Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My big fat Greek birthday (cake)!

So it has been noticed (you know who you are!) that cake isn't so much "done" around our house for birthdays... I'm not sure why that is, except to say that in my worldview, you should get to eat whatever you want on your birthday. If that's cake, great. If that's something else sweet, that's fine too. Not too complex in the logic department.

I actually had big plans toward real cake making--I even got a new cake pan that makes a cake in the shape of a giant cupcake; how cool is that? Unfortunately, I made and decorated two such cakes in two days, as soon as I got the pan, and subsequently got bored with that idea for my birthday. And no, I didn't take any pictures. I must get into that groove here, sooner rather than later. But so you can get the idea of what the cakes (sort of) looked like, click here: cupcake cake pan. Except I'm not a cake decorator, so not so pretty.

That left me with the "what to make for my birthday" quandary. For a couple of years I have had really sweet and beautiful Dean and DeLuca cakes ordered for me, and they are very fun, but really $$, and again, on the spectrum of yummy for the tummy, cake's not exactly IT for me.

But custard, oh my. Anything custard... creme brulee, puddings, technically ice cream and gelato are custards, right? And yes, oh yes, panna cotta. But one custardy treat stands out among the rest, and it's a whopper to pronounce: galaktoboureko. Say it slowly, phonetically, like you're 5 years old, and it gets easier. At least, that worked for me. Essentially it's a Greek custard pie. But those three little words do nothing to honor the glorious custard-'tween-phyllo that is galaktoboureko.

So today I thought it best to kick of the actual food portion of STAS (sweet tea and sunshine, don't you know?) with this rockstar dessert. On the ever-reliable epicurious, it is called simply "Phyllo-Custard Pie." Sounds a bit snoozey to me, but I'm betting the spelling issues surrounding the word galaktoboureko make listing it as such a mite unwise. But the reality of the dish is quite a bit more exotic than the recipe name in epicurious would have you believe--orange-flavored custard wrapped in phyllo, with an orange cinnamon syrup poured over after it's baked. Lovely indeed.

OK, so it's not frosting and sprinkles, but it's very me.


  1. It makes me very sad that someone would make fun of someone else's birthday pastry selection. Your friends must be incredibly insensitive, or possibly drunk in your kitchen.

    Coupla things: I definitely want that cupcake pan. It's the cutest! And your birthday dessert looks delightful. I haven't had the of luck with attempts at making creme brulee kinds of desserts (they never jell correctly and I know it's my fault) BUT I make a bad-ass Jell-o flan. :)

    Stupid Google Reader told me you'd posted this EIGHT hours after you actually posted it. Wha-huh?

  2. BEST of luck. I meant BEST of luck.

  3. Congrats, Sher. It's GREAT! Love it. If words are clay, you are a master sculptor.

    And okay, I have this re-curring dream I have to share with you (you will be SO jealous)...During my nocturnal travels I often foray into a decadent world I refer to as "The Great Hall of Desserts" where ALL of these indulgences are perched along shelves and a center table that runs the length of the "hall". And there I am, solitary spoon in hand, taking a bite out of each one. Each dessert is some sort of creamy, custardy creation. I wake up so HAPPY that the calories weren't real.

    Don't know what all of this means, but I think the dream is a "gift" from something "up there" that really likes me!


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