Marbled Arbaroriza Cake with Scented Geranium and Apricot Glaze / Κέικ Μαρμπρέ Αρμπαρόριζας με Γλάσο Βερίκοκου


Μετάφραση της συνταγής πιο κάτω

Arbaroriza (Pelargonium graveolens), called kiouli in Cyprus, is one of my favourite plants and it is so common in Greece and Cyprus that you will surely find one in most gardens or balconies, planted in pots or directly in the garden. You can read more about this plant here.

Η αρμπαρόριζα (Πελαργόρνιο το βαρύοσμο ή Pelargonium graveolens, όπως είναι η επιστημονική του ονομασία), γνωστό και με άλλες ονομασίες όπως Κιούλι στην Κύπρο, μοσχομολόχα (Χαλκιδική), αλμπαρόζα, αρμανέλα, αρμπακανέλα, μπαρμπαρούσα,  ή λουκουμόχορτο, δείχνουν τη συχνή και ποικίλη χρήση της σε διαφορετικές περιοχές της Ελλάδος.  Η αρμπαρόριζα φυτεύεται κατά την άνοιξη και είναι ένα από τα αγαπημένα μου φυτά.   Ανήκει στην οικογένεια των γερανοειδών και πιάνει πολύ εύκολα γιαυτό είναι ένα πολύ κοινό φυτό που το βρίσκουμε σε αυλές ή κήπους ή μπαλκόνια σε γλάστρες.   Απλώς κόβουμε ένα κλαδάκι, χωρίς λουλούδι, και το φυτεύουμε.  Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε περισσότερα για την αρμπαρόριζα εδώ.

In my recipe for this cake I used some sugar I flavoured with scented geranium leaves.  I also added some scented geranium leaves to line the bundt cake mold.   When baked, the cake absorbs the delicate flavour and sweet fragrance of the geraniums, giving it a wonderful aroma.  The leaves can be removed if you want, and that was what I did the first time. At the end I removed them and before throwing them away, I tried them to see how they tasted.  Oh how much I regretted that I did, as they had the most amazing taste!!

I made this cake twice.  Ι tried it once without adding any other fragrance (vanilla, zest, brandy etc.,) to see if it had some flavour and when I was sure that the scented geraniums do release their fragrance then the second time I could enhance the aroma any way I liked best.   I also added a frosting.  The first time I made the frosting I did not  add any butter, so the glazing turned out runny.

Στη συνταγή αυτή χρησιμοποίησα αρωματισμένη ζάχαρη από αρμπαρόριξα και μερικά φύλλα αρμπαρόριζας στον πάτο της φόρμας, τα οποία αφήνουν το υπέροχα άρωμά τους στο κέικ.  Την πρώτη φορά που το έφτιαξα, αφαίρεσα τα φύλλα όταν ψήθηκε, αλλά πριν να τα πετάξω, τα δοκίμασα και ω, Θεέ μου, πόσο το μετάνοιωσα, γιατί ήταν τραγανά και υπέροχα στη γεύση.

Το κέικ αυτό το έφτιαξα δύο φορές.  Την πρώτη ήταν για να δω αν όντως είχε άρωμα, χωρίς να προσθέσω οποιοδήποτε αρωματικό (βανίλια, ξύσμα, κονιάκ κλπ.).  Αφού είδα ότι όντως δίνει ωραίο άρωμα τη δεύτερ φορά το ενίσχυσα με επιπρόσθετο άρωμα και γλάσο.  Την πρώτη φορά που έφτιαξα το γλάσο δεν έβαλα βούτυρο μέσα και μου βγήκε λίγο νερουλό.

I already told you at my post for Lemon & Ginger Apricot Jam that if your jam does not set, you need not worry as it will not be wasted.  I set aside part of  it before setting time, to use it as an apricot syrup in other recipes.   It can be used together on top of Greek yoghurt, on crepes, pancakes, ice creams or in other desserts. So here is it first use, which was a frosting for this Marbled Cake.

Σας είχα πει στην ανάρτησή μου όταν έφιαξα τη Μαρμελάδα Βερίκοκο με Τζίντζερ και Λεμόνι, ότι εάν δεν σας πήξει, δεν υπάρχει λόγος να πάει χαμένη.  Κράτησα 3 βαζάκια επίτηδες για να τα χρησιμοποιώ σαν συρόπι με γιαούρτι, πάνω σε κρέπες, παγωτά και άλλα γλυκά που θα φτιάχνω.  Να που η πρώτη του χρήση ήταν το γλάσο για το κέικ αυτό.

Marbled Arbaroriza Cake with Scented Geranium and Apricot Glaze, recipe by Ivy, adapted from here

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 45 – 55 minutes


  • 5 scented geranium leaves
  • 250 grams butter (or other non-hydrogenated) margarine, at room temperature
  • 250 grams sugar flavoured with fragrant geraniums
  • 5 eggs x 55 grams each, at room temperature
  • 5o grams sifted cocoa powder
  • 225 grams sifted all purpose flour
  • 25 grams corn flour (corn starch)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest (optional)

Apricot Frosting

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 6 – 8 tsp apricot syrup (or apricot jam mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice)


  1. Heat oven to 180o C/ 350o F  and place rack in the centre of the oven. Grease a 28cm cake bundt cake form and dust with flour.  Line the cake form with the fragrant geranium leaves.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.   Scrape the sides of the mixer bowl, whenever needed.  The batter may look curdled but don’t worry.
  3. Sift the flour, corn flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix in lemon zest.
  4. Lower mixer speed and gradually add the flour mixture.
  5. Set aside half of the mixture.
  6. Add cocoa and milk in the other half and mix until incorporated.
  7. Add a layer of chocolate batter alternating with white batter until all is used.
  8. Bake the cake for 45 – 55 minutes.  After the 45 minutes check with a skewer inserted into the centre until it comes out clean.
  9. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool before removing from the baking tin.
  10. Meantime add icing sugar and butter in a food processor and mix.  Add the syrup and mix until you have the right consistency which should be that of a thick cream (or add jam and lemon juice).
  11. When the cake is ready set aside to cool and glaze the cake on top.

Κέικ Μαρμπρέ Αρμπαρόριζας με Γλάσο Βερίκοκου, συνταγή της Ήβης προσαρμοσμένη από εδώ

Χρόνος προετοιμασίας: 30 λεπτά

Χρόνος ψησίματος: 45 – 55 λεπτά


  • 5 φύλλα αρμπαρόριζας
  • 250 γραμμάρια βούτυρο ή μαργαρίνη, σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου
  • 250 γραμμάρια ζάχαρη, αρωματισμένη με αρμπαρόριζα
  • 5 αυγά μέτρια (των 55 γραμμαρίων) σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου
  • 225 γραμμάρια αλεύρι για όλες τις χρήσεις, κοσκινισμένο
  • 25 γραμμάρια κόρν φλάουρ
  • 1 κουταλιά μπέικιν πάουντερ
  • ½ κ.γ. μαγειρική σόδα
  • 50 γραμμάρια κακάο, κοσκινισμένο
  • 3 κουταλιές γάλα
  • ¼ κ.γ. αλάτι
  • 2 κουταλιές ξύσμα λεμονιού (προαιρετικό)

Γλάσο Βερύκοκου

  • ½ κούπα ζάχαρη άχνη
  • 1 γεμάτη κουταλιά βούτυρο ή μαργαρίνη
  • 6 – 8 κ.γ. συρόπι βερύκοκο ή μαρμελάδα
  • 1 κουταλιά χυμό λεμονιού (προαιρετικό, εάν χρησιμοποιήσουμε μαρμελάδα)


  1. Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους  180o C/ 350o F  και βάζουμε τη σχάρα στο κέντρο.  Βουτυρώνουμε τη φόρμα με μαργαρίνη και την αλευρώνουμε.  Στρώνουμε τα φύλλα αρμπαρόριζας, χωρίς κοτσάνια.
  2. Κτυπάμε στο μίξερ το βούτυρο με τη ζάχαρη μέχρι να αφρατέψει.  Προσθέτουμε τα αυγά, ένα-ένα μέχρι να ενσωματωθούν.
  3. Καθαρίζουμε τα πλαϊνά του μίξερ και το ξανακτυπάμε.      (Σ’ αυτή τη φάση μπορεί να μας φανεί ότι το μείγμα έχει κόψει.  Μη δώσετε σημασία γιατί θα επανέλθει με το αλεύρι).
  4. Κοσκινίζουμε το αλεύρι με το κορν φλάουρ, το αλάτι, τη σόδα, το μπέικιν πάουντερ και προσθέτουμε το ξύσμα.  Χαμηλώνουμε την ταχύτητα του μίξερ και το προσθέτουμε λίγο- λίγο μέχρι να ανακατευτεί καλά.
  5. Κρατάμε στην άκρη το μισό και στο υπόλοιπο μείγμα προσθέτουμε το κακάο και ανακατεύουμε μέχρι να ενσωματωθεί.
  6. Προσθέτουμε μία στρώση λευκό μείγμα και μία στρώση σοκολατένια, εναλλάξ μέχρι να τελειώσει το μείγμα.
  7. Ψήνουμε το κέικ για περίπου 45-55 λεπτά.   Μετά τα 45 λεπτά δοκιμάζουμε με μια οδοντογλυφίδα στο κέντρο και συνεχίζουμε το ψήσιμο, μέχρι να βγει καθαρή.
  8. Το αφήνουνε να κρυώσει πριν το βγάλουμε από τη φόρμα.
  9. Όσο ψήνεται ετοιμάζουμε το γλάσο.
  10. Κτυπάμε τη ζάχαρη με το βούτυρο και προσθέτουμε λίγο-λίγο το συρόπι (ή μαρμελάδα με χυμό λεμονιού) μέχρι να έχουμε μία πηκτή κρέμα.
  11. Όταν κρυώσει το κέικ προσθέτουμε το γλάσο από πάνω.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging # 339,  an event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, and now organized by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once.  This week it is hosted by Simona from Briciole.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi / Κοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη!

Video with easy way to roll out Phyllo and make Kotopita (Chicken Galette)


Kotopita is one of many types of meat pites. This particular pie is made with a horiatiko (village) phyllo pastry crust, which is very easy to handle and roll. I make kotopita with different kinds of fillings and two similar recipes are included in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook.

You can serve this Kotopita during the holidays as a starter. If you like you can make smaller ones. Grease your muffin tins with olive oil, line it with phyllo, add the filling and cheese on top and form into mini galettes.

The previous video, where I made Spanakopita, was in English but it wasn’t fair for the readers of my Greek blog, so this time I preferred not to speak but to add subtitles in both languages.

Kotopita (Chicken Galette, Recipe by Ivy

Horiatiko Phyllo

Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup tepid water plus 2 tbsp
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup halloumi or graviera cheese

Kotopita filling:

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: about 45 minutes

Makes: 6 – 8 depending on size

  • 250 grams (8.80 oz) grated graviera or halloumi (divided). Some in phyllo, some in bechamel sauce and the remaining on top
  • Sesame seeds


  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) chicken breasts, boiled, skinned and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup frozen corn, boiled for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup bell peppers (yellow, red, orange, green), julienned
  • ¼ cup, finely chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp spice mixture
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika

Bechamel sauce:

  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup graviera or halloumi

Potato and pumpkin puree

This is optional. I had some leftover Potato and pumpkin puree but you can add only some grated cheese one top.

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk


Prepare the dough.

Sift the flour and mix in the salt. Put the flour in a large bowl and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil until the flour has absorbed the oil. Add the egg and mix. Finally add the water gradually (more or less water may be necessary). Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky on your hands. Place on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.

You can also make the dough in your stand mixer. Attach the dough paddle. Put all the ingredients, except water, in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed. Gradually add water until the dough is ready and does not stick on the walls of the bowl. Test with your fingers to see if it is sticky. If it is, add more flour. Set aside to rest.

Boil chicken for 30 minutes and when it cools, cut into small pieces.

To make the Bechamel sauce, heat the milk and set aside.

Beat the egg, mixing with a fork and set aside.

In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the flour and mix thoroughly to make a roux. Add salt and nutmeg.

Add the warm milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Remove from the heat.

Gradually add the beaten egg, a little at a time slowly, but stirring constantly until it is incorporated. Mix in the cheese.

Add the chicken, the parsley, the corn and bell peppers. Add salt, pepper, paprika and seasoning and mix.

Knead the dough for a few minutes and divide it into 6 – 8 pieces. Form them into a ball, dusting each piec with flour.

Flatten the disc and using a dowel rod roll out the dough. Flour your working surface and the dough regularly, each time rotating it and sometimes turning it over.

Place a 20 cm / 8 inch diametre plate on top and cut a round circle. Add 2 heaped spoonfuls of chicken filling in the centre. Then add the puree and finally some grated cheese to cover the filling.

Fold the outer parts of the galette into the centre, forming a round galette.

Line a large baking tin with parchment paper and place the galettes.

Beat the egg with a fork and mix in the milk. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Bake in a preheated oven to 180o C / 350o F, for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes to cool before serving.

The special offer with 25% discount is still valid for all the readers of my blog until the 31st December, 2011 . You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2.

Last but not least, if you would like to buy the Cookbook in print and are worried that it will not reach you in time, well if you buy it directly from me paying via Paypal, I will also send you the two e-cookbooks, free of charge, within a few hours. Please contact me by e-mail at ivyliac AT gmail DOT com or through the contact page.

If you buy the book or e-cookbook, a review is always welcome.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Special Offer for my Cookbooks and Video: How to make Phyllo from Scratch and Spanakopita


I am very excited that yesterday I made my first video. It was nothing planned but it was one of those rare days that I was alone at home. I had already done the preparation of the dough and filling for Spanakopita, when the idea of making a video popped up.

I know that there are a lot of mistakes in this video and my friends on facebook gave me some good advice for next time, if ever I decide to do this again, and if I do, I hope next time to do a better job.

What I did was set the tripod on the only free space available in the kitchen and focus on the working area. As you see from the picture, the stand mixer is where the fruit are and right behind me is the kitchen table.

In order to speak to the camera I had to lower down my body and also later on, while rolling the dough I had to put my back to the camera as otherwise I could not reach the pasta attachment.

As I said, it was not planned and the dough I had made was more than it takes for one spanakopita as I wanted to use the rest to make some Spicy Sausage Rolls (that will have to wait for a future recipe).

Nevertheless, with all the technical mistakes in it, I think that you will understand how to make a good Greek Spanakopita.

Spanakopita Strifti, from my Cookbook but also, included in my e-cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste, Volume 2

Spanakopitta (or spanakopita) is the most popular Greek pie, made with spinach, aromatic herbs and feta cheese. Other types of cheeses, like anari or myzithra, which are soft whey cheeses, similar to ricotta can be combined.

How to make Phyllo

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Resting time: 30 minutes

Rolling phyllo: 30 minutes, depending on your skills


  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 200 ml water (about 1 cup)

Spanakopita Strifti

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Baking time: 45 – 60 minutes

Serves: 6 – 9 (as a main dish) or 18 as a snack


  • Dough (as above)
  • Olive oil for brushing (about 1 cup)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 kilo (2.20 lbs) fresh or frozen spinach
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dill, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 300 grams (0.65 lbs) feta, crumbled
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Sift the flour and mix in the salt. Put the flour in a large bowl and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil until the flour has absorbed the oil. Add vinegar and then water gradually (more or less water may be necessary). Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky on your hands. Place on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.
  2. You can also make the dough in your stand mixer. Attach the dough paddle. Put all the ingredients, except water, in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed. Gradually add water until the dough is ready and does not stick on the walls of the bowl. Test with your fingers to see if it is sticky. If it is, add more flour.
  3. After your dough is ready, you should leave it to rest for half an hour. This resting time is necessary for the gluten to develop and make the dough elastic. If gluten does not develop properly, you will roll out the dough and then it will shrink again.
  4. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and then press to flatten. While working with the dough, flour your working surface regularly with flour, unless you are working on a non-stick mat. Also dust the dough regularly so that it will not stick.
  5. Always keep the remaining dough covered, so that it does not dry.
  6. Depending on your pasta machine, it is usually numbered from 1 – 6 and on some other attachments on stand mixers like mine, the machines are numbered from 1 – 9.
  7. Set your pasta machine to the smallest number which is number 1. Each time you roll it out, dust it again with flour and continue the same procedure increasing the numbers, until you get the desired thickness
  8. Meantime, wash the spinach, removing the stems or any damaged leaves and dry. Frozen spinach reduces the time of preparation considerably but defrost before using. Squeeze it with your hands to remove all fluids. Alternatively, if fresh spinach is used, when still wet you can put them in a big saucepan, without any additional water, and bring to a soft boil for about 5 minutes, until it wilts. It will become soft and its volume will be reduced. Place it in a colander to cool down and when it can be handled, drain any water by squeezing it. In both cases,cut it into smaller pieces.
  9. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350ο F.
  10. Place the spinach in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the onions and herbs, as well as the eggs, feta and spices and mix well.
  11. Grease a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 15.75”) or 30 cm – 12” baking tin with olive oil. The remaining olive oil will be used to brush the phyllo.
  12. Divide the dough into six parts and roll out a thin phyllo.
  13. Place on your working surface and cut it in the middle. Join the two pieces to make a bigger square or rectangle piece and brush it generously with olive oil.
  14. Put some filling on one edge. Roll, once to cover filling and press the two sides so that the filling will not come out. While rolling brush it with olive oil and when done, twist the two ends towards opposite direction. This will stretch the dough and make it even bigger. Place in an oiled baking tin one roll next to the other.
  15. Brush on top generously with olive oil.
  16. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden on top.

Hope you enjoyed the video and please let me know what you think:)

 Special Offer for my Readers:

Volume 1 includes a selection of the best Greek-Cypriot savory dishes, mezedes, side dishes and salads. This goes to Jamie, of Life’s a Feast.

Volume 2, includes Breads, bread products, Pies, Snacks, Preserves and a lot of Desserts. This goes to Rosa, of Rosa’s Yummy Yums.

The special offer with 25% discount is still valid for all the readers of my blog until the 31st December, 2011 . You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2.

Last but not least, if you would like to buy the Cookbook in print and are worried that it will not reach you in time, well if you buy it directly from me paying via Paypal, I will also send you the two e-cookbooks within a few hours. Please contact me by e-mail at ivyliac AT gmail DOT com or through the contact page.

If you win or buy the book or e-cookbooks, a review is always welcome.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Solomos Stiffado (salmon stew with onions)


Stiffado is traditionally made with wild hare or domesticated rabbits as well as beef but new versions have been appearing with chicken, lamb, or sea food. Stiffado is a Greek and Cypriot stew made with lots of onions, which add a sweetness to the dish as well as red wine, vinegar and honey, producing a mildly sweet and sour sauce.

The word “stiffado or stifado” comes from the Italian word “stuffado” which was introduced to Greece and Cyprus by the Venetians. Originally no tomato was included in this dish but after the introduction of the tomato, to the Europeans, after the discovery of America, the Greeks added tomato to this stew. In Cyprus, however, it has kept its original form and is made until today without tomato. The traditional Cypriot recipe is included in my cookbook.

Salmon is not part of Greek or Cypriot cuisine as it has only appeared during recent years. I based this recipe on the Cypriot stiffado, this is why I am including it here, in my Cypriot blog, but as I love fusion cuisine, I have added ingredients which, in my opinion, match with salmon.

Salmon cooks quickly, so after marinating and sautéing the fish, I removed it and cooked the onions for 45 minutes, until soft and the liquid ingredients reduced by 2/3. I then added the fish which I immersed in the sauce, turning it over briefly to absorb the flavour of the sauce.

The dish turned out delicious and very light, as I used minimum amount of olive oil and sweetened the sauce with the addition of orange juice and epsima (grape molasses), called petimezi in Greek.

Solomos (salmon) Stiffado, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 10 Minutes
Marinating time: about 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 + 5
Serves: 2 – 3


500 grams of salmon fillet
1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup water

For the marinade

1 tbsp mixed spice mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup orange juice

For stiffado

4 onions, cut into slices
1 big clove garlic, finely cut
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
3/4 cup red dry wine
1 tbsp epsima (grape molasses) or use honey
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf


Wash the salmon and place it in a shallow bowl with all the marinade ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Cut the fillet in smaller pieces. Heat the olive oil and sauté the salmon on both sides. Remove to a platter.
Add the other tbsp olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes and then add the salt and sugar. Keep mixing until they begin to caramelize.
Add the wine, epsima, vinegar, leftover marinade, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover the casserole and simmer until the onions are cooked. Check regularly until the liquids reduce by 2/3.

Add the salmon fillets on top of the onions, gently mix with the onions, cover again with the lid and cook for 5 minutes, turning it after 2 – 3 minutes.

You can serve it with fried potatoes, rice pilaf or mashed potatoes but when on diet, serve it with salad.  Today I served it with ampelofassoula.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

Order your copy now!

Tsipopita with Almonds


Tsipopita is a traditional Cypriot dessert (pita) made with home made phyllo and tsipa, which is the name of the butter used.   To make this butter full fat ewe’s milk is used and it is made by collecting the skin or crust which is formed on top of the milk, which in Greek is called τσίπα (tsipa).

This  pita is traditionally made with layers of phyllo which are brushed with tsipa and then ground cinnamon and cloves are sprinkled between each layer of phyllo.   It is then rolled, baked  and drenched in an armatic sugar syrup.

A friend and reader of my blog asked me yesterday if I could post the recipe for tsipopita.  Although I knew how to make it, I have never made it before.  As  I am still on a diet, I avoid using butter so I explained to her how to make it and at the time it didn’t even cross my mind to make it.

However, later in the afternoon our contractor visited us and he told us that he needs us to go to Nafplion on Monday for some details regarding the house, which need to be clarified on the spot. When he was leaving, he jokingly asked me if I could make some daktyla.

After almost a year since we met and visiting Nafplion at least once a month, we are now friends and I have made daktyla  for him and the crew a few times and they love them.    Although this morning I was planning to make daktyla, I couldn’t get tsipopita out of my mind and since I had some leftover stakovoutyro in the refrigerator, I decided to surprise them with tsipopita instead and hope they will like it.  Stakovoutyro is a Cretan butter which is similar to tsipa but if you have neither of them, you can use clarified butter.

I made a twist of tsipopita using roasted almonds in the filling, which is a cross between daktyla and baklavas.

This dessert is delicious but it is high in calories.   I am really tempted to try it, even if it is a tiny piece!!

Tsipopita, my take on a traditional Cypriot recipe

Preparation time:  1 hour
Cooking time:  45 minutes
Makes:  35 pieces


100 grams tsipa butter (I used stakovoutyro)
For the dough:
500 grams all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup water

For the syrup:

1 ½ cups sugar
1 cups water
1 lemon rind
½ piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rosewater

For the filling:

100 grams roasted almonds
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rose water


Prepare dough and set aside to rest for half an hour.  See how to make dough here.

While dough is resting prepare the syrup. Put the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon peel and lemon juice in a sauce pan and bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon, cloves and lemon peel and add rose water and let it cool.  By the time you have finished making tsipopita the syrup will be ready for use.

Roast the almonds in the oven for about 15 minutes, until golden and give them a quick pulse in a food processor.  Mix them with sugar, cinnamon, cloves and rose water.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.  Roll out the dough on the pasta machine from No.1 to 3, to 6 and go until no. 8, to make a thin phyllo.   Make a long piece of phyllo which cut into the middle and join the two pieces in the middle.

Heat the butter until it melts and set aside to cool.   Brush the phyllo with the butter and sprinkle with 1/6th of the almond mixture.  Make into a roll starting from the narrow side and then twist.

Brush a 26 cm baking tin with butter and place the twisted roll in the centre of the baking dish, forming a coil.  Continue with the remaining 5 pieces.  When done, brush the top with butter.

Preheat oven at 180o C / 350o F and bake for about 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown.

As soon as you remove it from the oven add the syrup and cover it with a clean napkin until the syrup is absorbed.

Allow to cool before serving.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Kroketes / Κροκέτες (Potato Croquettes with minced meat)


Potato croquettes (from the French verb “croquer”, which means to crunch, are mashed potatoes in which more ingredients are used for taste, they are shaped into a cylinder roll and deep fried.  However, plain mashed potatoes will not hold together when frying so an egg and flour is added as the binding agent and then they are coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried.  The time of frying is up to you.  The mashed potatoes and minced meat are already cooked, so it depends how crispy and golden you like them.

Οι Κροκέτες (από το γαλλικό ρήμα “croquer” (που σημαίνει τραγανό) είναι πατάτες πουρέ, στις οποίο βάζουμε και άλλα υλικά για γεύση, τις πλάθουμε πιο μακρόστενες από τους κεφτέδες και τις τηγανίζουμε.  Εάν τηγανίσουμε όμως σκέτο πουρέ θα διαλυθεί στο τηγάνι και έτσι βάζουμε τον κρόκο και το αλεύρι για να δέσουν.  Όλα τα υλικά είναι ήδη ψημένα γιαυτό ο χρόνος τηγανίσματος εξαρτάται από το πόσο τραγανές και χρυσαφένιες θέλουμε τις κροκέτες.

I make these croquettes to accompany meat dishes such as steaks, schnitzel, lamb or pork chops etc.  When I make them plain, I often mix in cheese such as feta, graviera, kefalotyri or halloumi, herbs and spices.

Φτιάχνω τις κροκέτες σαν συνοδευτικό σε διάφορα φαγητά με κρέας, όπως σνίτσελ, μπριζόλες, παϊδάκια κλπ.  Όταν κάνω τις απλές κροκέτες βάζω μέσα διάφορα τυριά όπως γραβιέρα, κεφαλοτύρι, χαλλούμι, αρωματικά και μπαχαρικά.

Cheese Potato Croquettes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 + 15 minutes


5 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg yolk
A pinch of nutmeg
1 medium onion or 3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil from preserved mint *
1 tablespoon preserved mint leaves, finely chopped together with 3 – 4 peppercorns crushed *
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup grated halloumi, graviera or kefalotyri

For the bread coating:

1 cup arkatena, or other breadcrumbs
1/2 cup halloumi, graviera or kefalograviera (or substitute with parmesan if no Greek cheeses available)
1 egg + 1 egg white
Olive oil for frying

Read More here

Κροκέτες με Τυρί

Χρόνος προετοιμασίας:  15 λεπτά

Χρόνος μαγειρέματος:  30 + 15 λεπτά


5 μέτριες πατάτες
3 κουταλιές γάλα
1 κρόκο
Μία πρέζα μοσχοκάρυδο
1 μέτριο κρεμμύδι ή 3 κρεμμυδάκια φρέσκα, ψιλοκομμένα
1 σκελίδα σκόρδο, λιωμένη (προαιρετικά)
2 κουταλιές ελαιόλαδο από δυόσμο συντηρημένο σε ελαιόλαδο
1 κουταλιά φύλλα δυόσμου συντηρημένο σε ελαιόλαδο μαζί με 3 -4 κόκκους πιπέρι λιωμένους*
½ κούπα μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο
1 κούπα τριμμένο χαλλούμι ή γραβιέρα ή κεφαλοτύρι

Για το πανάρισμα:

1 κούπα φρυγανιά τριμμένη από παξιμάδια αρκατένα (ή άλλη φρυγανιά)
1/2 κούπα χαλλούμι, γραβιέρα ή κεφαλοτύρι
1 αυγό ολόκληρο και 1 ασπράδι
Ελαιόλαδο για τηγάνισμα

 Διαβάστε τις οδηγίες εδώ

My mother used to make these croquettes and she always added a minced pork filling, similar to the ones used for koupes.

Η μητέρα μου έφτιαχνε τις  κροκέτες γεμιστές με χοιρινό κιμά, έτσι όπως φτιάχνουμε τις “κούπες”.

I used “arkatena” which are the Cypriot traditional rusks made with fermented chickpea yeast, to make the breadcrumbs but you can used any other breadcrumbs you like.

Για όσους δεν ξέρουν τι είναι τα “αρκατένα”, είναι τα παραδοσιακά παξιμάδια της Κύπρου τα οποία γίνονται από μαγιά που βγαίνει από τα ρεβίθια.  Εσείς μπορείτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε όποια φρυγανιά θέλετε.

Arkatena / Αρκατένα

Potato Croquettes with minced meat


Κροκέτες γεμιστές με Κιμά


Κοπιάστε και Καλή όρεξη,

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Beetroot Salad, Beetroot Dip and Pita Chips


Yesterday when I came back from Nafplion, I read a message from Rachael, a friend I have made through Facebook, who lives in Paphos, Cyprus.  Rachael told me that she made Pantzaria xydata (the beetroot preserves from my cookbook) and I wish to thank her for her kind words.

I remembered that I have a few recipes I have made with the beetroot preserves and never posted, so this post will give a few ideas to Rachael and to all of you who have bought the cookbook, how to make good use of them.  I take this opportunity to thank you all for buying the cookbook and keep coming back for more ideas.

The salad is a tweak to “pantzarosalata”, a beetroot salad my mother would always make whenever we had fish and it is one of my favourites.   I served it as a side dish to Bakaliaros (battered cod) and a potato Skordalia.

Note:  If you do not have beetroot preserves, you can added boiled or roasted beetroots plus some vinegar.

I used agourelaio, which is the top Greek extra virgin olive oil, produced from the first picked olives which have not yet ripen but you can used any kind of Extra virgin olive oil.

Beetroot Yoghurt Salad, recipe by Ivy


1 chopped preserved beetroot

2 hard boiled eggs

1 boiled potato

½ cup fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

150 ml Greek strained yoghurt

2 tbsp agourelaio or extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut all the ingredients in a bowl.

In a food processor add the yoghurt, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix.

Add this mixture to the remaining ingredients and mix.

Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

I made the pita chips and forgot to take a picture when they were baked but these are perfect to serve with any kind of dip.

Pita Chips

Cypriot Pita Bread

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic, finely chopped

Lemon Juice


Salt and pepper


Cut the pita bread into triangles.  Brush wih the olive oil mixture and bake in a preheated oven until crispy.

Look at the wonderful colour of this dip and the taste is amazing!   This dip is based on a beetroot salad made here in Greece, usually made with boiled beetroots, cut into small cubes, garlic, yoghurt and olive oil, similar to the one I posted today on Kopiaste, with walnuts.  However, this was made into a dip, using preserved beets, which of course have vinegar, added feta, which makes it extra creamy and agourelaio, with its fruity almost bitter taste, which brought this dip to another level.

Beetroot Yoghurt Dip, recipe adapted by Ivy


1 cup chopped preserved beetroots

200 ml Greek strained yoghurt

100 grams Greek feta

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix.

Refrigerate for half an hour before serving with pita chips.

The recipes mentioned in this post:  Bakaliaros (cod), skordalia, pantzaria xydata (preserved beets, as well as making pita bread from scratch, are all included in my cookbook.

I am linking these recipes to my event Creative Concoctions:   Cooking with Olive Oil.

If you want to win some Greek Extra virgin olive oil, all you have to do is post a recipe you have tweaked, until the 25th May, using olive oil.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Karaoloi me Sfoliata (Puff Pastry Cream Horns)


Karaolos  (plural karaoloi pron. karaoli) is a Cypriot dessert I remember from my childhood in Cyprus which resemble like Cream Horns.   In the Cypriot dialect Karaolos means snail.    I assume that the Cypriots saw it more like the shell of a snail rather than a horn of an animal, as opposed to the Brits.

Until recently I used to think that this was a Cypriot dessert until, while google searching, I saw cream horns made with puff pastry.   I then realized that this is one of the recipes which were influenced by the British who had colonized Cyprus.

Although I did not have the recipe of how they made them in Cyprus, I made them with puff pastry.  I believe that the original ones were not made with puff pastry but the horns were more like a soft biscuit.

The ones I made are not close to the the ones I remember but they were really very delicious.  I made the usual pastry cream I make and flavoured it with orange, as I had tons of oranges at the time.

My children loved this recipe but the only flaw they found was that the cream was not sweet.  For my taste it was just perfect but if you like your desserts to be sweet, increase the amount of sugar in the cream.

I didn’t have stainless steel horn molds, to shape them but that didn’t stop me.  I improvised and made some myself.  All you need to do is cutaluminium pans and shape them into cones.

Cut rectangular pieces 13 x 17 cm and form the cones.  Cut the base so that each cones is 13 cm high and can stand up, as I baked them standing up.

Karaoloi me sfoliata (Puff pastry cream horns)

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time:  about 50 minutes
Makes:  about 30


1 packet (2 sheets) of puff pastry
4 – 5 orange spoon sweet preserve
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pastry cream
4 cups of fresh milk
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
4 tablespoons corn flour (starch)
6 tablespoons of sugar
2 vanilla ampoules or ½ tsp vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 tsp orange rind
1 teaspoon butter

Whipped cream

500 ml heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla essence
3 – 4 tablespoons icing sugar



Preheat oven at 180 degrees  C / 350 F.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 15 pieces about 2 cm wide and 35 cm long.

Brush each cone with olive oil.

Wind each stripe of pastry around the cone, overlapping one third of the paste to form a coil finishing at the open end of the mould.  Stretch the dough if necessary.

Place the cones into a baking tin and bake until golden and crispy, for about 45 minutes.

Set aside to cool and then unmold them, twisting them a little if necessary.  Fill a pastry bag with the cream and fill each cone.

Meantime prepare the pastry cream

In a sauce pan add the flour, corn flour, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, orange rind, orange liqueur and about ½ cup of cold milk and mix with a whisk until the corn flour is dissolved and set aside.

Heat the milk in another sauce pan and when it is hot pour to mixture stirring constantly until cream is thick. Remove from the heat and add the butter and stir. Set aside and cover with cling film until it is cold.

Meantime whip the heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until peaks form and refrigerate.

When the pastry cream is cold, mix in ¾ of the whipped cream, using a hand mixer.

Use the remaining to decorate the horns.

Use a separate cone to pipe the whipping cream and decorate with a piece of orange spoon sweet.

Tips:  Do not discard egg whites.  Put them in a small container, label them with date and amount and freeze them.  You can use them to make meringue based desserts.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Two way Chicken with Fussili


Pasta is a  dish everybody enjoys and what’s more easier than a pasta dish when you want to cook something quick but tasty.

My children are not fond of pestos, which my husband and I love, so I cooked the chicken and then just at the end I divided it into two frying pans, added the pasta and finished them off making half with the pesto I made that day and half as a Greek style carbonara.

If you don’t  like beetroots, feel free to substitute with your favouite pesto.  I have posted a lot of pestos from where you can choose from and my favourite Mint Pesto is included in my cookbook.

Chicken with Fussili and Beetroot  Pesto, recipe by Ivy

Serves:  3

1 packet (500 grams) fussili, divided

500 grams chicken breast

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup white dry wine

½ cup, chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

A pinch of thyme

A pinch of oregano

¼ cup walnuts

Half the quantity of the Beetroot Pesto


Wash and cut the chicken into thin slices of 1 cm.

In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.  Add the chicken and sauté until it is white on both parts.  Add the wine, the chicken broth, the bay leaf and the spices.

Close the skillet with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meantime cook pasta according to package instructions (about 10 minutes).

Drain and mix in with half of the the chicken.  Add the pesto and mix.

Serve with a few walnuts on top and freshly grated black pepper.

The traditional carbonara is with pancetta, cheese and eggs.  However, my children like it with bacon and I also add some light cream together with the egg, as well.

Chicken with Fussili Carbonara

Serves: 3

Half of cooked fussili

Half of cooked chicken breast

1 packet bacon (120 grams)

2 egg yolks

1 light cream

1 cup of grated graviera  or other cheese*

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Sauté bacon in a non stick frying pan without oil.   Discard any fat.

Beat the egg yolks with the light cream, add the cheese,  salt and freshly grated pepper and mix.

After the chicken is cooked add half to the bacon as well as half cooked pasta.

Add the above cheese mixture and mix.

*You can use any cheese or a mixture of more than one cheeses that melt such as Greek cheese such as graviera, kasseri, halloumi, feta, or other cheeses like mozzarella,  edam, milner, goudda, Kerrygold,  gruyere etc.).

 Other Pestos you can use:

Pesto Mafioso from Sicily

Scarlet Pesto with Piperies Florinis

Cilantro Pesto

Mint and Parsley Pesto

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Beetroot Salad and Beetroot Walnut Pesto / Πέστο με Παντζαρόφυλλα


What do you usually do with the beetroot leaves? Do you throw them away?

I know I used to when I was a young housewife but later I learned that I could boil them and eat them as a salad and they are delicious.

Recently, I bought lots of beetroots to pickle and they had lots of tender leaves. Apart from eating them as a salad, I experimented and made them into pesto.

Beetroot salad (using the leaves)

This recipe is a traditional Greek way to eat beetroots as well as their leaves. The leaves add a delicious flavour to the warm salad, along with the garlic, olive oil and vinegar. This salad accompanies fish beautifully.


Wash the leaves thoroughly, choose those which are the most tender and boil them for 15 minutes.

Drain them in a colander but also press them with a fork to remove some excess water. Cut them with a knife in smaller pieces. Add some of the roasted or preserved beets, a clove of garlic finely chopped, olive oil, wine vinegar and salt and pepper (optional) to taste.

Σαλάτα με παντζαρόφυλλα

Σ’ αυτή τη σαλάτα χρησιμοποιούμε τα τρυφερά φύλλα από τα παντζάρια.  Τα φύλλα όταν είναι τρυφερά γίνονται μια πολύ νόστιμη ζεστή σαλάτα για να συνοδεύσει ψάρια.


Διαλέγουμε τα τρυφερά φύλλα και τα βράζουμε για δεκαπέντε λεπτά.

Τα στραγγίζουμε και τα πατάμε με ένα πιρούνι να φύγει το πολύ νερό.  Τα κόβουμε σε πιο μικρά κομμάτια με ένα μαχαίρι.

Προσθέτουμε παντζάρια βραστά ή ξυδάτα, 1 σκελίδα σκόρδο ψιλοκομμένο, ελαιόλαδο, ξύδι και αλατοπίπερο.

I used it in pasta and it was delicious but the best part is that I froze the remaining and used it whenever I liked.

In my recipes I always just say olive oil but wherever olive oil is mentioned, in Greece we always use extra virgin olive. I have mentioned this in the About page, of Kopiaste but also in my Cookbook, so I forget to mention in.

Beetroot Walnut Pesto, recipe by Ivy


Tender leaves from 1 bunch beetroots (about 1 cup boiled and water squeezed out)
1 large garlic clove
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly grated pepper
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
Graviera cheese to be mixed separately


Boil leaves as above and squeeze out as much of water as you can.  Put everything  in a food processor and mix.  Add as much olive oil is necessary until you reach the right consistency.

If you are going to use the pesto in a few days you can also add the cheese and preserve the remaining in the refrigerator.

As I make a lot and freeze it, I prefer to add the cheese when I use it.

Πέστο με Παντζαρόφυλλα και Καρύδια, συνταγής της Ήβης


Τρυφερά φύλλα από παντζάρια (περίπου 1 κούπα, βρασμένα και στυμμένα)
1 μεγάλη σκελίδα σκόρδο
½ κούπα καρύδια
¼ κούπας παρθένο ελαιόλαδο
Αλάτι και φρεσκοτριμμένο πιπέρι
2 κουταλιές ξύδι
Γραβιέρα τριμμένη


Διαλέγουμε τα πιο τρυφερά φύλλα και τα βράζουμε για 15 λεπτά.  Τα στραγγίζουμε και τα στύβουμε να φύγει το νερό.

Βάζουμε όλα τα υλικά εκτός από το τυρί στο μούλτι και προσθέτουμε λάδι.   Τα πολτοποιούμε και εάν χρειάζεται προσθέτουμε και άλλο λάδι μέχρι να λιώσουν καλά.

Εάν θα χρησιμοποιήσετε το πέστο άμεσα μπορείτε να βάλετε και το τυρί μέσα και να το ανακατέψετε.

Επειδή όσο περισσέψει το βάζω στην κατάψυξη, το τυρί το προσθέτω όταν θα το χρησιμοποιήσω.

I am linking this recipe to Creative Concoctions #4, Cooking with Olive Oil.

Other relevant recipes:

Tsipoura with Beetroot Salad

Bean Salad with Pesto, Rocket and Pickled Vegetables

Beetroot Salad with Cilantro and Oranges
Beetroot salad with pesto

Beetroot salad with Anchovies

Salmon salad

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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