Tag Archives: Christmas

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.

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A year in pictures!

Ok, I couldn’t help it! I had to make a mosaic with all the recipes from 2014!

A year of blogging, photography, gluten-free, new and traditional recipes…

And many more recipes are on the way! 🙂

Just click on the picture to view the recipe.

New and traditional recipes

Cranberry And White Chocolate PandolceChickpea Flour Bread With Pumpkin SeedsLight onion soup served with chickpea flour bread (zuppa di cipolle con pane di farina di ceci)Dark Chocolate And Marrons Glacés TartPenne al Pesto (pasta with Genoese pesto, method with mortar and pestle)Torta della nonna (grandma's cake) Pizza with fresh tomatoes, rocket and Parmesan cheeseLight Wholemeal Spelt BriochesTraditional Recipe: Focaccia Alla Genovese (Genoese Focaccia Bread)Fried sage leavesGorgonzola Salad With Rustic Bread.Torta Paradiso (Heaven cake)Mixed Seed Wholemeal Bread Recipe (High-Fibre Food)Tasty Pizza With Cannellini Bean Hummus And MusselsTraditional Recipe: Salsa Verde (Fresh Parsley Sauce)Spelt Bread With Home-made HummusPasta e fagioli (Pasta with borlotti beans)Super Tasty and Healthy Rocket Pesto

Traditional Recipe: Baked Peppers Au GratinBarley and shrimp salad in red cabbage leaves

Gluten-free recipes

Rosemary and garlic skinny “fries”.La farinata genovese (Genoese socca)Traditional Recipe: Sicilian Almond Biscuits With Candied Cherries (Pasticcini Alle Mandorle)Quick And Easy: Chestnut Salad With Apples And EscaroleQuick And Easy: Prawn Salad With Rocket And PomegranateRice flour chocolate cookies with pomegranate (gluten-free, low sugar) Light orange flaovured sabayon with pomegranate and pistachios.Stuffed Vegetables (Gluten-Free and Vegetarian)Traditional Recipe: Saffron RisottoTraditional Recipe: Roasted Bell Peppers With Garlic VinaigretteTraditional Recipe: Torta CapreseTraditional Recipe: La Peperonata (side dish)Delicious summer veggie kebabsPrawns With Pineapple In Sweet And Sour SauceMango Panna CottaRisotto With Fresh Peas And Corn Salad.Salmon with lime and balsamic vinaigretteCrunchy and Colourful Salad (Low-fat And Packed With Vitamin C!!)Rich Chocolate Tart with Fresh RaspberriesGluten-free Buckwheat Gnocchi (Step by Step)Special stuffed calamari quinoa recipe (front view 1, diagonal close-up)

How-to recipes

Cooking Method: Pizza MargheritaHow To Make (Almost) Perfect MeringuesHow to make amazing roasted chestnuts.Traditional Recipe: Crema Pasticciera (Italian Custard Cream)How to Make Perfect Pastry. (top view tart case) Cooking Method: Shortcrust Pastry Tart Case (top view) Traditional recipe: saffron risotto (front view 1)How to make seitan (piece of seitan on a fork, front view,close-up)Make the Best Pizza Dough (Part 1)Fresh Egg Pasta with Flour 00 (Step by Step)Easy Fresh Egg Spelt Pasta (Step by Step)Make the Best Home-made Yogurt!

Cranberry And White Chocolate Pandolce

Pandolce is a wonderful Genoese Christmas cake, traditionally made with raisins, candied fruits and pine nuts; so simple but rich in flavours, because we use only the best quality ingredients.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

For this Christmas I prepared (as usual) my own version, giving a foodfulife twist to the traditional recipe! I made a Pandolce packed with delicious cranberries, white chocolate and hazelnuts. This dessert is sweet bread (actually more like a cookie dough), perfect if you want to surprise your guests with something truly special for Christmas!

Believe me, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

If you prefer something a little less rich but still delicious, you can try my Chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce, made with dark chocolate and with less sugar and a little less butter.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Cranberry and white chocolate Pandolce.

Preparation time: 15 minutes + the resting time

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

For 8-10 servings

220 g Manitoba flour (that you can replace with whole spelt flour, or any strong flour)

100 g unbleached all purpose flour

80 g soft butter

60 g milk

1 egg

1 and a half tablespoons of honey

70 g brown sugar

grated zest of 1 organic lemon

2 tablespoons rum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

a few drops of vanilla essence

150 g shelled and roasted hazelnuts (whole)

100 g white chocolate, cut into pieces and frozen (that you can replace with dark chocolate)

100 g dried cranberries

icing sugar to taste

tip. Freeze the white chocolate before making the cake, otherwise it will melt too much during the cooking time.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Method.

1. Mix the softened butter with the brown sugar and the egg, then add the honey and 60 g of milk. Add two tablespoons of rum, 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 hazelnuts, the zest of a lemon, the white chocolate and the cranberries. Combine these ingredients with the creamy mixture.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

3. Knead well, adding a little bit of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

4. Line the base of an oven tray with baking paper, then place and shape the Pandolce on the tray.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 ° C/388°F  (with the fan running) for 50 minutes.

 Note. The oven door must remain slightly open during the entire cooking time to release the steam (you can do that by placing a metal object, like a padlock, between the door and the oven, in order to live a 1-2 cm gap).

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

6. Let the Pandolce cool completely, then dust with plenty of icing sugar.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Pandolce con mirtilli rossi e cioccolato bianco.

Preparazione: 15 minuti + il riposo

Cottura: 50 minuti

Ingredienti

Per 8-10 servings

220 g di manitoba (che potete sostituire con farina integrale di farro)

100 g di farina 00

80 g di burro morbido

60 g di latte

1 uovo

1 cucchiaio e mezzo di miele

70 g di zucchero di canna

la scorza grattugiata di un limone, non trattato

2 cucchiai di rum

1 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci

1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato

qualche goccia di essenza di vaniglia

150 g di nocciole tostate intere, senza buccia

100 g di cioccolato bianco, rotto in pezzi e surgelato (che potete sostituire con il cioccolato fondente)

100 g di mirtilli rossi essiccati (cranberries)

zucchero a velo q. b.

Nota.

Congelate il cioccolato bianco per evitare che si sciolga troppo durante la cottura.

Preparazione.

1. Amalgamate bene il burro con lo zucchero e l’uovo. Aggiungete 60 g di latte, il rum, l’essenza di vaniglia e un cucchiaio e mezzo di miele, poi mescolate fino ad ottenere un impasto cremoso.

2. Separatamente, mischiate le farine e poi aggiungete le nocciole, i mirtilli rossi, il cioccolato bianco (surgelato), la scorza di un limone, il bicarbonato e il lievito. Mescolate tutti gli ingredienti insieme, unendo l’impasto asciutto a quello cremoso.

3. Amalgamate bene, aggiungendo un po’ di farina per evitare che l’impasto si appiccichi alle mani, poi lasciate riposare nel frigorifero per 15 minuti.

4. Ricoprite la teglia con la carta da forno, poi mettete l’impasto sulla teglia e date la forma al Pandolce.

5. Infornate quindi a 170°C per 50 minuti (con la ventola in funzione).

Nota. La porta del forno deve restare socchiusa (con una fessura di 1 o 2 cm), in modo da far uscire il vapore (potete posizionare un oggetto di metallo, ad esempio un lucchetto, tra la porta e il forno).

6. Fate raffreddare completamente, poi decorate il Pandolce con abbondante zucchero a velo.

Cranberry, white chocolate and hazelnut Pandolce

Best Christmas treats!

Here are some ideas for your Christmas Party! I hope you like my choices! 🙂

Click on the links or the pictures for the recipes.

Pandolce al cioccolato con le nocciole ( a wonderful traditional Christmas cake made with lots of hazelnuts and chocolate)

Pandolce alla genovese con nocciole e cioccolato (hazelnuts and chocolate pandolce)

Baci di dama (Absolutely gorgeous! Hazelnuts and chocolate joined together for pure pleasure!)

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Bavarian cream with chocolate -caramel sauce (an incredibly soft vanilla dessert, served with a delicious sauce)

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 Shortbread biscuits with black pepper and fennel seeds (So sweet and spicy, these cookies melt in the mouth and can be very addictive!!! )

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Dark chocolate and marrons glacés Tart (Decadent and delicious!)

Slice Of Dark Chocolate And Marrons Glacés Tart

Torta Paradiso with Crema Pasticciera (This is a gorgeous sponge cake that can be served with any filling you wish… I would serve it with this delicious Italian custard cream)

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Step 6. Stir the custard before using.

Torta della Nonna (An amazing cake, made with a shortbread crust and top layer, filled with a thick custard and topped with lots of pine nuts! Truly special!)

Torta della nonna (grandma's cake)

French meringues (I know this is a recent post, but I think meringues are a perfect Christmas treat!)

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Delicious Chocolate and Pistachio Flan.

This week I’m publishing another recipe from my friend, Anahita Tcheraghali.
With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, we decided to prepare a light and tasty dessert for you to enjoy with the whole family during this festive season!
This delightful flan is made with a nice chocolate shortcrust pastry and an exquisite pistachio filling, with an intense caramel-like flavour. It is light and perfect for vegan diets because it doesn’t contain eggs and it’s dairy-free.
You will love it!
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Ingredients
for the filling
300 ml (10 fl oz)  rice milk
25 g (0.88 oz) muscovado brown sugar
40 g (1.4 oz) of shelled pistachios 
2 tablespoons cornstarch
a vanilla bean (or a few drops of vanilla extract)
For the pastry
200 g (7 oz) flour 00
60 g (2 oz) of sunflower oil
60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate (with 70% cocoa solids)
80 g (3 oz) muscovado brown sugar
a pinch of baking soda
some grated lemon zest
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Preparation of the filling.
1. Finely grind the pistachios.
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2. Mix the ground pistachios with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 25 g (0.88 oz)  of sugar.
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3. Add the rice milk with a few seeds of the vanilla bean.
4. Thicken the filling on a low heat, stirring continuously for about 10 minutes.
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Preparation of the pastry.
1. Separately, combine the flour with the baking soda, then melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
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2. Mix the flour with the melted chocolate, 300 ml (10 fl oz) of oil, a little bit of lemon zest, cinnamon, salt and 80 g of sugar.
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3. Once you have a smooth dough, put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
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4. Roll out the pastry on a greased baking tray and pierce the surface with a fork.
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5. Bake the base of the tart at 170 ° C (338 °F)  for 10 minutes.
6. Spoon the filling into the the pastry base and bake for another 15 minutes.
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Crostata di cioccolato con crema di pistacchi.
Ingredienti
Per la pasta brisé al cioccolato
200 g di farina 00
60 g di olio di semi di girasole
60 g di cioccolato fondente al 70 % (possibilmente bio)
80 g di zucchero di canna muscovado
un pizzico di bicarbonato
1 po’ di scorza di limone non trattato
un pizzico di cannella (facoltativo)
un pizzico di sale
Per la crema
2 cucchiai di amido di mais
300 ml di latte di riso
40 g di pistacchi sgusciati
una stecca di vaniglia (o qualche goccia di estratto di vaniglia)
25 g di zucchero di canna muscovado
Preparazione della crema.
1. Tritate i pistacchi finemente.
2. Unite i pistacchi tritati all’amido di mais e allo zucchero. Aggiungete il latte di riso e qualche seme del baccello di vaniglia.
3. Fate addensare la crema sul fornello a fuoco basso, mescolando continuativamente.
Preparazione della pasta.
1. A parte, unite la farina al bicarbonato e poi fate sciogliere il cioccolato a bagnomaria.
2. Impastate la farina con l’olio, la scorza di limone, la cannella, il cioccolato fuso, il sale e lo zucchero.
3. Una volta ottenuto un impasto omogeneo, mettetelo a riposare nel frigo per 30 minuti.
4. Stendete la pasta su una teglia leggermente unta e bucherellate la superficie con una forchetta.
5. Infornate la base della crostata a 170 °C per 10 minuti.
6. Riempite la base della torta con la crema e poi fate cuocere per altri 15 minuti.

Spelt Chocolate Cookies With Seeds

This week I am going to prepare an healthy treat, yummy chocolate cookies made ​​with wholemeal spelt flour, almonds and flax seeds. These cookies have a rich chocolaty flavour, lots of fibre and all the health benefits of the almonds and flax seeds. In fact, this recipe is enriched with omega 3 essential fatty acids and calcium, contained in the seeds. They also give extra flavour, strength and crunchiness to the recipe.

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Wholemeal Spelt Chocolate Cookies with Almonds and Flax Seeds.
Ingredients
for about 30 cookies

180 g (6.34 oz)  wholemeal spelt flour

100 g (3.52 oz) of chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

50 g (1.76 oz) almonds

20 g (0.70 oz)  flaxseeds (linseed)

1 egg

90 g (3.17 oz) butter

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

a pinch of salt

Method.

1. Toast the flax seeds in the oven for 5 minutes at 120 °C(248° F).

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2. Grind the seeds and the almonds very finely.

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3. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (double boiler).

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4. Soften the butter, then add the egg, the melted chocolate, honey,sugar and cocoa powder.

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5. Mix well then add the sifted flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and the seeds.

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6. Work the dough until smooth and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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7. Shape small balls (3 cm in diameter), put them on a large baking tray covered with baking paper and cook for 15 minutes at 160° C (320 °F).

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Biscotti al cioccolato con semi di lino e mandorle.

Ingredienti

per circa 25-30 biscotti

20 g di semi di lino

50 g di mandorle (uso quelle con la buccia per le fibre)

1 uovo

90 g di burro

2 cucchiai di miele

3 cucchiai di zucchero di canna

100 g di cioccolato al 70 %

180 g di farina integrale di farro

1 cucchiaio di cacao amaro

1 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci

un pizzico di sale

Preparazione.

1. Fate tostare in forno i semi di lino per 5 minuti a 120°.

2. Tritare le mandorle e i semi molto finemente.

3. Mettete a sciogliere il cioccolato a bagnomaria.

4. Fate ammorbidire il burro, poi unite l’uovo, il cioccolato sciolto, il miele, lo zucchero e il cacao.

5. Amalgamate bene tutto e aggiungete la farina setacciata, le mandorle, i semi di lino,un pizzico di sale e un cucchiaino di lievito.

6. Impastate bene e lasciate riposare in frigorifero per 30 minuti.

7. Fate delle palline di 3 cm di diametro e mettete a cuocere in una teglia imburrata (o con carta da forno) per 15 minuti a 160°.