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
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
April 17, 2012 by Giulietta
Here it is, my traditional buttery recipe… it's not a family tradition, but about a regional one, aka little treats made with hazelnut (a classic in Piedmontese cuisine). There's also an almond version, but in this case I vote for hazelnut.
And, in line with the spirit of Burro Occelli's contest on the Burro Occelli and in line with Piedmontese spirit, I chose a very buttery traditional recipe (I live in a Northern region, and this means butter).
I'm talking about (but maybe you've already recognised them in the picture) baci di dama (lady's kisses in Italian), a traditional and very easy recipe, since the ingredients are in a 1:1 proportion and since you can prepare the dough using a food processor.
The hardest part is to resist these stuffed cookies, in which the buttery aroma goes perfectly with the toasted flavour of hazelnuts and dark chocolate.
Category Chocolate, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pastries, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: butter,chocolate,contest,cookies,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,hazelnut,pastries,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine | 14 Comments
January 26, 2012 by Giulietta
The amazing things in life are the unforeseen, unexpected ones, those small or insignificant details that deviate from the usual order of events and that, therefore, affect us. And, in my humble opinion, the things that amaze me are often the object of an instantaneous (and lasting) sympathy or attraction.
In fact, I often feel an immediate sympathy for a person who seems to have a sterling character, but who is unleashed, for a "grave" person who hides an unexpected sarcasm or for a "tough but soft-hearted" man. Well, I can't help it, I feel the same thing about food: I am always impressed (and I instantly adore it) by a food that seems something and that ends up being completely different.
Believe me, when you'll have in front of you this small flan (that from the outside looks like an ordinary chocolate cake) and, sinking in your teaspoon, you'll trigger a chocolaty lava flow, you'll agree with me … the things that astound your senses are the ones that attract and conquer you (and, if chocolate is involved, how can you resist?!).
Category Chocolate, Cooking for dummies, Dessert and Sweets | Tags: butter,chocolate,dark chocolate,flan | 27 Comments
January 4, 2012 by Giulietta
Surviving from Christmas Eve, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, lunches, at the gate (perhaps) the Epiphany lunch, and here I am suggesting you to make chocolates?
I'll answer in a simple and honest way: yes, because the new year deserves sweetness… maybe it'll decide to bring something good with it (do you want to attract bad luck not celebrating it with the due courtesy?!).
So, despite all the lunches, dinners and aperitifs, roll up your sleeves and let's make something sweet (but not too much, they are still dark chocolates) and aromatic (orange flavored) to gain favors with 2012.
… Then maybe the Mayans are right and all this will be useless!
HAPPY NEW (and maybe last) YEAR!
Today my post is featured on Helene's blog, Masala Herb.. go check it out!
Category Chocolate, Chocolates, Dessert and Sweets, Holidays, Home-made is better, Pralines | Tags: chocolate,chocolates,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,ganache,holidays,home-made is better,orange,pralines | 26 Comments
December 14, 2011 by Giulietta
It is mid-December, already … The most prepared of you have already finished their Christmas presents and will be satisfied, some others will have to think, buy and wrap up gifts (and how come the fundamental gifts are always the last to be crossed off the list?!) and then some other will wait till Christmas Eve to buy the first thing that comes to mind. Well, I usually fall within the first category, 'cause I usually start thinking about Christmas gifts while I'm still wearing flip-flops, and I usually buy every single gift with a disturbing advance .. but this year Christmas will be a little different for me, and this Christmas will include a lot of home-made gifts and a little more calmness .. and it will probably become panic when I'll realize that I forgot the gift for grandma 10 minutes before Christmas dinner.
But I can't, at least in part, give up my proverbial timing and, although I know that Christmas is yet to come, I'm so ahead of you that today I don't suggest you some home-made and last-minute gift, but a recipe to get rid of nougat leftovers. Today I'm the Grinch, who fights the thought of Christmas, almost as if it was already gone!
Torrone (nougat) is a very popular sweet in Italy, and we eat it especially during Christmas holidays. There are at least a thousand different kinds of torrone: hard, soft, semi-hard, with hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, covered in chocolate, covered in glaze, big, small and so on..
Well, the funny thing is… I don't like nougat! My mom could practically eat a ton of it (so it's not genetic), and instead I don't like it so much, basically 'cause it's too sweet for my tooth.
But, after Christmas holidays, it's practically impossible living in an Italian house without seeing nougat all around, since it's a very common gift and it's also very used in Christmas goodie baskets.
So, if you want to use some of those leftovers or if you actually love nougat and you'd like to make a very Christmas sweet, very easy and very sensational, here it is my semifreddo al torrone (nougat semifreddo).
Today you can find my recipe also here, on Nami's fabulous blog Just One Cookbook (I'm a blogsitter, today), together with a little interview with the undersigned. If you're interested or if you don't know Nami's blog, yet, please pay a visit, and you won't regret it.
Category Chocolate, Christmas, Dessert and Sweets, Holidays, Ice cream semifreddo and sorbet | Tags: chocolate,Christmas,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,eggs,hazelnut,holidays,ice cream semifreddo and sorbet,nougat,semifreddo,whipping cream | 30 Comments
August 11, 2011 by Giulietta
Unfortunately my holidays in Verona and Berlin are over, and they were wonderful: Verona (we used Verona as a base to go to Villafranca, where we went to Ben Harper's concert: I still have goose bumps only thinking about that concert, but I'll tell you later) is a calm city, with a delicate and subtle beauty, while Berlin is a city rich in recent history, full of life, modernity, movement. As soon as I can I'll show you some pictures of my holidays, as soon as I have time to reorder them, and with them to reorganize my memories … I promise that soon I'll tell you with pictures and words these places and the emotions that they left behind, but probably I'll do it after (or during, who knows?) a last (or penultimate?! I'm very cryptic, today) and unexpected seaside holiday to Albenga (in Liguria), where I want to devote myself to seaside, relax and detoxification from Berlin's food (don't worry … I'll tell you later all the unspeakable things that I managed to swallow down).
But, before leaving, I had to leave a recipe that highlights this one day of homecoming, with a sweet typical (veeery typical) of the Piedmontese summer: peaches stuffed with amaretti and cocoa powder.
I want to play it safe: being a traditional and familiar recipe, there are thousand of them and almost all aren't based on established quantities, but they go "to the taste". I'll try to give you some indications, but it's, as always, a matter of taste and preferences. There's one certainty in all this: however the filling comes out (too soft, too hard, not so sweet, too sweet), your stuffed peaches, once you'll get them out of the oven and once they're cold, they'll be divine …. And this is not trivial.
Category Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: amaretto,chocolate,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,peach,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine,unsweetened cocoa powder | 24 Comments
July 22, 2011 by Giulietta
On summer you should eat plenty of vegetables, lots of fruits, eat light foods and drink a lot.
The key is "you should": I love vegetables (while I simply like fruits), but it would be a sad life without a nice "boost of life" from time to time?!
So why don't indulge, once in a while, and enjoy a nice and fresh dessert, although not a very light one?! And what's better than a Nutella cheesecake, to spoil yourself?!
I know, I sound like a Nutella spot (but Nutella is a product of my homeland, so I might be entitled to publicize it), but actually all started with another idea and another recipe, by Alessia of Muffins, cookies ed altri pasticci for a Ferrero Rocher cheesecake (and Rocher aren't so far away from the Nutella … they came from the same family), that I tried a year ago, and won me for its simplicity and for its great taste.
So, for a nice Piedmont-themed dinner with friends (but not too Piedmontese … at least I wanted to skate over the tradition for the dessert, 'cause Russian salad, Barbera risotto, and castelmagno risotto had already given an adequate taste of Piedmont – to quell any criticism, you have to know that I made a goodie-bag bonet for all my guests … none should leave my house unhappy!) I wanted to repeat the successful cheesecake experiment, but I reminded of a tragic truth: in summer, because of the hot weather, no Ferrero Rocher (you can't find them in the stores).
So I had to fall back on what, making everybody unhappy? I had to fall back on the hated Nutella (I'm kidding, uh .. let's say that if I spent a nanosecond more to photograph the cake, maybe I wouldn't be here talking … and I start to think that the blurred area in the top of the picture can be a fingerprint of some impatient friend on the camera)!
In short, a little reworking that left everyone with full-mouthed (and not open-mouthed).
Category Cakes and pies, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit | Tags: cakes and pies,cheesecake,chocolate,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,eggs,hazelnut,nutella,ricotta cheese | 32 Comments
July 8, 2011 by Giulietta
Yes, yesterday it was my birthday (I'm going towards the 30)! And, while someone claims that the making of his own birthday cake is bad luck (but why?) or simply is not very nice, I have a certain compulsion ("another one?", you'd say) not only in preparing the dessert, but the whole dinner for a party in my honor!
Am I stupid?! Maybe.
Do I love cooking too much?! For sure!
On my birthday, however, traditionally I don't cook, my boyfriend takes me out for dinner (preferably in a surprise restaurant, and this year we ate Piedmontese in a very nice restaurant… awesome) and I buy a nice dessert from my favorite ice-cream maker and/or pastry chef (yesterday I chose two little semifreddo cake, a yogurt-soft fruit one and a three chocolates one), what the heck!
But, for all other parties (and, believe me, my agenda is really full) I MUST (i's a primordial need) prepare something, the whole dinner or just the dessert. But it's July, so I don't like to stay near the oven (although yesterday it seemed autumn … in hindsight I could have used the oven) … last year I decided to make a tarte tatin and, later, near the oven, I decided that dying would have been a better choice! In short, this year, aided by the loan of an ice cream machine and the consequent desire to experiment, I will present you two cold dessert. Actually, they can't be colder… ICE CREAM!
PS: the ice cream maker IS NOT ESSENTIAL, though!
Category Birthday, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Egg whites only, Holidays, Ice cream semifreddo and sorbet, Ice-cream cakes | Tags: chocolate,dessert and sweets,egg whites,hazelnut,ice cream semifreddo and sorbet,nutella,vanilla,whipping cream | 28 Comments
June 13, 2011 by Giulietta
Until a few days ago I had never tasted, let alone made, brownies. I've only seen them in American movies and TV series, sometimes in the picture, around the web, but never live. Or rather, the brownies I saw live didn't seem authentic to me, so I always gave up on trying them.
Besides, I didn't find any recipe that convinced me, calling me like the sirens' song and saying to me "try me, try me" until… yes, until I read this post, until Sweetie and her partner (in crime) convinced me that this was the recipe for some fabulous brownies, that this was the only recipe that really stood comparison with NY brownies.
So, after a consultation with this partner (in crime) to find the perfect recipe for Grandma's 87th birthday (Grandma really has a sweet tooth), brownies were the winning idea … and so I could finally try them (but of course I didn't do it only for my personal gain: who do you think I am?!).
So with Sweetie's recipe and a few -but good- ingredients, I started to work, and the result was a real delicacy. I have never tasted made in USA brownies, but these were FAN-TA-STIC!
PS. Maybe I should make a phone call to my Grandma: if she ate all brownies she could be in the middle of a hyper-glycaemic crisis.
Category Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, USA Cuisine | Tags: brownies,butter,chocolate,unsweetened cocoa powder,usa cuisine | 23 Comments