Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crostatine con le Fragole


Purtroppo ho scoperto solo ora della raccolta di Caris per il Santa Lucia e sono fuori tempo ma so quanto il Santa Lucia sia importante per tantissime persone e sarebbe proprio un delitto se una struttura così dovesse chiudere.
Caris chiede una ricetta che piaccia ai bambini questa non è neanche una ricetta ma i miei figli ne vanno matti e, visto che cominciano a comparire le prime fragole , eccola quì !

Ricetta

Pasta frolla con olio
(da 'le dolci tentazioni' di Luca Montersino)

500 gr farina di farro bianca (io ho usato una 00 di grano)
250 gr zucchero di canna grezzo
70 gr. olio extravergine d'oliva
70 gr. olio di semi (io ho usato olio di riso)
125 gr. acqua
12 gr lievito per dolci
1 baccello di vaniglia

Sciogliere lo zucchero in acqua, unire il lievito, i due oli, la farina e i semi di vaniglia. Lasciare riposare in frigo.
Prima di usaew lavorare di nuovo la pasta un planetaria con 5 gr di acqua.

Crema pasticcera
(da 'le dolci tentazioni' di Luca Montersino)
io ne ho fatta mezza dose

800 gr di latte intero
200 gr panna fresca (ho usato solo latte)
300 gr tuorli ( mi scoccia non usare le chiare così l'ho fatta con uova intere)
300 gr zucchero semolato
40 gr amido mais
35 gr amido di riso (ho usato solo amido di mais)
vaniglia

Portare a bollore latte panna e semini della vaniglia.
Montare uova e zucchero e incorporare gli amidi versare il composto sopra il latte in ebollizione e aspettate che si formino dei piccoli vulcani, amalgamate il tutto con una frusta. Togliete dal fuoco e fare freddare.

Ho cotto la pasta frolla negli stampini mettendoci sopra dell'alluminio e dei pesetti o fagioli.
Una volta raffreddate le basi ci ho messo la crema e le fragole che non erano ancora state mangiate !




Bread Baking Day # 88 : No Knead Bread - Sourdough Mixed Flours No Knead Bread

In italiano a seguire

This month the Bread Baking Day, an event created by Zorra, is hosted by the lovely Italian Blogger Cinzia of Cindystar.
The theme Cinzia chose is No-Knead breads and I'm really curious of all the wonderful breads that will be baked with this tecnique.


I'm a fan of sourdough so I made a No Knead with it and with different flours ( whole wheat, rye, durum wheat and all purpose) I must say I loved the result , but I would love to try again and again !
Please visit Cinzia to get more ideas.

Recipe

1 cup sourdough (mine is a 50 %)
3 cups flour ( I did a mix and match of what I had on hand)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 salt

I briefly mixed all the ingredients and left them raise at 70 F for around 8 hours.
I turned on a very floured counter and gave it a business letter fold.
I covered with a floured towel and let rise until doubled.
I put it in a very hot oven in a very hot dutch pan covered.
I baked for about 30 minutes.
I uncovered and baked until it reached 200 F.


Questo mese il Bread Baking Day, un evento mensile creato da Zorra, è ospitato dalla fantastica Cinzia di Cindystar.
il tema che Cinzia ha scelto è il pane senza impasto ( No-Knead ) sono veramente curiosa di vedere tutte le possibiletà che ci sono con questo metodo, che è veloce e produce un pane veramente notevole.


Io amo molto il mio lievito madre, così l'ho usato anche per questo tipo di impasto. Avevo un po' di farine miste ( integrale, segale, semola rimacinata e 00). Il pane è venuto veramente fantastico ogni volta che apro la pentola (io ne uso una di ghisa)questo pane mi stupisce !
Visitate Cinzia per saperne molto di più.

RICETTA

1 tazza di lievito madre (il mio è al 50 %)
3 tazze di farina ( come dicevo integrale, di segale, semola rimacinata e 00)
1 1/2 tazze d'acqua
1 1/2 cucchiaini di sale

Ho mescolato velocemente gli ingredienti e li ho lasciati lievitare per circa otto ore.
Ho rovesciato l'impasto su un piano infarinato e ho dato le pieghe.
L'ho coperto con un canovaccio infarinato e l'ho lasciato lievitare fino al raddoppio.
Ho scaldato forno e pentola con coperchio al massimo.
Ho messo il pane nella pentola con la chiusura in alto e l'ho cotto per circa 30 minuti.
Ho tolto il coperchi e ho proseguito la cottura fino a che all'interno non raggiungeva i 200° F.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TWD : Pecan Powder Puffs


The host of the week is Tianne of Buttercream Barbie she chose these sinful cookies and wil have the recipe here. Please visit all the other bakers .
My dear friends as some of you might know I have a problem with spreading and as you can see me puffs (made with almonds btw) I did it again !
I tried reducing the butter, freezing the dough before shaping and after ..... well anyway even if I'm dieting I tried a tiny crumb and they were heavenly !!!!


You can see the spreading problem but it was not the only problem !


I saved the precious crumbs for a cheese-cake crust what do you think ?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Herb Blogging #276 - Torta alla Banana

Scroll down for the English version



Partecipo a questo Weekend Herb Blogging ospitato da Cinzia di Cindystar.

'Il Weekend Herb Blogging è una raccolta settimanale di ricette e/o note informative sulla miriade di prodotti vegetali che ci circondano, siano essi fiori, piante, frutti, semi, alle volte davvero inusuali ed inaspettati.
E' nato in America quasi per caso nell'ottobre del 2005 dalla mente creatrice di Kalyn di Kalyn's Kitchen, potete trovare tutta la storia qui. Questo evento è diventato sempre più popolare di anno in anno grazie ai tanti bloggers partecipanti che, con le loro ricette e i loro posts, arrichiscono la propria cultura culinaria riguardo al mondo vegetale, in qualunque forma esso si presenti. Ed è proprio questa la peculiarità dell'evento: riuscire ad acquisire più conoscenza e dimistichezza sulla cucina con i vegetali.
Dal novembre del 2008 Haalo di Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once è la nuova infaticabile "direttrice" di questo evento settimanale, di cui potete trovare tutte le raccolte settimanali qui. Da fine novembre Bri cura l'edizione italiana, potete dare un occhio alle raccolte settimanali qui.'


Qualche anno fa sono andata a tenere un breve seminario ad Asuncion in Paraguay.
Non ho potuto visitare praticmente nulla, ma nelle brevi pause ho visto molte signore che avevano dei rudimentali banchetti in cui vendevano erbe di vario tipo. Dagli enormi mortai che avevanno ho capito che preparavano anche cure specifiche per vari disturbi oltre a vendere 'pacchetti pronti' ad esempio per il Tererè che è una bibita fredda a base di Yerba (noi la chiamiamo Mate ma per loro il mate è la Yerba calda) ho trovato un blog dove è spiegato così bene che vi metto il link.



Mentre facevo lezione molti studenti bevevano il Tererè da enormi thermos e tutti facevano lo stesso ovunque.
Mi sono informata e mi hanno spiegato quanto le erbe sia importanti nella cultura degli indios Guaranì.
Tra le altre erbe mi ha colpito la Stevia sentite che pianta incredibile : 'I principi dolcificanti sono in tutte le parti della pianta ma sono più disponibili e concentrati nelle foglie, che quando sono seccate (disidratate), hanno un potere dolcificante (ad effetto della miscela dei due componenti dolcificanti) da 150 a 250 volte il comune zucchero. Contrariamente allo zucchero i principi attivi non hanno alcun potere nutrizionale (zero calorie), ed essendo prodotti naturali sono relativamente stabili nel tempo ed alle alte temperature, per cui conservano perfettamente le loro caratteristiche anche in prodotti da forno o in bevande calde, diversamente da altri dolcificanti di sintesi come l'aspartame, che subisce degradazione.'

Prima che partissi il Signor Ferretti, il mio traduttore, mi regalò la Stevia in varie forme e, non trovando nulla in italiano, ho comprato un libro americano 'Stevia Sweet Recipes'.
Mio fratello, noto anche come 'lo zio Marco che sa tutto' sostiene che la pianta si può trovare nei vivai. Io , per ora, ho ancora le scorte....


RICETTA


3 cups di farina integrale
1/4 cucchiaino di sale
1 1/2 cucchiaini di Stevia Extract Powder
4 1/4 cucchiaini di lievito per dolci
3 uova separate
1 cup latte
6 cucchiai di olio (io uso quello di riso)
2 1/2 cucchiaini di vaniglia
1 cup di banane schiacciate (2 banane)
Ho farcito la torta con un ganache al cioccolato e l'ho ricoperta con dello yogurt greco magro con Stevia e cacao.

Setacciare farina, lievito sale e Stevia.
Montare le chiare a neve.
unire tuorli, banane, olio, latte, vaniglia e banane. Aggiungere agli altri ingredienti e da ultimo unire le chiare.
Dividere tra due teglie da 20 cm oliate e infarinate e cuocere in forno preriscaldato a 180° per 25/30 minuti.

Weekend Herb Blogging #276 Banana Cake



I'm partecipating to this Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Cinzia of Cindystar.
WHB was created in October 2005 by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, you will find history here. This event has become popular in the years thanks to all bloggers participating with recipes and informative posts about new ways of cooking with herbs or unusual plant ingredients.
Since November 2008 Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once has been managing this weekly event, all recaps here.


Some years ago I went to Asuncion, Paraguay for a short week of work. I didn't get to see much but in the short walks around I could see many people, mostly older ladies, selling herbs in the streets


Many students would drink Tererè in class during the lessons and I grew more and more interested in the Guaranì herb culture.
One of the many herbs Paraguaian people uses is called Stevia and it is a natural sweetener with no calories.

''With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.''

The translator who helped me teach , Mr. Ferretti, was so kind to give me Stevia in different forms when I left so I got a recipe book called Stevia Sweet Recipes from which I got this recipe.


RECIPE


3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Stevia Extract Powder
4 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs separated
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 bananas)
frosting as desired (I mixed some lowfat greek jogurt with cocoa and some Stevia)
filling as desired (I made a chocolate ganache)

I a bowl sift together the dry ingredients.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.
Stir together egg yolks, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and bananas. Add the dry ingredients an beat to combine. Fold in beaten egg whites.
Turn into 2 8 inches oiled and floured pans and bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes until cake tests done.
Cool in pans 10 min. Turn out to finish cooling on racks.
Fill and frost.

Daring Baker's Challenge: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake


The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.
I'm finally back to Daring Baker's and with a super wonderful recipe ! I made it twice already and even if my cakes are flat Andrea loves them very much !!


I filled one of them with nutella and slivered almonds and the other one with apples cinnamon and raisins. I was afraid of filling them too much but ended with unfilled cakes.


I really urge all of you to try this wonderful recipe for the Sweet Yeast Dough : it comes together so well it's a real pleasure to work with .


Thanks to Jamie of Life’s a Feast and Ria of Ria’s Collection for this wonderful challenge !



You can download a printable recipe here or follow the recipe:

Preparation time:
For the dough:
10 - 15 minutes preparation of the dough
8 – 10 minutes kneading
45 – 60 minutes first rise
10 – 15 minutes to prepare meringue, roll out, fill and shape dough
an additional 45 – 60 minutes for second rising.

Baking time: approximately 30 minutes

Equipment required:
Measuring cups for dry ingredients
Measuring cup for liquid
Measuring spoons
Cutting board and sharp knife for chopping nuts & chocolate if using
2 large mixing bowls
1 small mixing bowl
1 medium mixing bowl for beating egg whites, preferably plastic or metal
1 medium saucepan
Electric mixer or stand mixer
Wooden spoon
Rolling pin
Spatula
Clean kitchen scissors or sharp knife
Plastic wrap & clean kitchen towel
Parchment paper
2 medium-sized baking trays (or 1 large if your oven is large enough)
Cooling racks
Serving platter
Vegetable oil to grease bowl


FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE
Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

Ingredients
For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

10 strands saffron for Ria’s version (Saffron might be hard to find and it’s expensive, so you can substitute with ½ - 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom or ground nutmeg. Or simply leave it plain like Jamie’s version)

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:

Jamie’s version:
1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

Ria’s version:
1 cup (130 g / 5 oz.) chopped cashew nuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon garam masala (You can make it at home – recipe below - or buy from any Asian/Indian grocery store)
1 cup (170g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardelli)

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes

**Garam (means “hot”) masala (means “mixture”) is a blend of ground spices and is used in most Indian savory dishes. It is used in limited quantities while cooking vegetables, meats & eggs. There is no “one” recipe for it as every household has a recipe of their own. Below, I am going to share the recipe which I follow.

4 or 5 sticks (25 g) Cinnamon Sticks (break a stick and open the scroll)
3 ½ tablespoons (25 g / less than an ounce) Cloves, whole
100 g. (3.5 oz.) Fennel seeds
4 tablespoons (25 g / less than an ounce) Cumin seeds
1 ½ tablespoons (10 g / less than half an ounce) Peppercorns
25 g (less than half an ounce) Green Cardamom pods

In a small pan on medium heat, roast each spice individually (it hardly takes a minute) until you get a nice aroma. Make sure you stir it throughout so that it doesn’t burn. As soon as each spice is roasted, transfer it to a bowl to cool slightly. Once they are all roasted, grind into a fine powder by using a coffee grinder, or pestle & mortar. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

Directions:

Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Ria’s version: add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.


Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.


Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.


Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate).

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.


Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

Additional Information:

The recipe calls for active dried yeast. An excellent source for yeast conversions and substitutes ishttp://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19314/re-yeast-conversion-fresh-dry-and...

Or

http://www.foodsubs.com/LeavenYeast.html

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bread Baking Buddies : Rewena paraoa (Maori bread)


This month we travel a long way with Lien our Bread Baking Babe Host : New Zealand !
She found this very interesting Maori bread that uses fermented potatoes as leavening.
You will see in the round-up how beautifully other bakers have decorated their bread ...I went for a simple NZ slashing !
Please visit Lien for more informations !




RECIPE
Rewena
100 g potato, peeled and thinly sliced
165 ml water
extra water
165 g strong bread flour
1 tsp liquid honey

Dough
400 g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
20 g liquid honey
1/4 tsp instant active dried yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
150 ml water
330 g rewena, as above
additional flour, for dusting
4— 5 ice cubes, for creating steam in the oven


To prepare the rewena, place the potato and water into a saucepan and then boil until the potato is soft, leave the lid off. Mash the cooked potato in the water and add extra water until you have 250 g in total. Put into a bowl and cool until lukewarm. If the mashed potatoes are too hot, it will cook the starch in the flour. Mix in the flour and honey to make a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until the dough ferments. After one day you'll see a few bubbles on the surface, after two days a lot. You can use it after two days or up to three, if you'll leave it longer it'll be over its strongest point.

To make the dough, put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon, combine to form a soft dough mass. (You may need to adjust with a little more flour or water.) Knead the dough in the spiral mixer for 8 -10 minutes (starting on speed 1 or 2, halfway on speed 3) until the dough (almost) clears the sides and the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place. Once the dough has almost doubled in size (this will take approximately 1 hour), tip the dough onto the bench dusted with flour and gently knock it back by folding it onto itself three to four times. Return the dough to the lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave for a further 30 minutes in a warm place.


Fold the dough to form a large rectangle. This doesn't need to be exact, just as long as it's tight and compact. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to prove for approximately 60-120 minutes, depending on room temperature.

(optional) Cut a silver fern-leaf or Maori moko design stencil out of stiff paper. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and place the stencil on the dough's surface (I sprayed the stencil with pan coating, otherwise it would have got stuck on the dough), then with a fine sieve filled with a little (white rye) flour, lightly dust flour over the stencil so you are left with a pattern on the loaf. Carefully remove the stencil. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, cut around the edge of stencilled pattern.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC with a baking tray or baking stone inside (the stone should really be hot!) and a small ovenproof dish on the bottom shelf. Place the loaf in the oven and quickly throw 4-5 ice cubes into the small ovenproof dish and close the oven door.

Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the tray around, reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is a dark golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

(adapted from: “Global Baker” – Dean Brettschneider)


I Heart Cooking Clubs : Arrivederci Giada ! Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze



This is the last week we, at I Heart Cooking Clubs, are cooking with Giada.
I didn't know anything about her if not what every italian knows about her grand parents.
And I must confess I was a bit suspicious about her cooking but I was proved wrong as I found most of Giada's recipe very good and interesting.
So to say good-bye and thank-you I chose these wonderful cookies rich with lemon !
I actually do not know why my cookies stayed round instead of looking like Giada's but as my usual problem is Spreading I won't complain !
Here is where I got the recipe.

RECIPE

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Monday, March 21, 2011

TWD : Honey Nut Brownies


I feel like the Groundhog finally coming out...let's see !
Suzy of My Suzy Homemaker chose this recipe and, I know I repeat myself, everytime I'm surprised and think that Dorie's book is like Mary Poppins bag : wonderful recipe keep coming out !
I used a very special honey : Sulla (hedysarum coronarium ) now....please do not ask me how the brownies were because I'm on a strict diet and didn't taste a crumb ! But I saw my family eating them with a smile and happy neighbours too.
I had read on the P&Q that they were a bit cakey so I cooked the brownies a bit less and I think they were very good.
If you happen to be around here give me a buzz and I'll be happy to share some cookies too !!

Please visit Suzy for the recipe and the blogroll for more honeys !


Moosewood Mondays : Sweet Pumpkin Cookies


Quite some years ago I found a copy of 'Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant' in an english bookshop that sadly doesn't exist anymore and I fell in love with the Moosewood collective, now I own almost all their books and Mollie Katzen's too of course.
I really enjoy reading through them and was surprised when 'Volcano' Natashya started to cook Moosewood's Mondays so I'm finally joining her with one cookie recipe that manages to please all.



RECIPE
(from Moosewood Restaurant New Classic)

Yields about 42 cookies

1 cup butter, room temp (I used rice oil)
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped toasted peanuts (I used almonds)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinamon, allspice, and salt, and add to the mixing bowl. Stir well to form a soft batter. Stir in the chopped nuts, raisins and, if you like, the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonsfuls onto a large, unoiled baking sheet (or two smaller ones), allowing a little space for the cookies to spread as they bake. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cookies just begin to brown slightly on the bottom.




Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Spud Week - Bacon and Pancetta Potatoes



You see I learned a new word : spud !
It sounds like Pippi Longstocking' secret word but simply means potatoes (or not?).
I really wanted to cook with Giada these last weeks so I choose a simple and delicious (I imagine since I'm on a diet ...) dish which my bacon lover Carlo would eat.
Please visit my colleagues on the blog and check our future chef !
The recipe can be found here or read on

RECIPE
  • 4 thick-cut slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 (1/4-inch thick) slices pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon and pancetta are brown and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and pancetta pieces to paper towels to drain. Add the potatoes and garlic to the pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are golden and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the thyme, cooked bacon and cooked pancetta to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl and serve immediately.


The Cake Slice : Chocolate Cream Pound Cake



It is so long I'm not blogging I'm not sure to remember how to !
I can't wait for my job to finish because I do not have much time for anything apart from blogging.
Well anyhow I managed to bake this simple loaf pan pound cake from 'Cake Keeper Cakes' by Lauren Chattman.
As Carlo was found intolerant to lactose I'm triyng to reduce it whenever I can and I'm using rice oil instead of butter . I didn't substitute the cream though...
We enjoied the result I got a velvety dark crumb, maybe a bit 'elastic' but probably it was my fault. I think it was a fairly easy and fast cake to bake.

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Recipe

60 g cocoa powder
55 ml double cream
150 g plain flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
100 g unsalted butter, softened (I used rice oil)
335 g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Heat the oven to 160C. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour.
Sift the cocoa powder into a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a microwavable bowl and heat for 30-60 seconds until just boiling. Pour the hot cream over the cocoa and stir and mash with a spoon to make a thick paste. Set aside to cool.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bow once or twice as necessary. Beat in the cocoa powder paste until well combined (it will look grainy but this is fine).
With the mixer on medium-low speed add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla (the batter should now be smooth and glossy).
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, a third at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert it onto a wire rack and then turn it right side up on the rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes one 9x5 inch loaf
cake .