To Nutella Cookies

One’s consumption of Nutella is directly proportional to whether or not they are/or have studied abroad. It becomes many people’s replacement for the less than lacking availability of good peanut butter.  In the US you have the easy peanut butter cookie … Continue reading

To Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake

My second bundt in Turkey! Woot! Let me just say that the apartment smells like heaven. Who doesn’t like chocolate?!?!?! – don’t answer that. I am a chocoholic – honestly. If I get a chocolate craving it may take days for it to pass. I just cant kick it sometimes. This is the end of my chocolate craving – this baby just wanted to be made.

Instagram photo!

I knew I wanted to do something with chocolate and the massive yogurt container in the fridge inspired my second ingredient. Really – a huge container (2 kg +) is a staple in most if not all Turkish homes. Even better it is plain so perfect and much healthier to cook/bake with than its evil twin of sour cream (which I don’t think I could even buy here if I wanted to). May look next time I am in the store.

Anywho – this cake was super moist and definitely hit the spot. It was Harika (wonderful)! With a short ingredient list and short directions the hardest part about it is waiting for it to actually bake (and the most nerve-racking since the oven I have to work with has a personality of its own) and then cool off.

You can jazz it up any which way your little heart tummy desires – nuts, fruit, glaze, or just plain and simple powdered sugar – the route I took. I specifically chose the later because my mom makes a too die for chocolate bundt that she tops only with powdered sugar. Granted I should have just asked her for the recipe (wink wink madre), but a little thing called an 8 hr. time difference stood in my way. I should have been more on top of things and asked for it earlier – maalasef (oh well – unfortunately).

If you want to make your host family smile – or if you want to smile than just make this bundt cake – NOW!

Post a nice dinner with the host family we had a wonderful dessert session – ohhh how I love dessert sessions. In addition to the cake we had in season fruit – the wonderful cherries and then my little yellow/green friends – can’t remember what they are called – mission of the day. The host daughter had two slices so I think it is safe to say that the cake will be eaten in no time.

Another instagram – view from the top


2 cups flour

2/3 cup dutch process cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (1 european package of baking soda)

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (Turkish yogurt)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 european package of vanilla sugar)


Grease a bundt pan – be sure to get all of the crevices – I used olive oil

Sift 2 C flour and 2/3 C of cocoa together with the baking soda , set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar.

Beat in the eggs.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt in two parts. Do not over mix. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a 350 oven for 45-55 minutes, until a tester inserted comes out clean. (This is an approximate for temps since I am working with notches – but be sure to keep an eye on it)

Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely

Dust with powdered sugar and serve – fruit makes it grand! Just saying.

My sister made this bundt for the 4th of July – I want it – I want it ALL!

Bundts are totally coming back into fashion – they are the hit thing these days ya know?!?!

Cheers to baking abroad and dessert sessions with host families


To Banana Bread with Cherries

First baking experience in Turkey!

Preparing for baking in Turkey created more anxiety than the average baking adventure. I am relatively comfortable in a kitchen – and it’s a good thing too because foreign kitchens (literally in the sense of being abroad but also as in not use to because it’s not my kitchen) always lend for a good story. This one was no different. I wanted to bake earlier in the week but when I saw the dial for degrees I knew I had to do some question asking – on Wednesday night at dinner with a friend I was informed that it will mostly be a trial and error approach – I thought I can manage that – or at the very least I was gonna have too. Not to mention she told me that the bundant pan would be my best friend which I was confused on until I realized she meant bundt pan – haha ohhh good times.

maybe each number is 20 degrees (C) – lets pray and hope so….

On Monday I went and hunted down a measuring cup! This could be one of the most magical finds in Turkey yet because at first I thought it was just mL but in fact it is also cups! Yes a 2 1/2 cup measuring cup to be exact. Now this is not the proper way to measure solids, but sometimes you work with what you have.

Now I will try to give exacts as much as possible – which is quite accurate – but a few things (specifically temp) is complete ballpark guessing.


1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 packets vanilla sugar (they don’t have extract here – this is the equivalent of 1-2 tsp.)

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 packet baking soda (1-2 tsp. equivalent)

a generous amount of cinnamon (:

3 ripe and mashed bananas

1/2 cup yogurt (2 containers of activia plain)

1 cup cherries (pitted and quartered)


Cream the butter and sugar. Then add the egg, vanilla, bananas and vanilla. Finally stir in the dry ingredients and lastly the cherries. Next time I would double the amount of cherries. At this point you could also add in other things (future possibilities – oh yes there will be more banana bread in Turkey – chocolate chips – they do exist here! just a tad expensive – nuts, other fruits)

More cherries needed next time!

Bake 45 min – 1 hr. at about 350F – this is an estimate – for me it was dial 10 for 30 min and then dial 9-7 for the last 20 min. Haha too funny. The host daughter was laughing but was super excited when she came home and could smell the bread baking (:

Gotta contribute to this family that is giving me so much while here.

I am a fan of this cute little bundt pan

Cheers to banana bread in Turkey