December 3, 2012 by Giulietta
Did I ever tell you that I have a passion for pistachios? No?! Well, now you know it: I am a pistachio-addicted! I can’t say no to a couple (a couple?! Who believes that?) pistachio nuts, at any time and situation, I believe that “if a dessert has pistachio in it must be good” (and not just desserts… I’m not a racist!), I strongly believe that “Sicily is the promise land”.
So when last summer I went to Calabria, even without setting foot in my promise land (I admit it, I haven’t been in Sicily, yet), I found out that pistachio flour was very easy to find. Could I ever come back home empty-handed? I definitely couldn’t, so, while a part of that treasure still lies in my wardrobe/pantry (yes, sometimes I keep food and clothing together), a part has already gone away, but it was for a good cause.
Our heroine, in fact, sacrificed itself on a special occasion, the birthday of two people who are very important to me and who, like me, love pistachios. So I chose to prepare as a birthday cake a mille-feuille with hand-made puff pastry, pistachio custard and then garnished with a sprinkling of pistachios and a chocolaty writing (as I said, there were two party boys: no one turned 2728).
To accompany the dessert I could choose to stay in Sicily, with a Pantelleria passito (did I ever mention my passion for passito wines?! Well, I still have many secrets), but then I decided to serve it with a Piedmontese passito, the Sulé Caluso Passito doc produced by Orsolani. This wine, sweet and fruity, would marry even better with pastries, but I think that pistachios created the right conditions for a perfect wedding, even if this dessert is made with custard and whipped cream. And, maybe it’s my love for the Sicilian land, but I’m always in favour of a marriage between Sicilian food and a Piedmontese wine, as I already shown in the past.
Category Birthday, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, French cuisine, Holidays, Home-made is better | Tags: birthday,butter,custard cream,dessert and sweets,french cuisine,holidays,home-made is better,mille-feuille,nuts,pistachio,puff pastry,whipped cream | 5 Comments
July 9, 2012 by Giulietta
A very quick post, with a very clear intention: wish a HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY to me (I wish it to myself, 'cause you never know)! Oh, yes, I fall into the birthday's post cliche, too, but I won't keep going (at myself, of course) stating my desperation for the advancing age (but the age advances, though) or describing everything that I prepared for the celebrations in my honour. Well, actually I didn't prepare anything, there was no special celebration, I refused to cook, at least on my birthday (what the heck!).
But, for my non-birthday (aka birthday celebrated in advance), I prepared this meringue pie in the cup (sort of), which had some success .. why did I prepare meringue pie for my non-birthday, when I don't go crazy for meringue? This remains a mystery to solve. But that's another story, which I think has something to do with mental tares I mentioned in my previous post … look on the bright side, at least I didn't turn on the oven!
Category Birthday, Dessert and Sweets, Egg yolks only, Holidays, Ice cream semifreddo and sorbet | Tags: birthday,chantilly cream,custard cream,dessert and sweets,egg yolks,holidays,meringue,meringue pie,vanilla,whipped cream,whipping cream | 10 Comments
May 13, 2012 by Giulietta
For some time now, more or less since I started to cook with greater commitment and dedication, I get some bookings: a gianduja mille-feuille for a birthday, brownies for a dinner with friends, meliga pastries for an afternoon tea and a Grandma's cake for Mother's Day.
Well, Grandma's cake for Mother's Day makes its sense: after all, grandma is someone's mother, isn't she?
While I was looking here and there for a grandma's cake that inspired me, I suddenly remembered a similar cake I saw some time ago, with a very soft short pastry, that inspired me far more than those with a classic shortbread. Also, the recipe I remembered so clearly was Juls' recipe, a guarantee, and so I focused on her Tuscan pine nuts cake recipe, making just one change. The result is a delicate, very soft and not at all cloying cake, that charms with its soft short pastry and its silky custard.
A cake that tastes like home, like tradition, like Mum, and therefore perfect for this occasion. Best wishes to all Mums, including of course the "instigator" of this cake; those yellow gerberas you see in the pictures, her favourite, are for her.
Category Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Regional Italian cooking, Tuscany | Tags: custard cream,dried fruit,pine nuts,regional italian cuisine,short pastry,Tuscany | 24 Comments
April 26, 2011 by Giulietta
For an Easter Monday worthy of its name I wanted to make a fresh, colorful and unusual dessert, that everyone could like.
And so, as I moved around looking for inspiration, I stumbled on the Saturday episode of Italian Ready Steady Cook, in which the pastry chef Sal De Riso showed the preparation of a mille-feuille with wild flowers cream and garnished with peaches and red fruits… I had a divine illumination and in a second I decided that THIS would be my dessert (since my friend already prepared three more dessert plus a sorbet … but sorbet, as we say in Turin, "sgura", aka "skims")!
But I have made several modifications to the recipe shown by this skilled pastry chef: my mille-feuille is not garnished by a Bavarian cream, but a chantilly cream (custard cream plus whipped cream: this is softer than Bavarian cream, because chantilly cream doesn't have fish-glue), I used only strawberries ('cause peaches are not good, yet and I didn't find berries) and I didn't put in the middle of the puff pastry a layer of
sponge cake: mine is made only with puff pastry, period.
I hope that, despite these changes, you'll like my mille-feuille!
Category Cakes and pies, Dessert and Sweets, Egg yolks only, Fresh fruit | Tags: cakes and pies,chantilly cream,custard cream,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,mille-feuille,spring,strawberries,whipping cream,wild flowers | 13 Comments