Tag Archives: Recipe

Pandoro Recipe With Sourdough (Il Pandoro A Lievitazione Naturale)

Pandoro is a wonderful Christmas cake from Verona. The recipe I am publishing today is very similar to the traditional recipe, however I made some variations in order to use sourdough. In this recipe there is a very long preparation method with several leavening phases, but the most difficult part is when you have to combine the butter with the dough (see step 5). Having said that, it is one of the best plain cakes that I have ever eaten! A quiet day, during the holiday is probably the best time to prepare this cake.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and an amazing New Year ❤

Pandoro with sourdough (Italian Traditional Christmas cake)

For 10 servings

Ingredients

440 g sifted manitoba flour (add more if needed), or a strong, highly-refined white bread flour

50 g sourdough

250 g soft butter (keep the butter at room temperature)

a little vanilla extract

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

140 g sugar

water

Notes. You need a large Pandoro mould ( 1 kg capacity), but you can find it easily on Amazon. Use a good dough mixer if you have one, it will make your life a lot easier!

Method.

Day 1.

1. Making the starter. In the evening, prepare the starter with 50 g of yeast with 50 g of flour with a tablespoon of sugar and enough water to make a soft dough. Cover with some cling film and let rise overnight.

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Day 2.

1. First leavening. First thing in the morning, mix the starter with 80 g of flour, a tablespoon of sugar and enough water to make a soft dough. Let rise until the dough has doubled in volume.

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2. Second leavening. Mix the dough with 80 g of flour, a tablespoon of sugar and a little water. Make a soft dough and let rise until it doubles in volume.

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3. Third leavening. In a large bowl whisk the remaining sugar with a little vanilla extract, 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks. Then add 30 g of soft butter and 230 g sifted flour (add the flour gradually). Mix well. Now combine the mixture with the dough and knead very well. Add a little bit of flour if needed and let rise until the dough has doubled in volume.

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4. Working the dough (during this operation dust with plenty of flour the rolling pin and the working surface). Take the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin to make a thick rectangular sheet (without pressing too much). Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and place it in the centre of the dough, then fold the sheet of dough to cover the butter. Roll the dough using a rolling pin and fold it again. Roll once more and place the dough in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Take the dough, roll it out and fold it three times, then roll it again and place it in the fridge for another 15-20 minutes. Now knead the dough for a few minutes and place it in the Pandoro mould (previously buttered).

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5. Fourth leavening. Let rise until the dough reaches the edge of the mould (this will take from 5-6 hours).

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6. Baking. Bake the Pandoro at 180 ° C (356° F) for fifteen minutes, then change the temperature to 160 ° C (320°F) and bake for another 30 minutes. When the Pandoro is ready place it on a rack to cool. Dust with plenty of icing sugar before serving.

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Pandoro (con lievito madre)

Per 10 persone (con stampo da 1 kg) 

Ingredienti

440 g di farina manitoba setacciata (e un po’ di più da aggiungere nelle ultime fasi della ricetta)

50 g di lievito madre

250 g di burro morbido (a temperatura ambiente)

qualche goccia di estratto di vaniglia (o una busta di vanillina)

2 uova

4 tuorli d’uovo

140 g di zucchero

acqua q. b.

Nota. E’ meglio utilizzare una planetaria per facilitare la lavorazione dell’impasto.

Preparazione.

Il primo giorno.

1. Il lievitino. La sera prima preparate il lievitino unendo 50 g di lievito madre con 50 g di farina, un cucchiaio di zucchero e acqua sufficiente per ottenere un impasto morbido. Coprite con un po’ di pellicola trasparente e lasciate lievitare per tutta la notte.

il secondo giorno.

1. Prima lievitazione. Al mattino, mescolate la pasta lievitata con 80 g di farina, un cucchiaio di zucchero e abbastanza acqua per ottenere un impasto morbido. Poi lasciare lievitare fino a quando la pasta sarà raddoppiata di volume.

2. Seconda lievitazione. Prendete la pasta lievitata e aggiungete 80 g di farina, un cucchiaio di zucchero e un po’ d’acqua. Lavorate gli ingredienti fino ad ottenere un impasto liscio e morbido. Fate lievitare fin quando l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume.

3. Terza lievitazione. In una terrina, amalgamate lo zucchero rimasto, con 2 uova intere, 4 tuorli d’uovo e qualche goccia di estratto di vaniglia (o una busta di vanillina). Quindi aggiungete 30 g di burro morbido e 230 g di farina setacciata (da aggiungere gradualmente). Mescolate bene, poi unite la pasta lievitata al composto. Impastate bene, aggiungendo un po’ di farina (se necessario) e poi lasciate lievitare.

4. Lavorazione impasto sfogliato (durante questa operazione infarinate bene il matterello e il piano di lavoro). Prendete la pasta lievitata e stendetela con il matterello per ottenere una sfoglia rettangolare e spessa (senza fare troppa pressione). Tagliate il burro rimasto a pezzetti e mettetelo al centro della pasta, quindi ripiegate la pasta per coprire il burro. Stendete la pasta con il matterello e ripiegatela in tre, poi stendetela ancora  e mettetela nel frigorifero per 15-20 minuti.
Passato il tempo necessario prendete la pasta, stendetela con il matterello e piegatela in tre; poi stendetela ancora e riponetela nel frigorifero per altri 15-20 minuti. Una volta rassodata, lavorate la pasta per qualche minuto e mettetela nello stampo (precedentemente imburrato).

5. Quarta lievitazione. Lasciate lievitare finché la pasta raggiunge il bordo dello stampo (ci vorranno 5-6 ore).

6. La cottura. Cuocete il Pandoro a 180 ° C per il primo quarto d’ora, poi abbassate la temperatura a 160 ° C e cuocete per altri 30 minuti. A cottura terminata, togliete il Pandoro dallo stampo e mettetelo su una griglia a raffreddare. Spolverate con abbondante zucchero a velo prima di servire.

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How To Make Gnocchi (The Easy Way)

In this recipe it’s really really important to use the right kind of potatoes…The best potatoes to use are old floury potatoes, as they contain less water compared to new potatoes and therefore mix well with flour without making a mess. You can also add an egg when you prepare the dough, because the egg helps keep the ingredients together when you cook the gnocchi….Keep in mind that the dough shouldn’t stick to your hands, so if you think the dough is too wet and the potatoes are not floury enough you can add an egg and a little more flour in order to get the right consistency.

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I strongly recommend you use a good stainless steel potato masher, like the one with two handles that you can hold and press with both hands. We normally use this kind of potato masher because it makes a really fluffy mashed potato with no effort and you can also use it to make various fruit juices…Therefore, it not only works really well, but is also a versatile gadget to keep in the kitchen.

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Potato gnocchi.

4 Servings

Ingredients

1,200 kg potatoes

300 g plain flour

sea salt

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Method.

1. Wash and then steam (or boil) the potatoes until tender.

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2. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.

3. Dust a working board, make a well with 300 g of flour and place the mashed potatoes in the centre with a pinch of salt. Mix everything and work the mixture until you get a smooth dough.

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4. Dust the working board again and cut the dough into 8 small pieces. Roll out each piece to make 8 ropes (approximately 1,5 cm thick), then cut each rope into small equal pieces.

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5. Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil, then add the gnocchi with a tablespoon of sea salt. Cook the gnocchi until they all rise from the bottom of the pan, then drain and serve with the sauce of your choice.

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See also the rocket (arugula) pesto and the traditional pesto recipe.

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Gnocchi di patate

4 persone

Ingredienti

1.200 kg di patate farinose

300 g di farina 00

sale marino

Preparazione.

1. Lavate bene le patate e fatele cuocere a vapore (oppure fatele bollire) finché saranno tenere (ma non sfatte).

2. Schiacciate tutte le patate con lo schiacciapatate.

3. Infarinate bene il piano di lavoro e impastate delicatamente la farina con le patate, aggiungendo un pizzico di sale fino.

4. Infarinate nuovamente il piano di lavoro e tagliate la pasta in 8 pezzi. Fate rotolare la pasta con il palmo delle mani per create 8 cilindri lunghi e sottili (circa 1,5 cm di spessore). Tagliate ogni cilindro in piccoli pezzi uguali.

5. Cuocete gli gnocchi in acqua bollente con un cucchiaio di sale grosso. Scolare gli gnocchi non appena salgono in superficie e servite.

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Vedi anche pesto di rucola e pesto alla genovese.

Cooked Apple “Pudding” With Chocolate Sauce (Gluten-free, Low-fat)

Today we are going to make an easy cooked apple and walnut “pudding ” served with an aromatic cocoa sauce to celebrate the apple season.  This is a refreshing low-fat dessert, easy to make and can be prepared in advance with no problem. In the recipe method I considered an individual portion, but you can make as many as you like, simply doubling the amount of ingredients.

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This recipe is gluten-free and relatively low-fat, however you can make it even lighter by cooking the apple in a little bit of water instead of using butter…But with a small amount of butter it will definitely taste better! 🙂

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I hope you enjoy it! ❤

Cooked apple “pudding” with cocoa sauce.
Ingredients
For 1 serving
1 apple (I used a fuji apple)
1 tablespoon of naturally dark brown sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
two pieces of lemon zest
3 walnuts
a small knob of butter (optional)
water

For the sauce.
a spoonful of naturally brown sugar
half a tablespoon of cocoa powder (actually a little bit more)
1 egg yolk
100 ml of milk

Method.
1. Wash and peel the apple. Cut the apple into chunks, then sauté the fruit with the walnuts, the lemon zest and a pinch of cinnamon in a little bit of butter (only for a few minutes).

2. Add a tablespoon of sugar with one tablespoon of water and cook over a medium heat until the apple is tender.

3. When the apple is ready remove the lemon zests, increase the heat to evaporate the juice and then let cool.

4. Put the cooked apple and walnuts into a mould and store in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

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For the cocoa sauce.
1. In a saucepan, whisk half a tablespoon of cocoa powder with an egg yolk and a tablespoon of sugar.

2. Pour the milk gradually and stir. Simmer (stirring slowly and continuously), until you get a thick sauce.

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3. Let cool and serve with the apple “pudding”.

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See also spelt flour apple cake (with no refined sugar and dairy-free) and spelt cake with blackberries and apples

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“Tortino” di mela cotta e noci con salsa al cacao

Ingredienti

Per 1 porzione

1 mela (ho usato una mela fuji)

1 cucchiaio abbondante di zucchero integrale di canna

un pizzico di cannella

due pezzetti di scorza di limone

4 gherigli di noce

una noce di burro (facoltativo)

acqua q. b.

Per la salsa

1 cucchiaio abbondante di zucchero integrale di canna

mezzo cucchiaio di cacao (abbondante)

1 tuorlo d’uovo

100 ml di latte

Preparazione.

1. Lavate e pelate la mela. Tagliate la polpa a dadini e fate rosolare per qualche minuto con i gherigli di noce, le bucce di limone, la cannella e una piccola noce di burro.

2. Aggiungete un cucchiaio abbondante di zucchero integrale di canna con un po’ d’acqua. Lasciate cuocere a fuoco medio-basso fino a quando le mele saranno tenere.

3. Quando le mele saranno pronte, levate le bucce di limone e alzate il fuoco per far ritirare il liquido delle mele. Fate raffreddare.

4. Mettete la polpa della mela con le noci in uno stampino e riponete nel frigorifero per 30 minuti.

Preparazione della salsa al cacao.

1. In un pentolino, mescolate con una frusta mezzo cucchiaio di cacao con un tuorlo d’uovo e un cucchiaio di zucchero integrale di canna.

2. Aggiungete gradualmente il latte e mescolate. Quindi cuocete a fuoco lento per qualche minuto (mescolando lentamente e continuativamente), fino ad ottenere una crema densa.

3. Fate raffreddare la crema e servite con il “tortino” di mela e noci.

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Vedere anche Torta di mele con farina di farro (senza latticini e con il miele) Torta di farro con more e mele

Tangerine Custard Pots

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A delicately flavoured tangerine custard cream, baked in small pots. This dessert is super easy to make and is a great alternative to plain custard. I added some cardamom seeds in the recipe, however it ‘s totally up to you if you want to add them or not. Cardamom seeds can give a nice spicy kick to the dessert, however you have to add just a hint of really finely ground seeds (not like in the pictures) or you might get a strong bitter flavour.

You can use this tangerine custard as a cake filling if you cook it in a pan on a moderate heat instead of baking it. Have fun with this recipe and be creative with it! 🙂

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Tangerine custard pots.

Ingredients

For 2 small terracotta pots

300 ml of milk

4-5 seedless tangerines (organic)

a piece of lemon zest

2 egg yolks

1 spoonful of cornstarch

3 finely ground cardamom seed (just the seeds, not the pods)

2 tablespoons of sugar for the custard and 2 more tablespoons for the syrup

Method.

1. Wash the tangerine really well, then peel the skin off and place the slices on the side.

2. Place the tangerine and the lemon skin in a small pan, add 300 ml of milk, then bring to the boil. Boil for a few minutes, until the tangerine skins release their flavour.

3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 spoonful of cornstarch with two tablespoons of sugar and two egg yolks, until you get a creamy mixture. Gradually pour the boiling milk into the egg mixture (but remove the skins with a strainer) and whisk well.

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4. Pour the mixture into two pots and place on a thick oven tray filled with water. Bake at 160° C (320 ° F) until the custard has thickened.

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For the decoration.

In a small pan put 2 tablespoons of sugar and then cover with water, then add the tangerine slices and bring to the boil. Continue to cook at a moderate heat until you have a syrup. Decorate the custard pots with the tangerine slices, a hint of finely ground cardamom seeds and then pour some syrup on top.

Terrine di crema cotta al mandarino.

Ingredienti

2 stampini piccoli di terracotta

300 ml di latte

4-5 mandarini non trattati (senza semi e a buccia sottile)

un pezzo di scorza di limone

2 tuorli d’uovo

1 cucchiaio di amido di mais

3 semi di cardamomo, finemente macinati (non il baccello, ma i semi)

2 cucchiai di zucchero, per fare la crema pasticciera

2 cucchiai di zucchero, per fare lo sciroppo.

Preparazione.

1. Lavate bene i mandarini, quindi levate le bucce e mettete gli spicchi da parte.

2. Mettete le scorze dei mandarini e del limone con 300 ml di latte in un pentolino e portate ad ebollizione. Fate bollire per alcuni minuti.

3. Mescolate 1 cucchiaio abbondante di amido di mais con due cucchiai di zucchero e due tuorli d’uovo, fino ad ottenere un composto cremoso. Versate gradualmente il latte bollente nel composto e, contemporaneamente, levate le bucce dei mandarini filtrando con un colino. Mescolate bene.

4. Riempite due stampini piccoli di terracotta con il composto e metteteli in una teglia riempita d’acqua (x cuocere nel forno la crema a bagnomaria). Infornate a 160 ° C e fate cuocere fino a quando la crema si sarà rassodata. Lasciare raffreddare.

Per la decorazione.

Mettete 2 cucchiai di zucchero e ricoprire con un po’ d’acqua, poi aggiungete le fette di mandarino e portate ad ebollizione. Continuate la cottura a fuoco moderato fino a quando si dispone di uno sciroppo. Decorate le crema pasticciera con le fette di mandarino, un pizzico di semi di cardamomo finemente macinate e lo sciroppo.

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Genoese Sage Focaccia! (more a tutorial than a recipe)

This focaccia alla salvia, a typical Genoese focaccia, is very aromatic, wonderful served with cheese, soups and cold cuts. To make this focaccia you follow the focaccia recipe method and then you add the fresh sage at the end. You have to chop the sage really finely, in order to blend it nicely with the dough. The focaccia dough also needs to rise for several hours, so we are going to make a starter that you can make in advance, in order to make the preparation method a little more manageable.

The longer the dough rises, the better the focaccia will become, so don’t rush it! This is why in the traditional method we repeat the leavening process a few times…However you can shorten the process by skipping the second leavening (step 3) and mixing all the flour together straight away, if you don’t have much time.

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I suggest you make the focaccia during the weekends (or in your spare time), as it needs to be looked after during the preparation method…It is a long process but it’s worth it!!!

Note. To make the starter there are two options: you can use normal yeast or you can use sourdough.

All you need (for the entire method).
250-300 g plain flour (depending if you use sourdough or yeast)
250 g durum wheat semolina flour
12 g yeast (or 50 g of sourdough)
a big bunch of fresh sage, very finally chopped
fine sea salt
lots of extra virgin olive oil
water
a little sugar
baking sheet
a baking tray (24 cm x 28 cm)
a bowl
cling film

Note. I am going to divide the ingredients and the preparation method into 4 main steps.

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HOW TO MAKE SAGE FOCACCIA.

Step 1. Make the starter

For the starter with yeast

Ingredients

100 g plain flour

12 g yeast

water

a little sugar

Method with yeast.

Mix the yeast with a few spoons of warm water, a little flour and a little sugar. When it forms some bubbles add the rest of the flour, more water and work it until you get a small dough (keep it quite moist). Put the dough into a small bowl, then cover it with cling film and let rise overnight at room temperature.

For the starter with sourdough (natural yeast).

Ingredients

50 g plain flour

50 g sourdough

water

a little sugar

Method with sourdough.

Mix the flour, a pinch of sugar and the sourdough with some water, until you get a soft and moist dough. Place in a small bowl, then cover it with cling film and let rise overnight.

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Step 2. The first leavening.

Ingredients

the starter we prepared earlier (with yeast or sourdough)

100 g of plain flour

100 g of durum wheat semolina flour

water

a little sugar (to help the leavening process)

Method.

In the morning, mix the starter with 100 g of plain flour, 100 g of durum wheat semolina flour and a little sugar, then add enough water to make a soft dough. Work well, then place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a cling film and let rise until it doubles in volume.

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Step 3. The second leavening.

Ingredients

the dough we prepared earlier

100 g plain flour

100 g durum wheat semolina four

water

a little sugar

Method.

Take the dough and add the flour with a little sugar, then mix with enough water and work well. Cover with cling film and let rise until it doubles in volume.

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Step 4. Adding all the ingredients and baking.

Ingredients

the dough we prepared earlier

50 g of durum wheat semolina flour

a big bunch of fresh sage, very finely chopped

fine sea salt

50 ml extra virgin olive oil (and you’ll need some more to drizzle before baking)

100 ml of water

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Method.

1. This is the final step! Take the dough and mix it with 50 g durum wheat semolina flour, finally chopped fresh sage leaves, some fine sea salt (but we are going to add more later) and mix just enough to blend the ingredients. Add 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, previously mixed with 100 ml of water. Mix everything (just enough, don’t overwork it or you’ll lose the leavening strength of the dough).

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2. Take a baking tray, line with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and place the dough so that it covers the tray. Let rise for about an hour.

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3. Once it has risen, press the dough with the tip of your fingers in order to create wells. Drizzle with more olive oil mixed with water, season with plenty of salt and bake at 200° C (392 °F) for 30-35 minutes.

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Spaghetti With Raw Tomato ‘Sauce’ (Vegan/Dairy-free)

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This wonderful ‘sauce’ is so easy to make, can be prepared in advance and is a delicious refreshing summer recipe! My mum makes this sauce using a smaller quantity of tomatoes (without draining the juice from the tomatoes) and lots of Parmesan cheese, but I personally prefer a healthier version of the recipe with lots of tomatoes and no cheese.

This raw tomato sauce contains anti-oxidants, lots of fibre and is low-fat….you’ll love it!!
You could also have this sauce on a bruschetta or serve it with meat, if you prefer.

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Spaghetti with raw tomato sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients

320 g spaghetti

350 g tomatoes

2 garlic gloves

a big bunch of fresh basil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Method.

1. Wash the tomatoes and basil, then dry them using a kitchen towel.

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2. Crush two garlic cloves (use a knife or a garlic press).

3. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and let them drain for about 10-15 minutes.

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4. Then mix the tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Place the sauce in the fridge for at least half an hour.

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5. Cook the pasta al dente, following the instructions on the packaging, then drain.

6. Mix the pasta with the sauce and serve chilled.

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Spaghetti con “salsa” di pomodoro crudo.

Ingredienti

Per 4 persone

320 g di spaghetti

350 g di pomodori

2 spicchi d’aglio

un mazzetto grosso di basilico

2 cucchiai di aceto balsamico

olio extravergine d’oliva

sale e pepe

Preparazione.

1. Lavate e asciugate i pomodori e il basilico.

2. Utilizzando un coltello, pressate e molto tagliate finemente due spicchi d’aglio.

3. Prendete i pomodori e tagliateli in pezzetti piccoli con il coltello, poi lasciate scolare per 10-15 minuti.

4. Mescolate i pomodori con 4 cucchiai d’ olio d’oliva, 2 cucchiai di aceto balsamico, il sale e il pepe. Mescolate ancora e mettete nel frigorifero almeno per 30 minuti.

5. Cuocete la pasta al dente e scolate.

6. Condite la pasta con il sugo e servite come piatto freddo.