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Category Archives: Desserts

Ciambellone Mandorle & Vaniglia (Almonds & Vanilla Ring Cake)…Buon Ferragosto!

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Today in Italy is FERRAGOSTO (from the Latin Feriae Augusti – Augustus’ rest), the most important summer holiday. Businesses and government offices are closed for celebrating the Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary (Mother of Jesus). In many cities, towns and villages Ferragosto is celebrated with a PROCESSIONE, a procession of people carrying the statue of Mary and FIREWORKS. The Italians will spend the day out of town, heading to the beach or mountains, setting up picnics or  BBQs.

Let’s celebrate Ferragosto by baking a super soft, nutty Ciambella (the Italian ring cake).

Buon Ferragosto!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

Servings : 12

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 20 min.

Cook Time : 50 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour type 00

3/4 cup potato starch

1 sachet vanilla baking powder (I highly recommend Bertolini brand)

10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

1.5 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs, separated and room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk, room temperature

1/2 cup raw almonds

pearl sugar, to garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, the potato starch, the baking powder and set aside.

With a hand or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar.

Add the egg yolks (one at the time), vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

Add half of the flour mixture, the milk and mix, then add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until well blended.

Whip the eggs whites at stiff peaks.

Fold gently the whipped egg whites into the cake batter.

Pour into the cake pan.

Sprinkle with pearl sugar and almonds.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely in its pan before serving.

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How To Make Brioche Col Tuppo

Follow my step-by-step video recipe and learn how to make another staple of the Italian cuisine : Brioche col Tuppo! The Brioche col Tuppo is a Sicilian sweet bread, oval-shaped and topped with a hemispherical ball (tuppo). The name comes from its shape that resemble a tuppo, the traditional low bun worn by the Sicilian women in the past centuries. This brioche is amazingly soft and fragrant and is traditionally served along with Sicilian granita or gelato.

Enjoy the summer at the fullest!

#aqueeninthekitchen #italianfood #breadbaking

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Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

Yields : 6 regular brioche or 8 small

Difficulty : intermediate

Prep Time : 45 mins + 3 hours leavening

Bake Time : 30 mins.

 

INGREDIENTS

4 cups all-purpose flour

7 gr active dry yeast

1 tsp honey

1/4 cup lukewarm milk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tbs salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup milk

1/4 cup lard

1 egg yolk with milk for the egg wash

powdered sugar to sprinkle

 

DIRECTIONS

Proof the yeast with lukewarm milk and honey.

In a large bowl, place the flour, make a well in the center then add the yeast and combine briefly.

Add the sugar, the salt, the eggs, the vanilla extract and the milk (added little by little) and knead.

Add the lard and knead until all the ingredients are well blended.

Flour a work surface, move the dough over it and knead until an elastic dough forms.

Place the dough onto a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for two hours.

Flour again the work surface, place the dough over it and knead briefly.

Cut 1/4 of dough and reserve it for later.

Cut the remaining dough into six equal pieces then shape into balls and place over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cut the reserved dough into six small pieces then shape into tiny balls and place over the  baking sheet as well.

Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Press every big balls in the center with the thumb then place the little balls over the big balls.

Brush each brioche with the egg wash.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

 

Credits:
Ale Gambini (Host Chef – Founder – Video Maker)
Maurizio OTTO De Togni (music)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Torta Caprese (Flourless Chocolate Cake)

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Torta Caprese is a traditional Italian cake from the beautiful Island of Capri.
This is a very tasty and special cake because made with almond meal and chocolate, so it could be enjoyed by gluten intolerant people.
The texture is amazingly moist and rich with a delicate twist of Sorrento’s Limoncello.
This cake is also known as one of history’s most fortunate mistakes. In the 1920 an Italian baker was preparing an almond cake for three American gangsters in the Island of Capri, he forgot to put the flour into the dough, but the result was a delicious cake.

Buon Appetito!!!

 

INGREDIENTS

11 oz almond meal
10 oz dark chocolate
7 oz granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 shot of Limoncello
powdered sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees.
Grease with butter and flour or baking spray a 9 inch cake pan, set aside.
With a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and half of the sugar until creamy.
Add the egg yolks (one at the time) and mix until well incorporated.
Melt the chocolate at Bain Marie or in the microwave, allow to cool then fold it into the butter mixture.
Add the vanilla extract, the Limoncello and then the almond meal.
In a different bowl, whip the egg whites with the remain sugar at stiff peaks.
Fold little by little the whipped white eggs into the mixture.
Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes.                                                Allow the cake cool completely in its pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

White Grapefruit Tiramisù….Welcome Summer!

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I’m welcoming the summer 2017 with a tangy version of the classic Tiramisù. This recipe works great with any citrus fruits (grapefruits, lemons, limes) or with Limoncello, the lemon liqueur originated from Sorrento (Almafi coast). This dessert is a great idea for entertaining your guests on a warm summer night and remember, it will taste even better if prepared one day ahead.

Have a boost of vitamin C and a splash of summer with the white grapefruit Tiramisù.

Buon Appetito!

Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 20 min. plus 2 hours chilling in the fridge

 

INGREDIENTS

1 white grapefruit

2 eggs, separated

7 tablespoons caster sugar

8 ounces fresh mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup water

7 ounces savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)

 

DIRECTIONS

Wash, dry and grate half of the peel of the white grapefruit, then squeeze out the juice of the whole grapefruit. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks and 5 tablespoons of sugar with a hand mixer until creamy.

Add the mascarpone cheese and continue to beat until incorporated.

In a second mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff then gently fold into the mascarpone cream.

In a third mixing bowl, whip the chilled heavy whipping cream until stiff then fold into the mascarpone cream.

Stir in the grated grapefruit peel.

Pour the grapefruit juice and 1 cup of water into a rim soup plate, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir until dissolved.

Spoon the bottom of a baking dish with a little amount of the mascarpone cream.

Dip briefly the ladyfingers (one at the time) into the grapefruit and water mixture, then squeeze out the excess of liquid.

Make a layer of dipped ladyfingers into the baking dish then spoon evenly half of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers.

Make another layer of dipped ladyfingers, spoon evenly the remaining mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers.

Cover the grapefruit tiramisu’ tightly with cling wrap and allow to rest in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve garnished with grapefruit slices.

Coconut Sicilian Granita

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Granita is a traditional semi-frozen Italian dessert from the ravishing Island of Sicily. The Sicilian granita is usually prepared with water, sugar, fruit juice ( lemon, orange, mandarin ) or other ingredients such as almonds, pistachios, coffee, cocoa, coconut or jasmine. It is traditionally served in a transparent glass and accompanied by the typical brioche col tuppo, an oval-shaped bread topped with a hemispherical ball (tuppo). During the Arab rule in Sicily, the Arabs introduced on the Island the ancestor of the granita : the sherbet, an iced drink flavored with fruit juice or rose water. Afterwards the Sicilians developed the sherbet recipe collecting the snow on Mount Etna, Mountains Peloritani, Iblei and Nebrodi on the nivieri, (stone buildings erected over natural or artificial caves) and using the collected ice covered with fruit syrups or flowers as a refreshing treat during the Summer. Since 2012, in the beautiful city of Acireale (Sicily), takes place the Nivarata a festival dedicated to “the rite of Granita Siciliana”. This festival has been named after theNivaroli, the people that in the past were in charge of collecting the snow.

Buon Appetito!

 

Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

1 cup caster sugar

1  1.4 cups spring water

2 cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons rose water

chopped pistachios, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan, put the water and the sugar and cook at low heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely.

Transfer the cooled water and sugar mixture into a pitcher or a quart measuring cup then add the coconut milk and the rose water. Stir well.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for about 20 minutes.

Serve right away in transparent glasses, sprinkled with chopped pistachios on top.

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.