Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My daughter's fifth birthday party!

Hello again! It's been a while but things were pretty hectic lately. Just after New Year's, I had to prepare an economic but delicious birthday party for my little fairy who turned 5. Whenever I have such occasions, I find that making lists helps. I always start with the guest list which in this case wasn't very long. Winter gatherings can't be too open. Then I make a list of the dishes I'm going to have which , to tell you the truth, changes quite a few times before it's finalised. Another helpful step is to make a drawing of the table with the platters .That helps me complete the blanks and present a full table. And then comes the fun part: shopping! with a list of course! My husband always makes fun of my lists but I'm telling you they really help!
So this year my final list looked like this:

Mini Hamburgers
Spinach pie
Chicken salad sandwiches
Cucumber with yoghurt dip
Little cheese pies
Small cocktail sausages with mustard and ketchup
Potato chips(after all, they're only children!)
And of course THE BIRTHDAY CAKE!

Now, I'm a full time working mother so I try to make my life easier whenever that doesn't affect taste. Let me explain what I mean. I like to have everything handmade but in such cases ordering or buying really good quality, ready-to-use products are life-savers. For example, I ordered from my baker's great small round brioche bread for the hamburgers and after having tried lots of brands, I've found the best cheese pies in the freezer of my supermarket. As for the spinach pie, that's a whole different story. Although I make it quite often, it always takes a lot of time to prepare. The result is rewarding but don't start if you don't have at least 2 hours to spare. That and THE BIRTHDAY CAKE are the recipes I've decided to share with you.

Home-made Spinach Pie

level of difficulty: quite challenging
time needed: at least 2 hours

What you need

1kg fresh spinach
10 spring onions
1 leek
1 packet of  dill (thinly chopped)
1 packet of  myronia (thinly chopped)
1 packet of  kafkalithres (greek herbs which smell great and are also tasty)
some pepper
a pinch of cinnamon
300 gr feta cheese(crumbled)
olive oil

For the leaves

500 gr  all-purpose flour
1 espresso cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of vinegar
warm water

How to  do it

First start with the preparation of the dough because it needs to rest for some time before you spread it. Put the flour into a large bowl and make a hole in the middle. Add the oil, the vinegar and some salt (2-3 pinches) in the middle and pour warm water until you fill the hole. Usually that's as much as it needs but keep some close to you just in case. With your hand take the flour little by little and mix with the liquids until you have a smooth, non sticky dough. Cover it with transparent kitchen film and leave it to rest.
Meanwhile, start preparing the filling.Wash the spinach and put it in a hot pan to lose its water. Spinach only takes a couple of minutes. Leave it to drain. In the same pan, put some oil and throw in the spring onions and the leek thinly chopped. Let them a few minutes to get some colour and add the dill and the herbs again thinly chopped. Squeeze the spinach in your hands to lose as much of the water as you can and cut it a bit before you add it to the pan. At this stage you can turn the cooker off but make sure you've mixed all the ingredients very well together. Put some pepper and just a pinch of cinnamon and leave it aside to cool.
Separate the dough to six balls. I always use three sheets down and three on top. Take each ball of dough and spread it as thin as you can using flour. Grease a big pan with oil and cover it with the sheets of dough making sure they're bigger than the pan. Don't forget to grease each sheet after you put it in the pan. When you've put the first three, it's time for the filling. There is a reason for not putting the feta cheese when it's hot; it will disappear. Now, just before you put it on the sheets, crumble it with your hands in the filling, mix everything well again and spread it on top of the sheets. Finish off with the other three sheets  greasing every time. Cut the pie in pieces but make sure the knife doesn't reach the bottom. Sprinkle a few drops of water with your hands and put it in the oven for about an hour at 180 degrees C. Depending on the oven it might take longer to get a nice colour.
 I know it's hard work but it's worth it once in a while. I hope you decide to try it and enjoy it!

This is the easiest, most delicious, most successful cake I've ever made and I've made a lot; believe me!

level of difficulty: easy
time needed: 20 min and an hour at least in the fridge

What you need

2 packets of petit beurre biscuits
200 gr of chocolate 55% in small pieces
200 gr of cream 35% fat
1 jar of praline cream
200 gr of whipped cream
some vanilla
some milk for softening the biscuits
2 tbsp of brandy if you want

How to do it

First prepare the cream. Boil the 250 gr of cream and pour it on the chocolate. Leave it for a few seconds to melt and then mix it gently until it becomes smooth and creamy. Add the praline cream and mix it to take it all in. Leave it a bit aside to cool and in the meantime whip the cream with the vanilla until it thickens like a yoghurt. Keep 1/3 of the chocolate mixture to put on top of the cake.Put 1/3 of the whipped cream in the remaining chocolate mixture and mix it gently. Add the rest of it with gentle moves and the mousse is ready. Dip the biscuits one by one quickly in the milk with the brandy if you want and spread them in a deep pan to make the first layer of the cake. Cover it with 1/2 the mousse. Spread a second layer of biscuits and cover with the rest of the mousse. Make a third layer of biscuits always dipped in the milk and finish off with the chocolate mixture you've kept aside.
 You can decorate it with chocolate truffle or anyway you can think of. I just wrote my daughter's name with white chocolate and used Happy Birthday candles. It tastes like Serano but it's so easy to make with ingredients children love! Do try it and you won't regret it!

1 comment:

  1. Αχ τι μας κάνεις βραδιάτικα! Θέλω τούρτα ΤΩΡΑ!


I really want to know what you think!