Yesterday some really awesome happened, my blog turned 4 years old! To celebrate my blog anniversary and in homage to my recent trip to Istanbul, I made a classic Turkish dessert: the Mosaic Cake (Mozaik Pasta Tarifi).
I have to pinch myself sometimes, because it feels unreal that I have been logging entries on this blog every week for the past four years! It seems like yesterday that I pressed “publish” on my first post, still clueless on what blogging was all about. I needed a space to share my photos, but I didn’t I would be also entering a community of amazing, talented, beautiful people.
I only had a couple of British friends until I launched my blog (despite having lived in London for 5 years), but thanks to my blog I have made many friends and that has made me feel more part of the city and country I chose to live in.
One year ago I made the decision to leave my job in advertising and blog full time. It was the best decision obviously, because it’s never a good thing to be in a job you don’t love. But it hasn’t been easy working on my own, managing my time and work without a boss / mentor, and course paying the bills and mortgage is a struggle. Even though I travel all the time, I feel like I haven’t been on holiday in a long time because travel bloggers are always working. I can’t complain, I love what I do and I am lucky to be able to do it.
Blogging full time is a big commitment, but you know what? It is also highly addictive! I love sharing my food and travel experiences and receiving feedback from my readers and followers. To know someone loved one of my recipes, or a restaurant I recommended, or a travel destination featured on Mondomulia, then it’s just the best feeling! So thank you all for reading my blog and following my journey until now.
Turkish Mosaic Cake
About this recipe: Mosaic Cake is a popular dessert in Turkey, very similar to an Italian dessert called salame al cioccolato. It’s simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients, doesn’t require baking and is ready in less than two hours.
I adapted my recipe from John Gregory-Smith’s new cookbook Turkish Delights. I have had the pleasure to meet John a few times and also attend his pop-up dinners in London twice. I tried this Mosaic Cake at one of these events and it seemed a perfect cake to make for my blog anniversary.
I have upgraded the cake with a rich chocolate lacquer glaze. I also made a few tweaks to the original recipe: I replaced the hazelnuts/walnuts with cashews as I just bought lots of them in Mumbai. I replaces the dried cherries with cranberries. And finally, I mixed 70% dark chocolate with Green & Blacks Maya Gold. This chocolate is infused with orange and spices and gives a delicious taste to the cake. I would even suggest it makes a perfect cake for Christmas and the holiday season!
For the cake
- 150g unsalted butter
- 200g dark chocolate 70%
- 100g Green & Blacks Maya Gold dark chocolate
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- 300g malted milk biscuits (any plain biscuit will do), roughly crushed
- 100g cashews, roughly chopped (plus a handful to sprinkle on top)
- 100g cranberries, roughly chopped
For the chocolate glaze
Recipe by Cafe Fernando
- 1/2 gelatine sheet
- 30ml cold water
- 70g granulated sugar
- 40ml water
- 1 1/2 tbsp golden syrup
- 95g cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
- 40ml double cream
Put the butter, chopped chocolate and honey into a saucepan over low heat. Let them melt completely, stirring occasionally.
Tip the biscuits into a food processor or crush them with your hands. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the chopped cashews and cranberries. Pour over the melted chocolate and fold everything together.
Spoon the mixture into a 450g loaf tin previously covered in cling film. Push everything down with the back of a spoon, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Prepare the chocolate lacquer glaze. Soak the gelatine sheet in cold water for a few minutes. In a pan, heat 30ml of water until simmering and transfer the soaked gelatine to it. Leave for 2 minutes stirring occasionally and then set aside.
In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar and 40ml of water over medium heat. When the sugar completely melts, take off heat and with the help of a wire whisk, stir in golden syrup, followed by the cocoa. You’ll have a smooth and glossy mixture.
Stir in double cream and return pan to medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boiling point, remove from heat and strain into a metal bowl. Cool until an instant-read thermometer reads 122 – 140 F, for about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in melted gelatin until completely dissolved. Strain the glaze into a bowl and let cool until an instant-read thermometer registers 80°F. It took around 10-15 minutes for this. Take the mosaic cake out of the fridge and slowly pour the chocolate glaze on top. Sprinkle roughly chopped cashews.
If your house is cool, you can store the cake in an airtight container outside, otherwise keep in the fridge (take the cake out at least one hour before serving).