Easy strawberries cake

With a little delay today I post this easy recipe  for a cake which is perfect for St. Valentine day. But I’d say this is perfect for any occasion.

What you need:

For the dough:

  • 150g flour;
  • 110g unsalted butter;
  • 75 g sugar;
  • 1 egg;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • 1 tsp baking powder;
  • grated lemon zest;
  • 1 tbsp White wine;

For the  topping:

  • 200g fresh strawberries, washed and sliced;
  • juice of 1 organic orange;
  • 250 ml fresh cream;
  • 50 g icing sugar;
  • 50g strawberry jam;

How to make it:

Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Work together the sugar, the softened butter and the egg into a rough paste. Add the salt, the baking powder, the lemon zest and the wine. Gradually work in the flour with your fingertips to bind the ingredients into a smooth dough. Wrap the mixture in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.

In the meanwhile add the orange juice  to the strawberries and set them aside (if you like it you can add Cointreau instead of the orange juice). Roll out the pastry in a floured surface and line a 20 cm tart tin. Prick the pastry base with a fork, cover it with some baking paper and bake for 15 mins. Remove the baking paper and keep baking for additional 10 mins,

While the base is baking you might start preparing the filling;Whisk together the double cream with the icing sugar untile nice and fluffy. This will take you around 6/7 minutes with a kitchen robot at max speed. Be careful when doing this as the cream might turn out as butter.

Once the base has cooled down you can start decorating your cake. Spread the strawberry jam over the surface of the cake and place the strawberries and the cream as desired. Below it’s my cake. Hope you enjoy it.

Strawberries cake

Christmas treats

This is going to be my first recipe for Christmas time.  Few words to describe it: easy, delicious and perfect.  If you don’t have time but you are having a dinner on the same night this is just perfect. Result is 100% guaranteed. Hope you enjoy it.

What you need:

  • 250g mascarpone;
  • 2 cups of espresso;
  • 250 g amaretti;
  • 20 g cocoa powder;
  • 50 g desiccated coconut;

 

How to make it:

First thing to do is to dip into espresso coffee your amaretti biscuits. Make sure they don’t become too wet otherwise they will break.

Dispose the amaretti in a dish and set aside. You need now to make the cream: whisk together the mascarpone and the cocoa powder until you have a soft light brown cream.

Once you are done with it you can compose your dessert: take one biscuit, add some cream and stick it to another biscuit. Basically one biscuit should be an half dessert. When all your little treats are ready you need to roll them into the coconut. For best results keep them in the fridge until it’s time to serve them.

 

Treats

Basic recipe for cupcakes

Hi there! Today I will post the standard recipe to make cupcakes. You can use this one for every kind of cupcake you want as it is very easy.

What you need:

  • 125 g softened unsalted butter;
  • 125 g sugar;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 125 g white flour;
  • 1 tsp baking powder;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract;
  • a pinch of salt;

How to make it:

Pre – heat the oven to 190°C.  Beat the softened butter and the sugar in a bowl until well combined. Gradually beat in the eggs and add the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, the baking powder and the pinch of salt in the mixture until combined to a fluffy mixture.

Dispose the mixture in your baking tray and bake the cupcakes for around 15 mins until they are golden brown. Test them with a toothpick; if it comes out clean and dry then your cupcakes are ready. Let them cool down before decorating them.

TIPS: Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature, butter included: you want it soft when you are beating it. Remember also to fill the cupcakes liners up to 2/3 only: you are not baking muffins!!

Frittelle

Today is pancake‘s Tuesday but it is also the last day of the Carnival. One of the traditional desserts for this time of the year are Frittelle. They are sweet deep fried balls made with raisins or apples. In some parts of Italy (in Venice for instance) they are filled with cream or Nutella. Only one word to describe them..DELICIOUS (avoid them if you are on a diet!).

BEFORE YOU START you need to keep in mind few things about frittelle: first of all you will fry a lot so your kitchen will be VERY smelly after! Also don’t worry if your frittelle will look like little monsters, this is normal! You will need a lot of practice before having the “perfect frittella”

What you need:

  • 120 g plain flour;
  • 80 g self-raising flour;
  • 2 eggs ;
  • 50 g butter;
  • 60 g sugar;
  • 70 ml milk;
  • lemon essence or lemon zest;
  • 1oo grams sultans or 2 chopped apples;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • sunflower oil for frying;

How to make it:

Warm up the oil in a big pan. Sift together the flour, the baking powder and the sugar. Add to the “dry ingredients” the melted butter, the eggs (one at time), the milk, the lemon zest and the pinch of salt. Combine well all the ingredients until you have a smooth and fluid dough. The last step is to add the sultans or the apple.
Now comes the hardest part: with 2 teaspoons gather a small amount of dough and drop it into the boiling oil, like if you want to create small balls. IMPORTANT: do not fry too many spoons of dough at the same time or it will be a mess. Depending on the size of the pot but I suggest you not to fry more than 5 frittelle at the time. It will take you more time but you won’t waste anything.

Make sure you turn your frittelle while they are frying so they will get the same colour on all sides and you won’t burn them. Once they are golden brown drain them well and place them on a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.

Once all the frittelle are ready, let them cool down and only when they are completely cold sift them with icing sugar.

 

 

 

 

Christmas biscuits

Happy New Year everybody! New year has just started and this is the perfect time for cooking and experimenting new ideas. Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for some biscuits I baked for Christmas (anyway they are perfect for all occasions).

There is no need to list the ingredients cause they are made from the crostata dough – you will find the recipe here.

 

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick,  place a stencil over the dough and cut your little men.

Dispose the biscuits in a baking tray  and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15 minutes or until golden. Just note it will take less time for cooking than the normal crostata.

 

…and this is the final result!Feel free to add some sugar or decorate them with some icing, enjoy!:0)

Strawberries Tiramisu

It’s  spring time(well in Dublin not really but let’s consider the calendar, not the weather)! This is the perfect recipe to prepare for your Sunday’s afternoons or maybe just because you need to make a dessert for your friends! So here we go with one of the best Italian dessert in a very fresh version: TIRAMISU WITH STRAWBERRIES.

What you need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 40 grams sugar
  • Savoiardi biscuits (2 packages)
  • 400 grams of fresh, red strawberries
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon

How to make it:

Let’s start by cleaning the strawberries, remember to keep some of them for the decoration. Wash tand cut them in small pieces, then put them in an bowl with the orange and lemon juice and leave them in the fridge for 15 minutes.

 

Meanwhile you can start preparing the cream. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks togheter with the sugar. Gently add the mascarpone and stir with a wooden spoon. Beat your egg whites until  stiff peaks form in your bowl. Add them to the cream.

In a different bowl squize the other orange, add 2 tbs of water and the liquid of the strawberries.

Let’s start now to create our tiramisu: put some cream on the base of your cake tray, take the savoiardi biscuits and dip then into the strawberry juice. They have to be moist enough but be careful not to break them..we all know how are biscuits with liquids ;0)!

Gently dispose them in the tray and when it is all covered, add some of the cream on the top. You can now add the strawbeerries. If you prefer you can blend them with a food processor so you will have a nice sauce..Personally I prefer to eat the strawberries. You can now add another “floor” of biscuits and then again the cream. When all your cream is finished add the strawberries for the decoration on the top and put the tiramisu in the fridge.

 

 

TIP: If you want to have a better result you can prepare your dessert the night before serving it!

Pancakes!!!!!

I couldn’t resist, I had to write about pancakes! Last Tuesday was Pancake’s Tuesday and I decided to make some for a good reason!We were collecting some money by selling our delicious pancakes in the company I work for. It was my first time and I have to say they were really good!

Well here we go then, enjoy :o)

What you need:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 250ml of milk
  • 1  egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • some butter or margarine for frying

How to make it:

Let’s start by sifting togheter the flour with the salt in a bowl;then make a hall in the middle. Add the egg in the centre. Gradually add the milk and stirr with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated. With a mixer beat again the ingredients until you don’t have a smooth batter. Add the rest of the milk and beat for another 1 minute. You should have a nice and smooth cream like the one on the pic below!

 

Let’s now fry the pancakes!Get a non sticky pan and heat it well, then quickly coat the pan with the margarine or the butter. Put part of the mixture in the pan and fry it until golden brown on the side. Once is well cooked, you need to turn your pancake – actually it’s not that easy so if you don’t manage to flip the pancake (as I do,LOL) just turn it with a spoon or a palette.

 

Keep doing this operation until all the pancakes are ready. You need to serve them really warm before adding your favourite topping. Some tips? Nutella, Jam, Golden Syrup,….mmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! :0)

 

Carrot and orange cupcakes

Hi all, today is cupcake’s day!YAY!So here we go with these delicious mini cakes!

What you need for the cakes:

  • 115 g softenend butter
  • 115 g brown sugar
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g of carrots
  • 20 g of chopped walnuts
  • 125 g flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

 

What you need for the frosting:

  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • zest of an orange

We will start by preheating the oven to 180°C. Place the softeoned butter in a bowl, with the sugar and the zest and beat unitl you don’t have a fluffy mixture – gradually add the eggs and keep beating.

Grate the carrots, squeeze the water in excess and add them to the mixture along with the walnuts and orange juice. Stir well. Sift the flour and the baking powder and set aside. Line your muffin case with 12 paper cases and spoon the mixture on them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden.

While your cupcakes are baking prepare the topping. Place the mascarpone in a bowl with the icing sugar and the orange zest. Beat togheter until they are completly mixed.

Spread your frosting on the cupcakes using a spatula only when they are completely cold !Et voilà..that,s the result!

 

 

 

 

Easy lemon cake

Today I made this nice lemon cake for R.! It took me only 15 minutes plus 30 in the oven. Happy sunday everyone :0)

 

What you need:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 g sugar
  • 250 g flour
  • 1 cup lemon yoghurt
  • 20 g baking powder
  • lemon essence
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • some slices of lemon

 

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and meanwhile grease and flour a cake pan.

Put the eggs in a bowl and mix them well with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and whisk it together with the eggs.

In another bowl sift together the flour and the baking powder and then slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the salt and make sure it’s fully incorporated in the mixture. Add the yoghurt and the lemon essence (1 teaspoon should be enough) and gently whisk with a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into the pan, add the slices of fresh lemon on the top and bake for about 30 minutes at 180°C. Below your cake:

 

Tip:  1: if you are not sure about the cake after 30 mins in the oven you can check with a toothpick. If it comes out dry the cake is ready.

Tip 2: you can add some icing sugar or serv your cake with some ice cream on the side.

 

Crostata alla frutta

Good evening!

I know it’s been a while since I have posted my last recipe but I’ve been a bit busy during the last few weeks. Anyway, here we are with the next one: the crostata. Crostata is a typical italian tart, with a nice crust  and a soft heart. It’s relly quick to make and it’s perfect for different occasions such as pic nics, b-days or just for a dinner. For our recipe, I topped the cake with a home made crema pasticcera and fresh fruit. Alternatively you can use marmelade or jam.

What you need

for the pastry:

  • 120 g  flour 00
  •  4 egg yolks
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 100 g  sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter – room temperature

for the cream (crema pasticcera):

  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
  •  4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoon of flour
  • 2 cups (500 cc) milk
  • lemon rind or lemon flavour;

 

How to make it:

TIP – 10 minutes before starting you need to prepare the butter: place it on a plate and cut it into thin slices. Keep it at room temperature.

 

Sift the flour in a bowl, add the softened butter and start working the ingredients with your fingers. You should obatin a dry crumbled mixture.

 

Add the eggs, the sugar and the pinch of salt and mix the ingredients togheter.

 

Transfer the mixture on a work surface and work it quickly with your hands until you get a nice and smooth dough.

 

If your mixture sticks on the table (or on your hands) use some flour to give it more conistency. The result has to be a smooth “ball”(see picture below). Once you have your pastry ready place it on a plate and let it aside for 15 minutes. A good tip is to cover it with a cloth or some film.

In the meanwhile, the cream can be prepared according to the following instructions:

Place the egg yolks in a sauce pan and add  the sugar.

 

Beat them together with a wooden spoon and gently sift in the flour. Whisk thoroughly until fully combined. Transfer the sauce pan on medium heat and add the slice of lemon rind or 1tsp lemon flavour.  Gently add the milk at room temperature, little by little, and bring the ingredients to a boil.

 

Keep stirring constantly as we don’t want a “smoked flavour”. Remove from the stove and set aside.

Pre heat your oven at 180°. Work your pasta frolla, using a rolling pin: you need to create a disk who fits  the baking tin. The thickness of your cake has to be at least 1.5 cm; if your baking tin is too large, you need a smaller one. Crostata has to be eaten with your hands so it has to be “hard enough”.

Place the pastry into your baking tin; you don’t need to butter the tin. While cooking the butter into the pastry will prevent the cake from sticking. When placing the mixture remember to create a little border so tyou will be able to eat it with your hands.

Place the baking tin into the oven and bake it for 30 minutes or unitl golden ( you can use the toothpick test if you are not sure).  While the cake is cooling down, add the custard (Crema pasticcera) on the top!Guarnish your cake with fresh fruit and ..enjoy!

 

Ps: we love tasty food, don’t we? So try to choose only seasonal fruit – you will get the best natural flavour ever. I’ve heard October is perfect for cox apples…;-)