Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bodrum - In two days, a group of cooking of enthusiasts and myself made 10 whole cakes and several dozen cookies.

The Erenler Sofrasi, where I taught, in Ortakent is perched up on a hill with a lovely view of the Aegean Sea. This restaurant/cooking program is part of Yarbasan Holiday Homes, a small boutique hotel featuring hand-crafted stone guest houses. I had run of the spacious teaching kitchen for two whole days. It was a wonderful experience!
Before class started, I prepped all the ingredients. Thank goodness hubby was around
to take some photos!
On the first day, I taught five holiday cookie recipes, which included old-fashioned sugar cookies with royal icing, spritz cookies, walnut sandies, rum balls and gingersnaps.
These pretty cookies take time and patience to decorate!
Classic red and green spritz cookies made with a pastry bag and star tip.
On the second day, I focused on holiday cakes for the more seasoned baker. Two Turkish women from the Bodrum area attended both classes! One woman, Selay, who often bakes cheesecakes and other goodies to order, is preparing to open her own cafe/coffeeshop in Gümüşlük. I enjoyed meeting these women, sharing and laughing about our own baking experiences in the kitchen. American or Turkish - it’s all the same in a way. Cooking becomes a common bond no matter what language you speak!
I explained how to make my pumpkin cheesecake using labne and krema for the base instead of American cream cheese.
Pouring the cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pans.
Hope you enjoy the photos and the gingersnap recipe below I’ve adapted using Turkish molasses - pekmez!

Thanks to Asli Mutlu, owner of Erenler Sofrasi, for hosting me! She regularly teaches Turkish cooking classes, so please contact her if you make your holiday in the Bodrum area next year!

Afiyet olsun!
The finished pumpkin cheesecake with a drizzle of pekmez on top.

The Bodrum version of my bundt cake - made with raspberries, dried cranberries, pistachios and local mandalina.
Dark chocolate-mint ganache tart
Enjoying the desserts - participants from day two at Erenler Sofrasi.
Tasting time - this is when some of the husbands showed up! =)
(Yields: 60 1-inch sized round cookies)
1 1/8       c.          (255 g.) butter, room temperature
1 ¼         c.          (225 g.) brown sugar**
2          ea.                         Large eggs
Sift and add dry ingredients below:
2 ½      c.          (370 g.)  Turkish pasta/borek flour
½          tsp.                      salt
2           tsp.                      baking soda
2           tsp.                      ground ginger
1 ½      tsp.                       ground cinnamon
1 ½      tsp.                       ground cloves
Then add:
¼          c.          (85 ml.)  molasses or uzum pekmezi
1.      In a medium-sized mixing bowl, using a hand mixer or electric stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
2.      Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3.      In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; add to the butter mixture, and mix well.
4.      Lastly, add the molasses or pekmez. Be sure dough is thoroughly combined. Press plastic wrap on top and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
5.      Once the dough is chilled, scoop or roll the dough by hand into bite-size balls. Then, roll the dough in granulated sugar.
6.      Place the balls on a metal baking sheet. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 F/175 C for about 10 minutes or until center is firm. The longer the cookies bake, the more crisp they become. Cool on a wire rack.
**How to make your own brown sugar: Take about 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1-2 T. of uzum pekmezi, depending on how strong you like your sugar, and either using a hand blender or food processor, blend the ingredients together until well combined. Store the sugar in an airtight container.

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh what fun! i bet you all had a blast! nothing like desert to makes husbands appear!

Roving Jay said...

Some great photo's. Looked like you had a very busy time during your trip to the Bodrum area. Glad to see you made it over to my favourite market in Yalikavak.