Carême Traditional Pastry

18 November 2013

I have never met somebody with so much passion for the things they are doing as the family behind the famous Carême Traditional Pastry from Barossa Valley, South Australia.  And it hasn’t been once or twice when I was specially treated with their kindness and generosity.  Meet William Wood and his lovely wife Claire – two lovely people that everybody should be proud to have them as friends!
It was about a year ago when I got in my mail box a special parcel with a fresh aroma of mother for sourdough starter.  I still can close my eyes and remember the feeling when I opened this precious packet.  The old people in my country say that if one gives away bread starter as a present he or she is blessed to have lots of good fortune and good luck in their life!  Well, looking at my big box, William and Claire are family I will be blessing for the rest of my life…
Last Saturday I got the pleasure to meet personally William on one of his regular cooking classes which he runs around the country.  It was in Sydney Cooking School at Neutral Bay as part of the introduction of their new gluten free pastry range in both sweet and savoury.
Until this class I haven’t ventured much in Gluten-Free land, but with William’s excitement about creating dishes from the best ingredients, we were in for a treat.  So here is what we had the pleasure to see being prepared right in front of our eyes and to taste it –

Next was Mini Middle Eastern Lamb Hand Pies.

And the best for last - we finished with amazingly delicious Pear, Walnut and Preserved Lemon Tart.  And when I say 'delicious', I mean gloriously delicious!  So much so that my daughter ate it before I can take a photo of it…
I owe another blog post that will be dedicated especially to this amazing desert.

We had the opportunity to hear invaluable tips and secrets that can help every time to be successful when baking with gluten free pastry.
Keep your eyes on any new classes and events that Carême Traditional Pastry might be running in the town near you.  Most of the information is on their website, but if you follow them on their Facebook page, you will get instant notifications for the latest upcoming events.  I can't wait for the next William's visit in Sydney to take part of his classes.  By then I'll make sure I have the baby sitting sorted and I will not have to tow along my daughters.   If you ask them, they had big fun - they met a Master Chef, they ate and licked their fingers, they played under the table...
There was only one thing missing...  “Mum, when is Manu coming?” my oldest daughter was nagging.  Hmmm, my little lady has become another casualty of the celebrity tv shows!

Till my next post!
My very best wishes to you,


© 2013 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


4 November 2013

Sneaky sun rays caress my face on a lazy Sunday morning.
This is the first clear memory from my childhood – full of light and smell.  The fresh tangy smell of the strained yoghurt that spills around the whole house and I know that my Sunday starts with the promise of a something special.  Mama is making Tarator!  Not the daily Tarator summer soup that we can make with eyes closed, but the “dry” Tarator.  Ah!  I can eat it with the big spoon!  Straight from serving bowl...
I was expecting my first daughter Apollonia when general discomfort and heartburns were making my nights hard to get some rest.  I asked my doctor for some natural way to help me.  He said “Eat fresh food.  Have more yoghurt, olive oil, walnuts, dill, cucumbers, and even crushed fresh garlic.  They'll help your tummy settle down and ease your heartburns and it is good for the baby”.  All I was hearing was “Eat Tarator!  Eat Tarator! Eat Tarator!”, because these are the staple ingredients of the Tarator.  And that is what I did.  I went to the local Green Grocer and picked the freshest and crisp ingredients and went home to hang the yoghurt in the muslin to strain.

Curled up on the couch next to the window I could hear from the kitchen this tiny-tiny sound “drop, drop, drop” and the house was starting to fill more and more with the smell of strained yoghurt whey.  My childhood returned like strong wave tides with flashes of sunlight jumping from the leaves through the Linden tree, with smell of Mama’s cooking and the wholesome feeling of being loved and happy!  I touched my belly; I knew that all I wanted to give my precious baby is that loving feeling that has been holding me like a warm hug, like an honest kiss on the forehead.  My remedy Tarator became a tribute to carefree childhood memories and I wished upon a wish for the best childhood I can possibly give my child.
Here we are now, making Mama’s Tarator for countless times.  Trust my recipe and every time and effort that you'll put in it will reward you.

1 litre yoghurt
4 fresh and crisp flesh cucumbers – stay with Lebanese or Telegraph cable cucumbers – diced in small cubes about ½ cm each side. DO NOT GRATE!
3 gloves of garlic
1 cup of walnut kernels
1 bunch of fresh dill – washed and finely chopped
Olive Oil – to taste

Salt – to taste

Thoroughly wet and squeeze kitchen muslin and pour in it a litre of good quality full cream yoghurt.  The wet muslin prevents the yoghurt from sticking in.  Leave to strain overnight.
Peel and dice the cucumbers with very sharp knife avoiding any bruising that may make them soggy.  It is imperative for a true Tarator to be made with fine dices of cucumber because it keeps the ingredient intact as much as possible, it doesn't bruise and therefore the water doesn’t escape and every little bit stays fresh until consumed.  It also gives the best sensation in the mouth when eating Tarator, because with every bite the little dices burst in your mouth and fill you with feeling of exploding freshness.
In a mortar prepare the Walnut, Garlic and Dill Pesto – crash carefully the nuts, garlic and dill mixed with a pinch of salt and dash of olive oil.  Grind it gently until you get one smooth and fragrant pesto.  Add if need be some more grains of salt and drips of oil, but make sure you are getting the natural oils of the walnuts themselves.  They are extremely nourishing, wholesome and jam packed with good omegas!!!
In a large mixing bowl place the strained yoghurt which by then would look and feel more like a ball of soft cheese.  Break it with whisks and mix until smooth, add the walnut, garlic and dill pesto and continue to mix.   Add the diced cucumbers and stir very gently.  Add salt and generous amount of olive oil.  Try it and adjust if needed.
Now sprinkle with a handful of finely chopped dill, decorate with drizzle of olive oil and enjoy it!

Every bite you take you are filling your body with pleasure and bursting surprises of flavours and textures and most of all – a mouthful of health!  Tarator is a symphony of wellness in its own right.

Here are some facts about the benefits of Tarator:
Yoghurt –
It is a great source of probiotics specific to certain strains of "good" bacteria.  They adjust the microflora in the intestines and also act directly on body functions, such as digestion or immune function.  Yoghurt gives good dose nutrients like calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium and magnesium.
Cucumbers –
Aid digestive disorders like acidity, heartburn, gastritis and even ulcers can be cured by the daily consumption of fresh cucumber.  The water and fibre in cucumber are very effective in driving away the toxins from our digestive system and hence aid digestion.
Olive oil –
Among the myriad benefits of this gold in liquid, it was an ancient practice to address all digestive problems with a good spoon of olive oil.  And yes – I go to big lengths to find olive oil produced from Crete.  It is the Rolls Royce of the olive oils!!!
Walnuts –
“The food for brain” as Dad use to say, walnuts contain essential omega-3 fatty acids in higher amounts.  They are an excellent source of antioxidants, manganese and copper.  Walnuts offer calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vitamin E and zinc in large amounts.  They hold abundant anti-inflammatory properties.
Garlic –
It has been praised for so many health benefits, but little is known about the help they give for digestive discomfort.  It aids in eliminating noxious wastes matter from the human body and stimulates peristaltic action and the secretion of the digestive juices.
Dill –
This humble herb has been admired for strengthening the bones, for its anti-bacterial properties, optimising the digestive health and even its calming effect on the body and dealing with insomnia.
*also known as Tzatziki in Greece and some other
countries with diverse  ingredients in the recipes.

Till my next post
My very best wishes to you,

© 2013 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved
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