Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bergamot drizzle cake

In Greece, bergamot is synonymous with our famous bergamot spoon sweet, a preserve using the peel of the fruit, but even though I love eating citrus fruits, I’ve never been a fan of citrus peel preserves or marmalades. Whenever I come across bergamots, I prefer using them in cakes or in savory dishes. 



This time, I chose to use this gloriously heady citrus fruit in a drizzle cake. It was an experiment that proved successful, resulting in an utterly scrumptious cake. I baked it once more to test it, and voilà. I’m sharing with you the recipe to make and enjoy.



The cake is flavored with bergamot zest and once it’s out of the oven, it gets drizzled with a mixture of bergamot juice, bergamot zest and Demerara sugar. This is a raw mixture, not a syrup, and it works beautifully because as the cake cools, the sugar almost crystallizes on top and creates a unique, crunchy texture that contrasts the juicy, moist interior. 



It’s a deliciously sticky and moist cake that is light and fluffy at the same time. It is, as expected, full of the aroma and flavor of bergamot without it being overwhelming but definitely present. Bergamot is not a shy fruit, it has a bold flavor, and this, after all, is a cake for the lovers of this extraordinary citrus fruit. 


Bergamot drizzle cake

You will need 2 bergamots for the cake. Choose bergamots whose skin is somewhat smooth rather than too “bumpy” because they’re easier to grate. Also, you just want the outer yellow-greenish part of the skin. Make sure not to grate any of the pith (the white, inner part) because it’s very bitter and you will taste it in your cake. 



Yield: 1 cake / 8-10 pieces



for the cake
175 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing the pan
175 g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 bergamot
Pinch of sea salt
3 medium-sized eggs
100 g all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
75 g ground almonds

for the drizzle
Finely grated zest of 1 bergamot
Juice from 1½ bergamots
100 g Demerara sugar

Special ingredients: loaf pan (22 x 11cm), fine sieve, stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer, baking paper



for the cake
Butter the bottom and sides of your loaf pan and line it with baking paper that goes up all four sides of the pan.
Preheat your oven to 180°C.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl), add the butter, the sugar and the bergamot zest, and using the paddle attachment (or your hand-held mixer), beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes.
Add the salt and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition to fully combine them.
Sieve the flour and baking powder straight into the bowl of your stand mixer and fold them in using a spatula. Be gentle as you don’t want to deflate the mixture. Then fold in the ground almonds.
Empty the cake batter into your prepared loaf pan and straighten the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If there are a few crumbs on it, it’s okay.

for the drizzle
In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the drizzle and briefly mix together. You’re not aiming to dissolve the sugar in the juice, but just to combine the ingredients thoroughly. The mixture will be grainy from the sugar.

Once the cake is out of the oven, poke some holes all over the top using a toothpick and pour over half of the drizzle mixture. Wait until the cake absorbs it before adding the rest.
Leave the cake to cool completely in the pan. Then, you can remove it from the pan, but actually, I don’t. I leave it in there. We slice and eat it straight from the pan. Best way to do it.

You can keep it at room temperature, loosely covered, for 4-5 days.



Friday, January 14, 2022

Persimmon and pomegranate salad with Greek manouri cheese and a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette

I made this salad for lunch the other day, to treat myself.

I’ve been dreaming of making it since before the holidays but never got around to it.



The day I finally did make it, was a shitty one. It felt like I was failing at everything, most importantly at parenting. Aris was having a difficult day, with tantrums every other hour; he was biting, hitting, screaming, resisting his meals and fighting nap time. I finally got him to sleep, after much negotiation and effort, and I was just about to sit down and take a breath when he woke up.

I was feeling so deflated, tired and frustrated that I could scream. I couldn’t give up on making this salad, though. I was determined to make it —damn it!— and eat it, no matter what.

And so I did.

Persimmon, pomegranate, spinach, baby tomatoes, shallots, Greek manouri cheese (for those unfamiliar with it, it’s a soft, rich and creamy goat’s and/or sheep’s milk cheese), and a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette.

I was in heaven for a few minutes. And then it all started again. But guess what? Aris had some of it too.

P.S.1 I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe as I thought it was too simple, but when I shared a photo of the salad on instagram some of you asked me to, so I obliged. 

P.S.2 I just realized this is my first post for 2022! Happy New Year! Wishing health to us all, and lots of good food!






Persimmon and pomegranate salad with Greek manouri cheese and a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette

I’m sure you know how easy it is to make homemade pomegranate molasses, right?


Yield: enough salad for 1 person (with some bread, it is the perfect lunch)


1 persimmon (the elongated kind), not too ripe, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

Big handful of pomegranate seeds

Handful of whole baby spinach leaves

1 small shallot, finely sliced

5-6 baby tomatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise depending on size

Greek Manouri cheese

for the vinaigrette

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


White pepper, freshly ground, 5-6 turns of the pepper mill



Whisk well the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl, or alternatively add all ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Makes more vinaigrette than needed for this salad. Use what is left in other salads or on baked/grilled vegetables for the next couple of days.

Arrange persimmon slices on plate, scatter pomegranate seeds and spinach, arrange tomatoes on top and sprinkle the shallots. Add as much manouri as you want.

Use a spoon to add the vinaigrette. About 1 Tbsp to start and add more if you want. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little salt too.

Enjoy immediately.