Italian Cannoncini alla crema: creamy and flaky at the same time is possible!

The Cannoncini alla Crema is a typical Piedmontese sweet, incredibly popular in several Northern and Central Italian regions. Entering into an Italian pastry shop is easy to find Cannoncini filled with different pastry creams, but the most popular filling is for sure the Vanilla Pastry Cream.

Since I’ve started my ITALIANGOODNESS HOME BAKERY there’s not a day that goes by without a customer asking me if I can make CANNOLI which behind any reasonable doubt are for sure the most popular Italian dessert in the world. Cannoli are typical Sicilian pastries made out of a fried cylindrical shortcrust shell filled with ricotta cheese cream and chocolate chips.

BUT, I was happy to introduce my customer to CANNONCINI  ALLA CREMA which , again, are typical from the Northern Italy (the area I come from) and are cones made with oven baked puff pastry and filled with chocolate cream or custard (crema pasticcera).

So today I am sharing with you the recipe to prepare CANNONCINI ALLA CREMA which, if you use store brought puff pastry, are truly super easy to make. You will need 20 stainless steel “Horn molds” and a “Sach a Poch” for the filling.  If instead you don’t feel comfortable in baking those yourself and you live in QC area (IOWA-ILLINOIS), contact my ITALIAN HOME BAKERY and order some fresh ones.

INGREDIENTES for about 20 CANNONCINI

1 thaw puff pastry sheet

egg white

granulated sugar to dust

1/2 dose of my custard recipe:

3 egg yolks

25 gr. corn starch

250 ml. whole milk

1 lemon peel

80 gr. sugar

DIRECTIONS:

First of all prepare the custard by following this recipe, but with the quantities listed up here. Once ready, cover the surface with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator.

Then take the puff pastry sheet out of the freezer and while it thaw, butter and flour the stain steels cones: this apparently annoying procedure will allow your to pull out the cones from the pastry shells easily. Instead of butter you can spray those with butter spray. At this point the puff pastry should be soft enough to be rolled out in a 16” (40 cm) long sheet. Cut it in verticoal stripes 0.7” (2 cm) wide.

Now roll each strip around a cone, making sure to slightly overlap the pastry at each round.   Place neatly in a oven sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with egg white and dust with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes at 390 F (200 C.).  Pull the cones out of the shells when still warm. Be very delicate because they break easily. Fill the Sac a Poch with the CREMA PASTICCERA (custard) and fill each shell to the edge.

Enjoy right away or keep it refrigerated  before serving.

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – These pastries have to be enjoyed fresh, they cannot be prepared ahead of time. The empty shells keep their crunchiness for a few days if stored  in a sealed container.

– Custard (crema pasticcera) is the most traditional filling, but they taste great even if filled with chocolate custard or hazelnut cream.

I TRULY HOPE YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE!

Please free to leave a comment and  maybe tag me on instagram #beautyandfourkids if you’ll give this recipe a try! AY SAFE and KEEP IN TOUCH!

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! 

Strawberries mousse cake: delicate and sophisticated

Greetings everyone! I am so proud today to write about this phenomenal Strawberries mousse cake, which I learnt to make thanks to the extraordinary blog by the young amazing baker LUCAKE.IT . Luca reinvents all the classic pastries in a modern key, and honestly I truly admire his job!

Anyway strawberries season is getting closer, and actually here in MidWest you can already find fresh strawberries at a very good price, and considering that this cake is made 50% out of fresh strawberries I though I would finally give a try to a “mousse”, which is a kind of sweet that as always intimidated me a little because it requires the use of gelatin.

This cake is light and creamy, structured in alternated layers of  strawberries mousse, sponge cake and fresh strawberries. It is also absolutely scenic and ideal for birthdays or fancy dinners. Making it is not complicated, it just needs time, patience and precision (forget to try it if you don’t intend to use a kitchen scale) . And as always, if I made it, you can definitely make it as well!

INGREDIENTS for a 10″ SPRING FORM PAN  (20 servings)

FOR THE SPONGE CAKE

8 oz. (225 gr.) egg whites

3 oz. (90 gr.) egg yolks

5.3 oz. (150 gr.) sugar

1.6 oz. (45 gr.) all purpose flour

1 oz. (30 gr.) potatoes or corn starch

2.6 oz. (75 gr.) vegetable oil (my favorite is coconut oil)

1 pinch sea salt

1 tsp. lemon extract

FOR THE MOUSSE

12 oz. (340 gr.) strawberries cut in small cubes

3.5 oz. (100 gr.) granulated sugar

1.4 oz. (40 gr.) water

0.4 oz. (12 gr.) gelatin leaves

13 oz. (375 gr.) heavy whipping cream

FOR THE STRAWBERRIES GELATIN

8.8 oz. (250 gr.) strawberries cut in small cubes

1.4 oz. (40 gr.) granulated sugar

0.3 oz. (10 gr.) water

0.2 oz. (6 gr.) gelatin leaves

FOR THE FILLING AND DECORATION

12-13 small strawberries, washed and cut in half (for the decoration on the pan’s “edge”)

7 oz. (200 gr.) strawberries (cut in small cubes for the filling)

2 strawberries for the top of the cake.

DIRECTIONS

Make sure to weight the eggs white and yolks. The quantities must be accurate.    In a stand mixer (or with an electric mixer) mix until white and stiff the egg whites, sugar, pinch of salt and lemon extract. Then add the yolks and keep mixing for a few second until well incorporated. Sift in the flour and starch.

Hand mix gently the flour and starch from the bottom to the top to avoid the batter to become watery. Add the oil and keep hand-mixing gently.

Pour the batter in a 20”x14″ (45×37 cm) baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Try spreading the batter uniformly and bake (preheat the oven) in the middle rack at 375 F. (190 C.) for about 12-13 minutes. When you’ll take the cake out of the oven its surface must be still soft.

Get a clean kitchen cloth, drench it in water, squeeze it to get rid off the excess of water, take the sponge cake out of the oven and flip it onto the wet cloth. Peel off the parchment paper and cover the entire cake’s surface with plastic wrap. When completely cooled, cut two circle out of the sponge cake: a 10” one and a 8″ one.

NOW LET’s START TO BUILD THE CAKE!  Line the 10″ spring-form pan with parchment and arrange first the 10″ sponge disk, and then – around the pan’s edge – the “half strawberries”.

NOW START PREPARING THE MOUSSE: wet the gelatin leaves in some cold water for at least five minutes. In  medium size pot, add water, sugar and the 12 oz. (340 gr.) strawberries cut in cubes. Bring the mix to boil and cook at medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Don’t overcook because you need the mix to be very liquid. Blend the mix with an immersion blender.

Sieve the pulp with a thin strainer to get rid off the strawberries seeds. In a bowl weight 0.8 oz. (375 gr.) of strained pulp and in case you don’t have enough add water to reach that weight. If the pulp is still warm, squeeze the gelatin leaves and melt directly into the pulp, otherwise, warm up a few seconds the pulp in the microwave so it will be warm enough to melt the gelatin.

In a separate bowl whisk the heavy whipping cream until fluffy. Pour the warm pulp (mixed with gelatin) and stir gently from the bottom to the top with a spatula. Pour half of the mousse in the spring form pan, then add randomly half of the strawberries cubes (about 3.5 oz. or 100 gr.).

Place now in order the smaller sponge disk, the rest of the mousse, and the remaining strawberries cubes, making sure they disappear under it. Let the cake rest in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, so that the mouse will set.

GET READY TO PREPARE THE STRAWBERRIES GELATINE: Wet the gelatin leaves in cold water for at least 5 minutes. In a small pan add water, sugar, the strawberries cubes , bring it to boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Blend the mix with an immersion blender and sieve the pulp with a strainer.

In a bowl weight 8 oz. (230 gr.) of strained pulp and in case you don’t have enough add water to reach that weight. Slightly warm up the pulp and melt in the gelatin previously well squeezed.

Let the strawberries gelatin cool down a little and then pour it on top of the gelatin mousse, making sure it covers evenly all the spots. Let the cake rest in the fridge for at least two more hours.  When the cake is well set, open the spring form pan, place the cake in a nice platter and decorated it with a few strawberries.

Your super fancy strawberries mousse cake is ready to be enjoy! You’ll leave your guests speechless!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS:  -Don’t throw away the sponge cake leftovers: cut it in small pieces, dust with powdered sugar and let bake at 350 F. (180 C.) until golden. They will turn  in yummy crunchy cookies.

– Remember to use a spring-form pan otherwise it will be impossible to take the cake out of it.

– For the mousse and gelatin you can use fresh or frozen fruit. Strawberries can be substitute with mixed berries instead.

-If you are not confident in using gelatin leaves, you can use instead 1 and a 1/2 packs of gelatin powder.

– Since during strawberries season they are more flavored and usually less expensive, I would buy a big batch, wash them and cut them in cubes and keep it frozen until you decide to make this cake.

– The flavor of this strawberries mousse cake is absolutely delicate. The texture is velvety and refreshing. Anyone that likes fresh treats will fall in love with it!

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! 

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!

Yogurt and chocolate chips muffins: an easy snack butter free.

You know me well and you know how much I love cooking and baking so in these days of forced self isolation (because of COVID Pandemic) I am trying new recipes, that possibly could involve also my daughters in the kitchen, and that would satisfy our sweet tooth without being too caloric.

I found this Yogurt and Chocolate Chips muffins’ recipe at the Italian blog Spadellandia.it  and get temped by it because it uses Yogurt as fat component for the muffins. So – with my girls – we tried it, modified it a little according to our tastes, and we loved it! What we liked about these Yogurt and chocolate chips muffins is that they contain yogurt instead of butter, some flour is substitute with starch to make it lighter, and because you basically mix all the ingredients together, bake it, and enjoy it! We love having them with our morning latte, or for a yummy and low fat snack.

The batter makes 6 big muffins, or 12 medium muffins  or 24 mini muffins, we tried all the  options and we preferred the last one the most, so we could eat “more” with less sense of guilt.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (8 oz. or 160 gr.) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 100 gr.) potatoes or corn starch

1/3 cup (80 gr.) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (250 gr.) plain yogurt or vanilla yogurt

3/4 cup (6 oz. or 180 gr.) granulated sugar

1 tbs. lemon extract OR 1 tbs. vanilla extract

3 tsp. (16 gr.) sifted baking powder

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 80 ml.) vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

a pinch of sea salt  

DIRECTIONS

In a big bowl sift the flour, starch and baking powder so your batter will not have any lumps. In a separate bowl mix eggs, sugar, sea salt and whisk it well by hand. Then add the lemon or vanilla flavoring and the oil, mixing well.

Warm up the oven at 360 F (180 C.).   Pour the liquid ingredients in the bowl with the flours (or vice versa), add also the chocolate chip and mix the ingredients well enough to get an even batter, but not too much otherwise your muffins will become gummy.

Pour the batter in the muffins pan and bake for about 20 minutes.

Take it out of the oven, let it cool off and enjoy!!!!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT! 

TIPS:

If you are having a party or you need a big batch of muffins, don’t be afraid and just double the ingredients. I’ve tried that and it turned out great.

– Use the lemon or vanilla flavoring only if you truly love their aftertaste: their flavors will come trough very strong.

– These muffins are absolutely heaven when fresh baked. If stored in a sealed container they will last up to a week but their consistency will get drier.

-If you like “cookies” more than “muffins” don’t miss these  scrumptious “Yogurt and Chocolate chips soft cookies” ready in 30 minutes or less.

– For another low fat recipe, with no butter at all, check out my “pears and ricotta coffee cake“.

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! 

Molten Chocolate lava mini cakes: perfect for Valentine’s Day breakfast!

Calling all the Valentine’s Day lovers!!!! Valentine’s at my house is more a celebration for the kids than for my husband and I, so I am planning to prepare these super easy Molten Chocolate Lava mini cakes for breakfast on Valentine’s Day… ready in 15 minutes, they are perfect for a sweet themed breakfast, and I know for sure It will make my family very happy!

Before to start listing ingredients and sharing directions keep in mind that: 1) you will have to put in the freezer the Nutella at least three hours ahead of time, so if you are planning to make these for breakfast, go ahead and set it the night before.     2) You will need a 6 Cavity Silicone Heart Mold for shaping your mini cakes. Even a regular 6 cavity muffin mold will work, only you will not have the “heart” shapes.

INGREDIENTS FOR 6 HEARTS

2 eggs – 2 uova

5 0z.  Nutella -150 gr. nutella

1.5 oz. all purpose flour – 40 gr. farina

3.5 oz. granulated sugar – 100 gr. zucchero

1 stick unsalted butter – 100 gr. burro

4.4. oz. good quality dark chocolate – 130 gr. dark cioccolato fondente

dark cocoa for dusting – cacao amaro quanto basta

optional: whipping cream for decorating

The night before (or at least three hours before baking the hearts)

Scoop six equal servings of Nutella in six holes of a plastic ice cube tray. If you don’t own it, go to your closest Dollar Tree store to get one.

15 Minutes before servings your molten lava mini cakes.

Butter the silicon hearts mold, and evenly dust it with dark cocoa. Double boil the butter and dark chocolate (previously chopped in tiny pieces) until melted.

Take the melted mix away from the heat, add the sugar and hand-whip. Then add one egg at a time and keep whipping. Finally, add sifted flour and stir.

Preheat the oven at 410 F (200 C.). Once the flour is evenly incorporated to the batter, scoop one tbs. of batter to each heart. Take away the Nutella from the freezer and place each single frozen block of Nutella in each heart. Cover the nutella with the remaining batter.

Bake only 10 minutes. Once baked, place each heart in a nice plate, decorate with whipping cream, and enjoy still warm! The molten nutella inside the heart will make the trick!

YUM!!! So delicious!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS:

– My family and I are addicted to these cakes, so I’ve made those multiple times. I tried substituting the butter with Coconut oil! I loved it, but some of my family members disagreed. If you’d like the idea of using oil instead of butter, follow the same direction and ingredients but use 2.2 oz of coconut oil instead of butter.

– Leftovers are still good but Nutella will harden.

– If you love NUTELLA don’t miss my favorite “only three ingredients” NUTELLA BITES or the more caloric “NUTELLA SEMIFREDDO” .

– For more Valentines’s Day recipes, check out:

HEART SHAPED bacon and puff pastry;

HEART SHAPED butter cookies:

HEART SHAPED chocolate crispy rice bars;

EASY, FAST, AFFORDABLE VALENTINES’ HOME MADE DINNER

 

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! 

Roasted almonds Croccante: share with your friends the Christmas Italian tradition

single servings croccante

almonds croccanteGreetings everyone!

Christmas is almost here and my kitchen is so busy and messy with me preparing all small edible gifts for family and friends (and having all the baking done to make my home bakery’s customers happy)!  As you probably already know in this season I like baking plenty of Italian Cantucci Biscotti and Baci di Dama, but those require quite a bit of time in the oven. The treat I am writing about today is traditional during Christmas period in the South of Italy (Calabria), it’s very fast to prepare and with just three ingredients: oven baked almonds, honey (good quality one) and granulated sugar.  The result is a super crunchy caramel bar, sweet but not too much, and absolutely addictive: once you start eating it you can’t help but keep eating until you’ve eaten whole thing!

I have to tell you that I brought these “Croccante” mini bars to my local Freight House Farmers Market in the past weeks and they sold very very good! One of the reason, besides the fact that it’s delicious, it’s probably  because this treat is EGGS FREE, LACTOSE FREE and GLUTEN FREE. single servings croccante

This recipe requires 10 minutes max, plus the time to bake the almonds if they are not already baked. With these quantities you will obtain about 12 pieces about 3oz. (or 100) big.

Be aware that to prepare the Croccante you will need a food thermometer.

INGREDIENTS

1.10 lb. (500 gr.) oven baked peeled almond

7 oz. (200 gr.) granulated sugar

5 oz. (150 gr.) best quality honey (I used organic clover honey)

DIRECTIONS

If your almonds are not already baked, bake it at 360 F. for about 10 minutes and let it cooling off.

Cover your working surface with parchment.

In a big non-stick pan bring honey and sugar to boil and keep stirring until the mix reaches 338 F. (170 C.). Keeping the temperature controlled will avoid the caramel to burn and taste bitter.

At this point, take away the caramel from the heat, add the almonds, mix quickly the ingredients and  pour the mix on the parchment paper (or on a marble surface). With a wet rolling pin flat the mix as thin as possible. Let it cool off and cut in bars as big as you wish.

The cutting phase will be easier if you’ll use a sharp knife, slightly wet with water.

LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!!!!!

TIPS: – When still hot the mixture can be shaped in different shapes, like a star, or a Christmas Tree, or whatever you may like.

– Be very careful while you are handling the hot mixture because it will be very hot and the chances to get burned are very high (especially if you are not an expert). The first time I prepared Croccante I burned all my left fingertips plus my lips because I was so an anxious to eat the Croccante that I put the hot ladle in my mouth! Vey bad idea! But it was soo good!!!

– Cutting the Croccante is not necessary unless you wish to make single servings.single servings croccante

– Best way to store the Croccante is inside a tin, in a cool and dry room. It will last for days.

– As cute edible Christmas gift, you can cut the Croccante, wrap it in parchment and tie it with kitchen wire.

I really hope you enjoyed my recipe this week, I promise, you will fall in love with this easy treat!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

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!   

 

A Thanksgiving Meal with an Italian Flair

Hello my dear friends!An Italian pie for Thanksgiving

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! With the Winter Holidays approaching I’ve enriched my menu with more  “wintery and Christmassy” desserts, you should definitely check those out!

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 another article I wrote for the Quadcities Mom’s blog last we (the previous one was a “fall themed one“). All recipes are mine, and it’s   about adding an Italian touch to the Traditional Thanksgiving menu!!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading and maybe find some fun recipe to experiment!

“Even though “giving thanks” should be a moment of reflection that everyone should try to do at least once a year, this celebration is not observed in many other countries and is probably mostly seen as an American holiday. (Forgot about the origin of Thanksgiving? Click here to refresh your memory).

Italians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but in approximately eight years that we’ve lived in Iowa, we’ve often been invited to Thanksgiving celebrations at dear friends’ houses, and to be honest, I’ve loved the atmosphere and preparation!  I have noticed though, that most of the hosts and guests at some point have admitted that turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies weren’t exactly their favorite foods.    I am a huge supporter of traditions and celebrations, but why keep self-inflicting a Thanksgiving meal that nobody likes?

To find a solution, when we have celebrated Thanksgiving at home here in the Quad Cities, I’ve tried to follow the custom of turkey and mashed potatoes for the sake of my children, but I have also enriched this menu with an Italian touch. I was thinking that you may be interested in doing the same by adding a few easy Italian dishes to the traditional menu.

It’s well known that those turkeys take hours to roast.  So, as an easy start (since we probably won’t be eating until late afternoon) why don’t we treat ourselves with some “Italian appetizers“? Here are some of my favorites:

AN ITALIAN COCKTAILSpritz the most popular Italian appetazier cocktail

SPRITZ:  This is one of the most popular cocktails in Italy.  Only three liquid ingredients to warm up the atmosphere and possibly make your mother-in-law sound more pleasant . A Spritz is a perfectly seasonable orange cocktail.  It is enjoyable and fairly light, even for those who are not much into booze. It will make the beginning of your Thanksgiving meal very fancy!

ITALIAN  STARTERS  White Onion, bacon and blue cheese savory Italian pie

WHITE ONION, BACON AND BLUE CHEESE SAVORY PIE: Such a long name for an extra easy appetizer. Everybody will love it (just remember not to tell the kids that there are onions in there!). This tart takes 10 minutes for preparation and 20 in the oven. You can prepare it a few hours in advance and pop it into the oven whenever your guests start walking around the kitchen to ask how long until dinner will be served! I understand that to prepare this tart you may need a second oven (since the first one will be busy with the big bird), but if you don’t own one, don’t worry, there is another appetizer you may want to try…. Asiago cheese cubes appetizer

ASIAGO CHEESE CUBES: Your guests will just die for this finger food. Small Asiago cheese cubes, crunchy on the outside and melted inside-so delicious! This Italian classic  for your Thanksgiving meal may require a little more work in the kitchen, but believe me, it’s totally worth it.  As a bonus, it will fill those impatient bellies for a decent amount of time!

THE MAIN MEAL HAS TO BE TURKEY, AND IT WILL BE TURKEY!

I’ll skip offering options for the main course but I want to suggest a light soup that you may want to serve while the turkey rests on the kitchen counter: Orange creamy butternut squash soup

ORANGE CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP: Many fancy restaurants, before their important dinner parties serve light soups or “consomme“.  Especially in those years that Thanksgiving Day is deadly cold, I am sure your family would be delighted by a warm, orange, velvety soup to enjoy before the classic Thanksgiving meal. This soup is even better if prepared a little ahead of time and kept refrigerated, so you will have it ready to go on the busy day.

After the legendary turkey with gravy, let’s jump straight to my favorite course and my area of expertise…

DESSERTS

Here are a couple of options that you may want to consider to break up the monotony of the classic Thanksgiving pies.ricotta, almonds and amaretti cookies tart

RICOTTA, ALMOND and AMARETTI COOKIE TART: A not too sweet and slightly aromatic tart that could perfectly suit a Thanksgiving buffet.  You may want to consider this pie because it’s absolutely easy to prepare with very little “hands-on” time, and, if prepared a day ahead it tastes even better. chocolate chips and ricotta tart

CHOCOLATE AND RICOTTA TART:  If you are afraid your guests may dislike an almond-based dessert, who doesn’t like chocolate chips? This chocolate and ricotta tart is creamy, velvety and absolutely loved by children. It can be prepared a few days in advance and it’s really super easy to make.

Maybe preparing ALL of these alternative dishes for your Thanksgiving meal in such a busy-and many times stressful-holiday season sounds a little overwhelming. But if you like the idea of spicing up your planned menu even with just one new dish, I am sure it will be beneficial for the mood, the atmosphere and everyone’s appetites!

ricotta, amonds and amaretti tart

I am curious to know if you already have a dish that stands out from the classic ones on Thanksgiving? I am always excited to try new recipes and ideas!”.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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!   

 

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 :-)”.

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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!   

Banana cream pie: my new favorite

Buongiorno ragazzi! Tutto bene? How are you?   Since I’ve started my Italian Home Bakery adventure, I’ve been requested to make many different Italian desserts, and that to me is absolutely as easy to satisfy as “as piece of cake” (LOL), but it has happened also that people asked me to make “crazy decorated cakes” (requested I declined because I don’t feel good enough in “crazy decorating” – LOL again), or, somebody asked me to bake some American Classic. Well, this last type of request if something I considered seriously, because I love baking, I love learning about other food cultures, and I absolutely love learning new attractive recipes.

The Banana cream Pie recipe I am sharing with you today is the result of a request I got from a customer, which – of course – is a Banana cream Pie expert (and addicted) and according to whom (now I am bragging), my Banana cream Pie is the “best he ever had”.    How did I find this recipe? I researched online different banana cream pie recipes and picked the one more attractive to me (from the blog “The taste of Home“), and then, I personalized it a bit with my “Italian experience and background“. For those who are not familiar with this pie it will be enough to know that Is a pastry crust filled with fresh bananas and custard, and abundantly covered in heavy whipped cream.

Before starting, I warn you that making the custard is a bit tricky and if you don’t follow religiously the directions, it will turn out watery or bad tasting. Also, the recipe for the home made short crust pastry that follows is Italian and is the one I usually prepare for other fruit pastry pies.

INGREDIENTS FOR A 9” ROUND PAN

for the custard – per la creama

2 large beaten eggs – 2 uova grandi sbattute

1/4 cup corn starch – 30 gr. amido di mais

1 cup granulated sugar – 200 gr. zucchero

3 cups milk – 750 gr. latte intero

3 tbs. unsalted butter – 40 gr. burro non salato

sea salt – sale

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract –  1 cucchiaino e mezzo aroma alla vaniglia

2-3 large firm bananas – 2-3 banana sode

  for the short crust pastry per la crostata

2 yolks – tuorli

unsalted butter – 150 gr. burro freddo

all purpose flour – 250 gr.  farina 00

granulated sugar – 100 gr. zucchero a velo

vanilla extract – aroma alla vaniglia

For decorating:

Heavy whipping cream to taste

Optional: some crumbled Amaretti cookies (Italian variation)

DIRECTIONS

Since custard and crust will need time to chill in the refrigerator at first, and to cool off after the cooking/baking, the more efficient method to prepare this cake should be: prepare the crust pie dough and let it chill in the refrigerator, in the mean time prepare the custard and while the custard cools off, cook the pie crust.

THE CRUST: In a food processor combine flour, sugar, vanilla extract and cold butter cubes and mix until crumbly. Then add the yolks and keep mixing until yolks are absorbed. Move the dough to a clean surface, give it a rectangular shape, cover in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes (the time you’ll need to prepare the custard).

THE CUSTARD:  In a large sauce pan combine sugar, corn starch, salt and milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened.  Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes and keep stirring.

Remove from heat, take about 1 cup of hot filling into the beaten eggs and stir very well.  Return to the pan and bring all together to a gentle boil. Cook for 2 minutes stirring.

Remove the cream from the heat. Stir inn butter and vanilla flavor until completely dissolved. Press plastic wrap onto surface and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (the time you’ll need to bake the crust ).

BACK TO THE CRUST: roll out the dough in a clean surface and then into a 9” pie pan. Apply some holes with the tip of a fork and bake “blind” (loosely covered with parchment and filled with baking beans) at 340 F. (170 C.) for 15 minutes, and then another 15 minutes without anything on top.   Let the crust cooling off.

Once the crust is cooled, arrange a layer of banana’s slices, than half of the cold custard, than another layer of banana’s slices and the rest of the custard.

Decorate with whipping cream and bananas’ slices and – optional – with crumbled Amaretti cookies.

Leave the cake in the refrigerator at least 6 hours (or overnight) before serving it. Serve it (and keep it) refrigerated.

SOOOOO GOOOOD!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: I have to confess, before tasting this pie I was very skeptical about it. The idea of bananas in a short crust didn’t appeal me that much. It took me just one bite, to change completely my mind!

– if you are afraid the bananas on top of the cake my turn dark, brush them with some lemon juice;

– Just for your info, this custard recipe is Gluten Free… you can eat it also like that, and it’s absolutely delicious anyway.

– The only way to make custard I knew before trying this pie was the “Italian custard” (crema pasticcera). The two fillings have a similar way to be prepared but the first tastes more as a pudding when the second, instead, is more like a cream and it’s definitely not gluten free.

– I am almost ashamed to admit it, considering all the scrumptious desserts we have in Italy, but this Banana Cream Pie has become my new favorite,  or, at least, ONE of MY FAVORITES.

– So, last tip, give this recipe a try. It’s really worth it!

Do you like banana cream  pie? which one is your favorite?

I dare you: try this recipe, and It will became your favorite!

 

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!