Category Archives: Dolci – Sweet stuff

My first cupcakes ever: Lemon & Jubilee

As you probably can imagine, I normally cook italian food while I have never tried any other cuisine at home. I have always been convinced that if i don’t know the real taste of the food from other parts of the world, i can not actually cook it properly.

But for the cakes and dessert I’m happy to try. Finally in the italian tradition we have lots of sweet recipes from all over, so let’s see what i can do with the most classic lemony english cupcakes.

Here is the recipe I used and that i found online> I normally don’t like the cupcakes full of sugar on top. Yes they are beautiful but too sweet and i actually prefer the base than the topping. If you don’t make them enough big, there is no point.

This recipe gives you exactly the right quantity of sweet I wanted on them.

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Ingredients for 12 cupcakes

125g butter
125g caster sugar
Finely grated zest ½ large lemon
2 eggs
150gplain flour
¼ tsp baking powder

For the icing:
75g butter, softened
125g icing sugar
Finely grated zest of ½ large lemon
1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare the 12 cases in a 12-hole cake tin. Cream the butter until soft and then add in the sugar and the grated lemon zest. Mix until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, then the flour and the baking powder and fold.

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Divide between the paper cases and bake in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes (not more), until risen and golden. Remove the cakes from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool before icing.

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For the icing, cream the butter in a bowl with hand-held whisk until very soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat, then mix in the lemon zest and enough lemon juice to form a spreadable consistency.

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Once the cupcakes have cooled, put the icing in a pipping bag and create your sweet top and then decorate as you like!

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My first traditional english recipe: Hot Cross Buns!

This Easter I decided to have a “mixed” Easter, putting together some food from the english tradition and some from the italian one. Maybe this happened because it was one of my first Easter spent in London… anyway I cooked Hot Cross Buns, a classic Easter treat for the good friday morning.

The buns were great and finally they are really nice and light…basically they seems sweet spiced bread and they are just amazing with honey or butter and jam! I will do them for all my future guests because for breakfast are really amazing!

Here is the recipe i followed…a bit rewritten, following my taste and experience, from the BBC one here.

For 6 buns I used the following ingredients:

– 200 gr crusty white bread flour

-less then half table spoon of salt

– 20 gr sugar

-25 gr butter

-1 table spoon mixed spice

– 90 gr raisins

– 3.5 gr dried yest

– 1 egg

-100ml semi skimmed milk

– 3 table spoon flour

– some honey

Put together in a recipient the white bread flour, the salt, the sugar and the mixed spice. Then add the butter in pieces and mix with your hands. Add the raisins previously soaked and the yeasts. In another little pan mix the egg with the warm milk and then add this to the dough. Mix well and leave it rest for 5-10 minutes.

Now divide the ball in 6 little balls and put them on a baking pan covered by some cling film for around 1 hour. Let them raise and when almost ready, create the cream for the cross. You will just need to mix the flour with some hot water until creamy. Then with a piping bag create the cross.

Put them in an oven at 200 degree for 15-20 minutes and once cooked, brush with some honey and serve! Enjoy!

An italian chef in London

Do you want to treat yourself ? What about an amazing dinner cooked by a chef… at your place?

I’m sure you can’t say no! What about if the chef is italian and all his italian dishes are strictly made following the truly italian traditions? Peroni has decided to offer all this …and some beers to some lucky winner of a competition!

I have for you a little preview of the dishes prepared… have a look here and get inspired for your next party. I’m sure Mario will be happy to help.

Canape’: Polenta and wild boar salami, radicchio leaves with potted lobster and bruschetta.

Starter: buffalo ricotta and lemon ravioli with Radicchio di Treviso sauce.

Main: beef fillet, wild mushroom, celeriac pure’, red wine sauce.

Pudding: vanilla panna cotta, roasted spiced plums, orange biscotti.

And here the last picture: I present you Mario… in action!

Cheesy nights!

Do you want a secret to make any dinner or night with friend top? Just buy cheese and wine.

Never like in the last months I met so many people in love with cheese and wine: french and italian of course, but also english, east european and australian too! The combination of good cheese, crackers, grapes or apples and a great red wine is always a winner.

So what I lately received is a beautiful cheeseboard with some vouchers to try some danish cheeses: Castello.

I normally buy cheese in the supermarket more than in delis, but mainly for a matter of time. Some of the supermarket cheeses are great anyway also if I miss lots of italian cheeses.

Castello cheeses are great for a classic cheeseboard: mainly blue cheeses but with taste and consistencies really different between them and great!

When I went to look for them, I was a bit disappointed to find in the most common supermarket just the 2 different blue cheeses , the danish blue and the creamy blue, and the reserve Herrgard, but when I tried them they were really different and great for the purpose: one milder and harder, the other one slightly different and extremely creamy that with the nutty taste of the Herrdgard … Made anyone happy!

And the cheeseboard where you can write the name of each cheese and dispose all the stuff in the most perfect way, it’s gorgeous!

I really liked and enjoyed my Castello night…and i think you can see it in these pictures!

Meringues – The end!

Final recipe! I still can’t believe 70 weeks are passed and 140 recipes has been cooked BY ME!! However I have loved it but like all the nice stuff, it needs to finish!

And I wanted to finish it in the best way, with a little cake for me, my 30th birthday, the end of my challenge and the 6 kilos lost! Ok I didn’t win the challenge, but I reached what I wanted: I saw that a total change is possible, that you can loose weight also enjoying food, that I’m strong enough to decide something and reach the end and finally that I can even cook my mum recipes!!! It was an amazing adventure!!!

The final recipe needed to be Meringues because it’s one of my favorite sweets and because I tried to do them so many times without any good result, that I need to solve the mystery once for ever! So here is the recipe that finally make me have my fantastic meringues that I use to make a “zuppa inglese meringata”.

Ingredients for around 30 meringues of a medium size: 4 eggs white (around 150gr), so 300gr sugar, and a pinch of salt. Then for the cream for the “zuppa inglese” just use: the 4 yolks egg remained, 4 spoons sugar, 2 spoons flour, and 400ml milk.

Start preparing your mixer. Put in it the 4 white eggs, a pinch of salt and the turn on the machine. At this point add the sugar little by little and let the machine go for around 30 minutes. Don’t stop until the point that if you place a spoon in it, the spoon will come up with a spongy dense cream that won’t fell. If really never get dense you can add a pinch of flour.

Turn on the oven at 140 degree and place some baking foil on the baking pan. Put all the mix in a pipe and create some round meringues.Put them in the oven at 120 degree for around 40 minutes or until you see them get burn underneath.
The pass them at a low grill for other 20 minutes and then again on the fire for 40 minutes. In this way they will come a bit colored and crunchy.

In the meantime use the other eggs to make this cream; mix the eggs with the sugar and then add the flour and a bit of milk just to made it fluid. Let boil the rest of the milk and then add it to the mix. Put all on a low fire until it gets thicker.

When the meringues will be ready, smash one of them in a glass,   add the cream and a full meringue on top. Enjoy my meringued zuppa inglese… I think the perfect recipe to close my blog.

PS. Mamy vi ho stupito con effetti speciali eh? Non pensavate mi potessero venire eh? E l’abbinamento con la crema?? Vuoi vedere che TILT dopo tutto questo cucinare e’ anche diventata una semi esperta???

Mousse di mele – Apple mousse with zabaione

Recipe 3:  when my mum did this dessert for the first time i was amused by the fact that was so good but not massively heavy. Being based on apple this is the perfect dessert after a quite heavy dinner with lots of courses.

Ingredients for 6 people: 1 kg. of  Golden apples, limon zest, 4ooml whip cream, 100 gr. of sugar. For the Zabaione: 3 eggs, 6 spoons of sugar and 100gr of whip cream, some spoons of Marsala or porto wine and cinnamon.

Start the preparation cutting all the apples in little pieces, taking of the skin e put them to cook with 2 spoons of  water, some lemon zest and the sugar. Leave it there until soft and keep on mixing until dry but take care to don’t let them stick to the pan. Add some more water if needed.

Let them cool down and pass all in a mixer. Then whip the cream and add it to the apple mix to create the mousse. When ready, just place it in the fridge.

Now you need to prepare the Zabaione :  Mix 3 egg yolks with sugar until creating a creme, add some marsala or porto wine and cook putting the recipient in another saucepan full of hot water and on the fire. We call this way to cook “bagno maria” so the fire is not in direct contact with the ingredients but they get cooked by the hot water.

Mix until getting thick and when ready leave it in a side to cool down. Then add the whipped cream and put in the fridge on top of the apple mousse.
Serve with some cinnamon on top and enjoy!

While the apples mix can be prepared the day before and put it in the fridge, the zabaione need to be prepared the same day that you are going to serve it and placed on top of the mousse and in the fridge. In this way, this recipe it’s perfect when you have guests and you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen or fight with the oven!

PS. Mamy, questo dessert ha battuto ogni aspettativa…anche da parte mia! a me che non piace molto lo zabaione, il misto con la mousse di mele e’ sembrato meraviglioso. Insomma addirittura meglio di cio’ che ricordassi! Buonissimo…io c’ho pure aggiunto una spruzzata di cannella all fine!

Strudel (-2 weeks)

Recipe 7: This is one of the last dessert recipes I missed and it’s very well known in the north of Italy. I normally eat it in the summer when i go there, but it remembers me an european version of the mince pies and I decided to cook it in these days, when you need help to cope with the new year.

Apple strudel for 6 people: you will need 300 gr of flour, 1-2 eggs, 170gr sugar, 1kg of apples, 50gr raisins, 25 gr pine nuts, 1 lemon’s zests, 40gr breadcrumbs.

Work the flour with the egg, than add the butter and work them well with 10gr. of sugar. Try to do a ball with it and than place it covered in a hot recipient for half an hour.

Peel the apple and cut them in thin slices, add the raisin previously soacked in some water to make them soft, the pine nuts and a some lemon zest.
Now stretch the pasta not too thin and not too thick, cover it with 70gr melted butter until is all shiny. Then add some breadcrumbs previously passed in the butter remained, add some honey or apricot marmelade if you like it, some cinnamon and the apples with the rest.

Now close the pasta creating a big roll, pass some other butter on top if you have still some and place in the oven for 1 hour at 190 degree. Serve it hot in slices with some icing sugar on top.

Ps. Mamy buono quasi come quello nordico. Il loro e’ un po’ piu friabile ma la pasta e’ uscita benissimo!