Tag Archives: cake

Surprise Birthday Party: french dinner and italian cake!

Last saturday a friend of mine decided to give a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend inviting us to eat a typical french dish: Raclette.

It was a long time i was waiting to try it, but i also though that was going to be a good occasion to cook a nice birthday cake. The problem is that Raclette is mainly a plate based on melted cheese. This means the dinner was going to be quite heavy and the cake needed to be kind of light. This is the reason why i made the fruit Crostata.

raclette

But let’s speak about the “Raclette”: the name of this dish comes from a french verb “racler” that means “to scrape”. Originally in fact, they used to take the melted cheese from a big piece of cheese, scraping it. The cheese we used was a specific one made exactly for this dish and that we found in “La Fromagerie” here in London (Marylebone High street). It’s all about melting the cheese and eating it accompanied by potatoes, salad, tomatoes, ham or dried meat, gherkins and pickled onions.

To prepare the cheese there is a specific little machine that allows you to choose a portion and melt it, as you can see it in the pictures. So finally it’s an easy and quick plate to make, but good, fulfilling and the most of the fun is to prepare it and eat it with your friends all together. Then, of course, a good french red wine is a must to complete the dinner! Thank you Morgan and Guillaume!

The italian cake instead is just an optional!

Birthday crostata

PS. Mamy, sabato per il compleanno del nostro amico, io mi sono incaricata della torta, mentre loro hanno preparato la cena, ovviamente francese. Hanno cucinato “Raclette” che non e’ altro che un particolare formaggio francese che si fa fondere (ma non e’ da confondere con la fondue) e si mangia accompagnato da altre “delicattessen”. Insomma non una cosa proprio leggera, ma pensa che per farla hanno proprio una macchina apposita. Assurdo! Comunque ci siamo divertiti un sacco preparando i nostri piattini e la festa e’ uscita molto bene.

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And after the cream… Crostata di frutta!

crostata 1

Recipe 130: This is one of the most classic cakes in Italy. It’s the one that almost every grandmother can make and it’s always good, any kind of filling you will choose. It’s normally more famous the jam crostata, or crostata con la marmellata, but it’s also very well known this recipe with cream and fruit.

Now I will tell you how you can prepare it from the base.

Crostata 2

The ingredients for the “Pasta Frolla” (the base of the cake) are: 300gr flour – 150gr sugar – 150 gr butter (very cold) – a pinch of salt – 2 egg yolks – a bit of milk. For the ” Crema Pasticcera” or cream, please have a look here.

Then, to finish the cake, you will just need some fresh fruit. I used: 1 box of strawberries, 2 kiwis, 1 box of blueberries and then you could cover the cake with a bit of gelatin to make it more compact, but i didn’t use it and it was good anyway.

crostata 3

Let’s start from the pasta frolla mixing the flour, sugar, the pinch of salt, and the butter cut in pieces. Knead until the ingredients reach the consistency of the second series of pictures and then add the 2 egg yolks. At this point you will need to create an homogeneous dough so that you will be able to make a ball. The color have to be a very warm yellow and no clots have to be in the pasta. Add a bit of milk to help you to create the ball if the ingredients are too divided or flour if the dough it’s too sticky. After put it in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Crostata 3

Then prepare a baking pan with baking paper or just with butter and flour all around. Roll out the dough and put it in the pan, making sure is going to be quite thin everywhere. Just the border can be a bit thick. At this point make little holes in the pasta, because the base need to “breath” in the oven. I normally use a fork for these. If you don’t do so, the base will grow or will create bubbles. Put in the hot oven at 180 degree for at least half an hour. When you take it out the base have to be brownish but especially quite hard and dry.

At this point you can just add the crema pasticcera and the fruits cut in pieces. If you want, you can than add the gelatin too.

Buon appetito!

crostata 5

PS: Mamy guarda che bella che mi e’ venuta!!! ti piace? Pero’ che casino spiegare come fare la pasta frolla in inglese! Poi ho avuto un po’ di problemi a trovare della gelatina da metterci sopra. L’unica che ho visto diceva che ci voleva mezz’ora per prepararla… insomma alla fine c’ho rinunciato, ma era buonissima uguale anche se un po’ meno ferma.