Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TWD Tall and Creamy Cheesecake (italiano a seguire)

This week's choice for Tuesday's with Dorie was chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry who picked Tall and Creamy Cheesecake , the same cake was chosen by my friend Gabriela for her birthday so I got two pigeons with one bean (???) . The only bad part is that I didn't have the chance to try it and the comments were so enthusiastic that I thought I'd make one for us but baking got quite frantic lately so I'll make it some other time !
Please take some time to check all the others cheesecakes around !!!

Questo cheesecake ha avuto un gran successo, l'ho fatto per il compleanno di un' amica e non l'ho potuto assaggiare prima o poi ci riprovo !! La ricetta è molto semplice e la aggiungerò magari domani, ora vado a letto !!! Buonanotte.

Daring Bakers French Yule Log (italiano a seguire)

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.
They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

As you can see my log is still in progress ! I would like to serve it for New Year's Eve so I'm in time !! I post poned its preparation because it scared me but in the end , apart from locking myself in the kitchen most of the day while my children were doing anything to destroy themself and our house, it went well enough ! I still don't know how it tastes (all together because I tasted every single "step"!) but I don't know wheather I'd make it again !!
The recipe is incredibly long and I followed it very closely (I only flavoured the creme brulee with cardamom). You will find it on our hostesses sites.

Surprise !!! We've finally decided to spend our last eve at home with our dear friend Stefano so the Yule would have been much too big ... Cristina had guest for dinner so I cut a three slices piece and went downstairs with my log !!
So here is the croocked (?) log !!!

Cari amici ed eccomi a voi : non so se ce la farò mai a tradurre le 18 pagine di ricetta per questo tronchetto...lo farò se me lo chiederete, certo ! Intanto vi racconto gli strati : Dacquise alle mandorle, ganache al cioccolato, mousse al cioccolato, croccante al cioccolato, mousse, creme bruleè al cardamomo, mousse, dacquise e glassa al cioccolato !! Vi dirò che non è male ma è anche un lavoraccio soprattutto con i bambini a casa per le vacanze !

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bread Baking Buddies Yule Wreath (italiano a seguire)

This month the Babe in charge is Lynn of Cookie Baker Lynn and she chose the perfect recipe; perfect because it is very festive and also because it is easy and very good in every form !
Please take some time to check all the works of art of all the other Babes !!

The first "form" I chose was with a savoury filling simply made with diced pumpkin sauteed with onions mashed and combined with fresh sausage (lightly cooked).
But I had read of Lien wreath's made with mincemeat and having some left from the past Sweet and Simple Bakes I made a sweet one too !

Yule Wreath
- adapted from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 deg. F)
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Almond Filling (below)*
Glaze (also below)

1-Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, margarine, egg, cardamom, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

2-Turn dough onto lightly floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; trun greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

3-Prepare Almond Filling-

Mix together until smooth:
1/2 cup almond paste
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter

4- Punch down the dough. Roll into rectangle, 15 x 9-inches, on a lightly floured surface. Spread with the filling to within 1/4-inch of the edges. (I don't think my butter was soft enough as my filling didn't spread. I took bits of it, flattened it between my fingers and pressed that onto the dough.) Roll up tightly, beginning at the wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Stretch roll to make even. With sealed edge down, shape into ring on lightly greased cookie sheet. Pinch ends together.

5- With scissors or kitchen shears, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1-inch intervals. Turn each section on it's side (90 degree turn), to show off the pretty swirled filling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6- Heat oven to 350 deg. F. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (If it browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)

7 - Make Glaze-
Mix until smooth:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
(add additional water 1/2 tsp at a time, if necessary)

8- Spread Glaze over the wreath. You can decorate your wreath with nuts, dried fruit, marzipan fruit, or whatever strikes your fancy.

* If almond paste is not available, or if you fall down in the aisle at the grocery store when you see the price, you can make your own. In a food processor finely grind 8 oz blanched almonds. Process in 8 oz powdered sugar. Then knead in 1 egg white. Store in the refrigerator.

Ed ecco l'italiano... questo mese le Bread Baking Babes capitanate da Lynn hanno preparato queata bellissima corona (guardate le loro che sono bellissime !) che poteva essere farcita a piacere io ne ho fatta una salata con zucca saltata con cipolla e frullata e salsicce (leggera!) e una con il mincemeat che mi era avanzato dalla torta al cioccolato di poco fa. Ora il problema è tradurre la ricetta ... ci provo !

Pasta per la versione dolce:

2 ctè lievito di birra secco
45 ml acqua tiepida
175 ml latte tiepido
50 g zucchero
55 g burro
1 uovo grande
1/2 ctè cardamomo
1/2 ctè sale
± 475 g farina 00

Sciogliere lievito e acqua tiepida. Aggiungere gli altri ingredienti e metà della farina poi aggiungerla piano piano lavorare un po' l'impasto e metterlo a riposare fino al raddoppio. Stendere la pasta in un rettangolo coprirla con il ripieno arrotolarla partendo da un lato lungo chiuderla in un cerchio tagliare con le forbici ogni 3 cm fino a due terzi e sdraiare ogni fetta sulla precedente lasciar livitare 40/50 minuti e infornare a 180° per 25/ 30 minuti.
La versione salata è simile senza cardamomo e zucchero.
Spero che sia abbastanza chiaro...io sono quì se serve !! Baci

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TWD Real Butterscotch Pudding (in italiano a seguire)

"Help !!! We were here waiting for Christmas Eve's dinner and got trapped in plastic !!".
I don't know your tradition for Christmas Eve (I don't even know if you gather on that date) in Italy we dine together and the traditional dinner is different from region to region (even city or family) but the main thing is that we only eat fish , no meat at all... And we'll have Real Butterscotch Pudding ! But I confess that I licked the food processor bowl, and I liked it !

You can find the recipe for Real Butterscotch Pudding in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger! Thanks to Donna of Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases who chose the recipe for this week and will post the recipe.
Cari amici ecco la ricetta natalizia di Dorie : è un budino con burro e whiskey molto semplice e veloce anche se l'ho messo in attesa in frigo così lo propino domani ho leccato la ciotola e devo dire che è buono !! Troverete la ricetta nei siti citati sopra, se vi serve aiuto per la traduzione ditemelo ! Baci

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TWD Buttery Jam Cookies (italiano a seguire)

Well... the day I baked these cookies I had small guest around the house and this is the only image I managed to take of the last two !!! I think the next time I'll make them I would increase both the ginger and the jam (in my case I used homemade peach) Because their flavour really wasn't there at all !!!
This week the recipe was chosen by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl and you will find the recipe on her site, thank you Heather ! Please visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to see many more examples of cookies !!

Questa è l'unica foto che sono riuscita a fare di questi biscotti prima che i piccoli ospiti che scorzzavano per casa li spolverassero !! A loro sono piaciuti tanto io sono rimasta delusa dal fatto che la marmallata che era nell'impasto e lo zenzero non si sentissero per niente ! Per la ricetta visitate il sito di Heather Randomosity and the Girl
Se avete bisogno di aiuto con la traduzione ditelo e vi aiuterò !!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fiori di Zucca con Ricotta e Pancetta (italiano a seguire)

In Italy it's quite common to find 'fiori di zucca fritti' (fried summer squash flowers), they are filled with mozzarella and a little anchovy, dipped in a egg and flour batter and dip fried in olive oil. My version (I stole the idea from a restaurant) is the flowers filled with sheep's ricotta whipped with a little cream and grated parmigiano and then wrapped with pancetta's strips. I cooked the flowers in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes and if necessary I turned on the grill.
I'm submitting this recipe to Sara of I like to Cook who is hosting the Weekend Cookbook Challenge 35 Appetizers.

Questa idea l'ho rubata ad un ristorante vicino a casa (Osteria Pistoia , piazza Madonna della Salette a Roma) . I fiori così mi sono piaciuti così tanto che li ho rifatti più volte da quando ho trovato delle confezioni di fiori di zucca nel reparto insalate di un supermercato di zona.
Il procedimento è semplicissimo: si monta con una frusta della ricotta di pecora con un po' di panna e parmigiano e si mette nei fiori (con una sac a poche è velocissimo), si riveste il fiore con mezza fettina di pancetta e si passa in forno per 15 minuti accendendo il grill alla fine. Fatemi sapere ! Se avete delle ricette di antipasti partecipate alla raccolta di Sara di cui parlo sopra !!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TWD Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies (italiano a seguire)

Ciao ! This week we had planned lots of cookies decorations with Anita and Carlo but a flu really made it impossible ! Anita is sleeping since a few hours and all she managed to do was cut a few cookies ! Next time we'll catch up ! The recipe is a very simple one, apart from trowing the dough in the freezer every now and then ( I wonder about making it in the summer !). I flavoured all the dough with orange zest and half with crushed cardamom seeds.
I thank Ulrike of Kuchenlatein for choosing this cookies and to see much more colours and shapes visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll.

Questa settimana ci eravamo immaginati di decorare biscotti in tutti i modi con i bambini e invece l'influenza li ha colpiti e non c'è stato molto da fare !! Questi biscotti sono molto semplici io ho aggiunto scorza di arancia e cardamomo. Nelle regole di Tuesday with Dorie si dice di non scrivere la ricetta , l'unico che la può scrivere è l'ospite della settimana, se vi serve aiuto con le traduzioni fatemelo sapere !

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And the winners are...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

1 3 11 

Timestamp: 2008-12-07 10:46:12 UTC

Here are the winners :




But then I felt I wanted to send love bits all over and three was not enough so I asked Andrea who told me it didn't make sense : a game is a game! Well so I tought I could keep on imitating (being inspired by) Shel and choose 5 ! But it was unfair (my brain is working a lot this morning !) to start all over so I tried again with random.org but started from 2 and stopped at 10 and look what came out !

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

8 8 

Timestamp: 2008-12-07 11:05:39 UTC

Twice the same number !!! So I did it again and here we are !

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-07 11:06:27 UTC

Trying to Stay Calm


Now... Any other friend who wishes something homemade can just ask !!! ( And don't tell Andrea ! ) I hope you will enjoy your Sunday (we have an extra vacation in Italy tomorrow when traditionally we decorate our Christmas trees )

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Paying it forward in more ways....(italiano a seguire)

Some days ago I partecipated a "contest" held by Shel on her blog Musings from the Fishbowl and I won ! The prize is an homemade tresure and the deal is that who receives it is willing to do the same.
I 'm always afraid that my writings are not so understandable so here is how Shel explained it:
"There are so many lovely giveaways in blogland, bloggers eagerly commenting and abuzz with the excitement of winning an unexpected gift, but that’s it. Someone wins, and then the generosity comes to a screeching halt and we go on with our lives. Nice, but lacking in momentum. This giveaway is a little different, however, because the “receivers” are also to become “givers”, if you will. In fact, that’s the most important rule of the game…

The rules are simple: I will send three people who leave a comment on this post a handmade gift within the next 365 days. I am willing to post anywhere in the world, so don’t let that stop you from commenting.
The catch is that you must have a blog and be willing to do the same thing….

The original rules stipulate that it’s to be the first three to leave comments are to win a little love, but I don’t so much like that because it makes it seem all “rush rush” and “hurry” and “let’s be in a race to be winners!”, and this isn’t about competition or running to beat anything or anyone so I'll randomly select three winners out of the ones who will answer to my post by December 6th at 23.59 Rome time and I'll announce the winners Dec. 7th.

Pochi giorni fa ho partecipato a una gara sul blog di Shel e ho vinto un oggetto fatto da lei. Le regole di questa gara sono che chi riceve il premio sia pronto a ricambiare entro 365 giorni facendo sul suo blog la stessa gara e così via. La cosa mi sembra molto bella e così sono quì a chiedervi di partecipare scrivendo un commento a questo post e poi tra tutte le risposte arrivate entro il 6 Dicembre selezionerò random tre vincitori che nominerò il 7 Dicembre.

TWD Linzer Sables (italiano a seguire)

This week cookies again and what cookies ! The recipe was chosen by Noskos of Living the Life
It's such a good recipe ! As someone already mentioned the dough MUST be cold but the results are fantastic !! Check all the other's doing at Tuesdays with Dorie.

I biscotti di questa settimana sono squisiti! La ricetta la trovate sul blog di Noskos . L'unica accortezza è che l'impasto sia freddo. Andate sul blogroll a vedere tutte le altre ricette !

Monday, December 1, 2008

SSB Chocolate Christmas Cake (italiano a seguire)

This month Sweet and Simple Bakes really conquered me ! Rosie and Maria , chose a christmasy (not only though) recipe that really is one I want to make more and more !I suggest you to visit them and if not join them at least try this recipe !

Chocolate Christmas Cake
(recipe from Sweet and Simple Bakes )

Preparation time: 20 minutes + cooling
Cooking time: 1¾ -2 hours


150g (5oz) soft butter
150g (5oz) light muscovado sugar or soft brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
185g (6½oz) self-raising flour
40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
400g jar of luxury mincemeat (recipe follows)
80g (3oz) each of sultanas and raisins
50g (2oz) blanched almonds, chopped
100g packet of white chocolate chips

For decoration (decorate as you wish!)

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/electric 160ºC/fan oven 140ºC. Line a 20cm (8inch) cake tin (see below for instructions).
Lining the cake tin: One of the keys to success when baking a fruit cake is the preparation of the tin before you start mixing the ingredients. Because of the length of cooking time, you need to use two sheets of greaseproof paper or baking parchment inside the tin.

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat together for a minute or two until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1¾-2 hours until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. You will probably need to cover the cake with foil towards the end of cooking to prevent the top from browning too much. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I didn't decorate it because it was so beautiful already !

Vegetarian Mincemeat
check here for the original recipe.

Torta di Natale al cioccolato

Questo mese la ricetta del gruppo Sweet and Simple Bakes mi è proprio piaciuta tanto! Rosie e Maria Hanno scelto una ricetta natalizia ( ma direi piuttosto invernale) che di sicuro ripeterò. Vi consiglio di visitare il sito e quanto meno di provare questa torta !

Ricetta (da Sweet and Simple Bakes )

Preparazione: 20 minuti
Cottura: 1¾ -2 ore


150g burro temp ambiente
150g zucchero di canna
2 uova leggermente sbattute
185g farina 00
40g cacao amaro
400g mincemeat (la ricetta a seguire)
160g uvetta
50g mandorle sbucciate tritate
100g pezzetti di cioccolato bianco

decorazione a piacere

Preriscaldare il forno a 160°. Foderate una tortiera da 20cm con un doppio strato di carta forno.
Montare il burro e lo zucchero e poi unire tutti gli altri ingredienti. Versare nella tortiera e foderarla con un giornale (come nella foto). Cuocere per un'ora e tre quarti /2 ore o fino a che uno stecchino non esca pulito.

Il Mincemeat

450g frutta secca mista (io ho usato datteri, prugne e albicocche)
100g burro liquefatto
100g mela grattugiata
100g zucchero scuro
50g -100g noci o mandorle tritate
100g (4oz) ciliege candite (o sostituire il peso con altra frutta)
100g (4oz) scorze candite
1 cucchiaino da te di scorze di limone grattate
1 cucchiaino da te di scorze di arancia grattate
2 cucchiai di succo di limone
1 cucchiaino da te di spezie miste
1/4 / 1/2 cucchiaino da te di cannella
1/4 / 1/2 cucchiaino da te di noce moscata
4 cucchiai di brandy

Unire tutti gli ingradienti e lasciar riposare tutta la notte coperto con un panno. Mescolare tutto con un grosso cucchiaio e lasciar riposare altre 24 ore mescolando ogni tanto il giorno succesivo mettere in barattoli e sterilizzare (io ho fatto delle dosi da 400 gr e le ho surgelate).