Thursday, 5 December 2013

Das perfekte Dinner - Teil 2


So here we are once again; dinner number two of our cooking contest has taken place yesterday and guess where? At my place! This time it was our turn: my brother and I (Duplex Pludex) have been the hosts of this fun evening with good food and good friends.
For our dinner we chose to focus on some typical dishes of the Triestine culinary tradition: gnocchi, cevapcici, and crema carsolina. I also made a lovely walnuts bread, which earned us 2 extra points! So the first course was a variation of pumpkin, spinach, and potato gnocchi with butter, parmesan, and sage. The second course was cevapcici with ajvar sauce and a salted spinach and ricotta cake. Last but not least, the dessert! A lovely puff pastry and cream cake with warm berries. The decoration? We decided to transform our dining room in a small trattoria with wooden table, checked napkins, felt sets, chestnuts, pinecones, and a rustic flower decoration. We also named our restaurant "De Uma" which is the combination of our names: UMberto & MArtina. Do you like it? Do you want to see our menu?


Our joker was our friend Anna, who luckily enough helped me resolve last-minute dramas, since my brother was at work and could not collaborate for the preparation of the whole dinner. And of course she gave us 10 points ;) hehehe! But who knows what the rest of the jury thinks of our cooking… one thing is sure, we managed to spend a lot less than the maximum budget, which allows us to earn a lot of extra points. I personally thought that the gnocchi were really good, especially the potatoes and spinach ones, the pumpkin ones could have been better. The savoury cake was a hit, but of course I had to cook some meat for the boys, and since I am vegetarian I do hope that it was good too. The dessert was delicious, but I could have made it more creamy. Overall I would have given our team a 9 out of 10. But we will wait and see, two more dinners have yet to come and I just can´t wait!

Our "trattoria"
walnut bread and salami make a perfect rustic aperitivo
in the kitchen….before...
in the plate after ….Gnocchi variation, yummy
Cevapcici & savoury ricotta and spinach cake
The proud cook!
homemade crema carsolina!!!
Happy guests
Team Duplex Pludex with joker Anna
And here it is! Ta daaaaaaa! The trailer of our dinner with unique scenes of the cooks at work and the delighted guests. We also had an experts jury: our cats and dog which seemed very interested in the cevapcici and were allowed to taste them and give me their feedback. Which was of course very positive. Hahaha, enjoy!


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Vanilla wonderland

Happy 1st Advent Sunday to all of you! The Christmas countdown has officially started and as you light one by one the candles of your Advent garland, the Home sweet Bakery will unveil four of its easy Christmas recipes. Cooking in this time of the ear can be quite stressful, so why not spare some time on the dessert without giving up on its taste?
The first recipe is a light vanilla pudding with warm berries, perfect after a big meal because jelly and cream free.
Ingredients:
500 ml. milk
70 gr. sugar
3 eggs
3 tbsp of Maizena
1 fresh vanilla pod
frozen berries

Method:
Beat the eggs with the sugar until foamy, then add the Maizena. Start heating the milk with the vanilla pod and when slightly warm remove the vanilla pod and add the other mixture. Keep stirring being careful not to cook the eggs and when compact let it cool. Put your pudding in a big mould or in various smaller ones and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Take the berries out of the freezer and warm them up with a spoon of sugar. When you have a nice warm sauce put it on top of your pudding.

Enjoy this vanilla wonderland
Martina

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Pear-walnut-chocolate-cake

This is probably the last autumn recipe I will post, since Winter is approaching and it's only one month till Christmas!!! I think pears, walnuts, and chocolate is one of those divine combinations like seasoned cheese and honey, dried figs and philadelphia, strawberries and balsamic vinegar, etc... And as kid, when we went skiing on weekends, I remember we always used to order a cake like this one. So it's one of those tastes I never forgot since childhood and will always love and associate to cold days.

Ingredients:
100 gr. butter
100 gr. sugar
2 eggs
250 gr. flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
6 tbsp milk
2 medium pears
100 gr. walnuts
Chocolate for the frosting

Method:
Beat the sugar and butter till fluffy. Add the yolks and beat. Separately beat the egg whites till stiff and keep them aside. Add to your first mixture the salt, baking powder, flour. When it has a sandy consistency add the milk and yolks and beat until smooth. Now add the pears cut in small pieces and the ground walnuts (keep some whole ones for decoration). Spoon the batter in a cake mould and bake at 180•C for 40 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and when the cake has cooled cover it. Before the chocolate dries add your decoration to it. Don't worry if it's not perfectly covered or evenly decorated; the rustic home-made look makes it even more delicious!

Enjoy ♥
Martina


This cake I made was offered to our customers at Doll's Vis a Vis and et the end of the day this is all there was left of it! I'm very glad to know that people appreciate my baking :) thank you.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Das Perfekte Dinner - Teil 1


Does anyone of you know the tv-show "The Perfect Dinner" ("Das Perfekte Dinner" in German)? I am sure many of you do! Well, my friends and I decided to organise amongst us a cooking contest like this one just for fun and yesterday the first dinner took place. It was so much fun! There´s 8 of us participating: Stephan & Christof, Sarah & David, Nils & Dominic, Umbo & I, and the rules are strict. Otherwise what competition would it be? Are you curious? I will update you after every dinner with photos, comments, and videos, and I do hope that after following our fun experience you might try to organise it yourself. 


Here are the rules:
There are four teams of two people;
Each team cooks for the other teams 3 courses;
Every team must receive the menu of the cooking team;
Everything must be home-made;
One joker guest may be invited to help the cooking team;
The other teams give points from 1 to 10 for each course and for decoration;
The joker may give just an overall grade from 1 to 10;
The maximum budget is 5€ per person;
Every spared Euro equals one extra point;
The team with the most points wins!
Winzibis with rival Sarah ;)
The tremendously creative menu we all received
from the Winzibis. Changes not included ;)
So the first ones to cook were Stephan and Christof, which we named the Winzibis. They cooked pumpkin cream soup, pork filet with tagliatelle and mushrooms in sour cream, and Austrian kaiserschmarrn. Everything was delicious and the decoration was lovely but we´ll have to see what the jury hast to say at the end… I personally enjoyed the entire meal, the company, and the entire evening. We all could see how much effort they had put into it, so chapeau guys. Plus the Winzibis´ joker was their friend Eva who has fulfilled her task wonderfully in praising the boys´ recipes and work. The next dinner is scheduled for the 4th of December and my brother and I will have to surprise the other teams with a superb dinner to try to gain more points than the Winzibis. So stay tuned because we already have so many creative ideas in mind; I´ll just give you a hint: Trieste, our hometown, will play a key role. I am so much looking forward to the next dinners, since the first one has been really great!

Sarah and I
Umbo and Nils Playing silly between courses 
Sarah and Umbo enjoying themselves
David and Umbo hidden by the glorious, jungle-like flower decoration.
The guests of the feast: Nils, Umbo, David, Eva, Me, Dominic!
As you know I love making videos so I decided to put together one of the whole experience and I am sure it will be fun to look at once we are finished with the competition. After the 4 dinners we will all meet again (in a restaurant, so no one has to sacrifice his apartment to 9 people again), watch the video, and the winning team will finally be announced. I am so excited! For now just a small recap of our first dinner yesterday. Enjoy!

video

Friday, 15 November 2013

I chifeletti di Nonna Titti

Questo weekend i miei Nonni festeggiano il loro anniversario di matrimonio. Non ricordo precisamente quale, ma il 50• l'hanno ormai sorpassato da parecchio. Visto che recentemente ho citato mio Nonno Piero nelle ricetta della pinza, questa volta voglio citare Nonna Titti di Buie e i suoi chifeletti che a me piacciono tanto. Quindi possiamo dire che la pietanza di oggi ci riporta in Istria, alla cucina tradizionale e contadina di una volta. La ricetta mi è stata richiesta da Francesca di www.culturami.blogspot.it e la pubblico con piacere perché facile, veloce e buonissima! I chifeletti sono un piatto giuliano, ma ormai triestino a base di patate, uova e farina; per farla breve hanno lo stesso impasto degli gnocchi. Io li adoro salati, ma c'è anche chi li mangia ricoperti di zucchero.

Quello che vi serve:
Nonna Titti dice sempre: "2 patate medie a testa e 1 uovo ogni 4 patate; farina quanto basta, l'impasto si fa ad occhio".

Cosa dovete fare:
Fate bollire le patate con un pugnetto di sale. Quando sono ben cotte vanno pelate e schiacciate. Formate una fontanella ed apriteci al centro le uova. Amalgamate e aggiungete la farina. L'impasto deve essere morbido: né liquido, né troppo asciutto, ma non deve incollarsi sul piano di lavoro. Quando avete la consistenza giusta, formate delle mezzelune e friggetele per qualche secondo in olio d'oliva. Salare e gustare come contorno, piatto unico, snack veloce!

Ciao muli 
Martina


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Lime cheesecake

Finally I am posting this beauty (and delicacy)! Lime cheesecake!
I made this cake because I received from a Brazilian friend a bag full of limes, which were spared from ending in a caipirinha at one of his crazy parties. I have no secret recipe of my own, but my personal favourite is the New York cheesecake recipe from Giallo Zafferano, to which I add the juice and grated peel of 4-5 limes, depending on the size of the cake. I also like to candy some lime slices to use as decoration by cooking them for a cople of minutes in hot water and sugar, then letting them cool down and compact; otherwise they will melt the whipping cream layer on top. This recipe is quite long and not so cheap in terms of ingredient's cost, but it is simply too delicious. It is also not the easist of recipes, so if you try it for the first time make sure you follow each step meticulously. But you must try it at least once!

Enjoy
Martina

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Capresina

The Capresina or Torta Caprese is a typical neapolitan cake, from the island of Capri. The main ingredients are chocolate and almonds; the absence of flour makes it quite short but crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

La Capresina o Torta Caprese è un tipico dolce napoletano, più precisamente dell´isola di Capri. Gli ingredienti principali sono il cioccolato e le mandorle; l´assenza di farina lo rende piuttosto basso, ma croccante fuori e morbido dentro.


Ingredients:
300 gr. ground almonds
200 gr. sugar
250 gr. butter
250 gr. dark chocolate
5 eggs
icing sugar
Procedure:
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie until smooth and with no lumps. In a mixer beat the butter with the yolks. and half the sugar; add the chocolate and the almonds. Whisk the egg whites until stiff whilst adding the rest of the sugar. Add the whites to the rest of the mixture and stir gently. Put the batter in a cake mould lined with baking paper and bake at 180°C for about an hour. Let it cool and cover with icing sugar.

Ingredienti:
300 gr. di mandorle tritate
200 gr. di zucchero
250 gr. di burro
250 gr. di cioccolato fondente
5 uova
zucchero a velo
Preparazione:
Sciogliere a bagnomaria il cioccolato finché liscio e senza grumi. Con un mixer, sbattere insieme il burro, i tuorli e metà dello zucchero; aggiungere il cioccolato e le mandorle. Montare gli albumi a neve aggiungendo il resto dello zucchero. Unire la neve al resto del composto e mescolare con delicatezza. Versare l´impasto in una tortiera foderata di carta forno e infornate a 180°C per circa un´ora. Lasciar raffreddare e cospargere di zucchero a velo.


Do you like my cake mould? It´s the one from Konstantin Slawinski. So cool!
Vi piace la mia tortiera? È quella di Konstantin Slawinski. Fantastica!


Enjoy
Godetevela
Martina

Tiny Hand With Heart