of the crickets. It takes a good hour and a half to get all the way around, but it is worth while doing it, the best way to get away a bit from all the tourists.

The town itself is full of tourist shops, I mean full. And of course there are plenty of restaurants, not cheap, not specially good, but plenty. This town oozes history, I love it. All the fortifications of the wars 800 years ago, the museums, just amazing, I really, really love it here.

The cruise ships basically park just in front of the old town, so it is a 10 minute walk and one is in the middle of it all. But the island has a lot more to offer, unfortunately I don't have the time to explore more, but will come back for a holiday, see the valley of the butterflies (I have been here when I was about 7 years old) and there is so much more.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bread Baking

In the past couple of weeks I started baking bread nearly daily and getting more and more in the swing of it. At the begin the bread didn't always come out the way I wanted it, but as they say the more you make the better the result. I try to keep the breads simple and artisan, every bread is done the traditional way, fresh yeast, good flour and no additives. At the moment I am doing Baguettes, French Country Loaves, Ciabatta, Focaccia, German Rye Bread and a Swiss Zopf. The recipes will appear on the blog one by one, as soon as I am sure the recipes are tried and tested.

I thought being Swiss I start with the Zopf, a traditional plated bread which was originally eating Sunday mornings with Butter, Jam and Milk Coffee (half coffee and then half hot milk, just mixed in a big mug, nothing fancy like the Lattes). I got the recipe from a chef friend in Switzerland, it is hhis grandma's recipe from the Bernese mountains and must be about 100 years old if not more. It has been passed down from generation to generation.

Butter Zopf

2 kg Flour
1.2 l Milk
100 g fresh Yeast
200 g melted Butter
50 g Salt

Heat the milk till luke warm and desolve the fresh yeast in it.
Then mix all the ingredients together and knead for at least 10 minutes. This is important as only like this the gluten will bind nicely. Best to use a Kitchen Aid to do the job.
Then let the dough proove at room temperature for about 1.5 hours or till double in size.
Push the dough back and divide into 4 equal pieces, let rest for 10 minutes.
Then form long strings as shown on the photo, and plate them together.
The plated bread has now to rise for another about 45 minutes.
Baste with egg wash and bake at 200 o C (400 o F) for about 30 to 40 minutes, till golden brown.
The bread is ready when it sounds hollow when tapping on the bottom of the bread.
Cool on a rack and have a taster while still a bit warm.

The dough before the proving

The dough after proving

The dough rolled after knocking it back

The Plating

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Wow, what a buzzing city, over 12 Million people living here, it is just fantastic. I have just arrived this morning at the harbour and can see the Hagia Sofia and behind the blue mosque. So there is quite a bit on the program, but what I really want to do is popping into the spice market which is not too far from the ship. On the way there I was lucky to find a small fish market which we will hit in two weeks when we are back in Istanbul. There was lovely fresh mackerel, sea bream and salmon trout.

The spice market is just fantastic but there is not just spices, no there is cheese, meats, loads of different sweets and plenty shops selling fake sun glasses and branded clothing.

The one thing I was looking for was saffron.......I did find but the quality is very poor, so if you ever in Istanbul do NOT buy any saffron. There is as well "Indian Saffron" it is just simply curcuma and curry powder. But then there are all the lovely smells, the chillies, the fenugrek, then the dates, apricots, halva, Turkish delight in all forms and variations, one could spend hours in there. Next time I will get some good for a Turkish high tea, sweet! The smell on the market is wonderful and makes me hungry, especially the Asian spices are great.

The dates are absolutely amazing, the size already and the taste, unbelievable. There are several varieties, all of them are really nice and sweet.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tulumba, a Turkish Dessert

I am in Kusadasi, a lovely Turkish town close to Ephesus, the ancient city. Today I explore a little bit the Turkish desserts, wow, are they sweeeeeeeeet! But at the same time they are delicious! This one here is called Tulumba, what a wonderful name. It is actually very similar to a Koeksister, deep-fried and then soaked with a sugar syrup, just delicious. I even got a recipe

1 soup spoon sugar
100 grams butter
250 grams flour
400 grams water
50 grams potato starch
6 eggs

For the Syrup:
1 kilo sugar
2 soup spoons lemon juice
500 grams water

Prepare the syrup with the ingredients shown above by boiling them for 2 minutes. Put it aside and cool till ice cold.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the water, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the flour while beating the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes while continually beating it. Remove from the heat.
When the mixture has cooled, add the eggs one by one, then the starch while mixing constantly. Heat oil in a frying pan. Take a piping bag with a star nozzle. Fill the dough in the piping bag. Squeeze out pieces of dough into the oil, each one being 2 or 3 cm. wide. Move the pan back and forth occasionally while the cakes are cooking. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes until the cakes are golden brown.Put them into the cooled syrup and let stand 15 minutes, then place them on a serving dish. Serve when the tulumba have completely cooled off.
Now I just have to go out and get some more delicious desserts and sweets!!!!!
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