Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shakespeare and sekespare cookies

Sekespare Cookies
Food Diary (November 17, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with plums and flax seeds
Lunch: Eggplant in soya oyster sauce and rice
Dinner: Carrot soup, toast
Baking/sweets: Sekespare Cookies

Shakespeare spelt his name many different ways. One article notes 20 different spellings, however sekespare is not one of them. Sekespare, which is a Turkish cookie, has nothing to do with Shakespeare. Sekespare is no ordinary cookie though, even if it is made from ordinary standard ingredients. The cookies are soaked in syrup, just like baklavas. 

Making sekespares requires basic knowledge of syrups. Since I rarely make syrups I got it wrong. I took it too far and the syrup darkened. The consistency also did not seem right as the cookies refused to absorb them, they were being stubborn. So my sekespares were syrup coated rather than syrup soaked. But still very delicious. In spite of not being able to perfect the cookies myself I am still presenting the recipe here in case you want to try it.

Eggplant in soya oyster sauce and rice

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: masak-masak

Today’s Favourite Blog
Very interesting research. A study has found that the contrast of a plate or bowl with what's placed inside it can affect our eating habits. It was found that low colour contrast between dinnerware and food such as vanilla ice cream in a white dish significantly increases the likelihood of people over-serving themselves. On the other hand serving vanilla ice cream in a dark dish minimizes risk of over-eating.

The explanation for this goes back to the Delboeuf illusion that was discovered more than 150 years ago. According to the Delboeuf illusion, if there are two circles of the same size next to each other and if the two circles are surrounded by larger circles of uneven sizes people will think that the inner circles are of different sizes. This explains why people, including nutritionists, consistently over-serve themselves when given larger dinnerware.

"If you want to reduce the amount of unhealthy food you eat, you want to choose a plate that really contrasts with it; if you plan to eat healthy food and want to eat more, you want to choose a plate with a lower contrast," says van Ittersum, an associate professor of marketing at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The researchers also found that a table or tablecloth similar in colour to the dinnerware significantly diminished over-serving tendencies. I think at this point it can start to get over complicated since too many findings can cause confusion.  

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  1. Those cookies sound good and I'm glad they were delicious anyway. Syrups are trick things! I always burn caramel :( LOVE the pic of the pavolova
    Mary x

  2. I love your Sekespare cookies all the same; syrup coated or syrup soaked. I think the latter may have tend to be overly sweet, so it was a blessing that you innovated this cookie :D
    I have read about the research about the contrast and overeating before too, and it is very interesting, but tends to be confusing, like you say too!:) I'd say, live the moment :p

  3. Cookies soaked in syrup ... ooo, isn't that overkill? Unless there's no sugar in the basic cookie? Going to check out the recipe ... Yup, sugar included. But I guess for sweet toothed folks, it must be heaven. Makes a nice glossy sheen tho.
    But that point about the syrup being overly dense to get absorbed .. that's a very interesting point. Never really thought about something like that til it's happened.

  4. These are terrific cookies and your lunch looked incredible! Very interesting article. I remember seeing the pictures of the circles - and they're right! I like my food to be visually appealing, so I try to put the right color dish with it (although I prefer "restaurant white").

  5. I hope the color of plate will help me reduce weight by not eating too much. =) Sekespare Cookies are syrup coated? YUM!

  6. Mary: syrups seem simple but tricky, I am realising now

    Christy: thats a good point, since it didn't soak there was much less.

    ping: it is a bit of an over-kill. Turks like very sweet desserts so it suits their taste buds. The cookies don't have much sugar so syrup is needed. I used less myself but forgot to make note - will update

    Ann: there were terrific, I plan to try them again

    Nami: yes it will:) Sekespare cookies are syrup soaked but mine were syrup coated!

  7. Hmm I really wonder about that plate colour research although I'm willing to give anything a go!

  8. Ok, so starting from today I throw away all the light-coloured plates and I leave only small bowls and small plates! Seriously, I often take a smaller bowl if I have something not so healthy... If it's filled up to the edge I cheat my eyes and stomach :-)
    I didn't know about the dark colours though. I'm happy the bowls lately bought from my Japanese shop are all dark!
    You have got me with Shakespeare! I thought it was the way it's spelled in Swedish ;-) (The French do say Michel Ange and not Michelangelo, so why not?). The Turkish cookies look luscious although I would probably cut 90% of the sugar (from my experience of Turkish sweets).

  9. Given how much I ADORE baklava, I'm pretty sure I'd love these cookies also!

  10. My first thought was Shakespeare. I think I'd like them coated as well, they look delicious! Lunch looks fantastic.

  11. Syrup coated cookies sound pretty damn good to me :)

  12. I'm in agreement, that your cookies still sound wonderful! And what a fabulous slice of pavlova...mine has never been that gorgeous! Finally, what a thought provoking study...I'll try to just serve cauliflower on my white dishes, not a decadent dessert :)

  13. Lorraine: good luck!

    Sissi: no, keep the light colored plates for dark colored food and dark colored plates for light colored food, if you want to eat less:) I used less sugar than suggested and it was still sweet – Turkish do like their sweets sweet!

    Joanne: I am sure!

    Carol: and there is less syrup if they are coated instead of soaked!

    Parsley Sage: they are!

    Lizzy: thank you! Good luck with cauli on white dishes. Maybe you don’t notice all the leftovers:)

  14. Really interesting study on food and dinner ware tendencies. And those cookies look so unusual in syrup like that.

  15. Cheap Ethnic Eatz: those are unusual cookies indeed

  16. Thank you! I think I have to reread the text... I was almost throwing away all the light plates and bowls ;-)

  17. Thats the most perfect pavlova slice I had seen