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Category Archives: Desserts

Must-Have Tiramisu’

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Today I celebrate 10 years of blessed marriage by preparing my delicious must-have tiramisu’. With this recipe I’ve been selected as Runner Up in the Healthy Cooking  Contest issued by the prestigious Taste of Home Magazine, and featured in the Country Woman Magazine.

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This tiramisu’ is incredibly light and creamy. For a kid-friendly version just omit the espresso coffee and use whole milk instead of non-fat milk.

#aqueeninthekitchen #anniversary #tiramisu’ #tasteofhome

BUON ANNIVERSARIO A NOI!!!

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

SERVINGS : 8 

DIFFICULTY : easy

PREP TIME : 25 min. + 2 hours in the fridge for chilling

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

2 cups (16 ounces) vanilla yogurt

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup Espresso coffee, cooled

1 package (7 ounces) Italian ladyfingers

unsweetened cocoa powder or dark chocolate flakes, to dust

fresh raspberries, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in the yogurt.

Spread 1/2 cup of cream mixture onto bottom of a baking dish.

In a shallow dish, mix milk and espresso coffee.

Dip quickly half of the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture, allowing excess to drip off.

Make a layer of ladyfingers over the baking dish.

Spoon over half of the remaining cream mixture and dust with cocoa powder or chocolate flakes.

Repeat the layer (dipped ladyfingers, cream, cocoa powder or chocolate flakes).

Cover with cling wrap, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve with fresh raspberries, if desired.

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Italian Cheesecake

Italian cheesecake

Couple of days ago I was craving for something sweet, fresh and decadent. I came up with this delicious cheese tart that I named Italian cheesecake. This tart has a shortcrust pastry shell made from scratch with the highest quality butter and flour type 00. The filling is a delicate mascarpone custard. I topped this dessert with a quick and easy strawberry coulis (a fruit or vegetable puree, used as a sauce).

Fun Facts :

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese from the Lombardy region.

Mascarpone is the key ingredient for preparing Italy’s most popular dessert: Tiramisu’.

Italian shortcrust pastry is called Pasta Frolla (literally crumbly pastry).

A pastry similar to Pasta Frolla was already known in Venice after the 10th century.

Buon Appetito!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

Servings : 6 to 8

Difficulty : intermediate

Prep Time : 25 min. + 30 min. (dough resting time)

Cook. Time : 1h 10min.

 

For the pastry shell

2.5 cups flour type 00

2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and diced

1 cup powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

For the filling

16 oz mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 tsp cornstarch

finely grated zest of one lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the strawberry coulis

2 cups fresh quartered hulled strawberries

3 tbsp powdered sugar

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Place the flour on a large bowl, make a well then add powdered sugar and diced butter. Work with a fork until sandy.

Add the egg yolks, the lemon zest and work by hand until a smooth and pliable dough forms.

Shape the dough into a ball then wrap it with cling paper. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350F degrees.

Place the dough between to large pieces of parchment paper then, with a rolling pin, roll the dough approximately 1/8-inch thick.

Move the dough in a greased 9 inch springform pan, press the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pan then trim the edges with a sharp knife. Poke the bottom of the dough with a fork.

Cover the pastry shell with parchment paper, place over dried legumes such as beans or chickpeas so the shortcrust pastry will not rise while baking.

Bake for 15 minutes than remove paper and dried legumes and continue to bake for  another 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Prepare the filling by mixing mascarpone, sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, lemon zest and vanilla extract with a hand or stand mixer.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold them gently into the mascarpone mixture.

Spoon evenly the filling into the pastry shell and bake for 45 minutes (the center may be wobbly and it will set while cooling).

Allow to cool completely in its pan.

Remove the springform pan’s ring, cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 4 hours before serving.

Prepare the strawberry coulis by pureeing strawberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice with a hand blender.

Serve the Italian cheesecake sliced, garnished with a dollop of strawberry coulis and fresh fruit.

Happy Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day, the annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

Let’s celebrate with delicious Italian sweet or savory pies, because baking is a lot like mathematics!

#PiDay

Pies by Ale Gambini 😉

Chiacchiere (Italian Carnival Fried Dough)

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Today in Italy is celebrated Fat Thursday, the traditional Catholic feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and Carnevale. Carnevale is the most colorful and playful period of the year, when everyone wears a costume or a mask, and celebrates in the streets with festive parades, allegoric floats, coriandoli (paper confetti), stelle filanti (paper streamers) and delicious sweet treats such as Chiacchiere. Chiacchiere are sweet crisp pastries, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and are known by different names depending on the regions in which they are prepared :

Lombardy : chiacchiere

Bologna : sfrappole

Tuscany : cenci

Rome : frappe

Tentino Alto Adige & Friuli Venezia Giulia : crostoli 

Liguria & Piedmont : bugie

Sardinia : meraviglias

No matter how we call them, Chiacchiere are simply delicious.

Buon Carnevale!!!

…another recipe homemade, simple and delicious included in my cookbook “A Queen In the Kitchen“.

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Available on:

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Amazon.com (US)CA, Amazon Europe: (ITFRESDE) and UK.

Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini & Angelica- BreadLoveAndDreams.com

 

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. to rest

Cook Time : 2 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1 shot of Grappa

vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl place the flour, make a well then add sugar, butter, eggs, salt and Grappa.

Kneed by hand until the dough becomes soft and pliable. (You can also knead with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

Cover with plastic paper an allow to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

Divide the dough in 4 equal parts.

With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough with a pastry wheel or serrated knife into rectangles 2×4 inch , make 1 or 2 incisions in the middle of each rectangle.

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot then fry the chiacchiere in small batches until both sides are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and place the chiacchiere over a serving plate covered with paper towel.

Dust with abundant powdered sugar while warm.

Hazelnut Crème Brûlée…Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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“Cooking is love made visible.” ~ Anonymous

Hazelnut Crème Brûlée is my way to celebrate the “sweetest” day of the year. Crème Brûlée is a French dessert consisting of a rich custard base, topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. I flavored this scrumptious dessert with hazelnut spread and garnished with organic fresh berries.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.+ 2 hours rest

Cook Time : 45 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pint heavy whipping cream, room temperature

6 tbsp hazelnut spread

granulated sugar, to sprinkle

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 250 F degrees.

With a hand or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until white and frothy.

Stir in the vanilla extract.

Gradually add the heavy whipping cream and whisk until smooth.

Spread evenly a tablespoon of hazelnut spread on the bottom of each ramekin.

Pour the cream mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until set but still trembling in the center.

Allow to cool at room temperature.

Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle each custard with a thin layer of granulated sugar and caramelize with a kitchen torch until a crispy top forms. (If you don’t have the torch, place the ramekins under the broiler for a couple of minutes)

Serve immediately accompanied with fresh berries.

HOW TO Make Pinwheel Pastries

Simple, fun and delicious, the pinwheel pastries are ready in no time. Watch my easy-to-follow video recipe and learn how to make them. For this recipe I’ve used apricot jam, strawberry jam and hazelnut spread but all jams, preserves or nut spreads work well.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious.

…if you like it, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Enjoy!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Yields : 6 pinwheel pastries

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.

Cook Time : 20 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

puff pastry, thawed

apricot jam

strawberry jam

hazelnut spread

whole milk

granulated sugar

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees.

Slightly flour a work surface.

Gently roll the thawed puff pastry .

Cunt the put pastry into squares.

Make incisions 1 inch from the center towards each corners.

Fold every other tip towards the center, pressing a little bit in the center.

Place 1 teaspoon of your favorite fruit or nut spread in there center.

Move over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 20 mints or until golden brown.

 

 

 

HOW TO Make Nutella Mug Cake

You may love it our hate it but Nutella is the world’s most famous hazelnut spread. In this episode of HOW TO I’ll show you how to prepare a simple and delicious mug cake. It only takes few ingredients and a couple of minutes in the microwave to make this yummy cake.

If you prefer, you can substitute the Nutella with other hazelnut spreads available at your local groceries or deli stores.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious.

…if you like it, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Enjoy!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Yields : 1 mug cake

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 5 min.

Cook Time : 2 min.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup Nutella

2 tbsp whole milk

1 egg

1 mug

DIRECTIONS

Place the flour in the mug.

Add the baking powder and mix.

Add the Nutella and the milk and stir until well combined.

Crack in the egg and stir until well blended.

Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy warm.