These are small two-toned puff swirls dipped into a syrup exuding flavours of the festive season. Roxakia are famously found at all zaharoplasteia (sweet stores) in Thessaloniki and are a popular gift when visiting people, especially at Christmas time.
Roxakia (Aunty Tasoula’s recipe) Ροξάκια της θείας Τασούλας
Influences from neighbouring Turkey and its wonderful cuisine are evident in both sweet and savoury dishes of Thessaloniki. Recipes brought from Asia Minor after the Asia Minor catastrophe, by refugees who arrived in Greece, became the trademark of Thessaloniki and Northern Greece, in general. Delicious and sinfully syrupy, I’ve shared some classics on my Instagram, like Trigona Thessalonikis, my mummy’s Bougatsa recipe and the savoury Koulouria Thessalonikis and Peinirli. A classic but lesser known dessert of Thessaloniki is Roxakia. The dough from this authentic recipe comes out so fluffy and soft, like a puff pastry brioche! The warm Anatolia spices and orange infused syrup marries everything together.
For the Roxakia dough
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 1 cup neutral flavoured oil like grapeseed or canola or a very light olive oil
- 2 medium eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tbs pure vanilla paste
- 7 g dried yeast
- 4 tbs Dutch cocoa, sifted
- 500 g approximately plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbs orange zest
Orange infused syrup
- 2 cup caster sugar
- 2 cup water
- 1 tbs molasses
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Add all syrup ingredients into a pot and boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Preheat oven to 170C fan forced.
- Put all other ingredients into a bowl ad mix for about 5 minutes. This dough is very light and wet so don’t add more flour.
- Take just under a 1/3 of the dough and put it into another bowl and mix through the sifted cocoa.
- Cover both bowls and allow to prove until double in size.
- Take the light coloured dough and roll out into 30cm x 25cm.
- Roll the cocoa dough into a 25cm long cord and place on top at the beginning of the lighter dough.
- Now roll the whole thing, moving away from you, you will end up having a long roll.
- Evenly cut into 1.5cm pieces, place on baking paper lined trays, and bake for 15- 20 minutes.
- Completely cool, then pour hot syrup over the Roxakia. They will need at least 5 hours to steep in the orange syrup before serving.