Tag Archives: Cake

Torta Della Nonna…Happy Thanksgiving!

Torta della Nonna (Grandma’s Tart), the typical tart from Tuscany filled with custard cream and topped with pine nuts, will be on our table tomorrow to celebrate family, friends and everything we should be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones from #aqueeninthekitchen 🙏

Panna Cotta Brain…Happy Halloween!

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Tomorrow’s HALLOWEEN and that’s my treat for you all, a delicious brain-shaped Panna Cotta, drizzled with strawberry syrup and served along with mini marshmallows. This recipe is very simple, you’ll only need a brain gelatin mold and lot of heavy whipping cream. To make it tastier and creepier, I’ve inserted in the Panna Cotta a syringe filled with strawberry syrup.

Keep it always simple, scary and delicious.

Happy Halloween from your Queen In The Kitchen and family!

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Photo Credits: Ale Gambini – Maurizio “Otto” De Togni

INGREDIENTS

6 tbsp cold water

6 tsp powdered gelatin

4 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

strawberry syrup, to drizzle

mini marshmallows, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Bloom the gelatin in cold water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy whipping cream and sugar and heat until bubbles forms around the rim. Add the vanilla extract and gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the brain mold. Allow to cool off then place in the refrigerator overnight.

Unmold the panna Cotta it into a plate, drizzle with strawberry syrup and garnish with mini marshmallows.

Happy Birthday & Happy International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2018 …Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter Angelica and Happy International Women’s Day too. So much to celebrate and to be happy for!!! Here is the cake I baked for the birthday girl, a delicious 8-shaped pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake) frosted with white chocolate buttercream and garnished with fresh flowers, raspberry macarons, fresh strawberries, chocolate kisses and rainbow candies.

AUGURI!!!!

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Pandoro Christmas Tree With Chantilly Cream

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The most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Let’s celebrate Christmas with a delicious Pandoro Christmas Tree filled with Crema Chantilly (Chantilly cream).

Pandoro (literally golden bread), is a traditional Christmas sweet bread from Verona that gets the name from its golden color. Pandoro is baked  in a special star-shaped mold and doesn’t contain contain any dried fruits or nuts, unlike panettone.

I made this scrumptious Pandoro with all the attendees at my cooking class BUON NATALE! THE FESTIVE TABLE at the Italian Institute Of Culture Los Angeles. We shaped our Pandoro into a Christmas tree and filled it with delicious Chantilly cream. We also added some hazelnut spread between some layers for a nutty twist. My students and I  decorated the Pandoro with wild cherries in syrup as ornaments, dusted with lots of powdered sugar.

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With this traditional Italian sweet treat, A Queen In  The Kitchen wishes you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!!!

BUON NATATLE E BUON ANNO!!!

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Photo credits: Maurizio “OttO” De Togni

INGREDIENTS

1 Pandoro (traditional sweet bread of Verona)

For the Chantilly Cream
16 ounces heavy whipping cream, cold
5 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

wild cherries in syrup, to garnish

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

Slice the Pandoro horizontally in 6 slices (1 inch thick). Prepare the Chantilly cream by whipping the cold whipping cream with a hand or stand mixer. When the cream is almost whipped, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a star tip or plain round tip. Build the Pandoro tree by adding layers of cream between the slices and stacking the slices in order to reproduce a Christmas tree. Pipe more cream on the star points and add wild cherries as ornaments. Dust with powdered sugar.

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.

Torta Caprese (Flourless Chocolate Cake)

Torta Caprese CR

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.

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.