Skip to main content

Galopita a.k.a. Yellow Stuff

My Yiayia Lola is legendary throughout Greek Chicago for her honey soaked diples. Many have tried, but few (if any) have mastered these meticulously rolled and fried, sweet, flakey treats. If there’s a wedding, baptism, or any special occasion really, you’re sure to find my yiayia’s diples stacked beautifully on a silver tray with a prime location on the dessert buffet.

Although I love my yiayia’s diples, don’t get me wrong, the star dessert for me growing up was my yiayia’s galopita, or “yellow stuff,” as we lovingly called it. After my yiayia spent days preparing and making the diples, as kind of an afterthought, she’d take any extra eggs she had and would make a galopita “for the kids” (the adults were certain to get their fair share as well). Considering the number of weddings and baptisms in our circle of family and friends, it seemed that any time we would go to my yiayia’s house there’d be “yellow stuff” waiting on the counter to be picked up by our little fingers and devoured in an instant—it was as certain as the hug and kiss we’d get at the front door. For some reason, the “yellow stuff” was never hidden in the back room with the other desserts either. She must have known just how much we loved it, because along with all the savory appetizers—spanakopitas and such—my yiayia would place the “yellow stuff.” A dessert before the meal! Clearly, it was special.

Sprinkled lightly with cinnamon, this Greek custard cake is a child’s answer to the finest crème brulée—it’s creamy and sweet, but can be picked up with one’s hands. It’s usually served room temperature or even chilled, which makes it a refreshing bite on a summer day. Even chilled though, it tastes of warm vanilla and cinnamon. The moment you take a bite of this light, spongy cake, the semolina granules dance on your tongue until they melt away. It’s the perfect treat for child and child at heart.


(The recipe has been halved from the original which serves well over 20)

2 c. milk (the fattier the better)

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. semolina (or farina) (plus extra for coating greased pan)

1-2 tbs. butter

1/8 tsp. salt

5 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Heat milk until just scalding. Add semolina and 1/4 c. sugar, whisking until medium-thick consistency. Whisk in butter and salt. Set mixture to side. Beat eggs and the rest of sugar on high speed until light and creamy. Add vanilla to egg and sugar mixture. Using wooden spoon, fold egg into semolina mixture until fully incorporated. Grease an 8 by 12 inch cake pan and coat with a layer of semolina. Pour cream in pan. Preheat oven to 375۫ and bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Sprinkle cinnamon when still warm. Once cool, cut into squares and enjoy!


Elie said…
I had these before and to be honest, I am not a big fan. The (often times) eggy taste is a turnoff. But, that this a preference. I much prefer the (lebanese) semolina based Hrisse which has no eggs, and no oil.
Elena said…
That is true- it's almost a sweet quiche. I wonder if the eggy taste would lessen if you put some lemon or orange zest. You could also almost certainly skip an egg or two or use a couple whites instead of whole eggs- I'll have to try it!

Popular posts from this blog


I moved to Silicon Valley from Chicago about two months ago, and am on a continuous hunt for good food.Unfortunately, it’s somewhat hard to find amidst the high-tech corporate campuses and sprawling apartment complexes.I had all but lost hope when I stumbled upon Dishdash in Sunnyvale.My husband and I walked in for lunch on a weekday to a loud, but welcoming buzz of people.The fact that the restaurant was crowded was not necessarily telling, however, as most eateries in Silicon Valley are packed around lunch time with engineers hurrying to get a quick bite.Nevertheless, as I looked around, the diners seemed pleased and their food looked delicious.Dishdash is a welcoming space with bright colored walls, high ceilings, and modern Mediterranean décor.Despite the rush-hour, we were seated immediately at a small table by the kitchen.Whereas in some restaurants this could be a turn-off, I found it exciting.The kitchen was a machine.I sat wide-eyed as the team of cooks zipped back and forth…

Paris, O Paris...

This is a brief post about what we ate on our recent lovely trip to Paris. We have made it to unbelievable restaurants, sampled amazing chocolates, saw beautiful art, walked romantic streets, and just had a great time. The restaurants we ate at are all in the nouveau French cuisine where the emphasis is on fresh, local, healthy,... and amazing.

Arriving to our hotel, we head immediately to lunch at Ze Kitchen Gallery... a funky and hip restaurant in St. Germain right a block from the Seine.

The appetizers we chose were a play on raw fish. These dishes to me are as good as the fish you get, and they were wonderful (with a unique presentation): Asian flavors, mixed with slightly sweet and crunchy peels of cucumber, some radishes marinated green papaya and mango. Dora had the (raw) sardines, tomato and a ginger like sauce. It is slightly challenging to eat raw sardines as the fish is a little tough.

The entrees were somethings else. Dora had the cod fish... cooked to perfection w…

There's A Pizza War

And lucky for us, we're living on the front line. When we first moved to North Beach, we ate at North Beach Pizza about once a week- it's a block away, has friendly service, and beautiful pizza. We soon realized that by walking an extra two or three blocks, we could also enjoy the classic, Golden Boy Pizza, or the new kid, Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Talk about hard decisions! Nikos stands by North Beach - once he finds something he likes, he's difficult to budge. I, on the other hand, although enjoying North Beach for its feel-good atmosphere and always-consistent pizza, and appreciating Golden Boy for it's no-nonsense, pizza-in-hand-with-beer-at-the-bar attitude, have a soft spot for Tony's (if we can ever get in). It's pricier than the others, but I don't mind paying for the top-quality ingredients. Tony Gemignani (a bit of a celeb in the pizza world: he's won a pizza "world-cup", has been on Food Network, etc etc) is passionate abo…