Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I ♥ APPLES (& You)

Guys, guys, guys oh what a great weekend! 
I went skiing in Schladming: wonderful weather, cool slopes, best company ever ♥
It has been the nicest way too end the skiing season.

When I go skiing I love to eat Austrian Apfelstrudel with hot vanilla sauce. I am quite sure most of you know waht I am talking about and have succesfully baked apple strudel at home. I also do it quite oftenly; my dad taught me how to bake it since he loves it but is too lazy to peel the apples. What I learned from him is the traditional recipe, but the one I am showing you today is a new version, an idea I had...

a sweet bread braid hugging apples!
It's a yeast based dough - the same you use to make bread or sweet bread- with sugar and a little butter, but no eggs, which embraces a heart of apples, cinnamon and raisins (if you like them).
It's really good and fluffy and something different from the usual Apfelstrudel.

Enjoy ♥

Monday, 19 March 2012

Italians do it better!

I mean pizza of course ;-P
The original one was invented in Naples from the Italian "pizzaiolo" Raffaele Esposito in 1889, during a visit of the Queen Margherita di Savoia. In her honour he served a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag: red with tomato, white with mozzarella, and green with basil. This kind of pizza has been named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.

I am Italian too and was born exactly 100 years later in 1989, so I could not miss out on this one!
To make pizza dough is really easy so I want to share my recipe for you to try and make your own home-made pizza with anything you like.

Ingredients for 4 big pizzas:
600 ml. warm water
1 kg. flour (the Italian "farina 00" is the best)
50 gr. yeast
20 gr. salt
2 spoons of sugar
6 spoons of olive oil

mozzarella (di bufala is much better)
tomato sauce
basil leaves
Take a bowl and pour 200 ml. of warm water and melt in it the sugar and the yeast.
Take another bowl and pour 200 ml. of warm water and melt in it the salt. Then add the oil.
Put the flour in your mixer and start beating it - using the hook - with the sugar and yest mixture. Then add the melted salt and oil. 
If the dough is too sandy add more water (remember you still have 200 ml.); if it is too liquid add flour.

When it is smooth and soft put it a big bowl (or leave it in the mixer), with some flour on the bottom, and cover it with a towel.
Let the dough rest for at least an hour. The longer, the better! I usually do it in the morning and eat it in the evening. Anyways as soon as it has doubled its size you can start forming your pizzas.

Put a sheet of baking paper on your oven gridiron and form the pizzas.
This time instead of making 4 big ones, I made a huge quantity of smaller ones: "pizzette"! 
Great for partys!!!

Then add the tomato sauce and mozzarella.

A leaf of basilico, which is actually better after the baking is over, and then bake in the oven at 250° C for about 15 minutes or as soon as the crust is golden brown.

Add a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy your original Neapolitan pizza.
Everybody loves pizza!

Buon appettito guaglioni!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Popping poppy

Hello sunshine! It's nice to see you again!
Spring is always closer so in this period I like to try new recipes, which don't remind me of winter. One of these is a cake made with the seeds from a beautiful, yet so delicate red flower: the poppy.

I have found this incredible recipe - without eggs nor butter, only including milk, flour, baking powder, and poppy seeds of course - on the internet, but foolishly I haven't written it down and have forgotten the exact quantities for each ingredient. I have been searching for it but could not find it... :(

I will not give up, so keep following... I might eventually find it!

Enjoy (just the pictures for now)

bird broach: Topshop
pictures: Giot :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Flipper pinballs

This past weekend has been a lovely one: 
picnicking in the sun, falling asleep on the grass, having strawberries with champagne, meeting nice people, and my beloved ones... and also baking for them these cute and colorful pralines which I call "pinballs"! Just like the ones you use to play flipper with.

What you need:
100 gr. mascarpone
50 gr. butter
100 gr. confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
50 gr. cocoa powder
·         100 gr. dry cookies such as McVitie’s
·         chocolate sprinkles, colored jimmies, silver pearls, coconut flakes, etc...

Beat the mascarpone with the butter, the sugar, and th egg yolk. When the batter is creamy enough add the cocoa powder and the crumbled up cookies.
Put the mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes. 
When it is solid enough form little round pralines and roll them in whatever you like:  
chocolate sprinkles, colored jimmies, silver pearls, coconut flakes.
Keep them in the fridge before you serve them; they taste better when they're cold but still creamy.

They are really easy, quick, and fun to make. Try them, you'll love them!



pictures: Giot :)
Tiny Hand With Heart