Almond And Raisin Genoese Pandolce (Sweet Bread)

Each Christmas, as you probably know by now,  I make my own Pandolce recipe using different ingredients, depending on the flavour and texture I wish to achieve. This year, however, I’ve decided to stick to a more traditional version of this wonderful cake.

Preparation time: 15 minutes + the resting time (15 minutes)

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

For 8-10 servings

220 g Manitoba flour (or spelt flour)

100 g unbleached all purpose flour (or Italian flour 00 )

100 g softened butter

1 egg

1 and a half tablespoons of honey

90 g sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

a few drops of vanilla essence

150 g shelled almonds (you could replace some almond with pine nuts, to make it even more traditional)

200 g of raisin

80 g of candied fruit cut into small pieces

milk to taste (a few tablespoons, just enough to make a soft dough)

Method.

1. Mix the butter with the sugar and the egg, then add the honey. Add two drops of vanilla essence, then stir until the mixture is soft and creamy.

2. Separately, mix the two flours with the baking soda and the baking powder; then add the almonds, the raisins and the candied fruit. Combine the ingredients with the creamy mixture, add a few tablespoons of milk and work the dough for a few minutes. If the dough is too sticky add some flour. Then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and bake at 170 ºC /388º ,with the fan of the oven running, for 40-50 minutes. Keep the door open with a metal object until the cake is cooked, in order to let the steam out (I use a small padlock).

I Wish You A Merry Christmas!!! <3<3<3

Pandolce con uvetta e mandorle.

Tempo di preparazione: 15 minuti + tempo di riposo (15 minuti)

Tempo di cottura: 50 minuti

Ingredienti

Per 8-10 porzioni

220 g di farina di manitoba (o farina di farro)

100 g di farina 00

100 g di burro ammorbidito

1 uovo

1 cucchiaio e mezzo di miele

90 g di zucchero

1 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci

1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato di sodio

alcune gocce di essenza di vaniglia

150 g di mandorle sgusciate (potete sostituire un po’ di mandorle con i pinoli, per renderlo ancora più tradizionale)

200 g di uva passa

80 g di frutta candita tagliata a pezzettini

latte q. b.  (pochi cucchiai, quel tanto che basta per fare un impasto morbido)

Metodo.

1. Mescolate il burro con lo zucchero e l’uovo, quindi aggiungete il miele. Aggiungete due gocce di essenza di vaniglia, poi mescolate fino ad ottenere un composto morbido e cremoso.

2. Separatamente, unite le due farine con il bicarbonato e il lievito; quindi aggiungete le mandorle, l’uvetta e i canditi. Unite gli ingredienti al composto cremoso, aggiungete qualche cucchiaio di latte e lavorate l’impasto per alcuni minuti. Se l’impasto risultasse troppo appiccicoso potete aggiungere un po’ di farina. Mettete l’impasto in frigorifero a riposare per 15 minuti.

3. Togliete l’impasto dal frigorifero e infornate a 170 ºC per 40-50 minuti, con la ventola in funzione. Tenete la porta aperta con un oggetto metallico (uso un lucchetto di un paio di centimetri di spessore) per tutta la durata della cottura, in modo da far uscire il vapore.

From The Lost And Found Project

 

I finally had some time to shoot…

From the Lost And Found Project, a work in progress.

A series of still life with found, discarded objects which represent a moment in time.

 

Feel free to comment and if you like , you can follow this project on Facebook

Belgian Endive On White Background

When I take a photograph it’s the passion for nature that composes the picture. An harmonious and beautiful form makes everything very easy.

Details 

Nikon D 800

ISO 100

Aperture f/8

Shutter speed 1/250 s

Onion On White Background

Trying out a white background setting for a few shoots. I decided to go opposite to the usual black and low-key photography. I am working on my food and still life portfolio, I needed a lighter series. It’s not quite there, but it’s a start!

Details 

Camera Nikon D 800

ISO 100

Shutter speed 1/200 s

Aperture f/ 14

 

A Personal Note.

I’ve been away for a while, I would like to explain why…

Two years ago my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away shortly after being hospitalised. Last year, at the end of August, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My cancer was descovered during the first stages of the illness. Everything went well, but I’ve spent this year trying to cope with the side effects of the treatments, like pain in my arms and mood swings. I haven’t been too passive about my situation, in fact, since I was diagnosed i’ve decide to improve my life by changing diet and trying to understand the underlyning causes of the illness. I ‘ve realised that important parts of my life were stuck and I needed to sort things out in order to get better.
Changing my mindsets had a lot to do with the healing process.

The present.
I AM STRONG!
I AM HEALTHY!
I AM GRATEFUL!
I am strong because even though I know I am strong, sometimes it’s just easy to forget.
I am healthy because if I set my mind to it, I know I am going to be fine, no matter what.
I am grateful because I am here and I have learnt so much from this experience.
This is what I say to myself every morning and, believe it or not, the pain has really decreased.
Cancer is scary, illness is scary. But we have a choice. We can decide to feel sick, afraid and miserable or we can act upon those areas of our life that can be improved in order to get better. It’s ok to feel scared and sad from time to time, it happened to me several times, but it’s just a moment and it will pass. Focusing on the present moment is crucial, you need all the energies you have to get through this process.

I usually don’t like talking so much about my personal life, but sharing personal experiences might help other people in similar situations. I am still working on the process, but the treatments don’t effect me that much anymore. I feel much more in control.

I’ve also started a new project.

Please feel free to comment and share your stories, if you like. Or you can write me at foodfulife@gmail.com.

With love XX

Serena