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 17, 2013 by Giulietta
There is little to do, sometimes it takes a little to do great things.
This applies to daily life and, therefore, also to cooking activities: sometimes it’s a simple ingredient that makes a great recipe, but even a small addition, a light shade could have the power to entirely change a dish. But even the same ingredient can change depending on how you use it or depending on the combination between different ingredients.
Thus, a simple Sicilian orange could change a lot depending on the procedures, on the parts you’re using and on the added flavors, originating three very different preserves, different in texture, taste and color.
So today I propose you three ways to make the most of the oranges and keep their unmistakable taste even with the changing of seasons.
In order of height (of the jar, from the smallest to the largest one), I propose you an orange jelly (black tea scented), an orange jam (rum flavored) and canned sliced oranges, hoping that at least one (or more than one) could tickle your appetite for fruit preserves.
On this occasion, it’s important to remember that I haven’t had the chance to set foot in Sicily, yet.. then, why my cuisine is so influenced by this wonderful land? And something tells me that I’ll come back to Sicily (at least virtually) in the near future (suspense mod. ON)
Category Citrus, Conserve, Dessert and Sweets, Fresh fruit, Jam, Preserves | Tags: black tea,citrus fruits,conserve,dessert and sweets,fresh fruit,jam,jelly,preserves,rum | 4 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
March 5, 2013 by Giulietta
Since I completed my professional pastry class in December, I made a lot of short pastry, mostly because I love it, but also because I think it’s an incredibly versatile recipe, something that you can easily transform in 1001 different ways, one better than the the one before.
So, having some salted butter I bought some time ago, I decided to make a slightly salted short pastry (using some salted butter, together with unsalted one) orange-scented. I took the cue from Sara, but I used my shortpastry recipe.
One of the great things about short pastry is that you can make a lot of delicacies with the same dough (and a quite simple one, I’d say. So, with a single dough, I propose three different recipes.
But, first thing first, I’ll start with my basic recipe for short pastry cookies,or shortbread.
Category Citrus, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Egg yolks only, Fresh fruit | Tags: butter,citrus fruits,cookies,dessert and sweets,egg yolks,fresh fruit,salted butter,short pastry,tartes | 4 Comments
December 24, 2012 by Giulietta
For this Christmas Eve, a day usually spent getting ready for Christmas dinner or making/wrapping the last Christmas gifts, I propose you a quick and easy recipe that can be a beautiful dessert to be served with the Christmas coffee or a small last-minute gift: you’ll need just a box and red paper to create something very Christmassy and very appreciated.
It’s my way to give you all a little gift and to wish you a sweet and peaceful Christmas, surrounded by your loved ones.
Have a nice Christmas Eve and, of course, a great Christmas Eve’s dinner.
Category Christmas is near - home-made gifts, Cookies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Egg whites only, Nuts | Tags: almond,amaretti,bitter almond,Christmas,cookies,dessert and sweets,egg whites,home-made gifts,italian cuisine,nuts | 4 Comments
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
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
September 7, 2012 by Giulietta
That’s right, now when I see a crème brûlée, I make or I eat one, I can’t help but think about Amélie Poulain from “Amélie” and her small pleasures of life, among which stands out cracking the crust of a crème brûlée with a teaspoon … well, like her, I also like dipping my hands in the grain -or flour-, but that’s another story.
But over time Amélie’s crème brûlée (who knows what’s the recipe for HER crème brûlée?!) overlapped with other suggestions, not film ones, but very personal, small and sweet memories that make me feel like crème brûlée is also my dessert (and perhaps not only mine).
I believe that every one of us bind dishes, savoury or sweet ones, to some moment in our lives, to some people or states of mind. And so, if I have to give a dish-definition of this particular moment in my life, I would say it’s a moment made of pizza and crème brûlée and, more generally, a moment with a lot of food, few pictures and few posts (but you know me, I come and go and, sooner or later, I’ll come back to the fold, at least a little more often). And I would say that, apart from my presence/absence on this blog, I keep the rest very tight.
Category Cinema, Dessert and Sweets, Egg yolks only, French cuisine | Tags: cane sugar,cinema,crème brulée,dessert and sweets,egg yolks,french cuisine,vanilla,whipping cream | 14 Comments
August 10, 2012 by Giulietta
The queen of false promises came back.. each time, in fact, more and more time passes between a post and the following one. I am a genius of evil, no doubt about it!
But what can I do, summer took me, and so did the miles travelling up and down Italy, dinners with friends, days by the pool and out in the mountains … and it's not that I cook less than usual (on the contrary, I'd say), but certainly I document less and, as you can see by these pictures, with a minor (could we say nonexistent?! Let's say nonexistent) aesthetic eye. Maybe it's the hot weather or the vacation atmosphere (despite my holidays are long gone), but I'm lazier, and I admit it without any problems.. quite the opposite, almost with a sense of pride!
The recipe I am presenting you today, a summer family classic, it's easy to make, very quick and cold: it doesn't require an oven or stove (just the fridge, my friends) and you'd need only very basic kitchen equipment (bowl, fork, dishes), but you'll have a fresh and delicious dessert, low fat and suitable for all palates. Well, I post less and less, but I hope to make it up to you with some ideas to facilitate you in these hot days.
Category Cheese, Chocolate, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pralines | Tags: cold dishes,cooking for dummies,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,nuts,pistachio,pralines,ricotta cheese,truffles,unsweetened cocoa powder | 4 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