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Kέρασμα … Kοπεγχάγη — Birthday Treat

Today’s my birthday! Another year older … but still feeling, hmmm, I’d say about 25. To celebrate, I’m offering you all this treat, the act of which is known as Kέρασμα (kerasma)  in Greek. What is this delicious, syrupy, nutty, phyllo-topped delight? Well, in Greek it is known as Kοπεγχάγη (ko-peg-hagi), which translates to Copenhagen. Huh?!?!?!? Believe me I am as confused as you as I don’t know the meaning behind the name of this dessert, although I would love to find out just why it was christened this way.

 

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Kοπεγχάγη is not among the most popular of Greek desserts but it is personally one of my favorites. As such, not many recipes for it can be found. It is a dessert made frequently on the island of  Kalymnos and for some time we’d even believed that it was something that originated on our beautiful island, but it now doesn’t seem so. And as popular as it is on the island of Kalymnos, my family doesn’t have a recipe for it. So I did some Google-ing, of course, and found a handful of recipes — some of which didn’t seem to match the Kοπεγχάγη we know of at all. I fiddled a bit and eventually came up with the recipe below. I still don’t think it’s 100 percent, but it is good and I enjoyed eating it. So, take a virtual bite out of this piece of Kοπεγχάγη and join the celebration!

 

Kοπεγχάγη
Makes a 12-inch round dessert

Layer “A”:
3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup ground almonds

 

Layer “B”:
5 eggs

1 1/2 cups ground almonds

1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs

3/4 cup sugar

8 sheets of phyllo

1/2 stick butter, melted

 

Syrup:
4 cups water

3 cups sugar

5 tablespoons thyme honey

3-inch strip of lemon zest

 

Butter a 12-inch round cake pan and set aside. Add all the ingredients for the syrup to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes then remove from heat and let cool. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Begin Layer “A” : Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Slowly begin adding the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add the almonds and stir. Pour the batter into the cake pan and set aside.

Begin Layer “B” : Clean the mixer’s bowl and then beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the almonds and breadcrumbs. Pour the mixture over Layer “A” already in the cake pan. Begin layering the sheets of phyllo over the top layer in the cake pan, buttering each sheet before topping it with the next. Score the phyllo into pieces then place the Kοπεγχάγη in the oven to bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Pour the syrup over the dessert and let cool. Serve once cooled.

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10 Responses to “Kέρασμα … Kοπεγχάγη — Birthday Treat”

  1. Happy Birthday Maria…all the best! This looks delightful and very new to me. Always a pleasure to discover new, syrup based Greek sweets. I hope you have an enjoyable day!

  2. Stamatia says:

    I believe it was named after (and made in honour of?) George I, who was Danish.

  3. Ivy says:

    Chronia Polla Maria na ta ekatostiseis. I’ve heard of it but never eaten it before. It sounds good.

  4. Anna A. says:

    Xronia Polla!!!!! I tried Copenhagen for the first time in Demitsana (in Arkadia) when I was in Greece in Feb, except it was in a package and not fresh from the zaharoplastio. I also found a recipe from my parents’ Greek cookbook circa the early 70s which I always found the name to be interesting. Good to know its your fav and yours looks super delicious. Hope you had a wonderful day Maria :)

  5. Peter says:

    I’ve seen Copehangen in quite a few Greek cookbooks but I haven’t had the opportunity to make it (yet).

    This is a fine “kerasma” for your family friends. Make another tapsi…they will ask for seconds!

  6. Joan Nova says:

    Happy birthday, Maria. Wish I knew how to say/type it in Greek. Enjoy your special day.

  7. Χρόνια Πολλά Μαρία, να τα εκατοστίσεις κι ό,τι επιθυμείς σου εύχομαι! Even though a few days late :)
    I’ve never tried this dessert before but I’ve heard of it. I would love to give it a try, looks delicious and I love any kind of phyllo dessert.
    Magda

  8. Cherine says:

    This sounds divine! I’ve never tried this desert but I am sure I’ll love it. I should try it soon. Happy birthday :)

  9. Foodjunkie says:

    Happy Birthday Maria! This looks more like the Kopenhagi my mother described. Does the colour come from the almonds? (unblanched probably)

  10. admin says:

    Na se kala Ioanna! The color does indeed come from the almonds, which are not blanched but rather ground with their “skin,” as well as the cinnamon.

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