Author Nektaria Anastasiadou had the audacity to set her debut novel in the most sacred of all cities for Greeks and employ its revered history and urban landscape as the backdrop for an endearing story of love and food. And her boldness has paid rich dividends.
Anastasiadou’s novel “Recipe for Daphne” is a beautifully written story set in present-day Istanbul that tells how two Greek men vie for the hand of Daphne, a young American.
Prominent Greek American historian and professor of history Alexander Kitroeff wrote a review of her book for The Pappas Post. And the author herself has generously shared recipes from her book.
“This recipe, told to me by an elderly friend, may well have roots in Byzantium, where a common dessert was made from layers of cookies, cream, honey, fruit and nuts,” Anastasiadou said. “It is also the dessert that Aliki serves at the luncheon on the island of Antigone in ‘A Recipe for Daphne.'”
The ingredients and instructions for how to make “biskotato,” or “chocolate salami” follow below.
- 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 4oz butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 7 dates
- 6oz butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 generous tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cognac
- Parchment paper
Put dates in a bowl, pour boiling water on top to cover, leave to soak and soften.
Mix cookie ingredients, roll into balls, flatten on cookie sheet, bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven, let cool, and break into pieces.
Remove pits and stems from dates, put in a food processor and puree. Add butter, egg yolks, cacao powder and cognac and blend until smooth.
Remove blade from food processor and mix cookie pieces into the cream with a spoon.
Spoon mixture onto the parchment paper in a log shape, wrap in paper and shape more if needed, refrigerate for 4-24 hours until thickened.
Remove paper, slice and serve.
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