May 9, 2013 by Giulietta
I don’t know how many times I’ve told you that I adore pistachios , I don’t know whether it’s necessary to repeat this concept again or I have to say it in other languages , but I love pistachios, this is the reality. Sure, it’s difficult having doubts after my pistachio mille-feuille or since I put pistachios even in a meatloaf but, as Latins said, repetita iuvant.
So, having 100 g of precious Bronte pistachios flour I bought last summer in Calabria (the same I used in these ricotta truffles) to get rid of (I didn’t want to get rid of it, let’s be clear, but you can’t store it for too long, or it may go rancid, and it would be a mortal sin), I wanted to find a recipe that would fully enhance the green gold. Moreover, having only a small amount of this, flour I couldn’t make some of those Sicilian pistachio mini-cakes that I love so much.
And so -here it is the stroke of genius- I thought: why don’t make a caprese cake with pistachio flour instead of almond flour? The result is simply delicious: you can taste pistachio just a bit (its taste is a bit stronger than almond taste), and it’s a pleasant aftertaste to the caprese cake, already a real delicacy, that I love and adore. And I love pistachio caprese cake even more (if it’s humanly possible).
Category Cakes and pies, Campania, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Italian cuisine, Nuts, Pantry cakes, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: cakes and pies,campania,chocolate,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,italian cuisine,nuts,pantry cakes,pistachio,regional italian cuisine,unsweetened cocoa powder | 6 Comments
April 4, 2013 by Giulietta
I’ll start with a confession: I (cordially) hate layered cakes. You know, the classic birthday cakes: sponge cake with layers of custard or chantilly cream and then covered with whipped cream. Well, I hate those cakes. Let’s be clear: they’re good, but it’s not my kind of cake. I’d never choose one of those for my birthday: I’d prefer a millefeuille (I know it’s a layered cake, but here layers are crunchy and, well, I know I’m a bit contradictory, but don’t judge me) or a cup dessert.
But I learned to make these cakes in my pastry class, I know how to make them from scratch (and I’m also pretty good at it, apparently) and I enjoy it making them, but don’t ask me to enjoy them.
For this reason, in front of the MTC challenge proposed by Stefania of Cardadomo & CO. I was startled: not only it was a layer cake, but typical US layer cake, a Red Velvet Cake, and a gluten free one. I obviously don’t anything against “gluten free” .. I think I should add to my blog more recipes for people allergic to gluten, but in this particular case it didn’t simplify the mission.
So, with my usual aplomb, I thought, “shit!” and, secondly,”who is going to eat an entire layer cake? “
So I opted for a convenient solution: I decided to make single-serving cakes (I knew those mini layer cake molds would be useful, sooner or later … they were still in their box, waiting for the right occasion), I chose to soak them with a blueberries liquor and garnish them with the least cloying topping I could think of, simple whipped cream (barely sweetened) enriched with freshly chopped blueberry. A purple garnishment (and filling), fresh and a bit sour, perfect for my taste.
So after these necessary adjustments, I happily made this cake to celebrate a birthday, my blog’s birthday, which turned two years old on February 22nd.
Happy (latecoming) birthday, Alterkitchen!
And I was glad to be able to celebrate this milestone with all my readers, all the MTC friends and with a cake that could be enjoyed by celiac friends, too.
Category Cakes and pies, Contest, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Fruits of the forest, Gluten Free, USA Cuisine | Tags: blueberries,cakes and pies,contest,fresh fruit,fruits of the forest,layer cake,whipping cream | 8 Comments
March 16, 2013 by Giulietta
I keep talking about short pastry, but this time in a different way, with a recipe dedicated to chocoholics.
I don’t fall into this group (I know, I attended a pastry class, but I do prefer savory food - ironic, uh?!), but I have to admit that it’s really hard to say no to a slice of this tart, a crisp short pastry shell filled with a soft and voluptuous dark chocolate mousse. Its flavors are well balanced and the tart is not at all cloying, so it earned my full approval.
The credit of this recipe goes to Cristina, aka Zucchero & Sale. However, I used my short pastry recipe for tart (slightly different from the cookie one), I increased the dose for the filling (but I kept the proportions) and I topped it my way, with colorful and sour fruits, alkekengi, a perfect combination.
Category Cakes and pies, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Tarts | Tags: alkekengi,cakes and pies,chocolate,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,short pastry,tartes,whipping cream | 4 Comments
November 15, 2012 by Giulietta
If the gestation of the first recipe I sent to the Fiandino Farms’ Contest was long and painful, I had no doubt about the second recipe (I could send how many recipe I want, but I opted for two recipes, a savoury one and a dessert) since the first moment I saw, made and tasted it during the professional pastry class that I am attending.
Ta dà! Surprise! I didn’t tell you, yet, but I’m attending a professional pastry class at the Chefs’ Association in Turin, and I’m finally learning the basics of pastry, which I wanted to learn for a long, long time, and now I’m finally learning them.
During the lesson about short pastry for tarts and tartellette we made a great Piedmontese classic, the Langarola (which means “from Langhe“, wonderful Piedmontese lands) cake, a triumph of butter and hazelnuts, a delicious cake in which a sort of frangipane cream (made with hazelnuts instead of almonds, though) is enclosed in a shell of short pastry, a real bomb of flavor (and calories, but I didn’t tell you this). A cake perfect for a special occasion, rustic but elegant and refined at the same time .
Maybe it’s my Piedmontese DNA, but I love it … and you?
Category Cakes and pies, Contest, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pantry cakes, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: butter,cakes and pies,contest,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,hazelnut,italian cooking,pantry cakes,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine,short pastry | 6 Comments
March 31, 2012 by Giulietta
The title of this post and what you see and read in the picture above speak for themselves ..
Bye, bye, ciambella (Italian for ring shaped cake), goodbye to you who begin to die as soon as you leave the oven (as soon as you lose the twelfth-degree burn effect, just like Fantozzi's wake – see here, from 00:40 onwards), adios to you, ciambella, hoping that sooner or later I'll manage to photograph the whole you. No kidding, this is the third ciambella I made in the last two weeks, and none of the three, although for different reasons, arrived wholly for photographic evidence. But I wanted at all costs this cake on my blog, so I settled for a C (as for "ciambella" and "ciao ciao") and I'll give you the recipe anyway, hoping it will suffice you and hoping that this cake's short life will convince you it's delicious.
I started to know Juls (here's the link to her blog, which I suggest you to visit, but you can find the link to her recipe below) with this recipe, there I wrote my first comment to her blog and, in that comment, I said a sacred truth… I said that this cake, with its softness, would become my must for breakfast, outperforming my traditional yogurt cake. And so it was (I'm more prophetic than Nostradamus and the Mayans together). In fact I often make this cake, 'cause it contains no butter, 'cause it's simple and fast, 'cause it can be flavored with anything that you want and 'cause its softness is incredible.
Try the cake, test its (short) life and then tell me if it's not highly addictive …
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Pantry cakes | Tags: breakfast,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,pantry cakes | 15 Comments
March 10, 2012 by Giulietta
Picture by Eleonora
Today a bright sun shines in Turin, and it should last for the entire weekend, quite conveniently, since I'm going on a little getaway. I just want to enjoy these first blue skies, this first warm sun, I just want to drive along some country roads and stop whenever I want to, searching for anything, but some photographic fascination… maybe I didn't tell you this, but I'm attending a photography class. I'm doing this, so maybe I'll learn to use my powerful photographic means.
But (and you've already learned that there's always a but), to avoid that weather plays tricks on me, I'd do some sort of sacrifice to the gods of weather: I offer you a recipe that I hope it will be the last winter one for this blogging season… if you'll find the recipe for yak and bell peppers, next time, blame the weather, not my intentions. I couldn't think of anything wintery than a dried fruit cake served with zabaione, flavored with a passito wine (my achilles heel) … is it wintery enough?
I hope this cake would be a sufficient sacrifice, and I hope that sun will be with us longer and longer, from now on, or at least for this weekend (I'll settle for little, after all).
Category Arabic cuisine, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pantry cakes, Wine | Tags: almond,arabic cuisine,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,hazelnut,pantry cakes,passito di Pantelleria,pine nuts,pistachio,raisin,tunisia,wine,zabaione | 13 Comments
January 17, 2012 by Giulietta
The Tarte Tatin is not an easy dessert, but a simple one. And, like all the simple dessert, made with a few ingredients, it needs to be done with all the care that it deserves to be really good.
We have to make a good caramel sauce, to carefully slice the apples, cover them in pâte brisée (or puff pastry, if you prefer) and make sure that this little masterpiece doesn't burn, so that, once you've pulled it out of the oven and turned it upside down, it stays perfect like you've dreamed, ready to be eaten slightly cooled down, served with some semi-whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream, but also in its simple perfection.
The simplicity of the Tarte Tatin, however, lies also in its possible speeding, if you use ready made pâte brisée (or puff pastry). I know that home-made dough is an all different thing, that no one knows what ingredients are there in the ready made one .. I agree with your hesitations, but (there's always a but) let's say you have so many apples and no butter (but you have a ready made pâte brisée in your freezer), let's say you have to make a quick dessert for some unattended guests or let's say you simply feel the irresistible urge to have a slice of Tarte Tatin or you feel the irresistible urge to spend a Parisian afternoon … well, in these cases don't give up … home-made is better, but sometimes home-made could be sacrificed (at least in my humble opinion).
Category Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, French cuisine, Fresh fruit | Tags: apple,brisée,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,french cuisine,fresh fruit | 24 Comments
November 20, 2011 by Giulietta
After different themed-posts, I'll go back to breakfast .. not that in the meantime I stopped making sweet treats for breakfast (never), but simply because I dusted the great breakfast classics, and maybe you'll see those, too, sooner or later.
Sometimes, however, I must (it's a real need) try something new, possibly to use all the delicacies that I have at home, some of those hand-made, some won in contests and some courtesy of some companies, from my region or not.
For this plum cake I put together a basic recipe (taken from the blog La farfalla di cioccolato) and an incredible delicacy, a cherry jam that I'll never use again for a cake … don't get me wrong, the cake was delicious, but this jam is so delicious that it required to be eaten by spoonfuls or to be used to garnish a panna cotta… and I usually hate cherry jam. I took these two elements and I adapted them so I could use a cake mix I won in a contest (actually, I won a giant pack of flours that now fills up a great part of my wardrobe .. no comment) … I usually don't use cake mix, but I don't like wasting food, so I used it (but I'll leave the necessary replacements in the recipe) and I like it a lot!
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Jam, Pantry cakes | Tags: breakfast,cakes and pies,cherry,dessert and sweets,jam,pantry cakes,plum cake | 22 Comments
November 5, 2011 by Giulietta
Today it's raining… well, saying that it's raining it's reductive, 'cause it's pouring from yesterday, without interruption. Now Turin and the entire Piedmont are on the highest alert, 'cause the Po river could overflow, or it could appen to of the many other rivers of this region (and some river already overflowed in the area of Alessandria). We are hoping that this is not another 1994 or 2000 (years of two big floods), that this time water would spare these areas.
But my thought inevitably goes to the Region nearby, Liguria, where Cinque Terre and then Genoa went through an inundation (and unfortunately it's not finished yet), the same or maybe worse (but looking for the worst it's a reallysick exercise) than the one we have seen here.. we would like that such facts don't happen anymore, not in 2011, not in the "civilized" world, not in historical cities survived for centuries and suddenly at risk, and all for negligence leading to disasters that on the lips of politicians are always unpredictable (and I wonder who still believes them).
In short, who now is in the North West of Italy, but not only there, please stay at home, don't go in the streets unless it's absolutely necessary, avoid unnecessary risks. Even if it's Saturday, and we would like to go out, to distract ourselves from a work week made more intense for having seen or experienced tragedies too close to our front door, make the effort to stay at home, watch a movie, read a book, follow the weather news and ask ourselves, really, if we can do something to help our neighbors in need. The only concession allowed to this plan is a hot tea and an apple square, to comfort ourselves.
Category Breakfast, Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Marinade, Pantry cakes | Tags: apple,brandy,breakfast,cakes and pies,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,liqueur,marinade,pantry cakes,renette apples,soft cakes | 38 Comments
October 25, 2011 by Giulietta
As you might guess from this picture, this cheesecake was born as a birthday cake for a dear friend of mine who asked me this dessert months ago, after my first failed attempt to make this kind of cheesecake … it was very good but, let's say, a bit unstable.
So I went back to work, and this time it came with a perfect texture: it was soft, sweet (but not too much) and delicate.
In addition, I found myself the makings of a pretty pink cake, perfect to dedicate to a very important cause: let's remember, report and support it. In fact, October is the breast cancer awareness' month, so let's read, remember, support and share it. We're aware of the risk, don't underestimate it, and let's do everything we can to prevent it.
Category Birthday, Cakes and pies, Cheese, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Holidays | Tags: cakes and pies,cheese,cheesecake,cream cheese,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,frozen fruits,fruits of the forest | 19 Comments