Creative Halvades – Χαλβάδες.. με φαντασία

Aside


Halvas – Χαλβάς (plural Halvades) is one of our favourite desserts during Lent but I always like to make it in different flavours. This time I made the basic recipe which was divided in two parts.   In the first one I made a strawberry coulis which was used both inside and to decorate the dessert and I made the other with lots of ingredients I had in my cupboard and wanted to use.

Ο Χαλβάς είναι ένα από τα αγαπημένα μας νηστήσιμα γλυκά αλλά κάθε φορά που τον φτιάχνω, μου αρέσει να φτιάχνω και διαφορετικές γεύσεις.

Αυτή τη φορά, αφού έκανα τη βασική συνταγή το μοίρασα σε δύο μέρη.  Στον πρώτο έβαλα μέσα φράουλα, αφού πρώτα έκανα μια σάλτσα φράουλας.  Έβαλα μέσα κάποια κομμάτια και το υπόλοιπο, αφού κρύωσε το έλιωσα στο μούλτι και το χρησιμοποίησα για να το σερβίρω από πάνω.

Στον άλλο μισό χρησιμοποίησα διάφορα υλικά που είχαν περισσέψει από άλλες συνταγές.

I didn’t want to use the same mold I’ve been using for ages, so I gave it a different design by adding a smaller mold inside.

Επειδή βαρέθηκα να χρησιμοποιώ την ίδια παλιά μου φόρμα, έβαλα μέσα ένα άλλο φορμάκι και έτσι ακόμη και η φόρμα πήρε καινούργια όψη.

Halvas Katsarollas (Pot halvas), recipe by Ivy

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mild olive oil
  • 2 cups semolina

For the syrup

Cooking time:  5 minutes

3 cups sugar
3 -4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon peel
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups water

Extra ingredients:

For the Strawberry Coulis

Cooking time: 10 – 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500 grams fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 shot brandy or other liqueur

also

  • 1/2 cup coarsly cut and roasted almonds

Directions:

In a sauce pan prepare syrup by adding the water, sugar, lemon peels, a few cloves and a cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.  Set aside removing the cinnamon stick, the cloves and the lemon peel.

In another large sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the semolina and stir constantly to roast. When it starts browning, remove from the heat and add syrup but be careful to stir constantly as this may overflow. Once the mixture has settled put it back on low heat and mix until it sets.

Divide the mixture and add the respective ingredients.

Place in a mold and let it cool down before placing in the refrigerator.

Unmold in a platter and decorate on top.

To make strawberry coulis:

Wash and cut fruit into small pieces. Put the strawberries in a frying pan, as well as sugar, water and brandy. When it starts to boil, lower heat and mix continuously for about ten minutes, or until sauce is thick. Set aside to cool.

Mix some of the strawberries (without the syrup) in the halvas and mix.

Put the remaining stawberries with syrup in a food processor and mix to make the sauce.

Leave it to cool down and then serve halvas with roasted almonds and strawberry coulis.

Store remaining sauce in the refrigerator.

Χαλβάς Κατσαρόλας,  συνταγής της Ήβης

Χρόνος ψησίματος: 15 λεπτά
Υλικά:

  • 1 κούπα καλό ελαφρύ ελαιόλαδο
  • 2 κούπες σιμιγδάλι (έβαλα μισό ψιλό και μισό χοντρό)

Για το σιρόπι:

Βράσιμο: 5 λεπτά

  • 3 κούπες ζάχαρη
  • 4 κούπες νερό
  • 3 -4 ολόκληρα γαρίφαλα
  • 1 ξύλο κανέλας
  • 1 φλούδα λεμονιού
  • 1 κουταλιά της σούπας χυμό λεμονιού

Επιρόσθετα Υλικά:

Για τη σάλτσα φράουλας

Χρόνος μαγειρέματος: 10 – 15 λεπτά

Υλικά

  • 500 φράουλες, κομμένες σε μικρά κομμάτια
  • ½ κούπα ζάχαρη
  • 1/4 κούπας νερό
  • 1 σφηνάκι μπράντυ ή λικέρ

Επίσης

  • 1/2 κούπα χονδροκομμένα αμύγδαλα καβουρδισμένα

Εκτέλεση:
Ετοιμάζουμε πρώτα το σιρόπι.  Προσθέτουμε το νερό, τη ζάχαρη, τη φλούδα λεμονιού, μερικά γαρίφαλα και την κανέλα  και αφού αρχίσει να κοχλάζει, χαμηλώνουμε τη φωτιά να βράσει για πέντε λεπτά.  Προσθέτουμε το χυμό λεμονιού, και συνεχίζουμε το βράσιμο για ακόμη 1 λεπτό.  Βγάζουμε τη φλούδα λεμονιού, την κανέλα και τα γαρίφαλα.

Σε μια άλλη μεγάλη κατσαρόλα, ζεσταίνουμε το ελαιόλαδο και προσθέτουμε το σιμιγδάλι και ανακατεύουμε συνεχώς για να το καβουρδίσουμε.  Ανακατεύουμε για περίπου πέντε λεπτά σε δυνατή φωτιά και όταν αρχίζει να ροδίζει το κατεβάζουμε από τη φωτιά.
(Σε αυτό το στάδιο θα πρέπει να προσθέσετε με προσοχή το σιρόπι, γιατί θα αρχίσει να φουσκώνει και να πιτσιλλάει.  Καλό είναι να έχετε κάποιον να σας βοηθήσει για να έχετε και τα δύο χέρια ελεύθερα).

Προσθέτουμε το σιρόπι σταδιακά και ανακατεύουμε συνεχώς με το άλλο χέρι, μέχρι να προσθέσουμε όλο το συρόπι.

Χαμηλώνουμε τη φωτιά και ξαναβάζουμε πάνω την κατσαρόλα.  Ανακατεύουμε συνεχώς μέχρι να αρχίσει να πήζει.

Μοιράζουμε το μείγμα και στο καθένα βάζουμε τα υλικά που θέλουμε.

Το βάζουμε σε μια φόρμα και αφού κρυώσει το βάζουμε στο ψυγείο.

Το ξεφορμάρουμε και το διακοσμούμε αναλόγως.

Για να φτιάξουμε τη σάλτσα φράουλας:

Πλένουμε τις φράουλες και τις κόβους σε μικρότερα κομμάτια.  Τις βάζουμε σε ένα αντικολλητικό τηγάνι, προσθέτουμε τη ζάχαρη, το μπράντυ και το νερό. Ανακατεύουμε για περίπου 10 λεπτά μέχρι να δέσει η σάλτσα.  Την αφήνουμε να κρυώσει.  Ανακατεύουμε μέσα στο χαλβά μερικές από τις φράουλες, χωρίς το συρόπι.

Τις υπόλοιπες τις βάζουμε στο μούλτι και τις λιώνουμε για να κάνουμε τη σάλτσα.

Αφού ξεφορμάρουμε το χαλβά τον σερβίρουμε με καβουρδισμένα αμύγδαλα και σάλτσα φράουλας.

Όση σάλτσα περισσέψει τη βάζουμε στο ψυγείο.

For the second halvas, leave it in the pot until it is almost cold and mix in the chocolate because otherwise it will melt.    However, do add some while it is lukewarm as the melted chocolate inside is wonderful.

When it cools refrigerate for a few hours.

Unmold and decorate with any ingredients your like.

Chocolate Halvas

Cut 75 grams couverture chocolate (some melted inside) and some cut into small pieces and add 1/2 cup craisins (you may also add raisins) and 1/2 cup desiccated coconut.

Mix and put the mixture in a mold.

To make Chocolate topping:

  • 75 grams couverture chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegan syrup (I used citrus syrup from my spoon sweet)

Additional Ingredients:

  • Roasted Almonds and sprinkles.

Directions:

In a double boiler melt the chocolate and mix in the margarine and syrup.

Unmold halvas and pour the chocolate on top.

Decorate with roasted almonds and sprinkles.


Το δεύτερο χαλβά, θα τον αφήσουμε στην κατσαρόλα μέχρι να γίνει χλιαρός, γιατί εάν ρίξουμε τη σοκολάτα όταν είναι ζεστός, η σοκολάτα θα λιώσει.  Εγώ έβαλα λίγο στην αρχή και έλιωσε μέσα αλλά η λιωμένη σοκολάτα αξίζει να μπει.

Χαλβάς Σοκολάτας

Κόβουμε 75 γραμμάρια κουβερτούρα σε μικρά κομμάτια και τη βάζουμε στο χαλβά (λίγη όταν είναι ακόμη χλιαρός και λίγη μετά) μαζί με ½ κούπα κραίσινς (ή σταφίδα) και ½ κούπα Ινδική καρύδα και τα ανακα τεύουμε.  Βάζουμε και αυτό τον χαλβά σε μία άλλη φόρμα.

Για το γλάσο σοκολάτας:

  • 75 γραμμάρια σοκολάτα κουβερτούρα
  • 1 κουταλιά μαργαρίνη νηστίσιμη
  • 1/2 κούπα συρόπι από γλυκό του κουταλιού (χρσηιμοποίησα συρόπι από γλυκό από ανάμεικτα εσπεριδοειδή)

Άλλα Υλικά:

  • Καβουρδισμένα αμύγδαλα και χρωματιστή τρούφα.

Εκτέλεση:

Λιώνουμε σε μπαιν Μαρί τη σοκολάτα.  Προσθέτουμε τη μαργαρίνη και το συρόπι και τα ανακατεύουμε καλά

Αφού ξεφορμάρουμε το χαλβά, τον περιχύνουμε με τη σοκολάτα.

Διακοσμούμε με καβουρδισμένα αμύγδαλα και τρούφα.

Update February 2012:

Orange Halvas with Chocolate

The basic recipe is the same but all the difference is made by flavouring the syrup with orange and coating it with chocolate.

In the syrup I added 1 heaped tbsp orange zest and 2 tbsp orange blossom water.

For the chocolate ganache I used 70 grams couverture chocolate which I melted in a bain mari with 1 tsp margarine.  I then mixed in (about 1/4) cup syrup from citrus spoon sweet until it reached a runny consistency again.

 Ενημέρωση:  Σαρακοστή 2012:

Χαλβάς Πορτοκαλιού με Σοκολάτα

Η βασική συνταγή είναι η ίδια με τη διαφορά ότι το αρωμάτισμα με πορτοκάλι και ανθόνερο και έβαλα από πάνω σοκολάτα.

Μέσα στο συρόπι έβαλα μια γεμάτη κουταλιά ξύσμα πορτοκαλιού και 2 κουταλιές ανθόνερο.

Για τη γκανάς, έλιωσα 70 γραμμάρια κουβερτούρα σε Μπαιν Μαρί και 1 κ.γ. μαργαρίνη.  Μετά έβαλα συρόπι (περίπου 1/4 κούπας) από γλυκό κουταλιού πορτοκάλι μέχρι το συρόπι να ξαναγίνει ρευστό.

I am linking these recipes to Creative Concoctions #3 – Desserts, an event created by me.

See also Citrus Halvas with Coconut

 

Advertisements

Unexpected Delays


Our visits to and from Nafplio continued.  Signing of papers, visiting the architect, visiting the bank for a loan and when all these things were arranged, if everything went smoothly the house would finish before summer.

In real life, however, things don’t turn out as we plan them and we had a sudden death in the family which put our plans on hold for a couple of months.

Then when we decided to go ahead again we were told that new requirements for a green licence were now necessary and this delayed our plans for a few more months.  We finally got the licence in January, and our engineer told us that we were the first to get the green licence in Argolida.

The construction started end of January….  Unfortunately a lot of the trees had to be cut down…

Visit 7th February:  The basement is being constructed..

Visit 7th March.

Visit on 21st March:   The first floor is being built.  Arches are being drawn.

Visit 5th April:  The first floor skeleton is complete.  Next visit will be after Easter…

Looking for Land


We often used to vaguely mention how great it would be if one day we could leave Athens and live in the countryside but this was far away in our future plans, as we were both young for retirement.

However, you never know what is in store for you and my husand “retired” or was rather forced to retire from the army when he was only 50 years old.   At that time I had already opened a bookstore, so he would help me there for some years.  Business was not going well but I had to keep it running for a few more years until I could apply for early retirement.

If I wanted full pension I would have to keep the business until I became at least 60 years old in order to retire.  Fortunately, for me there was a law at the time that if a woman at the age of 50 had at least been working for twenty years and had three children, the youngest being under 18 she could qualify for reduced pension.   Selling the bookstore was out of the question, although we tried but who would buy a business having no substantial profit and getting a job was also impossible at my age, as  the unemployment rate  in Greece is very high and even young people can’t get a job.  So I closed the shop just before Evangelia (Elia) turned 18 and I applied for early retirement.   Although it took almost 2 1/2 years to be approved but  I was lucky enough to benefit from this law as shortly after, this law was annulled.     That’s the time when I started blogging as a hobby.

Now that we were both “early pensioners” and free from obligations, I started telling my husband how great it would be if we could move to the countryside after Elia would turn 18. The idea matured in our heads and two years ago we started looking for a plot where we could build a small house where we could retire.

The seashore suburbs of Attica were out of the question for a few reasons. One was that the land was too expensive but also becauce the suburbs are now so crowded that it’s just like living in Athens and living in an apartment near the seaside was out of the question.  I wanted a house with a garden which would not be far away from the seaside but also not very far away from Athens.

We didn’t want to move too far away because our children would still be living in our house in Athens, so we decided to search within an area of two hours’ drive.

Our first choice would be the region around Nafplion.   When Elia was still in elementary school, her school organised an excursion there and it was love at first sight.  We started dreaming how great it would be if he manged to get transferred there but although we had applied many times, it was not in the cards, at least not in the near future.

During the past two years we have been traveling to Nafplion, every now and then meeting with real estate agents and we were so close to signing twice, when something went wrong just at the last minute.

The first house we really liked was one of a complex of three small houses.  Each one was 65 sq. metres and had two bedrooms, one bathroom and the rest of the house was an open spaced kitchen  with the living room.

However, it had a huge porch but most of all, each house had  1.500 sq metres land of its own, with an open view of  the Argolic citrus orchards in front of us.

This would be perfect to be used just as a summer house, as it was rather remote to live there year round.  We liked it for several reasons, the first being that it was within the limited budget we had set, it was only ten – fifteen minutes’ drive to Karathonas beach, it had a huge area to have a garden with lawn, it was partly furnished, all rooms had air-conditioning, it had a fireplace and it even had an inflatable, family sized swimming pool and part of the garden was cemented and arranged for the pool.

Before signing, we asked our lawyer to look into the legal formalities but to our disappointment, he advised us that although the property was big we were not allowed by law to build anything else or expand the present building, as it was outside the town limits.  Furthermore, the contractors were not in compliance with certain formalities of the law, so we had to reject it.

We continued searching and kept arranging appointments with real estate agents every now and then.    They showed us maisonettes which were small like pigeon holes, plots that were very far away from Nafplion, or in degraded areas where there were a lot of gypsies and thefts were a usual phaenomenon, others with existing small old houses which needed a lot of money to be renovated and other plots which we liked but were much above our budget.   The ones near the seaside or even with a distant view of the sea were very expensive.   Each time we left without finding anything, we were very disappointed.

In one of our visits, after over a year of searching, we finally found a second one we immediately liked.   It was a plot of land which was rather far away from Nafplion about 20 km but it had a fantastic view of the Argolic Gulf.    Nothing was built, except for a couple of houses in the far distance and the closest village was a couple of kilometres away.  The closest beach was Myloi, a seashore village about 15 km away but the beach was not so good as Karathonas but the view was fantastic and a little more effort getting to a decent beach was worth it.  The price, however, was high and after visiting a second time and bargaining we finally reached an agreement and we shook hands, which was almost like signing.  However, this was also too good to be true.  Just before signing we found out that the law changed and those plots were no longer in the town plans and were excluded from the building area.

Most of the weekends, we continued making trips around Athens, towards Evia,  Sounion, Corinth, Orea Eleni, Epidavros etc., but we did not like what we saw.

On one of our visits to Nafplion, after an exhausting day seeing many real estate agents, we were very disappointed for one more time and were thinking to give up.  Fortunately, the last one, who was the owner of the land and a contractor had an orange orchard in Assini which he decided to cut into building plots, I think they were about sixteen and he showed us the last two which were for sale.  Each plot wasn’t very big, it was only 350 square metres big, but at least we could build a 100 sq. metres house plus a semi-basement.

We liked it as it was only 2 km away from the beach and without any hesitation, we shook hands.

We returned back a couple of days later and signed the contracts early July 2010.