Today is Evangelismos tis Theotokou (Annunciation Day) and also our Independence Day. Chronia Polla to all our co-Hellences and Chronia Polla to my daughter, Evangelia (Elia) who is celebrating her name day.
Whenever someone is celebrating their name day, there is always a dessert to offer to our guests.
Although today I have made eclairs as this is what she asked me to make, yesterday when I was preparing the choux pastry, I posted an older picture on Facebook and Pinterest and Eftychia, a friend from Dream of Cakes, left a comment asking me if I had made «Kok» before. When I replied to her by e-mail, I saw that as I had all the recipes posted, so it would be easy for me to make a post about this Greek dessert.
Kok pronounced like «coq» or the smaller mini ones which are called kokakia (coqakia) are small sponge cookies which after being wet with syrup, are filled with a vanilla pastry cream and then the top sponge is covered with a chocolate ganache. I don’t know why they are called Kok but my guess is that they take were named from the carbon Pet Coke, which in Greek is also called Kok, something which makes sense because of the chocolate colour on top.
This Greek dessert is very popular and you can get them in all confectioneries (zacharoplasteio) or bakeries (fournos) even in the remotest town in Greece.
Before learning how to make sponge cake we used to buy mini «kok» from our neighbourhood’s zacharoplasteio together with eclairs or other mini choux filled with cream and covered with caramel on top, so we always ended up eating 3 each.
In order to make this dessert, you will need to make: Sponge cake, pastry cream, chantilly, syrup and chocolate ganache.
This may sound as a lot to do but if you have made sponge before, it is very easy to make. You can prepare the sponge from the previous day and assemble the dessert the next day.
Kok, recipe by Ivy
Preparation and baking time: about two hours
Makes: around 10 large ones.
How to make them:
Basic sponge recipe. Prepare sponge batter. Line your baking tin with parchment paper. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out rounds with a diameter 6 – 8 cm /2 1/2 – 3 inches, spaced apart as they will expand. Bake them in a preheated oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F, for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden.
Note: If you prepare sponge from the previous day, storage will depend on weather conditions. If it is very hot and dry you will have to store them in air tight containers, each layer between parchment paper, not in the refrigerator. If the weather is normal you can just cover them with cling film and a clean kitchen towel on top.
Basic pastry cream. You may need less than the dose mentioned. I made half the dose mentioned in my recipe, which was not enough. I think it is better to make the whole dose and if you have leftover, it still can be served in a bowl. Vanilla is usually added to this cream but the flavour is up to you. If you like, you can make a chocolate cream as a filling. When the cream is ready, cover it with cling film and set aside until it cools.
Syrup. Prepare a very small amount of syrup in a very small pot. I would say not more than 50 – 60 grams of sugar. If you prepare more, you can store it in a jar in your refrigerator for other use. If you make spoon sweets, you can use leftover syrup which is even better as it is already flavoured with the aroma of the fruit. Using a brush, wet the sponges. Don’t make them soggy.
Whipped Cream. Follow my basic recipe. When the pastry cream cools use a hand mixer and whisk it. Add the whipped cream and whisk to combine both. Put the cream in a piping bag and pipe out the cream.
Chocolate Ganache. Prepare the ganache with the type of chocolate you prefer and set aside for a while to start setting. Then using a spoon to cover the top. Sprinkles are optional.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,