Back in February, I made a fully gluten free yoga brunch here in Helsinki. As usual, the brunch was vegetarian, and there were also many vegan options. This chocolate mousse was one of the sweets in that brunch, and it was a hit. Especially my friend Essi, who did the yoga part of the brunch loved it very much!
I ate flan, Spanish flan to be exact, for the first time over 3 years ago in a tiny wine & tapas restaurant here in Helsinki, called Kombo Winebar & Kitchen. I went there with my friends Minni and Alli, they were going to celebrate the birthday of one of their friends and I tagged along. I didn’t eat any of the tapas as I was there already with full stomach but I ate the flan and it was a life changing experience. So tasty, so beautiful, so light it was. After that, I got obsessed with flan…
I don’t remember the first time I ate this dessert, nor do I remember who had made it. All I can remember is the feeling. I absolutely loved the dessert, even though I had never been a fan of quince as a fruit or of the fruit desserts such as baked apples or poached pears etc.
I am sitting alone in my apartment. It is February 12th, 2016, 23:05. It is just a regular winter night. A Friday night. Last year this day was a Thursday night. And it was a night when I was feeling very happy, completely unaware of what was about to come. That moment, that feeling I had was real, although, it wasn’t.
I think I am feeling terribly homesick. How did I get to this conclusion? Well, even a simple recipe like this is enough to make me – almost – cry! This is indeed the simplest recipe in this blog so far. Yet it is full of memories.
‘Weird enough, there are some very traditional food from Turkish cuisine that I heard all my life but never tried until I moved away from Turkey. No, that is not about feeling homesick, no not at all. I am not really feeling homesick. But sometimes my friends expect me to introduce new tastes to them, preferably from Turkish cuisine, so I try my hands on these traditional recipes that I had never tried before. This pudding, called Keşkül, is one of those. Essentially, it is a very easy and fast milk pudding with almond and coconut, generally served with coconut flakes or pistachios. Some recipes call for coconuts in the pudding itself (such as my recipe), whereas some only use it for serving on top. But here is the little story behind the name of this dish…
As most of you know, I am not so crazy about raw food – I am not against it but I am not also trying to eat everything raw. I actually saw the photo of these brownies on instagram one day and they looked so good that I had to try it. I googled the recipe, it is a recipe by Panaceas Pantry published on shesaid.com, and I wanted to do it right away. I even searched for the matching sweet dessert wine in local Alko shop. The brownies turned out incredibly delicious and sweet but looked much more different than the photo on the recipe. Mine turned out heavy avocado colour on the upper layer, but well, who cares, it was deadly delicious in any case.
If there is one thing that reminds me of Turkish cuisine, even if I like it or not (and I usually do not), it is this rice pudding. I do not like this, no, as I do not like any rice pudding or porridge or anything else that resembles these.. All those things feel like baby food. But well, I still enjoyed eating this one I made for the blog, because I felt like a little girl eating mama’s rice pudding again.
When I ask people which “Turkish desserts” they know, the first answer is mostly “baklava”. And maybe some would say “Turkish delight”. Baklava, Turkish delight, baklava.. Well I’ve never been taken much by any of these two. My absolute favourite was always this dessert, which is, to put it simply, cookies made of flour and semolina, having a pine or another nut in the middle, and dipped into simple syrup to get moist and veeery sweet; it is called “Sekerpare”, which is literally translated as “Sugar piece”.
In 2007 I had a quite serious operation. The following few weeks, I could not eat normal, all I could eat was this basic, simple, old-school milk pudding that my mum cooked for me. I was eating 4-5 big bowls of it every day! I wonder if the reason was because I could not eat anything else, or because it reminded me of my childhood.