Tag Archives: chocolate

Semifreddo al torroncino – Nougat Semifreddo

Recipe 16: This is a dessert my mum used to do in Christmas when there is lots of nougat remaining or when it’s easy to find it in the shops. It’s a very easy dessert but served in little portions with some hot chocolate on top it’s very tasty and beautiful. Serve it to guest for a party and you will see the reactions.

Ingredients for 6 people:  500gr. of whipping cream, 200 gr. nougat (better if covered in chocolate or add some chocolate in powder at the end in the mix), 4 eggs, a bit of Brandy, 150 gr. of sugar and a little cup of vanilla extract.

When i speak about Nougat for me it’s always white nougat because the other it’s just chocolate with hazelnut for me. I use to love this one from Sperlari because very good but still a bit soft. Normally the white nougats are really hard to bite. Start by cutting the nougat in little little pieces, you can even pass it in the mixer if you want just to cut it finely.  Then whip up the 2 egg whites while mixing the yolks egg with the sugar.

Then whip up the whipping cream too (i normally use the mixer anyway) and add this too to the rest of the mix, with also some vanilla extract and chocolate if the nougat it’s totally white.

At this point you will need to choose the recipient where you are going to freeze the semifreddo! I prefer to use the muffin baking tray, but my freezer it’s little and i have used a plum cake tray. Cover it with aluminum paper brushed with some brandy and put a layer of the semifreddo mix and then a layer of nougat with some drops of brandy , then another layer of the mix and another layer of nougat, always with brandy. Finish with the nougat and place it in the freezer for 4 hours before to serve.

When ready to serve, cut it in slices and put some hot chocolate on top with some icing sugar. Enjoy!

PS. Mamy buonissimo! mi mancava un sacco questo dessert…sara’ che qui il torrone non lo vendono proprio percio’ l’avevo comprato in aereoporto tornando in inghilterra il mese scorso.  Certo e’ meglio quando lo congeli in porzioni singole, ma anche a fettine e’ uscito molto bene. Pensa che credevano avessi comprato il gelato al torrone! 🙂

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Cenci Cake: jam, fruit, amaretti and chocolate

Recipe 24: This is the second cake i cooked last weekend and for how much I’m sure was good the original recipe, i have made some little change, considering also that some of the ingredients are not available in this country.

Here the original ingredients and the ones i used to make a little Cenci cake: a part from the Pasta frolla that you can make following this recipe, buy 2-3 pears or apple, you will need some marsala, but i have add a bit of other liquor i had at home, some apricot jam, 150gr amaretti then i added also the white of one egg and chocolate in powder.

Wash, peel and cut the pears or the apples in pieces. Let them cook a bit on the fire with some water, while in the meantime you will stretch the pasta frolla, and you will create the base of your cake. Place it in a baking pan on some baking paper, make the base really thin and then create some holes with a fork to avoid the pasta to grow up and create bubbles.


Take off the pear from the fire and drain them from their liquid. Mix to this a bit of liquor and in the meantime place one layer of apricot jam directly on the base of the cake and then add on top the pears.

Whip up one white egg with a mixer and add then to this the pear juice with the liquor and some spoon of apricot jam. In reality the recipe was just requiring at this point to mix the apricot jam with some marsala egg flavored, but i thought that this mix could be equally standing for that.

Place the mix on top of the pears and cover with 150gr of smashed amaretti. Finish the cake with a good quantity of chocolate in powder, but you can just put it in the oven like this and once ready cover it with melted dark chocolate. In UK infact the powder chocolate is not so sweet and i think could be better just the melted chocolate to make it more sweet and delicious.

Put it in a pre-hotted oven at 180-200 degree and after 30-40 minutes, place a thootpick in the pasta to check if ready.

Serve it hot and enjoy!

PS. Mamy ti piace questa torta? diciamo che anche a causa della mancanza di ingredienti ho fatto dei piccoli cambi, ma il binomio pere e cioccolato lo dovevo per forza provare. Comunque anche con le mele non deve essere male! Il probelma maggiore qui e’ la cioccolate: in polvere e’ troppo amara. la prossima volta la rifinisco con il cioccolato colato sopra.

Chocolate and raspberries cheesecake (-24 weeks)

Recipe 52:  We are almost at the end of this holiday and I couldn’t leave without doing a cake. The problem is that here we don’t have the oven and not even the kitchen instruments I have at home. So it was quite difficult to think in a cake recipe, but I also couldn’t resist to use some fresh forest fruits! Here there are some amazing raspberries and blackberries! So what about a cheesecake?

Ingredients: 200gr biscuits (I used the “Campagnole” from Mulino Bianco… the best biscuits ever in Italy), 100 gr butter, 400gr Philadelphia (I used half normal and half light), then 60 gr sugar, 1 egg, and  50gr dark chocolate (I used just 30gr for half cake)  and/or  50 gr of raspberries ( they are sweeter than blackberries). You can even add some iced sugar on top and marshmallows if you like it.

Mash the biscuits until reduce them in powder, and add the butter already melted. Mix it all and place it in a baking pan creating the base of the cake.

In another container place the Philadelphia cheese, 40gr sugar and the egg yolk. Mix all well and then add also the white of the egg already whipped up. Fill the base of the cake with the mix and use a knife to make it homogeneous.

Now do you prefer to cover it with chocolate or rasberries sauce? For the chocolate put some water to boil in a saucepan and place the dark chocolate in another little saucepan. Place this one in the water and let the chocolate melt slowly ( this system in Italian is called “a bagno maria”). When ready spread the chocolate on the cake and add some iced sugar or marshmellows if you like.

If you prefer the raspberry sauce, place some rasperries in a saucepan with some sugar (one spoon and half) and let it melt. You can add some water if you need but I don’t think you will need. When ready, cover the cake with the sauce and you can also add some fresh fruit to make it looks better.

Place it in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours and serve it cold! Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che mi dici della colazione a base di cheesecake? Anche se non era proprio una tua ricetta sono fiera di aver trovato una torta da poter preparare senza forno ma con frutta fresca e poi cucinare insieme e’ stato troppo divertente… specialmente sperimentando la salsa di lamponi 🙂

Highlights from the Organic Food Exhibition

Last weekend i had the chance to visit the exhibition of natural and organic products organized here in London, in Olympia: the organic food you know is growing everyday more and especially here in UK, the care for natural and organic products is very high.

I was curious to know a bit more, meet the industries and the clients, but also the simple passionate: between infusions, beauty products, vitamins and healthy food, I was happy to find also a little italian group of stands. So let’s start from them.

The first stand to catch my attention was “il Panificio Zannella“, a little stand of salty natural bakery products. Maybe it’s because here there is not a big tradition of crackers and grissini, but i love all these crunchy salty snacks and these one where made in any kind of flavor.

Then i found the classic italian Olives, but this time made by an organic farm “Gaudiano” and these were very good. Moving to cheeses instead there was an amazing stand from Campania with Bufalo mozzarella, cheeses and the classic mozzarella. Thanks good they were there! The brand is “Ponte Reale“. Finally to help the sweet tooth there was the “Aiello” brand with the tozzetti biscuits and nuts covered in chocolate or almonds in sugar and chocolate. Too good!

After that i went a bit around and i discovered lots of interesting things:  first of all a new brand of infusions invented by Mr Scruff, Dj and cartoonist in life and now also producer of this “make us a brew“. Go and check their website… this tea is too funny! And coming back to the past instead, i found the Dragonfly Tea stand with also the well known TickTock brand … so vintage but always good!

Speaking about famous brands here are two protagonist of the scene: “Eat natural” with their delicious bars (I’m addicted) and known also in Italy and “Montezumas“, an organic chocolate english brand that presented, in this occasion, a new flavor: chilli and lime. I can swear it was really good, the ingredients were really well mixed with chocolate, the taste was good not too strong and i could feel the hot of the chilli and the sour of the lime. Impressive! finally i was captured by the Booja Booja Stand, where they served amazing chocolate truffles and organic ice cream!

Then i came across the stand from Ecuador and there i lost my mind: they offered me creackers with exotic organic jams! Banano, papaya, mango…delicious! and then i tried the platano crisps called “Plantain chips” and they were super tasty!

Finally i will spend two words for some new products i tested there and that i want to recommend: from Hungary i discovered some organic salty or sweet snack made by millet and produced by “I love bio“. Then a brand for children “Ella’s kitchen“: it’s a family of organic products for babies from juices to food, but really really nice… no one could resist to their stand!

I also discovered a nice brand for wheat and gluten free products. It was full of this kind of stands, but this is my choice after i tried some of their tasty products, Hale&Hearty. Last but not the least, i present you The Granola from Rude Healt. I love granola and this was really good: they serve it in little plastic glasses with some white yogurt.

I would like then to open a little chapter on Fruit Juice: i went there hoping to find my favorite one and classic in Italy, the pear juice but instead there wasn’t any not even here. However i found 2 nice juice organic brands that i can suggest: Organic Village where i tried a peach juice really reach in fruit and not just watery, and Elite Naturel from Turkey that use to do pear juice and other weird but very good fruit juices like Quince Juice. I never seen this fruit before!

PS. Mamy l’altra settimana sono andata ad un’altra fiera, questa volta era tutta di prodotti naturali e organici, da creme di bellezza a integratori a prodotti culinari. Anche questa volta ho trovato un gruppo di stands italiani, ma erano un po’ pochini! Diciamo che  ho soprattutto fatto un giro tra i prodotti organici che vanno di piu’ qui in Inghilterra: da quelli senza glutine, a prodotti naturali dall’ecuador o dal brasile, a famosi marchi inglesi che si trovano in ogni supermercato. Immagina che ho anche chiesto se ci fosse qualcuno specializzato in prodotti aproteici ma non ho trovato nulla! Comunque ha partecipato un numero incredibile di  persone. In Inghilterra c’e’ veramente la fissazione per l’organico!

Chocolate Salami…recicling Easter eggs

Recipe 84: I was thinking what i was going to do with the Easter chocolate egg we still have at home and then the idea… of course the chocolate salami or Salame al cioccolato. This was a must when i was little. I used to love it so much and this was the better excuse to cook it again.

Ingredients: 200gr chocolate (better if dark but in this case i just used the one for the Easter egg), 100 gr sugar, 100gr butter, 2 eggs, some almond in pieces if you like them and 300gr biscuits.

This is a very quick recipe too because you don’t need to cook anything. Take your Easter chocolate egg or any chocolate and cut it in pieces and place them in a saucepan. Put another bigger saucepan on the fire with some boiling water and place the little saucepan in it. In this way the chocolate will melt without burn or being in direct contact with the fire.

While the chocolate is melting you can crumble the biscuits and put them in a recipient.

In another bowl put the butter, the sugar and the 2 eggs and mix it all until the butter get very soft. Then you can add the chocolate and mix again until all the ingredients are nicely blended.

At this point you can add the crumbled biscuits, the almond in pieces if you like them and i have also added some chocolate sprinkle to give more color. Unfortunately the chocolate egg was made with a very milky chocolate and the color is not as dark as was supposed to be.

Put all the mix on a big aluminum paper and close it giving the shape of a salami. Put in the fridge for at least half an hour and then serve it in slices.

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy hai visto di cosa mi sono ricordata? il mitico salame di cioccolata… che a dire la verita’ sembra piu’ una mortadella visto il colore, ma che comunque mi ricorda un sacco quelli che facevamo quando ero piccola. Ho usato l’uovo di Pasqua che c’era avanzato, ma era di queste cioccolate molto al latte, percio’ spero solo non sia troppo dolce.

Chocolate birthday cakes

Recipe 99: Another birthday, another cake!!! this is my best excuse and the chocolate cake of my mum it’s one of my favourite recipe…unfortunately i didn’t have the right tools and i decided to change something so the result wasn’t exactly what i was expecting. By the way i will give to you the right recipe!

Ingredients (i normally do 1 big cake but this time i did 12 little cakes with the muffins tray): 190gr butter, 110 gr grated of almond,190gr of sugar,190 gr of grated chocolate,100gr of flour, 6 eggs.

Cut the butter in little pieces and melt them a bit then mix it with 90 gr of sugar and 6 egg yolks, adding one at the time.  Mix everything with the almond.

To make the cake a bit more consistent i used half of the quantity of grated almond and half of chopped ones. Then add the rest of the sugar and the chocolate.

This was my mistake: because i didn’t have anything to grate the dark chocolate bars i used chocolate powder but NEVER put the same quantity! Don’t put more than 100gr and if you see the mix gets to thick, add a bit of milk. However it’s better if you can use grated one.

At this point beat the eggs white until stiff and dry and add it to the mix slowly. Then add the flour too, little by little and keep on mixing.

Finally put some butter on the tray and a bit of flour to avoid the mix to stick to it!

Put the tray or baking pan in the oven at 175 degree for half an hour and then turn off the oven and leave the cake there for other 20 minutes. Normally to see if everything is cooked i try to insert a toothpick in it. If it comes out dry, the cake is ready!Serve it with some nice candles for a birthday or just with icesugar and whip cream!

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy nonostante l’apparenza, purtroppo le tortine sono uscite un po’ come dei massi e tutto per colpa del dannato cioccolato da grattuggiare! L’anno scorso mi ricordo mi sono ammazzatta per grattuggiarlo tutto e quest’anno ho avuto l’idea di usare il cioccolato in polvere! Non lo avessi mai fatto: ho aggiunto purtroppo la stessa quantita’ di cioccolato e non risucivo piu’ a girare la massa! che catastrofe senza attrezzi! Cmq alla fine tra il latte che ho aggiunto e la panna diciamo che erano mangiabili, ma la rifaro’ sicuramente perche’ la tua era troppo buona!!!!

My birthday cakes: apple and double color ciambellone

Recipe 105: And also this year my birthday arrived…and this needed to be a special TILT birthday, so i decided to cook my favorite dishes all in one dinner!

I started the preparation the night before with the cakes because i wanted to bring one at work and i wanted to have a double choice in my dinner…so finally i cooked 3 cakes: 2 ciambelloni with apples and 1 double color ciambellone.

Ingredients for one cake: 3 eggs, 150 gr sugar, 300gr flour, 80-100 gr butter, 1 glass of milk, some baking powder, and add 2 big appleas and some cinnamon if you want an apple cake or some chocolate if you want a double color one. Finally i bought some colorful sugar to finish the cakes…exactly like my mum use to do it when i was in primary school.

Mix the 3 entire eggs with sugar until create a cream, then add some of the flour and mix again. Put the butter on the fire and when melted add it to the cake. Add the rest of the flour and mix again until becomes very hard.

At the end add the milk with the baking powder and keep on mixing. Then cut the apples in very little pieces and just put it  with the rest. The cake is all here, very simple and quick, but everyone will like it.

Now put some butter in all the mold and pass then some flour in it. Like thsi the cake won’t stick to the mold.  Then put the mix inside and cover the cake with some funny and colorful sugar sprinkle.

Put in the oven for one hour at 180 degree. Don’t check the cake before than 1/2 an hour at least or it won’t grow up anymore. Open the oven just when you think they already grew up enough.

The easy alternative to this cake  is with chocolate. Put some of the mix just prepared,in a little mold and add to the rest of the mixsome chocolate in pouder. Before to add to the rest the chocolate mix, I also put some little pieces of chocolate inside and i covered it with the rest. The last touch will be the chocolate sprinkles on top.

This is the final results of the cakes i had at home, and the following one is the cake i did to bring it at work! They exactly look like my mum’s cakes!

PS.: ciao mamy, che ne pensi? E’ bella come quella che mi facevi tu alle elementari????io direi che ci sono andata vicino, ma la prossima volta devo controllare meglio la cottura. Vabbe per il momento mi accontento! Le due piccole sono quelle che ho fatto per la casa, mentre la grande e’ quella per l’ufficio.