Friday, October 3, 2014

As Promised

Although autumn officially arrived on September 23rd,
here on the island, it has only been spotted a few times.

If you look closely, you could probably catch a glimpse 
of it here and there, among the still summer scenery.

On occasion, you may even taste it. Sweet or savoury, 
fall flavours seem to be infused with seasonings of 
sentiment and nostalgia, that keep smiles simmering,
long after the dinner dishes are washed and put away.

It's a transitional time, when summer brights mingle with
muddy ochres, creating a canvas of colourful chit-chat.

For my garden, here in pastoral Crete, autumn brought a
second bloom of scented, white stars, promising more
from the fruity bulbs of summer, and before winter's debut. 

And speaking of promises...


For the cake:
5 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp brandy or cognac,
dissolved in I tbsp baking powder
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fine semolina 
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the syrup:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 piece of lemon peel
1 small stick cinnamon

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 x 12 rectangular
 baking pan or a similarly sized round pan.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, 
beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in sugar. 
Add yolks, (softly beaten), and the remaining cake
 ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until 
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

 When cake is almost cool, remove from pan and
prepare the syrup. Place ingredients in a medium saucepan 
and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes. 
Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick and 
lemon peel and carefully pour syrup over cake.


Thanks for visiting,
and Happy October!


  1. Hi,Poppy.
    Crete is such a beautiful island. The air blowing from the Mediterranean must be so fresh and sweet.I wish I could spend some time there. It is a wonderful place. The walnut cake looks delicious! Lots of happy things going on!

  2. Oh Poppy, as you always do, you've served up another wonderful taste of Crete! I am going to make this cake and pretend for just a moment as I savor the first bite, that I am there with you watching for autumn's arrival!

  3. Hi Poppy! I am here catching up with you today. Such beautiful photos! I have never tasted Quince before, but hear it is good.
    My neighbor next door has pecan, walnut and macadamia trees. They are delicious! And the crows and squirrels LOVE them too. In fact, for the next several weeks now, I will be hearing them on my roof, banging the nuts open with their beaks. It sounds like someone is at my door all the time!!! Your walnut cake looks yummy!!!!!
    xo Kris

  4. Like you, we aren't really seeing much autumn - it is expected to be 91 degrees today - on the beach! I can't imagine what inlanders are feeling.

    I always love taking a mini vacation via your photos.

  5. Hello Poppy

    The colours in Crete seems gentler and in harmony. There is a softness to the light. Very different from Canadian Fall colours. Your cake looks scrumptious - I will dream of it


  6. I can't manage the English like you do, I would like to say something poetic, something different but I will repeat the same: beauty, charme and authenticity this is what I find every time I visit you. Thank you for the recipe, it must be an exquisite cake!
    Wish you a happy, golden weekend!
    Sending love

    1. Dear Olympia,

      Your English is superb! Don't forget, I was born and brought up in Canada! English is my first language, Greek is my MOTHER's mother tongue, but not my own. I wish I could write in Greek, the way you write in English!

      Lots of love,

    2. Olympia and Poppy,
      I envy (in a happy-for-you way) that you both have two languages. My grandparents and great-aunts and uncles all spoke French and English, but, alas, when they moved to the U.S.A. from Canada in the 1920s they wanted to fit in and spoke French only when they didn't want their grandchildren to know what they were talking about. Speaking multiple languages opens the doors of the world wider. But it was a different time.
      Poppy, you write so beautifully with a language that is completely your own. I love the phrase colorful chit-chat. It is wonderful.
      PS: I'll make the cake soon.

  7. Hi Poppy. It is so beautiful where you live and I know you're enjoying it so much. Your cakes look delicious too. Hope you're doing well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  8. OMG Poppy, the views are wonderful. To look out your windows or be on your patio must be heaven.
    I am going to try your terrific looking cake. Love walnuts...
    Speaking of Fall we have only had maybe 4 days of Fall. IT is now in the 100's, yesterday was 102 and today is going to be hotter. Maybe by Tuesday it will be in the high 80's. I think we are going to miss fall and go right into winter. Anything other than this HOT, DRY, DROUGHT weather.
    I am so glad that I went last Saturday on my trip to the Design Center, since they do not A/C the warehouse. Got my pictures of trends for Christmas this year. Stop by and see the post.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend with falling leaves and sunshine.

  9. Oh I will bake this cake and dream of Crete...

  10. Now, that's my kind of autumn. :-) It looks beautiful and warm there with just a hint of fall colours in the landscape. Enjoy! xx Pam

  11. So pretty, and your cake sounds delicious!! xx

  12. Your karydopita looks delicious!!!!!!! I will try this traditional cretan recipe!!!!!!!!!!
    A perfect cake for the autumn! Thank you, dear Poppy!!!!
    I wish you a nice week-end!

  13. Hello Poppy, you do live in a beautiful place.. Lovely views and images.. Your Walnut cake looks delicious..Thank you for sharing your recipe. Have a happy weekend!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! That would be good when family visits. Enjoy your weekend sweet friend! Hugs, Diane

  15. Yes, "sentiment and nostalgia" is why I look forward to pulling out a special Fall Notebook of recipes, always intending to bake my way through it, never managing too and thank goodness for that!

    Yum, walnut cake made with spanking fresh walnuts, I can taste it now. Do you warm up the leftover cake and spread butter on it?

    That second picture that looks like a very tall odd tree growing? Have you fooled us and shot it from the ground and it's only a 2 ft. tall seed pod of some kind?

    The golds in the side of the building echo the golds you're beginning to see there in autumn. But I bet you knew that!

  16. Oh Poppy, how sweet of you to share the recipe my visits to your colour filled world...

  17. Hi Poppy. The view from your home is breathtaking! How lucky your vine is blooming a second time for you. I think fall is here in the northwest - we have had some chilly mornings and lovely and warm afternoons. It has been wonderful. Have a great weekend.

  18. Υπέροχη καρυδόπιτα Poppy. Το μοναδικό σιροπιαστό γλυκό που τρώω.... Φιλιά και καλό Σαββατοκύριακο :)

  19. Thank you for the recipe, Poppy. This is one I will have to tuck aside and try one day! It sounds wonderful.


  20. Steady rain in Suffolk today Poppy - autumn is really here. Happy Cretan October!

  21. I think the walnut cake must smell heavenly as it is baking, Poppy. It looks delicious. You really do live in a remarkable place. So lovely. Thank you for sharing it with us. xxx ~ Nancy

  22. Hello dear Poppy, that walnut cake looks scrumptious, fluffy and moist. Yummy! I'd like to try it.
    Thank you for dropping my dear friend. Enjoy your weekend.


  23. Dear Poppy,

    Lovely post and photos and Autumn at your place - how very beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing the walnut cake and it looks delicious.
    Happy Sunday

  24. Always fun to visit your blog and see your lovely photos, thanks for the recipe share too!

  25. I can almost smell the aromas of that walnut cake Poppy! It must be heavenly! Semolina, while available here in the States, is not an ingredient we typically use, but it is much more popular in Europe. I believe it gives cakes an interesting texture, and that, coupled with the walnuts, is my kind of treat!

    (For some reason I didn't get this post in my email, but something told me to stop by anyway)


  26. WOW!
    what first? OH the new header. i love it.
    the cake. ohmygosh. i swear i could taste it from here. so moist. gorgeous.
    delicious view of the mountains and valley!
    gorgeous cake!
    and much love

  27. The cake looks so scrumptious and I shall copy the recipe and maybe try it during the holidays, when guests come by. Your photos from around your home, always bring a smile and you never leave us unattended with such warmth in what you share with us. Have a wonderful week Poppy~

  28. That cake looks wonderful! Just what I love...dense, with nuts! Pinned. I must say that my annuals are still going strong but my perennials are very dead!!

  29. Oh my this cake looks and sounds very delish! I've never thought to use semolina flour in an cake? Your photos drive into a "I want to travel" craze, beautiful. I l love nuts, and walnuts are one of my favorites...but I just ate a whole handful of almonds...great source of calcium! Have a great night!

  30. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing this recipe....pinned!

  31. Your cake looks fabulous. Can't wait to try your recipe! Thanks Poppy!!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  32. Yum, I bet your whole house smells just divine! My mouth is watering just looking at the screen! Thanks for sharing the recipe, to pin it!

  33. Hi Poppy, I've been so busy, I haven't had time to visit many blogs. Trying to catch up a little. I've missed your beautiful prose and photos, and now as a bonus, a mouthwatering dessert! I am pinning this for sure, and can't wait to try it!

  34. Tasty, tasty! It doesn't get more fall than that with all those spices! :) I wonder if the rum can be replaced with vanilla extract (I hate to buy a bottle for 4 tbsp.)? Or does that defeat the purpose of the cake you think?

    1. Hi Jes,

      Sure, you can substitute vanilla extract, but I have to tell you that the brandy does infuse the cake with a beautiful aroma. Hope you give it a go, regardless! Happy baking!

  35. That cake looks delicious Poppy! Thanks for sharing!

  36. This looks delicious. After seeing your previous post, I can further appreciate those who grow walnuts, shake them from the trees, peel them, crack them, and pick out the meat for a cake. Whew! I take so much for granted when I buy a bag of already shelled nuts.
    Once again, thank you for the lovely visit to your beautiful corner of the world.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate hearing from all of you! Have a great day!