Archive for the 'Cake' Category

Mahlep Cake

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Mahlep Cake

It is kind of hard to name recipes sometimes. That and to remind yourself what that food tasted/looked like after seeing a recipe whatever years after you copied into your own book, we usually tag the name along with the name of the person.  I took this recipe from my mom’s recipe notebook and sure enough copied down the name of the person she took from, too.  Do you do the same tagging for recipes?

This one is quite easy to make and most of the ingredients can be found in one’s pantry. Maybe except mahlep; which is the kernel of a wild cherry species. You can obtain it in Greek, Middle Eastern shops and I suggest you grind the kernels just before they are used for a better taste.  Mahlep powder is widely used in Turkish bakeries, and I am sure it is the same throughout the whole Middle East.

Very light in oil and has a nice texture. If you try it along with tea, and please let me know how you like it.


  • 3 eggs

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup light olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons mahlep powder

  • 3 cups flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Topping: sesame seeeds

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients to obtain batter that is thickier than usual cake batter. Pour into greased 9×13inch baking dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake until lightly brown and passes the toothpick test. Enjoy with tea!


Ammonia Cake

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Amonyakli Pasta Dilimi

OK, I admit, this cake has a terrible name. Yes, I could have called it something like “snowwhite cake” or “crisp cake” but I am leaving up to you to call it however you like should you add this recipe in your recipe book.

Yes we use baker’s ammonia for this cake leavening agent and not the ammonia that one uses to clean. It makes really crips layers and you will realize how unique the texture gets once you bake the layers. It does not get soggy even after a few days of “soaking” the layers with puding.
Here I will give you a basic `frosting’ (maybe calling it as a puding is a better idea?) recipe of this cake. Many people already suggested other ways to prepare it: Some said putting some strawberries in the sauce and slices in between the layers, some said adding ground nuts in between. Cocoa addition seems to be another concensus. So, up to you, however you want to decorate it.

There are two things I have to warn you about: First of all when using the baker’s ammonia make sure to look away when opening the oven’s door to remove the baked layers. Otherwise you would experience slight burns in your eyes for a short time. Not pleasent. Secondly, the cake is supposed to be 6 layers as seen in the pic. But I have never been succesful (I have made this cake many times after I wrote down the recipe about 10+ years ago.) in keeping the slices in 6 layers :( So, everybody gets slices as high as 3 layers. Maybe it is a good thing; would have been a bit too high to tackle down otherwise.
Other than this, all I can say is: enjoy the cake!

For the layers:

  1. 1 eggs

  2. 1/2 cup milk

  3. 1/2 cup butter, melted

  4. 1/2 cup sugar

  5. 1 Tbs baker’s ammonia

  6. Enough flour to make a stif dough (but soft enough to roll)


  1. 2 eggs

  2. 6 cups of milk

  3. 1 Tbs vanilla extract

  4. 2 Tbs of starch

  5. 2 Tbs flour

  6. 1 cup of butter

(with these measurements, I ended up having 1.5 cups extra)

  1. Make the frosting first, so it cools down when you prepare the layers. Mix all the ingredients other than butter, and cook, stirring constantly, until it gets like a puding consistency. Remove from heat, add butter and stir well. Set aside to cool

  2. Mix all layer ingredients until you have a stif but soft enough to roll dough. Divide into 6 (using a kitchen scale is recommended) and roll each of them as big as a dinner plate. These should not be too thin layers. Rest them for 10 mins or so, and bake them one by one (or two if you have a big enough baking tray) in a 350F oven until golden brown

  3. Cool on cooling racks

  4. On a cake stand, put a layer and cover with frosting. Put the other layer on and repeat until all are used up. Cool in the fridge and serve chilled.

Bon Apetit!

Amonyakli Pasta


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