|Image by Chris Mejorada for CPI Publishing|
Home sweet home! We arrived yesterday after spending a few weeks in Beirut and Istanbul, where we attended two gorgeous weddings of dear friends of ours. Everything was absolutely stunning, and I came back feeling all lovey dovey..
I haven't been to Istanbul in quite a few years, and I'm always amazed by its beauty. It doesn't get enough credit for how beautiful it actually is. Every time I go, I'm mesmerized by the city on the seven hills and surprisingly, I always feel at home there. Of course due to old and dear Turkish friends I have (Aicha, Asli, Esra, Mert, thank you for taking such good care of us) but it's also a place where East meets West, and so it always reminds me of being fully Syrian but having lived abroad all my life. Or of my sister who got married to her Spanish husband in Istanbul, and so my beloved nieces and nephews are truly a mix of both cultures.
Having said that, my favorite historic attraction is Hagia Sophia, a former church, turned into a mosque and then turned into a museum by the one and only Ataturk. Hagia Sophia's beauty cannot be described in words, amazingly the mix of both religions under one roof is just incredible. I wish the whole world could be as harmonious as Hagia Sophia is.. The world would be a far better place.
Now back to glorious food. I've been doing a proper spring/summer cleaning of the entire house so the kitchen has been off limits today. So I will leave you with an incredibly yummy sweet treat I actually came up with by accident! I was trying to make a quick and easy chocolate mousse but as I was whisking the chocolate hardened. BUT it turned out even more delish and now I prefer my crunchy chocolate mousse from my traditional one. Plus it's so simple to make, perfect when you have people over for dinner and you need a speedy dessert ;)
Serves 4 - 6
Prep & Cook Time: ~10 minutes
- · 2 cups whipping cream
- · 250g dark chocolate (70% or more)
- · ¼ cup icing sugar
- · ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed
- · a few strawberries to garnish
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and set aside until it cools down completely.
Whip up the cream, add the icing sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you enjoy your mousse).
Using a hand whisk incorporate the chocolate into the whipped cream. It doesn’t have to me completely smooth though.
Place the chocolate mousse in serving glasses or ramekins, and top with a handful of crunchy hazelnuts and strawberries. Delicious!
As featured in BBC Good Food ME - April 2012