Author: Lia Moutselou

Waste Not Cakes! Carrot & Banana sweetness and pumpkin & mushroom savoury delight

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This year our dream team consisting of Green City Events, Cynefin Cardiff and Lia’s Kitchen will be organising more food waste reduction events in Cardiff’s Roath/Penylan, Splott and Adamsdown areas. Our first Love Food Hate Waste Roadshow on 21 November 2015 kicked off a series of roadshows and workshops to follow in 2016. We cannot explain how much we believe in what we do so we hope that our enthusiasm and dedication is contagious. Now is a great time to think about reducing your food waste and to join the fight to help do something about this ever increasing problem.

At our November 2015 roadshow we provided advice and tips on how to use our imagination to cook with what we have at home. Our savoury and sweet cake samples inspired many of you to be creative in the kitchen. So here are the recipes below. Remember don’t be afraid to replace an ingredient you are missing with another. The cake recipes were inspired by ingredients most us of are likely to waste and seasonal, affordable ingredients such as squash.

The sweet cake recipe is based on a similar recipe shared with me by a dear friend Wendy Twell about ten years ago. Whilst the savoury cake is inspired by pumpkin and winter squash which is abundant at the moment – it is designed to help people not waste some of the larger pumpkins/squash they get hold off. For more inspiration on pumpkin see here.

Follow @greencityevens, @liaskitchen, @cynefincardiff for information on upcoming events.

Thanks to and Luke From Cynefin for the snaps today.

Sweet Carrot & Banana Cake


Ingredients (8-10 portions)

  • 1 carrot coarsely grated
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed with a fork
  • 100ml/g of fat (vegetable oil or melted butter)
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150 sugar (caster or light brown sugar or a mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g chopped nuts of your choice or roughly chopped chocolate
  • 1 tsp mixed spices of your choices
  • (we recommend mixing half tsp ground cardamom, half tsp ground cinnamon powder, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg)

Preparation (1.5 hours)

  1. Grease and line a 20cm long bread tin or a 20cm round baking tray with flour.
  2. Mix the flour with the baking powder and the spices of your choice.
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork and grate the carrot in the same bowl.
  4. Add the banana and carrot and mi with the flour.
  5. Make a well in the middle and add the fat of your choice and eggs.
  6. Beat well until blended.
  7. Bake in a medium oven (170 centigrade) for 45-1hr or until a skewer pierced into the centre comes out clean.

Lia’s tips:

  • If you have one banana only add another carrot. If the mixture is tight add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to make it looser so that the cake is not dry.
  • Cool down the butter a little before you add to your mixture. Mix in before adding your eggs.
  • The cake keeps well in the fridge for about a week.
  • Have too much leftover cake? Why not eat some of it for breakfast with Greek yoghurt and honey. Or soak the drier slices win some coffee and marsala or other sweet wine, topping it with sweetened yoghurt and fruit for an alternative trifle desert which will impress all your guests.

Savoury pumpkin and mushroom cake


Ingredients (8-10 portions)

  • 1 small-medium squash/pumpkin or up to 500g peeled squash/pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch of sage (30g)
  • 300g cornmeal or polenta
  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter melted
  • 50-100g cheddar cubed or grated
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 30g sugar
  • Salt
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Butter for frying

Preparation (1.5hr)

  1. Grease and line a square baking tray (25cm x 35cm) or a deep round baking tray (20-25cm diameter).
  2. Cut and peel the pumpkin or squash removing sweet. Then grate coarsely or pulse in a food processor for 2 minutes.
  3. Finely slice the onion, mix with the pumpkin, add two pinches of salt and stir fry in a little bit of olive oil for 10 minutes.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, add a pinch of salt and fry in a little butter until soft.
  5. Fry the whole sage leaves and their chopped stalk in a little butter until crispy.
  6. Mix the flours together with the baking powder.
  7. Add the sugar, fried veg, the butter, the cheese , the milk and the two beaten eggs and mix into a soft batter that is neither too tight not too runny.
  8. Season with more salt if needed and add the fried sage.
  9. Bake for 45min-1hr in a medium over (175 centigrade) or until a skewer pierced in the middle comes out clean.

Lia’s tips:

  • Raw pumpkin does not in my opinion freeze that well uncooked. Stir frying pumpkin or squash is a great way to preserve it. If you have too much cook it, cool it, freeze it and use in cakes, pies and stir fries later on in the year.
  • This recipe is adaptable to various and seasonal ingredients. You can use carrot and greens such as kale and spinach. Or add more mushrooms and less pumpkin. Ingredients such as carrot, pumpkin, courgette, aubergine are good for this cake because the keep this cake moist and soft.
  • Same with the cheese- why not use a mix of cheeses, or blue cheese or whatever you might have in your fridge.
  • You can replace the milk with yoghurt and a little bit of water.
  • If you don’t have sage tarragon is a great alternative and so is rosemary. And of course you can use dried herbs instead of fresh. 1-2 tsp should be enough for this recipe.
  • Polenta or fine cornmeal is a great ingredient to store in your pantry. Many shops on or around City road in Cardiff  sell big bags for very little money. It will come handy for many savoury or sweet cakes which you can use your leftovers. Introduce cornmeal to your life – it is a great ingredient to cook with! s
  • This cake keeps well in the fridge for about a week. It freezes well too. , aubergine.
  • For the summer version of this cake see here.

Pumpkin stir fry and savoury pie – November Riverside Market Garden Box Recipes

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It is finally pumpkin and winter quash season! The sweetness of this fantastic vegetable is ideal for moreish, savoury dishes and their salty flavours, which is exactly what I have developed for you this month. The recipes at the end of this blog are inspired by the seasonal ingredients of the November’s Riverside Market Garden vegetable box, such as leeks, fresh onions, sweet and chili peppers, and squash. But also the flavours of sage, mushrooms – currently still popping up in the Welsh forests – and chestnuts, the season of which is beginning.  I really hope you enjoy the recipes, one of which is a quicker stir fry, for days when time is precious, whilst the other allows all you skilful foodies to explore making shortcrust pastry with pumpkin flesh instead of butter!

The trickiest part of cooking pumpkin or winter squash is peeling its tougher skin. Other than this the versatile vegetable cooks easily and quickly. Its flesh roasts in about half an hour (you can leave the skin on), it stir fries in around twenty minutes when diced and much quicker than that when grated. And finally it boils in about fifteen minutes.

The most obvious dish for pumpkin or squash, apart from pie, is soup. The easiest one you can make (and my favourite) does not even really need a recipe. Just roast a medium pumpkin, sliced with the skin, in a bit of olive oil, salt, thyme and 3-4 unpeeled cloves of garlic for half an hour in the oven. When baked place the flesh of the garlic and pumpkin in a pot, add at least 700ml of hot stock (say for 500g squash) and blend with a hand mixed or mash. Your soup is ready and you don’t even need to boil it!

Another idea if you don’t have much time is to scrub the skin of the pumpkin clean, cut it in half, scoop the seeds and stringy bits out with a spoon, drizzle it with olive oil and bake for forty minutes. When baked you can scoop out the flesh, mash it with a generous amount of grated cheese and herbs, and if you like some cooked lentils. Refill the pumpkin or squash halves and grill for another 10 minutes until golden!

I literally could go on forever about the numerous savoury bakes and sweet pies you can make with pumpkin but why not start by trying the two recipes below first. And if you need more inspiration come back to me. We are definitely not done with the squash season just yet.

Sunny autumn Cretan stir fry

pumpkin stir fry

Ingredients (4-6 portions)

  • 500g diced pumpkin or squash (up to)
  • 4 spring onions or 3 leeks or 1 dry onion
  • 2 peppers (red or green)
  • Half a garlic bulb
  • ½ chilli pepper finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomato paste (optional)
  • 200g pre-cooked chestnuts
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 100g couscous
  • 1 cup white wine or vegetable stock
  • One small bunch of parsley (30 gr)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation (45 minutes)

  1. Peel and dice the pumpkin or squash in small cubes (2cm).
  2. Chop the spring onion (or leek/onion) and peppers.
  3. Stir fry in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the bay leaves and thyme with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sundried tomato paste, pumpkin, chestnuts, olives, garlic with the skin on, a pinch of salt and some more olive oil.
  5. Stir fry, cover and cook for up to 30 minutes until the pumpkin is (no need to add water).
  6. Once the pumpkin is soft, add the wine or stock and bring to the boil.
  7. Remove from heat, add the couscous, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
  8. Season to taste, sprinkle with chopped parsley and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.

Lia’s Tips:

  • If you don’t have access to chestnuts why not use 200g of mushrooms instead, dice and stir fry at the same time as the squash.
  • You can use plain tomato paste if you don’t have access to sundried tomato paste.
  • If the pumpkin is particularly tough you could add a couple of tablespoons of water to help it cook quicker

Savoury pumpkin and mushroom pie


Ingredients (4-6 portions)

For the dough

  • 200g pumpkin (diced)
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 eggs +1 egg yolk beaten

For the filling

  • 200g pumpkin (diced)
  • 50g dried mushrooms
  • 4 spring onions or 3 leeks or 1 dry onion
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 small bunch sage (leaves only)
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 30g grated parmesan
  • 100g grated cheddar
  • 100ml double cream or Greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Melted butter for the pastry
  • 1 tsp of the beaten egg for the glazing
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Some olive oil to cook the pumpkin

 Preparation (1.5hrs)

  1. Peel and dice the pumpkin or squash (all 400g for both the dough and the filling) in 2cm cubes.
  2. Bake or stir fry for 30 minutes or until soft after dressing in olive oil and adding a pinch of salt.
  3. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes to reconstitute. Alternatively use 300g fresh mushrooms stir fried in butter with a pinch of salt.
  4. Slice the spring onions and fry in half the butter (25g) with the bay leaves and thyme.
  5. Add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir fry until coated in the buttery glaze.
  6. Melt the rest of the butter in a separate frying pan and fry the sage leaves until crispy (set aside).
  7. Separate the pumpkin in half, add 200g to the mushroom filling and mash the rest.
  8. Add the cream, egg and parmesan to the cooled mushroom filling, remove the bay leaves and season to taste.
  9. Mix the mashed pumpkin, the beaten egg and yolk, a pinch of salt and the flour. Knead for five minutes into a shortcrust dough.
  10. Separate the dough into two equal balls.
  11. Roll out two dough sheets (3cm) on a lightly floured surface in the shape of your baking tray (20cm round).
  12. Line the baking tray with some melted butter and the one dough sheet.
  13. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar and the fried sage leaves.
  14. Add the filling and spread evenly.
  15. Add the second dough sheet, pressing the corners with your finger tips to bind the two dough sheets together and to create a nice finish for the rim of the pie.
  16. Brush with some melted butter and a teaspoon of beaten egg you have kept aside.
  17. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the top is golden.

Lia’s Tips:

  • If you don’t have some of the ingredients feel free to improvise. For example, use yoghurt if you don’t have cream, an extra pinch of salt if you don’t have parmesan which you can replace with other cheese.
  • If the dough is too crumbly to roll you can press it down flat with your fingers. And you can crumble the top sheet for a savoury crumble dish. If you do this add some crushed nuts or seeds.
  • This pie is delicious with gluten free flour too.

Celeriac salad and soup recipes – October Riverside Market Garden vegetable box

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There is one thing you cannot do with celeriac, and that is to leave it out in the air once you peeled it because it quickly discolours. But if you put it in a bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice or white wine vinegar, whole, diced, sliced, chopped, grated or cut julienne it can wait for you to prepare great dishes in the kitchen.

The wonderful celeriac, a milder variety of celery, is extremely versatile and nutritious. Once you overcome the task of peeling, washing and immersing it in acidulated water you are half way there. You can almost do everything with the root of celeriac, be it a plain mash, creamed with salted butter and any spice of your choice for your roast or fish; a layered bake in white or red tomato sauces; a heart-warming soup; an alternative roast vegetable to parsnip or; a quick and simple stir fry with celeriac diced, chopped or grated. Its aroma is subtle but has enough depth so you don’t need to over spice or flavour it.

Celeriac makes a great accompaniment to beef, lamb, duck, white or smoked fish, scallops and loves bacon and spicy sausages, such as chorizo and merguez. It goes well with sage, dill, parsley and mint; and sits beautifully with milky and creamy sauces and dressings. You go as far as trying delicious (vegan) curries with coconut milk, fenugreek and turmeric if you are a spice explorer in the kitchen. Celeriac fritters work well as the vegetable takes other flavours on well; thin celeriac chips in tempura batter is a delicious beer snack, and recently when I was reading Nopi, the brand new Ottolenghi book, I came across one of the easiest ways to cook celeriac, after washing it well, trimming it, leaving the skin on and baking it for three hours in a medium hot oven! I kid you not, the possibilities are endless.

So when you come across the celeriac root in your October Riverside Market Garden Box (which of course I strongly recommend you order with no hesitation) don’t be phased by it. Start by chopping off its bottom root, and trim its hairy and nobly bits off fearlessly whilst peeling it with a small sharp knife or peeler of your choice. Use a vegetable brush to wash the mud and grit off well before immersing in acidulated water.

The two recipes below can start you off and are both are inspired by and use seasonal in my October Riverside Market Garden vegetable box. There is a quick salad and a soup suggestion rather different than the usual celeriac recipes you could google. Enjoy!

Riverside Garden raw celeriac and apple salad with Greek yoghurt remoulade dressing

Celeriac and apple salad

Ingredients (4 portions)

  • 200g celeriac, peeled in ribbons or cut julienne (small sticks)
  • 1 red apple, sliced of cut julienne
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small bunch of mint, coarsely chopped

For the dressing

  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 1.5 teaspoons mustard or mustard powder
  • 1 handful of capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 big pinches of salt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey

Preparation (15-20min)

  1. Trim, peel, brush and chop the celeriac.
  2. Place in acidulated water with either a squeeze of lemon or a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
  3. Halve or quarter the apple, removing the core and chop or slice julienne.
  4. Mix the apple and celeriac and dress with the tablespoon of vinegar.
  5. To prepare the yoghurt remoulade mix the ingredients for the dressing and season to taste.
  6. Either mix the dressing on the ingredients or place on top, sprinkling it with the mint.

Lia’s tips:

  • 1 small celeriac is around 200g- don’t worry too much about accuracy measurement, you can use more or less than that in your salad.
  • Gherkins are a fine replacement for capers.
  • If you have ready-made piccalilli you can use that to flavour your yogurt dressing.
  • This salad is delicious with toasted walnuts, smoked salmon or haddock, and roast lamb.

Riverside Garden Celeriac and Beetroot soup

Celeriac and Beetroot soup

Ingredients (4 portions)

  • 200g celeriac, chopped
  • 200g mixed beetroot, chopped
  • 200g potato, chopped
  • 100g red split lentils (optional)
  • 1 leek
  • 3 spring onions or half a dry onion
  • 2 bay leaves (preferable but optional if you don’t have)
  • A small bouquet of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to season

Optional garnish

  • Handful of finely chopped capers
  • Apple slices
  • Toasted cumin and caraway seeds

Preparation (45 minutes)

  1. Peel and chop all the vegetable, and follow the celeriac preparation tips as in previous recipe.
  2. Sauté the leek, onion and bay leaves (if you are using) in a bit of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons) with a pinch of salt until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped vegetable and lentils (if you are using).
  4. Stir fry for 5 minutes and coat well in the oil.
  5. Add the stock and thyme, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stacks (if you are using fresh thyme bouquet).
  7. Season to taste if needed.
  8. Cream with a hand blender if you prefer a creamy soup.
  9. Serve with a pinch of chopped capers, some sliced apple and a sprinkle of toasted cumin & caraway seeds.

Lia’s tips:

  • Don’t worry about exact weighting of vegetable. You roughly require 1/3 of each vegetable in equal amounts.
  • I strongly recommend using of bay leaves but if you don’t have them thyme or other herbs will do fine.
  • Blending the soup results in a nice consistent colour but you don’t have to.
  • Use more cumin than caraway seeds. Caraway complements beetroot beautifully but can be overpowering. Sprinkle with caution.
  • Pear is also delicious with this soup if you don’t fancy apple. It’s all in season anyway!

And that is that …

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This morning I thought I had missed call from someone I have worked during the last two very intense years of my water related job (which takes up most of my time during the week). He has accepted a job in a faraway warm rich place and I had sent him a farewell card. I called him back to wish him well, thinking it was his last day at work. At this stage of our testing professional relationship, having been through intense challenges, trials and tribulations, we could just be human, and focus on the person immigrating to a different country, leaving their home behind, regardless of whether this is done happily or sadly. So it was to my surprise that at the end of the conversation he chose to say something awkward. It aimed to question the role of the hard working organisation I spend almost all of my working week at to protect the interests of the public in a private UK water industry. Still I obliged him. It was not personal, he’s a good guy, it was probably his way of joking and he was making small talk whilst I was calling to wish him good luck from the bottom of my heart.

Straight after that I went to Oasis, a refugee charity in Cardiff, where hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers, migrants or immigrants, receive support and food every week. I found myself in the kitchen with women from Ghana, India, Uganda, Zambia, Albania whilst they were cooking a meal for ninety odd people who will have lunch at Oasis today. I met them for the first time. They all probably have interesting stories, perhaps some of these stories are harrowing. Some of them have their children at their home country whilst they work here. Still they opened their mind and their arms to me as soon as I walked in. You know that sense of that we are all in it together? That’s what I felt.

This morning I felt relieved as I was putting the phone down, being thankful for the bad signal that interrupted the awkward final bit of my discussion with a newly appointed ex-pat . And as I was leaving Oasis I felt grateful to Reynette and the women in the Oasis kitchen for opening their door to me, to cook, to share & record their recipes and listen to their experiences. As a human.

I think I know for good which conversation I’d rather be in.

Lemon Polenta cake with rosemary syrup

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Rosemary syrup drizzled lemon polenta cake
Rosemary syrup drizzled lemon polenta cake

During the summer of 2015 Lia’s Kitchen market stalls have consistently offered a zingy aromatic polenta cake with a soft but grainy texture.

The inspiration for this cake comes from the Greek revani cake and another cake recipe I once found in a ‘Good House Keeping’ little book of cakes and bakes back in 2004 when I was teaching myself to bake by following each cake & bake recipe of various cook books. Revani is traditionally made with coarse semolina and a soaked in a lemon syrup, usually served chilled. The rosemary syrup was one of the things that the ‘Good House Keeping’ book added to this recipe as well as the use of cornmeal instead of semolina. I decided to go a step further to make this cake fully gluten free by using gluten free plain flour. The scent of the syrup can be changed and past experiments of mine include lavender, basil, rosewater and well as orange blossom syrup (with orange instead of lemon in the cake).

Allow plenty of time for preparation as the cake requires 45 to 60 minutes baking. This recipe is for a large 20cm cake tin and sixteen portions. Half the ingredients and you can have a smaller cake which also bakes well in a bread or loaf tin.


Makes 16 portions

  • 400g coarse cornmeal or polenta
  • 100g gluten free plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 800g caster sugar
  • 400ml water
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 Tablespoons strained Greek yoghurt (like Total)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Enough oil or butter and plain flour to line  20cm round spring baking tin


1.5hrs including up to1 hr baking time

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder and polenta in a bowl.
  2. Mix the olive oil, yoghurt, lemon juice and lemon zest well until ingredients don’t separate.
  3. Beat the eggs (and egg whites) with half the sugar until pale and creamy.
  4. Add the yoghurt mixture to the egg mixture and stir well.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Line the baking tin with fat and flour.
  7. Pour the mixture in and bake on 160-170 centigrade for 45 to 60 minutes (mid oven self).
  8. Simmer the washed rosemary sprig, sugar (400g) and 400ml of water for ten minutes.
  9. Remove the rosemary sprig immediately unless you prefer a strong rosemary aroma.
  10. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean from the middles of the cake.
  11. Remove and cover with a clean towel for ten minutes.
  12. Pierce cake with the skewer and pour the syrup over it whilst in the tin.
  13. Do this gradually in case your cake does not absorb all the syrup.
  14. Allow 5 minutes for the syrup to be absorbed.
  15. Turn out to a serving plate.

Lia’s Tips

  • If you have large eggs reduce them to 3 and add one egg white. Your mixture must be loose but not too runny. If it is too ‘tight’ when you stir you can add the extra egg white or some more oil and yoghurt. Alternatively you can always add more polenta and flour but this might change the texture of the cake when baked.
  • Keep the egg yolks. You can refrigerate for 2 days or freeze. Or you can make a delicious hollandaise sauce for a poached eggs breakfast.
  • If your lemon is quite juicy, you can add more to your cake depending on you taste or make yourself a nice cup of tea with lemon and honey to enjoy whilst baking.
  • If you are baking for someone with Crohn’s disease or severe gluten intolerance, double check that your polenta/cornmeal is actually gluten free. Some products are packaged in factories handling gluten which could spoil it for your or one of your guests.

Lia’s Kitchen meets Riverside Market Garden

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Lia and Poppy

About a month ago I started visiting the people who grow delicious food locally. It was a good reminder that the food we put on our plates and which many times is grown organically, is a hard labour of love. I walked and talked with Tom from Bleancamel Market and then Poppy and Debby from Riverside Market Garden.

Alongside with discussions I had last autumn with Poppy Nicol working with Riverside Market Garden these visits became the inspiration for a pop-up pie shop at Roath Farmers’ Market on 23 May 2015. This was a true collaboration with hardworking growers. The Greek pies we offered people used fresh ingredients from Riverside Market Garden, either picked or foraged from the farm a couple of days before the event. Blaencamel Farm also supplied some of their delightful rainbow chard.

We are nearing the end of a period called the hungry gap when new crops, such as for example potatoes and carrots, are not there yet or are available in small amounts. Instead of focussing on what we don’t have we looked around us to the delightful and nutritional greens that are available throughout May. This awareness of wild greens’ abundance has also been the result of on-going research into wild foraged greens that I spent my childhood eating and picking with my family. Catalan Chicory, radishes, dandelions, purslane, chard and beetroot leaves have been a staple of the Greek diet for years and indeed many restaurant offer these as a delicacy in inspired recipes with fish, lamp, cuttlefish or in plain refreshing summer salads. In the past year I have been making the connections between what grows in the place I grew up and the place I live. And I have been noticing that  many growers have been cultivating or even introducing some of these feisty crops into our diet.

My choice to make pies is not only because of my love of pie and my mission to make sure that everyone in Britain knows what a good homemade Greek pie tastes like, but also because wild green pies have something special because of their freshness – they always surprise people with the flavour and texture of their ingredients.

On 23 May we sold all our wild green pies and hopefully we helped people reimagine they can do with the food that nature gives them each season.

I have one message to leave you with- support your local growers, visit the markets they attend and order your precious life giving food from them where you can. Remember that fresh and organic also means nutritious and healthy. And of course as ever I would like to say: don’t forget to eat more pie!

Want to learn how to make Greek Pie?Contact Lia’s Kitchen for private cooking lessons, catering orders and bespoke pop-up events & dinners. Email to be added to our mailing list.

Visit to find out more about your local growers. A weekly vegetable box scheme is delivered in Roath, for more information see here:

Our menu on 23 May included Nettle and green garlic pie, Chard pie, Chard & dandelion pie with chocolate mint and fennel leaves.

What to do with your leftover Easter chocolate

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If you are left with little pieces of chocolate eggs or you want to make the most of Easter chocolate on offer at shops this week this easy and quick dessert recipe is for you. It requires no baking and it is a great one to make with the kids, who I am sure will be quite happy to help you smash those biscuits!

Kormos, which means tree log in Greek, is unlike the baked chocolate log recipes you know. It uses crumbled biscuits, roughly chopped nuts, melted chocolate to make a delicious dessert that does not need baking and can be frozen for a while if you would rather not eat any more chocolate for a while.

Ingredients (feeds 10)

  • 300g mixed chocolate
  • ¾ -1 packet of rich tea biscuits roughly crushed
  • 150g and up to a cup roughly chopped almonds or other nuts of your choice
  • 350g double cream
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons amaretto liqueur or cognac

Preparation (20 minutes and 2-3 hour refrigeration time)

  1. Melt the chocolate with the cream, the liqueur and the icing sugar and melt in a bain marie.
  2. Remove the melted chocolate mixture from heat and cool down.
  3. Roughly chop or crush the almonds and the biscuits.
  4. Mix the biscuits and almonds well in the mixture.
  5. Line a bread baking tin with baking paper making sure there is enough excess paper on all sides to fold around the mixture.
  6. Pour the cooled down mixture in the tin and fold the baking paper neatly around it.
  7. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 2 hours on the coolest shelves of the fridge.
  8. You can speed up the process by adding the mixture in the freezer for an hour.
  9. Once the mixture is cooled down and more solid you can remove from the tin, wrap in cling film and then refrigerate or freeze.
  10. Before serving, dust with some cocoa powder and slice to serve.

Lia’s tips:

  • If you have less chocolate you can still make this dessert. For 150g chocolate (half the amount in the recipe) add ¾ cup evaporated milk and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
  • There are many ways to make this dessert, you can swap the cream with a tin of condensed milk if you are using dark chocolate. Just make sure you remove the icing sugar and add about 100g butter too.
  • It is also possible to make the dessert without any chocolate – just replace the cream and chocolate with 250g butter, 6 tablespoon cocoa power and increase the icing sugar to half a cup.
  • Basically this is a great leftover recipe and you can adapt it to what you have or can afford.
  • You can keep the log frozen – just make sure you take it out of the freezer for 3 hours or overnight before serving.
  • My ‘bain-marie’ is a pyrex bowl placed over a pot of boiling water.