Visiting Istanbul for the first time last year my husband and I wanted to spend a few days in a different region of Turkey before heading to Istanbul. Searching the internet and gathering bits of information here and there as you do, decided to visit a small town on the Aegean coast… Alacati.
This beautiful and charming picturesque town is filled with old stone houses, lots of narrow streets lined with sidewalk cafés, bars, restaurants, boutiques and antique shops. As it was low season Alacati was quiet (some businesses close) and with not many visitors around, felt like we had the town to ourselves.
Even though our visit was short and sweet you could feel a real sense of community spirit and pride among the local people who live there. We met the lovely Neyran while visiting Lisa Cortis very colourful home textile shop and ended up sitting at a sidewalk café, chatting like old friends while Neyran filled us in about the history of this enchanting town… thank you for recommending the Barbun restaurant, it was a delicious end to our short stay.
Unfortunately we had not been able to include a Saturday on our visit, missing the famous Alacati market mentioned on this blog Cafe Fernando. I never got to taste the chocolate and chestnut cake mentioned as it was not on the menu. However, we enjoyed some delicious home-made cakes at the charming and quaint Tas Otel during our stay and the owner kindly parted with one of their recipes… which
I will share in a later post you can find here.
The smell of dried lavender perfumed the air throughout the Tas Otel and the fresh honey we enjoyed at breakfast inspired this simple recipe… butter perfumed with lavender and sweetened with fresh honeycomb brought back from Turkey… utterly delicious slathered over hot toast, crusty bread or warm scones.
This beautiful and extremely friendly cat lives at the Tas Otel whose name was difficult to pronounce and remember… you were right Zeynep (the hotel owner), I have already forgotten!
Lavender Honeycomb Butter
- 100g slightly salted butter, softened
- 100g fresh honeycomb or thick-set honey
- 1/8 teaspoon dried lavender, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried lavender
How to make: In a bowl mix all the ingredients together using a wooden spoon, until combined. Place the flavoured butter into a suitable sized mould which has been pre-lined with cling film. Leave the butter in the fridge for at least 8 hours for the flavours to develop. If you do not wish to shape the butter with a mould, place the butter into a suitable bowl to serve. Recipe can easily be doubled.
What should I make for the “Love At First Bite” blog hop, many sweet memories came to mind… french macarons, banoffee pie, date and banana shooters, panna cotta, chocolate eclairs, Pavlova… the sweet list goes on! But a firm favourite that stands the
test taste of time, is crème brûlée. The words that come to mind when eating this dessert are… rich, smooth, silky, creamy… with a light caramelized crunch… a kind of culinary heaven!
The literal translation of crème brûlée means “burnt cream” by which the sugar topping is quickly caramelized using the grill or a hand-held blow torch.
My crème brûlée has a slight twist, I have replaced the traditional caramelized sugar topping with some home-made honeycomb. If you like Crunchie bars then this easy to make honeycomb is quite similar.
Crème Brûlée Shooters
- 3 large egg yolks (whites can be used for Pavlova)
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- crushed honey comb or icing sugar
How to make:
- In a heatproof bowl combine egg yolks and castor sugar, whisk vigorously until pale and slightly thickened.
- Pour the cream into a saucepan and gently heat until the sides of the cream start to bubble. Remove from heat and gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture while whisking.
- Place the mixture over simmering water, stir constantly with a spatula until the mixture thickens, this can take about 15 minutes. Pour into 6 or 8 (depending on size) small shot glasses and refrigerate until set which can take a couple of hours or leave overnight. Just before serving scatter over some lightly crushed honeycomb.
- If you are not using the honeycomb, dust over a light layer of icing sugar over the set custard and using a hand-held blow torch caramelize the sugar until browned. I would not recommend putting these shot glasses under the grill due to the intense heat unless you use appropriate heatproof dishes!
- 1 tablespoon water
- 75g castor sugar
- 60g golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
How to make:
- In a small saucepan (with high sides) add the water, sugar and golden syrup and place over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat to medium and boil the syrup until it turns a more golden colour, this will take about 3 minutes, be careful that it does not burn.
- Turn off the heat and immediately add the bicarbonate of soda and mix it in quickly. It will foam like mad and start to bubble up the sides of the pan, quickly pour the bubbling honeycomb onto a slip mat or baking tray covered with baking parchment and allow it to flow level. Leave the honeycomb to cool and crisp up.
- Break into large pieces and store (separate with baking parchment) in an airtight container until needed. Can be made a day ahead.
Honeycomb can be served alongside a shot of espresso, crush and folded into some home-made ice cream, scattered over mousse and cheesecakes or just enjoyed as it is!
This post has been part of the “Love At First Bite” blog hop! Click on the badge and check out all the other entries!