Tag Archives: sugar

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!

Tiramisu ai frutti di bosco – Forest fruits Tiramisu.

Recipe 8: I couldn’t let this epiphany and “befana” day go without any sweets! The traditions are here to be respected! So I decided to bring them to the english people too and I made a dessert for the office: a forest fruit tiramisu. This recipe is quite quick and you don’t even need an oven!

Ingredients for 8 people: 4 eggs, 500 gr. mascarpone, 160 gr. savoiardi, 120 gr. sugar, a bit of brandy, 300 gr. mix of forest fruits (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry), icing sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt.

Mix the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy. Add the mascarpone, 3 spoons of brandy and mix well again (I have used a mixer). Then add the eggs’ white whipped up with a pinch of salt and mix again. Smash the savoiardi and put a layer of the cream in the baking pan or in the 8 glasses, and a layer of broken biscuits.

Pour some drops of brandy and cover them with a layer of forest fruits already washed and cut in pieces.  Add a good quantity of icing sugar and a bit of cinnamon.

Repeat the same steps to create a second layer, and finish with the cream covered in forest fruits. Put all in the fridge and serve it very cold!

Ps: mamy la befana in ufficio e’ stata un successo. Il dolce l’ho fatto la sera prima e non c’ho messo nulla. Pero’ io preferisco ancora il tiramisu al caffe’!

Tozzetti – Classic almond biscuits (-4 weeks)

Recipe 11: This is not one of my mum recipe but is one of her bestfriend’s recipe and I can tell you I tried this biscuit before and they are really good! I tozzetti are a classic of the italian tradition! I’m sure you saw them around and here is the very old recipe she follow to make them! They were a little Christmas present I gave to my friends!

Here the ingredients for a good quantity (but maybe it’s better to start with half of it): 3 eggs, 600gr flour, 300gr sugar, 50gr of butter, half skin of an egg full of oil, half a glass of white wine, a spoon of baking powder, some icing sugar, 200gr of skinless almonds in pieces or whole(I prefer because it’s more traditional).

The process is very easy; just mix the sugar, flour, eggs, the butter all together. Then add the wine, the oil and the baking powder trying to create a ball. You will need to mix a bit and try to make everything stick together until you are able to create the mass. Now add the almonds and try to create a homogeneous mass again.

When ready place some baking paper on a baking pan and create long bars! In this way when you will cut them in slices they will have the classic “smiley effect”.

Place them in the oven at 160 degree. They need to cook a bit and then you need to turn it, otherwise they will be ready just in one said. Check from time to time the base and when quite cooked (15-20 minutes), cut them in pieces and let them finish to cook (5 minutes).
When ready, serve it with some icing sugar on top!

Ps. Considerato che li ho fatti preparando il cenone di Natale, con la supervisione di mia mamma, dico anche che ho scordato il lievito e lo zucchero a velo prima di impacchettarli. Questo ha creato dei biscotti un po’ duretti! Spero che tutti gli amici a cui li ho dati abbiano ancora i denti.

Mele con la cannella – Cinnamon hot apples

Recipe 12: This is a classic in winter and it was the only fruit I would eat with pleasure when I was little. Considering that in Christmas we have already lots of sweets I decided to close the dinner with a light fruity dessert: cinnamon hot apples.

Ingredients for 6 people : one quite big apple for each person (I prefer to use Golden apples), a glass of sweet white wine, 1 spoon of cinnamon, 6 spoons of sugar and some flakes of butter. Then, to serve it in the best way, I suggest you to have in one side some whipping cream for the final composition.The preparation it’s very easy. Wash the apples, and cut out the middle section with a little knife. Prepare a baking pan with some baking paper or butter and flour on the bottom to don’t make the apples stick to it. Place the apples in the pan and pour the white wine on them.

In a cup mix the sugar with the cinnamon and put it on the apples. Then place some flakes of butter on them and place them in the oven at 200 degree for 30 minutes. From time to time pour some of the apple sauce on them to make them cook better.

When ready, serve the hot apples with some whipped cream on top or on a side and some other sprinkle of cinnamon.

Enjoy!

PS. Bella idea questa delle mele a Natale no?? con tutti questi torroni e panettoni mi sembrava eccessivo anche un dessert calorico! a me sono piaciute un sacco visto che erano anni che non le mangiavo. A voi?

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! 🙂

Peaches and amaretti charlotte cake (-11 weeks)

Recipe 25: This weekend I decided to cook 2 cakes following the recipes my mum gave me: one was a cake she tried in an Italian hotel, really good but where I did some changes. The other one instead is a real recipe, that sounds really good also if I don’t remember my mum doing it, but probably i missed that dinner.

Both of these cakes have a pasta frolla base, so I decided to try both in 2 little versions, just hoping one of the 2 was coming out good.

The ingredients for a little peaches Charlotte cake are for the pasta frolla: 150 gr. flour– 75 gr. butter – 75 gr. sugar – 1 egg yolk – a pinch of salt. For the filling:   100 gr. amaretti  – 75 gr. grated almonds – 2 eggs – 2 spoons of sugar – 2spoons of milk, 300/400 gr peaches in syrup.

Start preparing the pasta frolla following these instructions. Then place it in the fridge for half an hour and in the meantime prepare the baking pan. You can place some butter and flour in it, or just some baking paper as in the picture, to avoid the cake to stick.

Then stretch the pasta and create a circle that will be the base of the cake. Have to be really thin. Place it in the pan and create some holes all around with a fork to let the air goes out while cooking in the oven.

Put the crashed amaretti in the cake with the grated almonds too. Then add the peaches’ slices.

In another container mix 2 egg yolks with the sugar, the milk and the 2 egg whites wiped up. Pour all this mix on the peaches and place  the cake in the oven already hot, at around 180 degree for 45 minutes.

When the top will become a bit dark, take out the cake and try with a toothpick if the pasta is cooked. If this will come up dry the cake it’s ready.

Then serve it hot also with some icing sugar on top if you like.

PS. Mamy nonostante non abbia mai provato la tua, a me la mia versione e’ piaciuta molto! L’amaretto con le pesche mordite e le mandorle sta benissimo!

Profiterole … and nothing else to add.

Recipe 27: As a dessert for my guest in the Halloween night i couldn’t resist to make the Profiterole, but starting from the puffs. Yes i did them too and was easy except for the cooking time that wasn’t exactly enough. However now i will tell you how to do them in the right way.

Ingredients for around 30 puffs: 250ml of water, 100gr of butter, half a little spoon of salt, one spoon of sugar, 150 of flour, 4 eggs.

Place on the fire the water , the butter, the salt and the sugar and bring to boil. At this point take the pan out of the fire and add the flour all in once. Put the pan back on the fire and mix with a wooden spoon until it get thick and starts to create a ball.

Now put it in a place to cool down for some minutes and then add one egg at time  mixing until absorbed.

Finally it will become a bit more creamy and you will need to let it rest for around 30 minutes.

Then pass the mix in a piping bag and  create your puffs placing them on a baking paper and leaving enough space between one and the other. They will grow so they need to have their space. Put them in a preheated oven for 30 minute at 150 degree.Never open the oven if you don’t want them to collapse. Check them from outside and see when you think they are big and colored enough. When ready, turn off the oven but leave it in there for around 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open.

Waiting for them to get dry, prepare the cream to put inside, following the recipe here. Place it in the piping bag  used before and be ready to fill them one by one.

The last touch it will be the chocolate. Take 200 gr of dark chocolate in tablet and put that in a little pan, inside a bigger pan with hot water in it and on fire ( a bagno maria). In this way the chocolate will melt without stick to the pan or burn.

Just pour it on the puffs disposed in a pyramid and serve !  For Halloween i also added some orange sugar sprinkles…but we couldn’t resist to try it and i don’t have pictures now 😦

However if you really want to make it perfect, just add some whipped cream here and there and… Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy che te ne pare di questo profiterole…t’ho quasi superato cucinando anche i puffs eh? Peccato che avrei dovuto farli crescere un po’ di piu’ tenendoli nel forno qualche altro minuto, ma alla fine non mi posso lamentare!

Torta della nonna – grandma’s cake (- 14 week)

Recipe 33: That is not just a name I gave to this recipe, but it’s the real name! The grandma’s cake in Italy is this specific kind of Crostata made with pine nuts and it has a totally different taste form the one with fresh fruit that i use to do.

I made this cake for an italian dinner i had in these days and everyone was super happy! It finished in no time :)! So here i give you the recipe. Made it because it will be a success!

For the pasta frolla at the base you can just use this recipe. Then for the cream you can use my normal recipe, but this time i added 1 egg yolk more and lemon zest instead of the vanilla pod, so: 5 egg yolks, 500ml of milks, 150gr of sugar, 30gr of flour, a pinc of salt, 1 full lemon zest and a packet of pine nuts.

So after you made the ball of pasta frolla, place this in the fridge for half an hour and start to do the cream. Put the milk on the fire with inside the zest of a full lemon. When boiling, take it off from the fire and leave it in a side.

In another pan Put the egg yolks and the sugar. Mix well until obtain a yellow cream and then add the flour mixing (trying to avoid any clot) and a pinch of salt. Now put it o the fire and mixing, add the warm milk little by little, of course with out the lemon zest.

Now you just need to mix, always on a low fire, until the cream takes a good consistency and start to boil a bit. At this point turn off the fire and let it cool down.

Use this time to make the base of the cake: take the frolla from the fridge and start to roll it until quite thin. Place it in a baking pan already covered with some butter and flour first. Once the base is done and ready to be filled with the cream don’t forget to do some all in all the pasta with a fork. In this way the pasta cooking won’t create bubbles.

Now add the cream and then all the line nuts on top until totally covered. Placed in an oven already hot, at around 180 degree for 50 minutes. You will see is ready when the pasta around will be quite colored, but try to put a teeth pick in it just to be sure inside is dry.

Final touch is some iced sugar to put on top before to serve it! Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy sto diventando un drago con tutte queste similcrostate e la tua crema! Ogni volta migliore. Per la torta della nonna ho finalmente anche provato la versione con le scorze di limone, e nonostante all’inizio pensassi che i limoni qui non avessero abbastanza sapore, invece alla fine e’ venuta prefetta!