Browsing Category

Dessert

Sanguinaccio aka Neapolitan Chocolate Sauce (Ready in 10 minutes)

sanguinaccio-0469

Sanguinaccio is a typical Neapolitan black pudding originally prepared with pig’s blood during the Carnival holidays.

Now don’t tell me you expected something pink, heart shaped and cute for Valentine’s Day. I wouldn’t like to disappoint you but…

Things are that I’m not too up for acts of romanticism inspired by a well planned marketing strategy.  I can hold down my cynicism, though. I am not even supporting the group of men that on Saturday will march in Tokyo  for a “Smash Valentine’s Day” protest! 🙂

A pig’s blood-based chocolate sauce sounds just about right to celebrate the sweetest day of the year.

sanguinaccio-0484

The sale of pig’s blood was banned in Italy in 1992 when the blood was more appropriately replaced by dark chocolate. Now everyone in Italy finds the idea of freshly slaughtered pig’s blood disgusting but back in the day, this sauce was just a way to celebrate the time of the year where pigs where slaughtered in the countryside guaranteeing many months of meat supply.

Obviously there’s no blood in my recipe. This sanguinaccio (from “sangue”, blood in Italian) is a thick vegan (I used rice milk) chocolate sauce flavored with lots of cinnamon and vanilla. Simply luscious.

sanguinaccio-0489

Can I confess I just shared this chocolate sauce poured over fresh strawberries with my boyfriend? If this makes me a romantic person I’m happy to fall into the category. Here is the type of romanticism I like to embrace: made of small things and simple acts of kindness. Pacific too: no blood involved!

What about your Valentine’s Day? Are you going to eat out a romantic dinner with your partner, send a card to a secret love or cook something special for your loved one?

Sanguinaccio aka Neapolitan Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

  • 500 ml rice milk (or an other milk)
  • 100 g sugar
  • 125 g cocoa powder
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • 50 g cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, mix cornstarch with cocoa and sugar. Slowly add the milk while continuously stirring.
  2. Put on the stove over low heat and cook stirring constantly. When the mixture has thickened (about 6-8 minutes) add cinnamon and dark chocolate cut into small pieces.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes more while stirring. Remove the pudding from the heat and serve with cream, nuts or cookies. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/sanguinaccio-aka-neapolitan-chocolate-sauce/

 

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze

flan-0010 I pay a visit to my blog and I found myself staring flatly at my pictures. It is happening more and more often these days. It is not the quality of my photography that makes me feel inadequate but rather the blank space in between the images.

It’s time for a confession (I know you like confessions): I’m in a love/hate relationship with food. Certainly, I’m a person who enjoys cooking and fine cuisine but, outside of my blog, I can also dine with cookies or boiled eggs, if necessary. A drama that keeps me out of all the MasterChef auditions in the world.

While you will never see me eating cookies (unless I deliberately decide to show this obnoxious aspect on Instagram), I have the problem of filling the blank space in between the images. I am this girl who deeply loves writing but – because of uncertainties, doubts and fears – doesn’t always find the activity of “food writing” a spontaneous and easy one.

flan-0024 Right now, for example, I would rather tell you about my sorrow after yesterday’s tragic events that saw 12 people killed during a terrorist attack in Paris. I would tell you how much I am missing my life in London, although I used to complain quite a lot about it. The fact is that I don’t quite feel like addressing the topic “cute mascarpone cake”.

I know, I know… the show must go on.

However tricky I find this writing about recipes (they are just a tiny part of my life!), I reckon that my blog is nothing else than a safe space where a recipe can act as the antidote against those moments of doubt and, why not, even sorrow. As such, it has a therapeutic value. Kind of.

cheesecakeglaze-2 A more serious note, better suited to the food blogger position: this cheesecake went through a significant deflating moment while it was still in the oven. It was supposed to stand tall. Meh.

After a first moment of disappointment I resolved that I would rather judge it for the taste than for the original plan. I let the cake (and my disappointment) rest half an hour, then I tried a slice. My mum ate two slices in a row. Boy if it was tasty. We decided that a layer of strawberry jam would add a touch of color and a fruity note.

Ultimately, the therapeutic function of a slice of cake was confirmed.

flan-0045

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze

Ingredients

  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 70 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams butter
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 60 grams white flour
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam for glazing

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, sugar, softened butter and milk. Whisk the mixture until smooth, let cool .
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly butter a 7-inch loose-bottom pan, line the bottom and sides with buttered parchment paper.
  3. Beat yolks, add to the cheese mixture; add in lemon juice and mix well. Sift in the cake flour in two additions, mix well until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and gradually add sugar and beat for a few seconds more. Add the egg white mixture to the cheese mixture and slowly fold the mixture well.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.
  6. Bake in a water bath at 160°C for 30 minutes then lower to 140°C and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. If the cake begins to brown on top, cover loosely with foil. Let rest in the oven with the oven door slightly open, about 30 minutes. Let cake cool completely before removing from the pan. Glaze with strawberry jam, or whichever jam you prefer.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/mascarpone-cheesecake-strawberry-glaze/

Matcha Pancakes with Milled Flax Seeds

matcha-pancakes-0346 It’s been a few days since I last enjoyed my oatmeal-based breakfast. I am just waking up with an intense craving for croissant pancakes. I’ve read somewhere that some foods are very effective in increasing the level of dopamines, the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. My morning oats must have stopped working together with my dopamines, then: what we call “porridge” here in the UK is not appealing to me anymore. I almost feel sick thinking of a bowl of oatmeal!

matcha-pancakes-0357 The change I naturally feel driven to is made of “cappuccino a cornetto”, that is the typical Italian breakfast starring coffee and croissant.

It’s all about the contrast between a bitter aromatic coffee and a sweet and buttery pastry. I know, I know, there’s not much of a healthy ingredients in this type of breakfast. But I just love it, I just miss it.

matcha-pancakes-0402 Since I can’t find the same type of croissant in my neighborhood, I manage to abstain from it.

My second best choice after croissant is a stack of pancakes. Actually there’s a field of pancakes in my mind now and it doesn’t matter if I just had my breakfast. Sometimes I have an insatiable sweet tooth. What if this is just the beginning of one of those days I spend craving for comfort food? I can only hope there’s nothing in the cupboard that can satisfy my hunger for sweets. Do you understand now why I never buy refined sugar?

matcha-pancakes-0374 Nooo, I’ve just checked… I still have that matcha bag I’ve got it shipped from China a couple of months ago (matcha doesn’t expire, right? OK, don’t tell me, I don’t wanna know it), some honey, flax seeds and flour. Enough to make myself these fluffy and wholesome pancakes I first prepared a couple of weeks ago. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to make my dream of pancakes come true. I swear I would make some for you too if you could join me! All in all, I can be generous in my greediness :).

matcha-pancakes-0401 Do you ever get bored of the foods you used to love?

Matcha Pancakes with Milled Flax Seeds

Yield: 6-8 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used soy milk)
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • 2 tbsp milled flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp oil (I use olive oil), plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix until combined the egg, milk, honey. Add the flour, matcha green tea powder, flax seeds and baking powder. Mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. To make a pancake, ladle about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the skillet. You can pour enough batter to make 2 more pancakes at a time (if your skillet is large enough), but make sure to keep them evenly spaced apart.
  3. Cook until bubbles break the surface of the pancakes and the sides are golden brown, let's say 2-3 minutes. With a spatula, flip the pancake and cook 1-2 minutes more on the other side. Transfer the pancakes to a platter and cover loosely with kitchen paper to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter to the skillet as needed.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/matcha-pancakes-milled-flax-seeds/

Easy Rum and Blueberry Chocolate Truffles (and the very first taste of chocolate)

blueberry-truffle-1 There would be many things to say about chocolate. If heaven had a taste it would be similar to the taste of chocolate. I could go on and on with praises to this magnificent invention of the human creativity. Appropriate for every occasion, both for happy and sad moments (don’t we indulge in chocolate to find in it some comfort sometimes?), chocolate is popular and commonly enjoyed everywhere in the world. Almost everywhere.

truffles I don’t want to write redundant words about chocolate. I don’t even want to convince you that making some truffles is highly rewarding and not that complicate as it seems. I wanna tell you the story of the very first bite of chocolate, instead. A story that I bet the majority of us don’t know yet. Maybe, like me, you will find something beautifully naive in the reaction of these cocoa “producers”. Chocolate became sweeter for me since I watched the video below. Sweeter and a bit bitter at the same time.

blueberry-truffle-03621 rum-truffle-0360

Easy Rum and Blueberry Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients

  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 250g double cream
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • ½ cup (92g) finely chopped dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. First, break the chocolate into small, even-sized pieces and place in a medium-size mixing bowl. Place the cream, sugar and finely chopped dried blueberries in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute to fully dissolve the sugar.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to cool for 1 minute.
  3. Don't pour the cream on to the chocolate while boiling, this would cause the cocoa butter in the chocolate to separate, resulting in a split ganache. Instead, pour your cooled down cream over the chocolate pieces, add rum and mix well with a spatula until smooth and very glossy.
  4. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature, then cover and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  5. To roll the truffles, remove the set ganache from the fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop even-sized pieces of the chocolate and place on to a sheet of parchment paper.
  6. Powder your hands with cocoa powder, and then, using your fingers, begin to roll the ganache into evenly shaped spheres. The ganache will begin to melt soon so be quick in doing this.
  7. Place the rolled truffles back on the parchment paper. Served them immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/easy-blueberry-chocolate-truffles/

Dark Tarte Tatin

tart-tatin-0111 Today’s recipe is beautifully dark. As dark as the caramel I made by heating dark molasses and coconut palm sugar in water.

I don’t suffer from emotional eating. It’s rather the other way around, some dishes make me emotional. Take this simple French apple pie, for example: it served the high purpose to make my day caramel-ish, apple-ish and puff-ish. To cry for, in other words. It also came to remind me that my glucose levels can be challenged, sometimes. All this sugar… in the end nothing more than a form of exercise for my metabolism. Or something like that, hopefully.

tart-tatin-0103 I’ve been meaning to make a Tarte Tatin by the letter of the book for quite some time. My last two free-style tarte Tatins were “flawed” because of my candid belief that it is possible to make sweets without sugar (and I’m still slightly in denial). Inspired by the story of this classic French dessert and my big love for baked apples I decided to give it another try, with all the ingredients in place this time.

By the way, do you know the story of the Tarte Tatin? Once upon a time there were two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, owners of the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte -Beuvron, France. Stéphanie knew how to prepare a great apple pie for her clients but one day, perhaps a busy day with too many guests, she missed an ingredient. She just sprinkled apples with sugar and baked the mixture without the crust.

Later on she realized the mistake and tried to make it up by placing over the apples a thin layer of pastry crust. After a few minutes in the oven, she did nothing but flip over the cake on a dish and served the pie still warm.

tart-tatin-0049 This tart is simply delicious, trust me. It comes with a perfect contrast between the soft and juicy caramelized apples and the base, a not too buttery but perfectly soft layer from a ready made puff pastry (I always use Jus Rol for this type of jobs). When served, warm or at room temperature,  with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or unsweetened crème fraiche it just reaches perfection.

Final Confession: I haven’t planned to make this classic dessert so dark from the start. It happened to be “noir” because of my reluctance to white caster sugar (and more in general to all foods that are chemically whitened). What I found out: molasses and coconut sugar do not turn into a blonde caramel but in a pitchy caramel sauce with fantastic nutty notes and beautiful depth of flavor. I’ll keep making my caramel this way. 

p.s. I always thought that the story of the Tarte Tatin was a good example of how French, as Italians, can master the art of doing the best that they can in difficult moments (we Italians have one single word to say “to do the best that you can in difficult moments”…”arrangiarsi”).

tart-tatin-0124 Have you ever tried the Tarte Tatin? Have you ever come up with a tasty recipe by making a mistake and/or forgetting ingredients?

Dark Tarte Tatin

Ingredients

  • 400g puff pastry thawed
  • 100g molasses sugar (I mixed 50g molasses with 50 g coconut sugar)
  • 75ml water
  • 6 medium dessert apples
  • 50g butter
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan assisted)/425ºF/Gas 7.
  2. Have ready a 20 cm/8” dish.
  3. Roll out the pastry large enough to cut out a disc as large as the tin you will be using, place on a sheet of baking paper and put to chill.
  4. Gently heat together the sugar and water in a heavy pan until the sugar is dissolved, meanwhile grease the tin well with some of the butter and peel, core and cut the apples in half. Add the apples and cinnamon to the sugar mixture and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Then arrange the apples (with the rounds size on top) with the caramel sauce on the baking tin, dot with remaining butter.
  6. Slide pastry disc over apples, tucking in excess all round, prick top of pastry and bake for about 25 minutes until pastry is risen and golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately, but carefully invert onto a larger plate. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of ice cream on top.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/classic-tarte-tatin-french-apple-pie/

Nutella Dorayaki (Japanese Sandwich Pancake filled with creamy Nutella)

dorayaki-nutella-0066 Shrove Tuesday. Does this mean a “confess” day or a Pancake Day to you? If it wasn’t for Wikipedia I did not know that today I am supposed to “make a special point of self-examination”, and consider what wrongs I need to repent. I am inclined to think I’ve made more wrongs to myself than to the others lately, so I could celebrate the day with sweet treats such as these Nutella Dorayaki.

dorayaki-0080 This is a Japanese recipe adapted from Japanese Cooking 101 where you can find a beautiful video with precise instructions to make a scrumptious dessert sandwich with your favorite filling between two slices of pancake. Last week I stopped by the Japan Centre nearby Piccadilly Circus to have Taiyaki, a yummy fish-shaped cake. The little stall outside the shop was already closed, unfortunately, and I fell back on something I’ve never tried before. This is how I discovered dorayaki, sandwich pancakes with a filling of red bean paste (green tea mascarpone cream for me that night). The version you find here comes with a creamy Nutella soft centre (now that I said Nutella I know my job about the recipe description is done :)).

dorayaki-nutella-0092 After a long day of rain the sun is shining in London. I eventually learnt to appreciate rainy days and now I feel slightly uncomfortable when the sun stands majestic above my head.  How long will it last? I can see clouds on the horizon, already. Too bad that my Nutella jar is empty and there’s no pancakes left…  it’s going to be a Pancake Day without pancakes for me. What about you?

p.s. For more pancakes inspiration check these Apple and Greek Yogurt Pancakes and these savory Gluten Free Chickpea Pancakes.

Nutella Dorayaki

Yield: Approximately 8 Dorayaki

Ingredients

    Pancakes:
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Nutella Cream:
  • 4 Tablespoons Nutella
  • 200 ml double cream

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and honey together. Add milk and mix well.
  2. In another bowl mix flour and baking soda.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture, and whisk until batter becomes smooth.
  4. Heat non-stick frying pan with a small amount of oil. At medium low heat, drop 1/8 of a cup of batter onto the pan. Cook until the surface of the pancake has a lot of bubbles (about 2 minute) and the edges become dry, then lip over and cook 1 more minute.
  5. Transfer to a plate and cover with a wet paper towel.
  6. Prepared the Nutella cream by whipping the double cream until it becomes stiff. Add Nutella and mix well.
  7. Take one cake and place a heaping tablespoon of creamy Nutella and cover with another cake. Pinch to seal the edges of the pancakes together.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/nutella-dorayaki-japanese-sandwich-pancake-filled-creamy-nutella/

10 Romantic Chocolate Dessert Ideas

romantic-chocolate-desserts

I have a bunch of truffles in my fridge I can’t show you right now.  I decided to keep the refrigerator shut until Friday to minimize the chances to eat all of them before the party begins. The party, you know. You may already heard of Valentine’s day, the most intimate and modest festivity of the year. ❤

Jokes aside, I’m not a Valentine’s Day type but I’m definitely a chocolate person (a very dark chocolate person) and I wouldn’t be standing very well all the fuss about the Feast of Saint Valentine if it wasn’t for the gooey-morish-chocolaty recipes I stumble upon every-time I switch my PC on. Apparently chocolate is one of the most powerful symbols of romanticism and some talented food bloggers know how to leave us drooling over their chocolate creations.

I am ready to delve into them. What about you? At least only virtually. Just by sharing some foodie love and admiring the best the blogosphere has to offer in terms of chocolate wonders.

Classic Chocolate Truffles – Family Fresh Cookie

Chocolate frosted raised donuts crunchy kettle potato chips  – HowSweetEats

Vegan Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles – Minimalist Bake

raised-donuts-I-howsweeteats.com-5

Chocolate Biscuits – NeverHomeMaker

Chocolate hazelnut linzer hearts – Smitten Kitchen

Milk Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater Tart – The Baking Bird

Chocolate Bundt Cakes With Almond Milk Caramel Sauce – Oh, LadyCakes

chocolate-bundt-caramel
Dark Chocolate and Caramelized White Chocolate Cupcakes – Oil & Olive Oil

Chocolate Amaretto Molten Cakes – Kiran Tarun

Banana, Pecan, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Blondies – Top with Cinnamon

Banana-Pecan-Coconut-and-Chocolate-Chip-Blondie-024

Lighter Olive Oil Apple Cake

applecake-0120-2 I promised you an update about my trip to Peak District. I  do not usually write about my plans for the weekend. To say things before they happen… not my style. I just don’t like to tempt fate. So  I can’t reckon why this time I announced here on the blog. Remember? I told you I was going to spend a couple of days in a cute village in north of England, looking for the perfect pub experience and long walks in the nature.

applecake-0135-2 I usually  post a few pictures about my little trips here and there, but only when I’m back safe and sound and mildly satisfied with the pics I took. This time…. this time I’ve got nothing good to show you because  – as I announced on facebook –  my camera lens failed me. The functional 18-55 kit lens I use to take my “everything but food” pics dropped to the floor of a public toilet in the train station of Sheffield.  Ouch. 

As a result of this “accident” and unfortunate weather conditions, I spent the weekend in pubs guarded against hailstorm, cold and rain.

applecake-0468 I used the mobile camera to shot a few pics you can see on my Instagram profile and turned my hiking weekend into a slightly odd gate-away, rather freakish because I managed to spend it almost entirely in local pubs without drinking a drop of beer. Picture this situation: it’s cold outside, there are only two pubs in the whole village (Edale), no shops and no way to access the accommodation of the day before 5 pm.

I’m in the one of the two famous pubs. The atmosphere is familiar, dark in the sense of dark solid wood of the tables and gloomy light through the small Victorian windows. Hikers are gathered around a fireplace wearing soaking wet clothes after a vigorous walk in the rainy countryside. The smell of beer is pungent. The pub is a drenched-beer place for Sons/Daughters of the Soil but I can only drink coffee and think of finding the best spot for a wi-fi connection. Meh. That’s when I realize I’m an internet addicted Italian expat Daughter of the Big City life.  

applecake-0450 Back to London, a few days before this weekend; in my bakery planning there is a Danish Apple cake.

I baked a good cake (containing raisins from Denmark) but healthyfied or, to be precise and technical, Danielafied, which is the destiny that all my sweet recipes share. It requires butter and sugar? I can’t help with the recipe and at the very last moment a mysterious force makes me replace butter with olive oil and caster sugar with coconut palm sugar. Which, if I think about it, it is rather in line with the fact that in a countryside pub I am the one who asks for wi-fi passwords and order coffee. It all makes sense, in the end.

applecake-0479 p.s. Please feel free to pay a visit here to say goodbye to my lens and admire (!) the very first pictures I took with it not too long ago. Rest in piece little lens.

applecake-0488

Olive Oil Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 80g sugar (I used natural coconut palm sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 500g golden delicious apples
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural yogurt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease a 22-cm cake tin.
  2. Beat sugar and eggs with an electric mixer. Sift flour into mixture, fold in thoroughly and add the yogurt, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of cinnamon.
  3. Peel, core and quarter apples, then slice them. Spread half the apples in the bottom of the cake tin and cover with the batter. Arrange the remaining apple in a spiral pattern.
  4. Mix cinnamon and white sugar then sprinkle over the apple slices.
  5. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/lighter-olive-oil-apple-cake/

Crispy Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies

cookies Last post of the year.

Two days ago the earth trembled. A short but intense earthquake made my table shake, the chandelier oscillate and my heart skip a beat (it was just a matter of a few seconds). First thing I did after a family reunion and a quick look at the news about the earthquake, was to grab a cookie or two. Or 3. Maybe 4 cookies. Then we shared stories on the catastrophic earthquake that in 1980 hit Napoli and its surroundings (I was not born yet so I contributed to the discussion with a “what the hell”).

The 5 perfectly sweet and crunchy cookies I ate were my sigh of relief after a moment of fear. Even the ones I took from the batch I baked for too long, tasted wonderfully (can you spot in the pic above the burnt ones?). Whatever my mum may say about the lack of eggs in this recipe I took from a cookbook by Gina Steer, I would not change anything of it (except the baking time, which is halved in the recipe I report here).

These are crispy cookies from a dough that does not expand in the oven as much as the ones prepared with melted butter do. The honey flavor is distinctive and the chocolate – no surprise – is just too good as always. Well, you know, chocolate does not disappoint (it’s a simple cosmological principle).

cookies-0074
This one is my last recipe of the year and also the first cookie recipe here (er… if I do not count these), on a blog that does not reveal much about my personal life and very private things but that I guess, in a way, tells a lot of me. For once I am going to be a little bit more open about what I like (aside from chocolate) and let this post be a sort of a notebook, like a page of a little book where I can scribble notes on the favorite and memorable things of the year. I have never been a big fan of lists and bullet points but I learned how much they can be of use when you just need to write down the essential, not to lose sight of what matters. 

cookies-0122

My Top 10 favorite things in 2013

  1. This song of Ane Brun, Norwegian songwriter. “I wish I had one last try”. I do wish that.
  2. This Vegetarian Quinoa Chilly, my most popular recipe of 2013.
  3. TV and web series I started watching in 2013 : The Mentalist, The killing (danish version) and the brilliant House of Cards.
  4. This Tv commercial, for the authentically Irish music and atmosphere.
  5. High quality news stories in photographs at 2013 Year in Pictures. It’s rather visual but it is so true to what happened this year.
  6. The blog posts and recipes of My Name is Yeh.
  7. My brand new little house in London, close to the Thames and far enough from the chaos.
  8. The London dance House with its enchanting shows of contemporary dance.
  9. My Canadian trip and my first camping experience in the Georgian Bay.
  10. Thin Lizzy’s songs.

cookies-0089 As much as I love sharing my favorite things with you, I would really like to read about what you liked the most this year – may it be a book, a recipe, a song or whatever made you happy this year. I am glad you stopped by my blog and I wish you a terrific New Year.

cookies-0108

Crispy Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 175 gr/6 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 75 gr/3 oz margarine
  • 50 gr/2 oz caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 125 gr/4 oz hocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 190ºC/375º F, 10 minutes before baking. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Rub in the margarine with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar, honey and chocolate chips. Mix together until a smooth dough forms (it will take at least 5 minutes).
  4. Shape the mixture into balls and arrange on the oiled baking sheet, leaving enough space to allow them to expand. Flatten the balls slightly with the fingertips.
  5. Bake for 6-8 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets after 3-4 minutes.
  6. Cool on a wire rack. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/crispy-honey-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Cream Cake Nua and Merry Christmas!

creamcakenua-0514

Finally home. I almost got drunk in the plane to overcome my new fear of flying and consequently grabbed someone else’s luggage to the passport control (some else carrying a red suitcase is a case of tough luck) but I made it safely. Naples is a rather warm and bright, its sky obliges me to wear sunglasses and an ocean of cars stuck everywhere forces me to stay home.

creamcakenua-0473

Back home, first thing me and my sister do is baking a cake known under the name of “Cream Cake Nua”. No one really knows what “Nua” means and who conceived the recipe first. In a sort a ripple affect, this hybrid of Sicilian cannoli and angel food cake, so moist and creamy on the inside, is the trendiest cake of the season in Italy.

creamcake

According to our Southern Italian traditions we will have a big dinner later on and soon a moderate lunch consisting mostly of green veggies stuffed pizzas similar to this Kale Stuffed Pizza. Mum will try to defeat my vegetarianism with plenty of fish-based dishes but I am armed with patience and resolution… If the worst comes to the worst, I will find shelter in the softness and creaminess of my Nua cake :).

creamcake-0485 How are you going to spend your Christmas Eve?

Cream Cake Nua

Ingredients

  • 300 gr flour
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • 100 ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • For the ricotta cream
  • 400 gr fresh ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 1/3 chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk 2 egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar and a pinch of salt using an electric hand whisk on a medium speed. Add ricotta, lemon zest, and keep whisking until you get a smooth cream. Add the chocolate chips (optional).
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix 4 eggs with sugar and oil then gradually add the flour and milk, whisk until the batter is smooth and without lumps. Add the baking powder, the vanilla extract and stir well.
  3. Transfer the batter to a 25 cm/10 in cake pan, pour on the surface the ricotta cream with a spoon (see my picture above), and bake at 160 degrees for 40 minutes.
  4. When the cake is cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
http://www.foodrecipeshq.com/cream-cake-nua-and-merry-christmas/