This past weekend our dinner guests came with a very large bag. When R put the bag in the fridge my heart did a little jump. It haddd to be dessert. A BIG dessert. I rushed through dinner excited by what might be waiting in my fridge. When the moment finally came, I went to take out the box. It was so heavy! I was afraid that I would drop it for a minute.
I opened the top as slowly as I could manage, trying to maintain some air of dignity. But then I saw the cake. What an amazing, beautiful cake it was! Feraz quickly commented that R knew the way to my heart. Indeed.
The cake did not disappoint. It was filled with nuts and berries. There was a beautiful layer of mousse in the middle. Every piece, every bite was amazing. Needless to say I have been having it for every meal since then. I am especially worried that it is going to go stale, so I am eating it as fast as I can.
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have an intensely dangerous sweet tooth. Istanbul makes it so much harder because everything is so new. In the U.S. there may be a hundred cookie options at the grocery store but at least the years there have taught me what I like and what I don't like. In the grocery stores here I spend hours walking up and down the aisles, putting in packet after packet of cookies and sweets. One week I pick up the Magnum Minis, another there is the Vienetta ice cream.
My favorite cookies so far have been Tuktus. They don't look impressive at all. They actually kind of look like something that has been sitting in your senile grandma's cupboard for months. And at the low price of .80 lira, they don't seem too promising. But once you have one, you are hooked! There is a nice crispy exterior, followed by a surprising, but welcome nutella center. Dipped in a Nescafe 3in1, they are pure magic.
Another grocery store wonder are mini brownies. Feraz and I found them on our very first trip to the grocery store. The shop was literally a hole in a corner and I wasn't expecting much, even though they were in a lovely red package. But my God, I have no idea how SO MUCH moisture can be packed in such a little brownie! I know that brownies are one of those things that you feel are always best freshly baked, preferably by a kind friend or mom, but for those lonely fat souls out there, these are perfect! Dare I say, even better than home baked??
I have already gone way too far into this entry without talking about the mother of all desserts in Turkey. Some might say it is the bakhlava. Others might profess it is the profiteroles but my heart belongs to kunefe. It is a beautiful pastry filled with cheese, dripping with syrup, topped with pistachios. It is usually served warm with a dollop of cream on top. To have a full experience, I take it with a scoop of cold ice cream. Sweet, sweet heaven.
Already, I am becoming increasingly concerned about what I will do without all these sweets when I go back to the U.S. Obviously, there is only one solution. Never leave Turkey.