Have you ever thought making a cake without any added sugar? This is an ancient and very simple recipe that varies in different regions or different islands of Greece. People used back then grape molasses or petimezi as sweetener in baking, and it does work wonders.

Ingredients:

1 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups grape molasses
1 cup orange juice
peel from 1 orange
3 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1tbs baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup crushed almonds or walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

Mix the olive oil with the grape molasses. Add the soda into the orange juice, orange peel, spices, then add into the olive oil and molasses mix. Add the baking powder into the flour and then stir into the molasses. Combine slowly until a thick batter forms. Pour the batter into a well greased pan and bake for about 1 hour into a preheated oven at 180 oC.

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Are you familiar with the song: “Sugar is sweet/ But not as sweet as my baby/ Honey’s a treat but it/ Can’t compete with my baby”? It seems like they have never tried grape molasses! In Greece when we want to say that something/ someone is really sweet, we say they are sweet like petimezi. One great thing about our health awareness and sugar rush/ tax era is rediscovering excellent ingredients like this one. Grape molasses or petimezi, is an ancient food, popular for its nutritious qualities and delightful flavour. Before establishing the use of sugar, petimezi was very commonly used across the Mediterranean and especially Greece, not only as a sweetener but as a remedy as well.

Petimezi’s flavour is sweet with a hint of spice and its aroma is pungent, potent and so incredibly tempting. This excellent product comes from boiling grape-must in low heat for a long time. It is rather expensive since the production process is long and the yield is small. Its texture is quite similar to aged balsamic vinegar; if you are an Ottolenghi fan, then you are definitely familiar with pomegranate molasses and can use petimezi, accordingly.

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