Tag Archives: food photography

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Italian Cheesecake…Merry Christmas And Happy 2019!

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Christmas is coming and so the new year. I want to dedicate this scrumptious dessert to those who have supported my culinary adventures during the 2018! This cake is for you, for all of your support and passion for the authentic Italian food.

I’ve realized this dark chocolate strawberry Italian cheesecake by using some of my favorite products: flour type 00 Mulino Caputo, ricotta and mascarpone Di Stefano Cheese and strawberries in syrup Fabbri.

A huge thanks to:

Bertozzi America

Camp’oro Pasta

Colavita

Di Stefano Cheese

Fabbri 1905

Mulino Caputo

Mutti Pomodoro

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from A Queen In The Kitchen!!!

Photo Credits: Ale Gambini-A Queen In The Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry shell:

2 cups flour type 00

1 cup + 3 tbsp powdered sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla baking powder

one pinch of salt

For the filling:

7 oz ricotta cheese

16 oz mascarpone cheese

6 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

strawberries (I’ve used jarred strawberries in syrup)

Rosemary sprigs, berries, gold leaf and powdered sugar to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the shell by working all the ingredients by hand until a soft dough form.

Grease a 9 inch springform cake pan.

Roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper then carefully place the dough into the pan, covering bottom and sides. Pinch with a fork the dough. Place it in the fridge.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing ricotta and mascarpone until blended. Add the sugar and continue to mix. Add vanilla extract and the egg. Mix thoroughly until a silky cream form.

Remove the cake pan from the fridge, spread half of the cream over the bottom of the pastry shell. Garnish with strawberries and chocolate chunks. Cover with the remaining cream and sprinkle with more chocolate chunks.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F degrees for 45 minutes.

Allow to cool and set in its pan on a wire rack.

Garnish with rosemary sprigs, berries, gold leaf and dust with powdered sugar.

Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)

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Panzanella, literally PAN: Bread and ZANELLA: Soup Bowl, is the name of the traditional Tuscan bread salad. The main ingredients of panzanella are stale Tuscan bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I had the pleasure to teach how to make this dish during Culinary Tour Of Italy, the cooking class I led at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles as a part of the LA FoodBowl, the month long food fest organized by the Los Angeles Times.

Here are some tips for a delicious Panzanella:

Use Tuscan bread, the unsalted Italian bread loaf.

Don’t drench the bread in the water solution, simply wet it.

Use the best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Make the Panzanella ahead of time as the ingredients will blend together during the resting time in the fridge.

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Photo Credits : Mirko Mirakle Urania

INGREDIENTS

4 slices stale Tuscan bread

2 ripe tomatoes

1 medium cucumber

1small red onion

white wine or apple vinegar

8 basil leaves, hand chopped

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

salt and pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut the onion into thin slices, soak them in a small bowl with water and a tablespoon of vinegar for at least 1 hour. Peel the cucumber with a potato peeler then cut into thin rounds. Wash, dry and cut the tomato into small pieces. With a serrated knife, remove the crust from the Tuscan bread slices, wet them with a solution of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar without soaking too much. Once softened, squeeze out any excess of liquids and chop it coarsely into pieces. Place the bread in a large bowl, then add the drained onions, tomatoes, cucumber, basil leaves and mix all the ingredients with the help of a spoon. Season with Evoo, salt and pepper and mix again. Place the Panzanella in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Return the Panzanella to room temperature before serving