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Baking Greek Food & Culture

Lemon Yoghurt Cake, cooking ala greque … and a quick trip to London.

I was in London last week, after not visiting the family for a long long time.
Then it hit me I do miss England sometimes… yes I lived there for a short while, and I also visit my sister and friends often. When I would say to friends am going home for a while, they would ask, Athens or London.

Maybe I don’t know where home is any more.
Anyway, I was picked up from the airport and was whisked to the Hertfordshire country side to a village called Mud Hadham for lunch. While the car whizzed I could not stop thinking I’ve been living on boats for long time… Stephen checked on me to see I had fallen asleep, little did he know how much I wanted to just absorb everything… that kind of feeling, how I miss a country side. Or perhaps I was lost in my own thoughts, can I live here away from the sea?

Lunch was at Bull Inn, his mother had chosen the place, woods burning and I could hear the crackle of the fire… so wintry. I have not felt this coldness for such a long time… the bowl of mushroom soup was just what I needed.
Catch of the day was my chosen lunch…trout served with roasted cherry tomatoes and red peppers. And he had chicken with red pesto for the main course, and rounded off the with apple crumble and custard.
After the afternoon tea at their place, a very civil one as he said, I headed down to London…

My nephew surprised me giggling at the staircase… glad at least he knows I do not just exist on skype.. .
On cold Saturday morning we took the little one for a walk at Cherry Wood Park.
It was indeed so freezing for me, but as my nephew had announced that he is English so is his tolerance with the cold weather.
Afterwards we had tea at this lovely place called Emporium. If you love vintage and Cath Kidston this is a place to be…. we then walked towards Muswell Hill… While my sister did her food shopping

I dashed inside the and piled up a few I needed to take back to Spain.

There I saw the book I wanted to get.
A la greque (Our Greek Table) by Pam Talimanidis… I first heard about this book on a short review on Jamie Oliver’s magazine which I only just discovered last year when I was at Nice airport . I tested one of their recipe , Fig Mascarpone tart that is so fantastic.
What made me want this book is the personal narrative of Greek immigrants in Australia that reflects my life as an immigrant to Greece.
And the photography is amazing… so my sister looked at my bags and said are you really hauling those books back to Spain?

Between breaks at work I open pages of the book and bookmarked what I need to try…. Obviously I went straight to the dessert and cake section.
As I miss Greece sometimes, this book take me back “home” and I did not wait that long to bake the lemon yoghurt cake. Yes the crew wiped it out!

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

125 g unsalted butter
220 g caster sugar
2 eggs
250ml thick plain yoghurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
430 g self raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate soda

Syrup

125 g sugar
125ml water
3 tbsp lemon juice
rind of one lemon julienned

crème fraiche to serve

Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 23 cm spring form cake tin.
Combine the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition then add the yoghurt, lemon juice and zest.

Sift the flour and the bicarbonate together and fold into the cake mixture.
Bake for 45 mins or until cooked.

Make the syrup while the cake is baking. Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and rind in a heavy saucepan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar then increase the heat and bring to boil.

Simmer for 5 minutes to form a syrup then remove from the heat and pour over hot cake while still in the tin.

Leave to cool slightly and serve with crème fraiche.

7 Comment

  1. I know the feeling. Sometimes we’re just not sure where home really is. But it’s a good, warm feeling to know that you got friends in a lot of places. And also… normal people thinks it’s strange to ‘haul’ cookbooks. Hehehe!

  2. ah someone can relate my “home”issues … i just went to all my cookbooks I have here at the boat.. am worried if I leave here how much will it cost me to ship them to greece.

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