Strawberry yogurt bundt cake

Social distancing – more or less translatable with “shelter in place” – is effecting my life in many ways. Letting go those aspects related to motherhood (home-schooling, tolerating four “kids different in ages 24/7, find the strength to not live in my pjs and trying working -out regularly), Coronavirus hit my being an home-baker and Italian food lover in two ways: a bad one, and a good one.

Let’s start with the good one: I have more time and motivation to experiment new recipes.

Bad one: whatever I bake or cook (always too much even for a family of six) we eat.

So today I’d like to share with you this strawberry bundt cake recipe because 1) it’s a new one I tried (and modify) from the Italian blog cookaround to get rid off some strawberry yogurt my daughters refused to eat: 2) it’s a low fat one, so my extra-baking would have a lower impact on our waist lines 😉 LOL.

To prepare this strawberry yogurt bundt cake I used the “bundt cake pan” because I love its shape and I feel like it makes such a simple pound cake so appealing, but believe me, I’m sharing this strawberry yogurt bundt cake recipe with you because it’s absolutely delightful, perfect for an healthy snack or an afternoon tea party, or just because you need some comfort in these days. Its strong strawberry scent will pervade your whole kitchen and it will be hard resisting to take it out of the pan only when completely cooled.

INGREDIENTS for a bundt cake pan or a 9” baking pan

4 eggs at room temperature

9 oz. (250 gr.) granulated sugar

1 lemon zest or 1 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3 cup (130 ml.) vegetable oil (my favorite is coconut oil)

10 oz. (250 gr.) strawberry yogurt at room temperature

2 cups (290 gr.) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (50 gr.) potatoes or corn starch

2 tsp. (16 gr.) baking powder

a pinch of sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Using an electric whip, with eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon extract (or zest) in a big bowl, for at least 5 minutes.

Keep whisking and add the oil and yogurt. When well incorporated, sift in flour, starch, baking powder and sea salt.

Preheat the oven at 375 F (175 C.). Start stirring gently from the bottom to the top (to avoid the batter to get runny) until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Your batter will look lumpy. Don’t worry about that. Avoid stirring too much otherwise your cake will be dry and gummy.

Pour the batter in a greased 9″ round cake pan (I’d prefer a bundt cake pan, but’s its’ optional) and bake for 40 minutes in the medium rack (check with a stick if the cake is ready, otherwise keep it in the over for few more minutes).

Let the cake cool off, flip it into a nice platter, dust it with powdered sugar and decorate with fresh strawberries. YUM!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS:

– If you don’t have coconut oil at home feel free to use any other oil but avoid the “olive oil” because its strong taste would overcome the strawberry flavor.

– This cake can last up to three days if stored in a container with a glass dome, otherwise it will get very dry very quickly.

I warn you: this cake is highly addictive, anytime my girls and I prepare it (they love helping me in the kitchen) it’s gone the same day!

– If you’d like to try other “butter free” cakes and treats check out also:

  1. pear and ricotta cheese coffee cake (also this one turns out lovely by using a bundt cake pan);
  2. chocolate chips and yogurt muffins;
  3. chocolate chips and yogurt  cookies.

I really hope you will like this recipe!

Please, keep me posted if you’ll try it and don’t be shy to share your thoughts with me!

We need social interactions more than ever!

Love,

Silvia

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

 

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!

TV INTERVIEW and 5 Traditional Italian desserts recipes with apples

Hello folks!

I’ve been so busy with my new adventure (selling Home made Italian desserts at the local Farmers Market) that I’ve skipped a couple of weeks of recipes posting… MY APOLOGIES! But  if by the way  you would like to learn more about my booth at the Freight House Farmers Market in Davenport, take a look to this brief interview on WHBF-TV . I was so nervous, but I had the chance to talk about my beloved Italy, and our amazing food tradition!

Now that you know why I’ve been “absent” (and maybe why It may happen again LOL), I would like to share with you and article I wrote for the Quadcities Mom’s blog last week. All recipes are mine, and it fits perfectly the season!!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading!

“We have all waited for Fall all year long: best season of the year, beautiful color, perfect weather, Halloween, pumpkins everywhere (even in your latte 😉 and, last but not least, THE YEARLY FALL TRIP TO THE APPLE ORCHARD.

And, as every year, you have planned everything: a) studied the weather forecast for the whole month of October; b) picked the perfect day and time for taking the kids; c) psychologically prepared your husband that is going to be fun (even for him 😉 ); d) and last, you’ve sworn to yourself to not get distracted by the excitement of the day and BUY TOO MANY APPLES!!!!!  Who would have imagined or thought that such a small bag could contain twenty pounds of apples? And how could you have said no when the kids asked to pick their own apples in their own bags? Simply IMPOSSIBLE!!!

NOW you are thinking to yourself “What the heck am I going to do with all these apples“?

Ha, I got you!  Sharing with family and friends is really a good idea but for once, why not keep the Apple Orchard experience lasting more than one day, maybe an whole month, by preparing (alone or with the help of your family members) a new Italian recipe a week which includes apples?

Today, I would like to share 5 Traditional Italian recipes for you: easy, most of them fast, with simple ingredients and especially perfect to use up all those overflowing bags of apples!

APPLE CRUMBLE PIE1) Italian Style Apple crumble pie, a classic! If you like the combo “apples and raisins” you cannot miss this treat. It’s one of my favorite because almost any kind of apples could be used (but not the green ones please!). It’s very easy to make and the kids will enjoy the kneading part, mom will have to take care of the peeling and cutting, but in 60-75 minutes you’ll be done! Let it cool off for a few hours (or even refrigerate it) and enjoy… Wow! I may be biased, but I think Italian Style is the best apple crumble ever.

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2) Golden Apple Muffins: the kid’s favorite! This recipe has belonged to my Italian family for generations and I am so happy I can share it with you! The exciting part is that nowadays we can prepare the muffins batter in the food processor, and it takes in bake only 20 minutes: you will never buy baked muffin mix ever again! Before starting, though, make sure to have some Golden Delicious at hand.

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3) fluffy Italian apple coffee cake: like a cuddle for the palate! If you feel the urge to use 2 lbs. of apples in just one cake, this is the recipe you were looking for! Jonathan and Jonagold are the kind of apples that will give the cake the perfect touch. Super soft, not too sweet, absolutely appealing, this apple coffee cake won’t let you down. If you decide to side it by a warm custard and sprinkle it with sliced almond, OMG, it will be like heaven!

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4) Apple, raisins and pine nuts pastry pie: unconventional! If you like the popular “strudel loaf”(typical dessert in the South Tirol) and looking for a recipe that will require a couple of pound of sweets apples (Gala apples, JonathanL, Golden Delicious), you can’t go wrong with this pastry pie. This recipe is another of my mom’s classics: a buttery dough filled with a mix of apples, raisins and pine-nuts. Peeling and cutting the apples, soaking the raisins in advance may sounds a little tiring but I am totally sure it won’t disappoint you!

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5) Steamed apples and vanilla ice-cream: so classy! This recipe looks like a super sophisticated show stopping dessert super sophisticated, but is basically just steamed apples, served still hot with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a dust of cinnamon…. maybe too simple to appeal the children, but absolutely phenomenal for adults! Trust me! Keep it as a secret recipe for a fancy dinner or for a warm treat on a fall rainy day… you’ll love it! Golden delicious would be my first choice for this recipe, but I would say that any kind of apples would do a nice job here :-)”.

***   ***   ***

 

There is more……

 

…. Out of the original article, I would like to add that, my list of Italian “apples themed” desserts is not completed yet…. in case you’ve missed it, indeed,  check out also the recipe I posted a few weeks ago for these scenic and scrumptious “puff pastry apple cinnamon roses“:  super easy, for a yummy and cute fall breakfast!

 

 

 

And more…….

 

What do you think of this article?

Do you like the idea of me as a writer rather than just a food blogger?

I don’t know…. but it sure is fun, and I truly believe I’ll do it again 😉

I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

Puff pastry and apples roses: what a cute and yummy recipe!

Ciao a tutti! I felt so guilty last week when I published that (apparently) complicated and extra wordy post about macarons that today I decided to share with you a recipe that is easy and fast but not traditionally Italian.  Besides, it’s super popular and mostly absolutely appropriate for this period of the year where we are about to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall.    I am talking about these super cute roses made with puff pastry and apples, that I’ve wanted to try in a long time and that only yesterday I decided to experiment. There are tons of tutorial and recipes on Pinterest I’ve read as inspiration, and I came out with my own, which I am sharing with you in few minutes.

These absolutely adorable and tasty roses can be prepared with any kind of apples but those with red skin would work better as for the esthetic effect. For 6 pieces you will need only a bunch of

INGREDIENTS

1 puff pastry sheet

2 apples

1 lemon juice

2 tbs. water

cinnamon to taste

apricot preserve

They are so easy to prepare that you will want to give it a try asap!

DIRECTIONS

If you are using frozen puff pastry, make sure to take it out of the freezer and store in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before.

Wash the apples, take away the stem and core, and cut in very thin slices (thin because otherwise it will be impossible to shape them).

Place the apple slices in a bowl with 2 tbs. of sugar (even the brown one works very well), the lemon juice and a couple of tbs. of water and microwave for about 2 minutes.  Once microwaved, drain the apples in a strainer to get rid off all the extra juice.

Take the puff pastry out of the refrigerator, roll it out on a parchment paper sheet and cut it in six stripes about 2″ wide (5 cm.). Microwave for about 1 minute a bowl of apricot preserve.

At this point,  brush one puff pastry stipe with  the melted apricot preserve and arrange the apples on one side of the stripe, making sure each apple slices overlaps the other. Dust with cinnamon to taste (optional). Fold the stripe to “wrap” the apples. Roll up the stripe to shape it as a rose, making sure to let it a bit loose so it will have room enough to raise once in the oven.

Arrange the rose in a oven sheet lined with parchment paper.  Repeat for each puff pastry stripe left. Dust with sugar.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 400 F (200 C.) in the oven middle rack.

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy still warm…. YUMMMMMMMM! So delicious!!!

LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: – These roses are delicious even the day after, but be careful: if you microwave to get them warm again the puff pastry will get chewy and lose its crispiness.

– My daughters had lot of fun helping me preparing these roses: they had no issues at arraging the apples and rolling the pastry.

– My family is not very fond of cinnamon, so I made only two out of six roses with cinnamon: I tell you, those with the spice were ten times better!

– Usually puff pastry sheets are sold in couples, so when you approach this recipe, be sure to have four apples instead of only two.

– Since Fall is approaching and you may be considering to pick up apples at an apple orchard soon, save this other apple desserts recipes… they may come handy soon:

 Tell me the truth, this is not the first time you have seen these apple roses around…

Tell me the truth, have you ever given this recipe a try?

I am very curious to know your thought about this recipe, and eventually your opinion about it!

I really hope you liked my recipe this week, and if you did, please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

 

Mimosa Cake: a lemony resemblance of a beautiful flower

Every year on March 8th it’s International Women’s Day, a celebration to commemorate various episodes in the modern history where women have tried to remark their rights and the social and political struggles that women have faced for centuries.  Many countries in Europe recognize this celebration and so does Italy.  In Italy on this special day, it is custom of giving a mimosa flower to every woman. This habit can be traced back to around 1946. The flowers were intended to be given as a sign of respect and a contrast to the red roses on Valentine’s day.

The recipe I am sharing today is about a cake that would resemble this beautiful bright yellow flower with a lovely scent, which is indeed mostly prepared on March 8th to celebrate Women Day. Since I didn’t have a recipe of my own, I surfed around and through many I picked the one proposed by “Trattoria da Martina” (you should check her food blog, it’s amazing!), and as usual, I translated it in English (well, my English 🙂 ) and converted the quantities  with the Imperial System just for you!

This cake is absolutely heaven, the consistency is very light considering that the base is a simple sponge cake, flavored with lemon and filled with Chantilly cream.

INGREDIENTS for 9” springform pan

For the sponge cake

2/3 cup (140 gr.) sugar

4 large eggs (at room temperature)

1 cup (8 oz. or 140 gr.) 00 flour*

1 grated lemon zest

For the Chantilly cream

4 oz. (or 1/2 cup or120 gr.) sugar

1/3 cup (or 60 gr.) flour

14 oz. (or 1 1/3 cup or 400 ml.) whole milk

1 grated lemon zest

8 oz. (or 1 cup or 250 ml.) whipping cream

For the Syrup

4 oz. (1/2 cup or 100 gr.) water

2 oz. (1/4 cup or 50 gr.) sugar

a lemon zest (just the yellow part)

DIRECTIONS

MAKE THE SPONGE By using an electric whip (or, even better, by using a stand mixer), whip the eggs with the sugar for about 15-20 minutes. When the batter looks almost white, and stiff and fluffy, start to add the flour sifted in three times, and stir gently from the bottom to the top to avoid the batter to become liquid. Add the lemon zest and transfer the batter in a 9” springform pan previously lined with parchment. Bake for 30 minutes at 360 F. (180 C.) and once baked, let it cool off out of the springform pan and upside down.

While the sponge cake cools off, prepare THE CHANTILLY CREAM and SUGAR SYRUP.

First make a custard by following these directions, but with the quantities listed above. Let the custard cooling off and in the meanwhile prepare the sugar syrup by boiling for five minutes the water with the sugar and lemon zest.   Once the custard is completely cooled off whip the whipping cream, set aside about 2 oz. (50 gr.) of it for later, and mix the rest gently with the custard.

A this point also the Syrup should be cooled enough to start arranging the cake.

ARRANGE THE CAKE

With  a serrate knife, take away the “dark” crust of the sponge cake, both from the side and top. Divide the sponge cake in three layers (or two if your sponge cake didn’t raise as you wanted)  keeping the bottom one a little thicker than the other twos (or one).  Dig the bottom layer of the sponge (don’t trough away the crumbs!) but keep about 0.2” (1/2 cm) of the sponge along the circumference (this will work as a container for the cream you are about to spread).  Soak the sponge with the sugar syrup (take away the zest) and then spread a super thin layer of whipped cream, and then fill the gap with Chantilly cream.

Cover with the second sponge disk, and repeat: first wet the sponge with syrup, then spread a thin layer of whipping cream and finally the Chantilly. Close the cake with the last layer. Soak it with syrup** and use all the left Chantilly (mixed with any possible whipped cream leftover) to cover evenly the entire cake.

Last, and after having finely crumbled the cake crumbs (by hand!), attach all the crumbs to the top layer and sides of the cake and decorate the Mimosa Cake with few mint leaves and a strawberry.

LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVE IT!

TIPS: *here in Mid west I’ve looked everywhere for 00 flour but with no succes. 00 flour is a “weak flour” with a very low percentage of protein. If you use the ALL PURPOSE flour to make the sponge cake, it may happen that it would not raise properly. In this case I would suggest you to add 3 tsp. of baking powder to the batter when adding the sifted flour.

** When I made this cake I followed precisely the quantities indicated, but once I got to the last layer of the cake, my sugar syrup wasn’t enough to soak all of it. I added a little bit of milk to my syrup: the sponge turned out perfectly soaked and the taste of milk was imperceptible.

– This cake is much more easier to make than to be explained 🙂 so don’t hesitate to try to make it the same day you are wishing to eat it!

– Considering the uses of whipped cream and custard this cake would last no more than two day in the refrigerator.

– The color of my Mimosas cake wasn’t exactly as bright as the real flower. I didn’t like the idea of using food coloring to get a more decisive yellow, and the eggs I  brought at the store (even if organic) had that light shade of yellow. So, in case you want to obtain a brighter yellow color, consider adding food coloring, or use eggs with extra yellow yolks.

– Before to post the recipe, and very close to International Women day I asked my husband to buy me a mimosa flower (it would have been cool putting the flower near my cake in the picture to show the similarity). However, apparently in Iowa the only Mimosa known is the Cocktail (Lol!).

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this recipe, I hope it was worth it! 

Be honest, did you know that Mimosa is a flower (and a tree) other than a Cocktail? 

Happy Women Day to every women all around the word, on March 8th and everyday!

 Talk to you soon

Silvia

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

 

Torta Delizia (Delight cake): this Christmas, bring a taste of Sicily on your table


Hello everyone! I cannot believe we are only a few weeks from Christmas!!

Today I would like to share a recipe not very popular in the US but absolutely typical at Christmas time in the South of Italy, precisely in Sicily (Trapani area). I bet you are pretty familiar with Italian Cannoli and Italian Cassata (both desserts part of the Sicilian food culture), but this exquisite sponge cake wet in Maraschino syrup, filled with apricot Preserve and covered in almond paste is called “Delizia” (literally  “Delight”) for a reason: it is absolutely AMAZING!   And to remark how worthy this cake is to be tasted, in some area of Sicily it is called “Torta Paradiso” (literally “Paradise Cake”) because when you eat it, you feel like in heaven!     I know that  from the appearance it could seem intimidating to make but honestly, besides a few phases required to make it and the need of rest overnight before to be completely done, I would say that it is pretty simple to make, the ingredients are quite easily retrievable, and the result is absolutely astonishing!

INGREDIENTS for a 8″ round springform pan

FOR THE SPONGE CAKE

4 eggs

4.2 oz. (120 gr.) sugar

4.2 oz. (120 gr.)  all purpose flour

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. orange extract

FOR THE SYRUP

4.4 oz. (125 gr.) sugar syrup

0.8 oz. (25 gr.) maraschino liquor

FOR THE FILLING

apricot preserves as needed (a 1 lb. jar would be more than enough and you will not use the whole thing)

FOR THE ALMOND PASTE

8.8 oz. (250 gr.) almond flour

7 oz. (200 gr.) sugar

0.8 oz (25 gr. about 2 tsp.) honey

5.6 oz. (160 gr.) egg whites (about 4 egg whites)

DIRECTIONS

For the sponge cake:  Beat the eggs with the sugar until shiny and stiff. It may take about 20 minutes. Use an electric whip or a kitchen aid for the job (this phase is very delicate because if the eggs don’t incorporate enough air, the sponge won’t rise). Add the sifted flour and the extracts and stir gently from the bottom to the top to avoid losing the volume and get a runny batter.

>Pour the batter on a 8″ springform pan lined with parchment and bake at 355 F. (175 C.) for about 40 minutes or until the top gets golden.  Let it cool off before taking out of the springform pan.

For the Sugar Syrup: In a pan boil for about 10 minutes 375 gr. of sugar and 250 ml. of water. Let it cool off.

Store in a mason jar or a sealed glass jar using a small colander.  You will not use the entire jar of sugar syrup for one cake, but if well closed and stored in a refrigerator, the sugar syrup could last up to a month, so you could maybe have the chance to make this cake more than one time between now and Christmas ;-).

For the almond paste: mix together the almond flour, honey, sugar and egg whites. The batter should be not too runny nor too stiff but the right consistency to be handled with a SAC (Sach a Posh) with a star tip.

Arrange the cake:   it’s important to arrange the cake in a plate that can be put in the oven because once assembled the cake will need to be baked again.  Cut the sponge cake in 2 disks. Wet both disk with the Maraschino Syrup.

Coat the bottom disk with a light layer of apricot preserve. Cover with the second disk. Coat the secon disk with another layer of preserve evenly, even on the sides.

Decorate the cake with the almond paste using a SAC with a Star Tip and (optional) few peeled almond.The traditional Sicilian “Delizia” is decorated with a “basket” pattern, which is quite easy to make, just take a look to the following pictures.

LET THE DECORATED CAKE REST AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR AT LEAST 10 HOUR to  let the almond paste set.

Once the almond paste is set, bake the cake again for about 20 minutes at 360 F (180 C.) until the paste get slightly colored. Let the cake cool off and shine it with some apricot preserved mixed with sugar syrup.

ENYJOY!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – Seriously, this cake is not difficult to make AT ALL, it just takes patience and discipline in following the directions. I made it right at the first attempt.

– The almond paste on top of the cake is particularly sweet so I would suggest you to serve the cake in thin slices. 

– This cake can last even 10 days if refrigerated. It’s totally festive and perfect also as an edible gift.

– Since the Maraschino liquor at the store was too expensive, I substituted it with the syrup of Maraschino cherries, definitely much cheaper! The cake turn out perfect anyway BUT only if you use the Maraschino Liquor the sponge cake won’t get pink on the inside, and the REAL DELIZIA CAKE has a white sponge cake and not a pink polka dot one :-).– Don’t be afraid to wet the sponge too much. It is better to have a well soaked base than a dry one.

It would really make me feel proud knowing you intend to try this DELIGHT cake as your CHRISTMAS SPECIAL DESSERT!

But even if you’ll ever give it a try  in another occasion, and enjoyed it, please 

share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

Pumpkin and chocolate coffee cake: butter free and lactose free without giving up on taste


Hello everyone and welcome back! We are approaching Christmas so a pumpkin cake could sound out of season but the truth is that the stores still have tons of pumpkins for sale (probably at a convenient price), and pumpkin lovers (as I am) just love pumpkin flavor all year long! I would add that this cake would be perfect even for those that are not particularly fond of pumpkin because the pumpkin flavor is just a hint that only a true pumpkin expert can detect ;-).

This delicate coffee cake is moist, light and very tasty, thanks to a bit of cocoa powder and chocolate chips added to the batter, and pretty light since there is no butter at all, but just vegetable oil.   Apart for its deliciousness do you know why you should try this cake?  Because there is no need to pre-bake or steam the pumpkin: once peeled and cut in pieces, all you will need is a food processor to puree it!

This recipe is not part of my family traditional dishes. I found it in this wonderful Italian food blog “Barbiemagicacuoca.it“, tried it, slightly modified it and since my family and I loved it, I thought It would have been nice to share it with you… enjoy!

INGREDIENTS FOR A 10″ round springform pan

9 oz (or 0,50 lb.) pumpkin already peeled and cut in pieces (250 gr.)

1/3 cup water (80 gr.)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (100 gr.) my favorite is coconut oil

2 eggs

1 tbs. vanilla extract

3/4 cup brown sugar (150 gr.)

2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (80 gr.)

2 cups all porpose flour (300 gr.)

3 tbs. cocoa (20 gr.)

3 tsp. baking powder (16 gr.)

1 pinch sea salt

optional: cinnamon to taste

DIRECTIONS

Put the chocolate chips in the freezer to chill.     Peel and cut the pumpkin in small cubes (remember to take away the seeds) and in a food processor puree it with the water, oil and vanilla extract (it will take a few minutes, and the consistency will never get too smooth, but it is not big deal, once the cake is baked you will not notice any lumps).

With an electric whip, whip the eggs and sugar until fluffy and shiny. Preheat the oven at 340 F.

Add the pumpkin puree to the eggs, at low speed, and ultimately the flour, sifted with the cocoa and baking powder. Add the cinnamon if you like.

Add the sea salt and chilled chocolate chips to the batter.

Spread evenly the batter in a previously greased spring pan  and if you like decorate the top with some M & Ms. Bake at 340 F. (170 C.) for about 50/60 minutes. My daughters and I had fun picking candies colored with orange and brown to match with the pumpkin and chocolate color, but you can absolutely decorate the cake differently or even not decorate it at all: it will taste great anyway! 

Let the cake cool off, remove from the spring pan and serve.

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: – Any kind  of pumpkin works for this recipe but if possible I would use those with a green skin because they will make the dough fluffier.

– To make this cake you could use any kind of vegetable oil however I would discourage the use of olive oil because it tastes too strong and would ruin the pumpkin flavor. My favorite oil to use is the coconut one, not only because is healthier but also because it matches perfectly with the chocolate and fades behind the pumpkin flavor.

It would really make me feel proud knowing you intend to try this pumpkin coffee cake for a sweet breakfast or as tasty treat!

If you’ll ever give it a try and like it, please 

share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

Ricotta, almonds and amaretti tart: surprise your family with a new Thanksgiving dessert!

An Italian pie for Thanksgiving


One of the many things that surprised me the most when we moved to USA was (and still does!) noticing how much Americans generally loves creamy, super sweet, frosted colorful cakes and cupcakes, simple sponge cakes’ bases literally buried in butter cream, frosting, icing, or whatever… the only exception of this rule I found living here is on Thanksgiving day: the most typical pies served on this occasion are usually “dry”, not too much sweet and very aromatic. Of course, I am talking about pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, sweet potato pie. Today I would like to share with you a new pie recipe that is dry, not too much sweet and slightly aromatic that could suit a Thanksgiving meal with an Italian touch! Also, on a practical side, Thanksgiving is always an holiday where you want to have everything perfect, and possibly prepared in advance to be able to enjoy your family, and this tart suites perfectly this necessities since it is absolutely easy to be prepared, it takes very little “hands-on” time, and if prepared a day ahead it tastes even better!

If you have been following me you should know that Amaretti are common Italian pastry biscuits, made mainly with almonds, egg whites and sugar. I’ve already posted a few phenomenal dessert recipes with Amaretti (Amaretti & Rum tiramisu, Dame’s kisses, Meringata), and if you have liked their special taste, you have to try even this tart! Almonds and Amaretti  taste very good combined with ricotta cheese and the crumble base is always a win/win: super easy to make and delicious! Concluding, if you are wondering where you could find Amaretti (besides on the web) I would say that they always keep a few packages (especially close to the winter festivities) at Tuesday Morning, at TJ MAX, at Schnucks. Their expiration date is usually pretty far away so when I find them I usually buy a good bunch!

INGREDIENTS for a 10″ springform round pan

For the pastry

1 stick unsalted butter (100 gr.)

1/2 cup sugar (100 gr.)

1 egg

2 tsp. almond extract

2 cups all purpose flour (300 gr.)

2 tps. baking powder (16 gr.)

For the filling

7 oz. (1 package) Amaretti cookies (200 gr.)

15 oz. ricotta (whole or part skim) – (425 gr.)

1 egg

1/3 unsalted almond (50 gr.)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 gr.)

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor mix together ricotta cheese, Amaretti, egg, almonds and sugar. You will obtain a velvety and dense cream (absolutely good to be eaten raw!).

In a bowl, combine butter, almond extract and sugar first until they are very well mixed. Then the egg and keep stirring. Add the flour sifted with the baking powder. Stir until the egg, butter and sugar have been absorbed into the flour and  the mixture has a crumble texture.

The mixture will be lumpy and that is right and normal. To arrange the tart, butter the springpan and sprinkle with flour. Spoon 3/4 of the crumby dough mixture into the prepard pan and keep the rest to decorate the top of the pie. Spread the dough evenly (you can even use your fingers) completely covering the bottom of the pan. Be sure to press the dough up the sides of the pan at least 1/4 inch to contain the ricotta cream while it bakes and to apply some holes to the dough by using the tips of a fork.

Pour the ricotta cream on top of the firmed crust and crumble the remaining dough on top of the cream. If you like, you can decorate the sides of the cake, again using the tips of a fork.  Bake at 365 F. (180 C.) for about 40-45 minutes. It will be done when the crust gets golden and the ricotta cream changes color.

Let the cake cool off before taking it out of the spring pan to avoid breaking it and wait to serve at room temperature. 

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – I don’t know if it has ever happened to you but occasionally I forget a package of ricotta cheese in the very back of the refrigerator, only to find it once it’s already expired. If the ricotta hasn’t really got bad yet, but you don’t trust eating it raw, make this tart and you will avoid the food-waste guilt and you’ll be guaranteed a delicious outcome! 

– If you want to make a less fat tart, you can use part skim ricotta cheese: you won’t even notice the difference!

It would really make me feel proud knowing you intend to try this cake as your Thanksgiving dessert, but even if you’ll not, or if you decide to try it on a different day it doesn’t matter! What matters it that you’ll like it! And if you do, please 

share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

Apple, raisins and pine nuts pastry pie: a classic dough with a peculiar filling!


This is the third week in a row that I’ve been publishing a “sweet recipe” which probably depends on the arrival of fall that with be beauty of its color brings also  (at least for me) the needs of comfort food and the cravings for treats. This apple pastry pie is another of my mom’s classic! A buttery dough filled with a mix of apple, raisins and pine nuts, a mix that will surprise the most for its particular flavor and texture.   My favorite part of this filling is that the raisins are softened by soaking them in water at least half an hour before to make the pie,  and the combo with the apples turns out delicious! The crust will be quite soft as well, thank to a bit of baking powder added to the batter.. Let’s see if you will like it as much as I do!

 

 

INGREDIENTS for a 14″ by 10″ grass pan

For the filling

1 cup raisins

2 lb. golden delicious (or other sweet kind of apples)

1 lemon juice

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 tbs. peach preserve

For the dough

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 yolks

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. almond flavoring

optional: powdered sugar for decorating

DIRECTIONS

Half an hour before making the pie: Remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften and put the raisins in warm water to soak. Peel the apples, cut into thin little pieces, and sprinkle with the lemon juice to prevent browning and brighten the flavor.  Set aside.

Start making the dough by mixing butter and sugar first, then the eggs and the yolks one at a time, and the almond flavoring. Stir with a fork and don’t pay too much attention if the batter looks crumble.

Finally add the flour sifted with the baking soda and once the dough stays in a ball shape, let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Grease the baking pan and sprinkle with flour (this will make it easier to take the pie out once is baked).

Finish to  prepare the apple mix, by adding the raisins (previously drench in a colander), the pine nuts and the apricot preserve.

Warning: this mix is absolutely delicious even if eaten as it is!  😉
Take the dough out of the fridge, take 2/3 of it and roll it out on floured board. Spread the dough into the baking sheet, making sure to cover at least for an inch the edges. Apply some holes with the tips of the fork and fill with the apple mix. Use the remaining dough to décor the top of the pie.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 365 F. (180 C.) in the middle rack. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the pie will get too dry.
Let the pie cool off. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – This pie is delicious at room temperature but my family and I prefer it refrigerated.
– This kind of crust and filling could last up to a week if refrigerated.
– I’ve always baked this pie in a glass pan, but I believe it would turn out perfect even if using a metal one, just maybe check the baking time that could change.
– Since with this doses you get a pretty big pie, it could be a nice treat to bring to a party or a social tea party in the afternoon. I brought it to a “breakfast at the bus stop” in my neighborhood few days ago and it was a hit!
– The crust of this pie is soft but solid so it could be served even in a napkin in case you are out of plates. Lol.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

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Fresh fruit pie with sugar glaze: don’t throw away the fruit that is going bad.


(Short note:
Hello everyone! It has been a lot since I’ve written my previous recipe and I am sorry! I missed my readers, I missed writing and I missed hearing from you, but the birth of my forth daughter (on April 6th 2018) truly kept me busy and even If I never stopped cooking, I wasn’t able on keeping up posting… and probably for a while I will not make it to be in time every week, but I’ll try do my best!).
But back to THIS recipe: I can proudly say that a pie like this has never been seen before because it was invented by my mom many years ago… She prepared it for me and my brother usually at  the end of the summer, when all the fruit plants of her garden where ready to harvest at the same time and using all those fruits in a short amount of time was kind of challenging! Few tablespoons of sugar, few tablespoons of flour, eggs, butter and her leftover fruit and the pie was ready! She would use fresh figs, plums, peaches and apples, but since here in Mid West I have never seen a fresh fig ( 😦 ), I used plums, peaches, pears and apples instead.     What I love about this pie is:  1) that you will need just a tbs. for measuring; 2) that you can really use as much fruit as you like (only important part is to cut it super thin and drain it very well  for few hours before arranging the pie; 3) only a bunch of ingredients needed; 4) besides preparing the fruit, it literally  takes few minutes to obtain a batter ready for baking; 4) last but not least, that delicious, crunchy layer of sugar glase that get formed on top of the pie once is cooked.  In other word this pie is and extraordinary experience were the wet, moist mixed fruit touches the thin sweet crust, for an epic deliciousness. 

INGREDIENTS for a 9” round spring pan

4 eggs

5 tbs. sugar for the batter

1 tbs. sugar for the fruit

sugar to taste for the crust

4 tbs. all purpose flour

1 lemon zest and juice

1 stick melted unsalted butter

seasonal fruit (cut in small pieces and deprived of the juice)

*optional: a few tbs. schnapps

DIRECTIONS

I didn’t remember how much fruit my mom used for this recipe and her cookbook reported “fruit to taste” so I used what I had available: two pears, 4 plums, one peach and a little apple (the apple is  not in the picture because I forgot to add it… Lol… that’s what happens with for kids around).
Start by lining a 9″ round spring pan with parchment paper. Then grate the lemon zest and set it aside, squeeze the lemon and keep the juice aside. Cut the fruits in small thin pieces, dust with a bit of sugar and add the lemon juice, stir and let the mix resting in a colander as long as possible to get the fruit draining from its own juice.

Make the batter using the other ingredients: first mix the eggs with the sugar and the lemon zest.

Continue by adding the flour and finally the melted butter at room temperature.

Pour half of the butter in the pan, cover it with the fruit (try to arrange the fruit evenly) and last cover the fruit with the remaining batter. Dust the butter with few tbs. of sugar.

Bake at 360 F. for about 50 minutes or until the sugar looks crystalized. 
Serve it when  completely cooled off.
Oh my this pie is sooooooooo goooood!
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
TIPS: – If you prefer to realize a smaller cake, for the same butter quantity use 4 tbs. sugar and 4 tbs. flour.

– I know for sure my mom usually add to the butter a few tbs. of “grappa” (schnapps) to avoid any egg aftertaste and to dilute the batter. I skipped the “grappa”, and the pie was delicious anyway.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia