Last week I spent a weekend in Santorini and it was exactly what I imagined it would be. This place was on my bucket list for years, and since I found out I was pregnant and realized that I’m not going to travel this year as much as I’m used to, Erez surprised me and booked us a trip. He’s such a keeper.
I got many questions on the places we visited, so here are a few tips if you are planning on traveling there soon. The most popular city, the one you see in all those breathtaking photos, is called Oia. Oia is a luxurious, romantic city, with high-end resorts, restaurants, and shops, and it’s known as the best spot to watch the sunset. You don’t have to stay in Oia to explore it because it’s easy to get there from other parts on the island, and there are beautiful resorts everywhere around the island so it depends on what you’re planning to do. We stayed in Anteliz Suites, which is between Fira (which is another popular place to stay) and Firostefani. The hotel had gorgeous views, nicest staff, and its location is convenient if you want to catch a taxi or bus to other parts of the island. The island is quite small so we rented a car for a day and traveled around to places such as Akrotiri, Pyrgos, wineries, and beaches. The roads were easy to handle and it was easy to park everywhere. We spent another half day in Oia. It’s a crowded place so it might be better to get there by taxi or bus than with a car. We arrived at 3-4 pm, just before everyone else did, so it was more quiet. We watched the sunset from a restaurant, and managed to avoid the crowds that way. The rest of our days were spent just relaxing beside the pool, soaking up the sun, and eating A LOT like we always do.
Some great restaurants we’ve been to were: To Psaraki, Lauda, Kapari (the view here is unbelievable), and Catch bar (great spot to watch the sunset in Oia). Since we traveled in August we were afraid of the crowds and the hot weather, but eventually none of this bothered us, and we were very happy. It was just what I needed after the long, tiring first trimester.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a cake I tried at breakfast at the hotel – tender coffee flavored cake, simple but delicious. I immediately asked for the recipe and after a few days I got the sweetest email with a detailed recipe from the chef, Grivas Nikos. So I thought we could enjoy the recipe together! Coffee cakes usually have a mild coffee flavor, but this one has a stronger flavor, so it’s great for coffee break or morning snack. If you love your cup of coffee, you’ll love this cake!
This cake is more like bread in texture so it's quite dense but super tasty. To keep it moist and tender, take it out of the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs and not completely dry, and serve the cake at room temperature. The important ingredient here is the coffee, so use a high quality brand that you like. For the best coffee flavor, it's better to weigh the instant coffee, you'll need 10 grams for this recipe, and then you can use either instant coffee granules or powder. I only had coffee granules and it was around 3 tablespoons. I use 1/4 cup more sugar than the original recipe to make it less bitter. Sift the cake with powdered sugar if you like.
- 1 and 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115 g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons (10 g) instant coffee granules dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons hot water
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) whole milk
Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Grease an 8½ x 4¼-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes until fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix coffee and milk in a small bowl and mix into the batter. Beat for 1 minute. The batter may look a bit curdled at this point, but that's ok. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions, mixing just until combined. Do not over mix.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs. If the cake is browning too much while baking, cover the top loosely with aluminium foil. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve cake at room temperature.
Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.