By now, if you have been following my blog, you must already know that I lived in Paris for a while years ago. Maybe because of that, or maybe because for some reason (that even I don’t really know about) I have always felt a connection with the “French”, I surely love trying French recipes regularly. My passion for experimenting on French cuisine got even bigger when I discovered (thanks to my friend Minni, otherwise I would never turn that TV on) the wonderful little show “Pieni Keittiö Pariisissa” (aka Little Kitchen in Paris) by witty and joyful Rachel Khoo. Ever since, she has become my idol!!
My father and I, we have one HUGE difference: he LOVES figs – even though it is strictly forbidden for his diabetes diet, whereas I, well, I hate figs! Ok maybe hate is a bit too big word.. But I simply don’t like it. It is not the taste that I don’t like, it’s the texture and most importantly, it’s because fig is always too soft! But me hating fig does not mean that I cannot use it in my recipes for my guests. Especially when it’s the short season for figs and when it comes from Turkey all the way to Finland. So, when I was invited to a nice dinner party by a friend, I decided to try a fig recipe for dessert. Incidentally, I had bought a heart-shaped silicone cake mould in that morning from Ikea (heart-shape? ok i know that it’s quite lame, but I liked it somehow!) and this cake was the perfect opportunity to try the mould right away!
Ever heard of Dukan Diet? Well, I hadn’t, until about a little more than a year ago. I was trying hard to lose weight back then for a while, I was around 65 kilos (and I am 1.62cm in height) and I had never been so heavy before. A friend visiting Helsinki eventually introduced me Dukan and that changed my life. For the first time ever I was on a real diet, and oh my what a diet, but in the end I lost 15 kilos in 6 months.
I continue my journey of baking by one pastry that looks really cute, again from French cuisine. I actually never ever liked to eat that pastry myself. It is also very common in Turkey, you can find it in many patisseries all around Istanbul and in other cities. Even the name is taken directly from French, in Turkish patisseries you can find the name written in Turkish form, but is just actually the French name itself.
The cultural and ethnic diversity in Turkey finds a reflection in my own family as well. My father, for instance, comes from an Ubykh family, related to Circassians. I’ve never known my grandparents who were both Ubykh and who unfortunately passed away before I was born, but my father always tells me how much I look like his mother. I am as white (rather pale), calm and quiet apparently.
Exactly 10 years ago, I was living in Paris. I was an exchange design student who could barely afford her monthly living expenses, but I was happy. Because there were bakeries and patisseries in every corner of the city, thousands of them, and they were so attractive with their colourful and ever delicious cakes, cookies, pastries, quiches…
I don’t normally like creamy cakes. Ever since my childhood, my brother, for instance, loved all those creamy cakes that my parents bought from the patisseries in Istanbul, whereas I thought they were heavy and artificial in taste.
Before making this flan, I had never ever used condensed and/or evaporated milk in any recipe. I did not even really know what they were all about. It was also yet another challenge to find what they mean in Finnish and where I can find them in Helsinki. Luckily, my friend Minni used condensed milk a few weeks earlier for the first when she was baking something so she showed me where I could find it (in K-market Kamppi, in the section where there are all sorts of Russian food). And for evaporated milk, I just cried for help on Facebook and interesting enough, a Turkish friend living in Espoo helped me out. So in case you do not know, you can find it in the little shop called Behnford’s on Keskuskatu 6 (next to Tetuan clothes shop in City Center. You can also find condensed milk in this shop but it is cheaper in K-market.
Here is a rather quick omelette idea for a – let’s say – weekend morning. It is not the most interesting omelette in the world, I’m sure you can think of this yourself as well! :) I am just, hmm, reminding you…
Well, ok, this one’s hard. No, you’ll see that it is not actually hard to make this. Do it twice and it will be the easiest thing! But it is a bit hard to explain. Anyway, I’ll try!