Tuesday, 13 March 2012

a greek weekend

my all time favourite rice custard is greek rice custard or rizogalo..for me it epitomises the notion of slow food because i like to make it over an hour and a half to two hours.. all that effort and patience is rewarded though with a voluptuous creamy rice custard with a hint of caramel flavour which is achieved from the slow cooking and reduction in milk volume..

 the recipe is from the book in this post

4 tablespoons arborio rice
1 cup of water
1200 mls unhomogenised organic milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbs corn flour
3 tbs water
1/2 tsp vanilla


~bring the cup of water to the boil and add the rice..stir once and lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes
~add the milk and slowly bring to the boil..once boiling lower heat and simmer for 30 mins stirring occasionally
~take the saucepan off the heat and add the sugar
~mix the corn flour and water to a paste and add it slowly for the saucepan while stirring
~using a diffuser mat return the saucepan to the heat and slowly bring the custard to the boil while stirring
~lower the heat to a simmer and continue stirring for a further 15 minutes
~remove from heat and add vanilla
~pour the rizogalo into serving dishes and dust with cinnamon

best refrigerated for at least 8 hours before serving

along with making tried and true greek recipes i've been thinking a lot about making greek recipes that i haven't tried before and also experimenting with ingredients that i'm not very familiar with..one of the ingredients i'd been wanting to use for some time is masticha..while it's typically used to flavour tsoureki  i've wanted to see how it would taste in a yoghurt cake.. so on monday when my elder daughter katerina came over for a visit i used this recipe which i made the same way as i did here but i added masticha..

masticha usually comes as hard resinous globules that need to be ground to a powder before use..the little packet i had weighed 5 gms and after grinding it was about 1 1/2 teaspoons..i decided to add the masticha in increments to the cake batter because i was completely unfamiliar with it..i did a taste test after adding a small half teaspoon of the masticha but i felt it wasn't quite discernable enough so i tested again after adding a further small half teaspoon..it was ok at this point..but..this is where i look at the minuscule bit left and think it's not worth the effort of finding a small jar etc so i recklessly heave it into the batter..

everything was good about this cake except for the taste..the masticha flavour was far too strong and it left a bitter aftertaste..i tried to redeem it by making a fig compote to serve with it but it didn't really help..but i'm not giving up on matsicha..i might make a tsoureki for easter..i'll keep you posted.. :)

my greek table: small hand towels that i use as serviettes bought in greece last year..blue briki with greek basil..greek yoghurt cake with masticha..blue and white enamel plates


i hope your culinary and otherwise adventures this week are happy ones.. :) x


  1. Your Greek table looks very inviting and the rizogalo looks so creamy and smooth!

  2. Oh it looks marvellous. I had not heard of rizogalo before.

    1. thankyou shaheen..rizogalo is available in supermarkets and corner shops in greece and when i'm there i sometimes have it as a snack..

  3. I grew up with rizogalo (duh!) haha!
    I love it, and you make it also with chocolate and cinnamon yum!!!

    1. I meant you can make it with chocolate..
      I love your Greek table!

    2. i've never had it with chocolate eri..do you use cocoa or chocolate to make it? and i'm glad you liked my greek table..i love greece and i feel very sad about what's going on at the moment.. :(