Continuing my why wasn’t I born Greek baking saga was pretty easy. Baklava was a huge success, family and coworkers were duly impressed. It was delicious. While my mother-in-law was in town we had planned to grill, but that was canceled by a torrential downpour. One thing that didn’t get cancelled was my Greek Yogurt Cake, or apparently in greek, Yiaourtopita.
This cake was interesting. The recipe I used from mygreekdish.com was fairly straightforward, but it called for self-rising flour and baking powder. I thought the two didn’t go together, but whatever. Per the recipe I started out by whipping egg whites into a meringue, then I folded in the dry ingredients, set it in a cake tin, and popped it in the oven.
When I was done it popped right out of the tin, and cooled off. It was dense, like a pound cake (another english-name for this cake is Greek yogurt pound cake apparently) and was a well balanced sweet but not too sweet. The lemon and orange zest gave it a nice fresh scent.
Now, if you’re less interested in the cake than in the continuing saga of my Greek obsession, you’d be amused to know that we’re redoing the front yard. While shopping for flowers for our new flower bed, I found a 5′ tall or bigger statue of Atlas holding up the sky. The sky was a planter box. I was willing to drop the $$$ to buy this thing, but mommyPrimate (who is wise and responsible) managed to distract me away from it with her fine understanding of distraction.
Almost 3 years ago (we’re coming up on our anniversary) mommyPrimate and I took a trip across southern Europe, and 10 of those glorious days were in Greece. I think we both agree that our favorite place we’ve ever been in the world together was Greece. The people were friendly and jovial (which says a lot given their economic situation), the land and sea were stunningly beautiful, and the food. OMG, THE FOOD.
Anyway, I think anyone who has ever eaten at a Greek diner or even a crappy food court “greek” option at the mall has had the chance to indulge in baklava. The flaky multilayered sweet treat with nuts and honey and spices and all. It’s so delicate, it seems like it would be really, really difficult to make. So I tried it.
You see, we had my mom and her husband over for dinner, and our main course was a moussaka, served with a Greek salad, so what better dessert to make than the ubiquitous Greek dessert favorite of non-Greeks? I found an excellent Greek food blog called MyGreekDish.com and got cracking. Of course, I didn’t follow their instructions and make my own phyllo…I could never get it thin enough without crying.
Anyhow, it wasn’t too difficult, if it was a bit tedious. Lay the phyllo, butter, lay the phyllo, butter, lay the phyllo, butter, sprinkle nuts. repeat. repeat. repeat. Until finally:
It was beautiful, it was delicious, it was a hit at dinner and the next day in the office…and it made me want so badly to go back to Greece with my (now larger) family to enjoy the sun, surf, and joy of simple pleasures.