Thursday, 31 January 2013

Squisitezze lussignane al cioccolato: read for translation!

As you might already know my hometown is Trieste, in Northeastern Italy. But Trieste wasn´t always part of Italy; it was for a very long time - from 1382 to 1918 - one of the oldest cities of the Habsburg Monarchy. In the 19th century it was the most important port of one of the greatest powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures and has become the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. Trieste has been a big melting pot of cultures and traditions, which have remained in the centuries and have created the city´s unique spirit.

Part of Trieste´s uniqueness lies in its culinary tradition, which differs from the rest Italy because it reflects the old customs and many features of the peoples of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I have this great cookbook I got from my mother which includes all these traditional recipes: "Ancient and modern recipes from Trieste, Istria, and Dalmatia". By the way the "modern" dates back to 1972, hahaha! The book was my mother´s. 

From this book I have already baked various things: from sachertorte, to Dalmatian chocolate and walnuts cake (I will post soon), and pinza. This time I followed an old recipe called chocolate sweets from Losinj - a beautiful Croatian island - which is quick and delicious!

200gr. butter at room temperature
200gr. confectioner´s sugar
100gr. cocoa powder
100gr. cookie crumbs
100gr. ground almonds
1 egg

Beat the butter with the sugar and the cocoa. Then add the cookie crumbs, the ground almonds, and the egg. Put the dough in a mould and put it in the fridge for 8 hours (or overnight). This dessert is to be eaten cold.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A day to be born

Today is the day I was born 24 years ago... quite a while ago! 
But today is also a very ordinary day, a day I would not normally blog about: I woke up, took down the dog for a walk, had breakfast with my bro, talked to my mother and boyfriend, studied for my exams, had lunch, went to the dog training, then to the riding stable, picked up my brother from work, and had dinner together at L´Osteria. Why is today special then? It´s special because today I decided to start realising my dream: the coming to life of the Home sweet Bakery. I think this is certainly a good day to be born: 23.01.2013 is a cool number, it´s MY number. So I began writing my business plan for it! I am really excited because I already have many friends and supporters who have decided to help me and have given me good tips (thank you Nils!). Wish me luck!

Apart from this I have received many many many birthday wishes! Thank you all, they were lovely but some were truly special. I am very very happy! Especially the ecard from my boyfriend makes me laugh.

from my dearest friend Anna
from my sweet friend Sarah
from my lovely mom
Juliane is right! I am not baking my own cake today!
This is Cooper, my dog´s brother and his sweet owner, Melanie. Such a nice thought, the best bday wishes ever!

I also feel very lucky because I received many beautiful presents amongst them a wonderful, amazing, super cool, pink new camera (no more ugly pictures yuhuuu) from Olympus and a zoom lens for it. I also received a chocolate box; literally a chocolate box of chocolates!!!

Thank you all 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bananas in pyjamas

A huge loaf of banana bread is just what you need on Sundays for a lazy breakfast in pyjamas.

280 gr. brown sugar
600 gr. flour
150 gr. butter at room temperature
2 eggs
4-6 bananas
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 170°C. Put the sugar and eggs in a mixer with a whisk and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the bananas you have previously cut in pieces. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger to the sugar mixture and mix until all dry ingredients are well incorporated. Add the soft butter and beat. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until firm to touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let it cool before eating. Sprinkle with icing sugar and ground hazelnuts and have a delightful breakfast!

By the way I have some news... my recipes are now on Petit Chef! Now these are the first two but I´ll continue posting new ones. I am so happy that my blog got validated and am now able to share my cookery worldwide!!! I hope you´ll take a look and will rate my recipes positively.


go to recipe
go to recipe

Thursday, 17 January 2013

11 x 2 = I´m tagging... YOU!

Hey there! I have been tagged in this game both by Meine Torteria and Foods Made With Love and am very pleased to take part. It´s a nice way to get to know other bloggers!

The rules are to write 11 things about myself, answer the 11 questions from the blogger who tagged me, choose 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers, tag them asking 11 other questions (and of course let them know). Tagging back is not allowed.

So let´s´start with the 11 things about me:
  • I am Italian, even though no one can tell. 
  • I like animals in fact I practically have a zoo: 2 cats, 1 dog, and 1 horse. If you don´t have a pet you are missing out on something incredible.
  • I am a registered journalist and study law & economics which has nothing to do with baking, but I developed this passion of mine too late so even though I´d rather be a baker/patissier I will end first what I have started.
  • If I fail as a baker I´d rather work for an NGO such as WWF than for a big multinational company, but nowadays you cannot be too "choosy" (Italians know what I mean).
  • I am not a party person, I go to the club maybe twice a year, but I love the Italian culture of aperitivo.
  • People tell me I am really creative and crafty and I would have always liked to express my creativity in a much more concrete way (i.e. arts academy, design school, etc.) but was never allowed to. Still I am not angry at my parents.
  • I am such a loser! I am scared of situations I don´t know and have always been since childhood (I cried the hell out of me when my mom taught me how to swim, skate, ski, go on a bike) even though I can do most things and quite successfully. I guess I have to learn to believe in myself.
  • Riding was the only thing I never ever cried for.
  • Often I don´t understand this world and the people living on it. 
  • I have 2 brothers and for this reason my mom says I have an advantage because I know men ;)
  • I used to collect sugar bags and when I decided to ditch them I fell in love!

Now since I have been tagged twice I have 22 questions to answer.
Those from Meine Torteria:
  1. High heels or ballerinas? Ballerinas.
  2. Do you have an ultimate cook book suggestion? I have a non-suggestion: don´t buy Jamie Oliver cook books! He is so overrated!
  3. Which animal would you like to be? A free dolphin, not a trained one.
  4. Tea or coffee? Teaaaaaaaa!!!
  5. What would your dream kitchen look like? Tuscan floor with terracotta tiles, wooden beams with hanging elements, modern appliances from Kitchen Aid and Smeg, and a big marbled surface to work on. 
  6. Where was the best holiday you had? Kenya!!!!! This place is my home! 
  7. When you were 15 what was your dream job? Dolphin observer.
  8. Who is your role model? Thinkers!
  9. Which is your new year´s resolution for 2013? Finish university.
  10. Which is your favourite colour? Green.
  11. If it has to be fast food than where/which one? BioBurgerMeister

Those from Foods Made With Love:
  1. Which is your favourite recipe? Mascarpone and lemon curd cupcakes and tiramisu which I still haven´t posted. 
  2. Which is your favourite dish? Italian focaccia alle olive. 
  3. Which is your favourite cook book? Maxine Clark´s Italian Kitchen.
  4. How did you start blogging? I started blogging after I started selling my sweets. I thought it was a good way to do some advertising, but it actually turned out to be something different.
  5. Which is the next thing you want to buy? Rubber car mats for my Yeti, since my dog makes a mess.
  6. Which is your dream job? Pastry chef!
  7. Where do you buy your cooking/baking tools? I don´t have a specific shop. Anytime I see something nice or useful I buy it, but I really like this online shop.
  8. Do you have a recipe on your blog which is good for children? Chocolate Brownies!
  9. Where can one find you under www? mmmm..., on (it´s a new project of mine), on this link which is just the one of the many articles I wrote for a magazine I work with, than you can find me on my old school´s web page, and soon on Linkedin. 
  10. The best web-present was? Never got one actually.
  11. Which is your favourite season? Spring or maybe summer, no fall, winter, no no no actually spring, perhaps summer or fall, wait it´s winter, ...

Who am I tagging?

My questions for you:
  1. One word to describe you would be...
  2. The thing that is always missing when you need it is...
  3. What is in your fridge?
  4. Your biggest dream is...
  5. Your dream destination is...
  6. Hot or cold?
  7. Are you a fan of old movies?
  8. The one thing you could eat every day is...
  9. Sweet or sour?
  10. One book you recommend is...
  11. Which music do you listen to when you cook?
Have fun,

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The skier´s hunger

Heloooooo! I´m baaaaaack! Yes, I was on the road again. I had a fantastic holiday week in the mountains and I want to tell you a little bit about it. I was in Schladming, a wonderful skiing location in Styria, Austria, over new year´s eve and had an amazing time: we skied most of the time, the weather was lovely 5 days out of 7, we made many funny videos and pictures, and celebrated the new year watching the fireworks in the valley from uphill. Since I made a video of our summer holiday it has now become sort of a little tradition of ours to make one of each trip. So here is the new one!

My boyfriend and I really like skiing; we are those kind of skiers who start when the lifts open and leave when they close. The Schladming skiing region is quite big and we basically explored it all. One day we skied more than 50 km! When skiing I always get hungry and for the first time ever I ate a "Germknödel". Although I have been living in Austria for 4 years now, I was never brave enough to order one all for myself. But one for the two of us was just perfect. This "Germknödel" is a fluffy yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with "Powidl" a spicy plum jam, and covered with melted butter. It is usually served with custard cream and it can be eaten as a dessert or as a main course. We had that and only that, and believe me it was more than enough!!! Thank goodness we continued skiing afterwards.

The 31st we had dinner in a very cool restaurant of Schladming, Die Tischlerei. We had a delightful meal: 
1. beef tartar and beef carpaccio
2. scallop, prawns and noble fish tartar
3. topinambour cream soup with truffle
4. veal medallions with sweet potato mousseline and balsamic lentils
5. herford beef filet with Mediterranean veggies and potatoes
6. champagne parfait with peach foam and mint
7. new year´s eve dessert variation
Even though the desserts did not look that appealing, they were also very good. Everything was really delicious and also the price was really ok considering it was the 31st of December!

Another nice place where we ate is the Soul Kitchen. This is a really unusual restaurant: few chairs match, all tables are different, there is no cover, and the atmosphere is simply relaxed. The menu includes dishes from the Asian fusion kitchen, hamburgers, soul food, vegetarian dishes, and Italian specialties. Really great! Their motto is to create lifestyle but without luxury prices and this is really true: there was nothing over 10€! I had rice with egg, vegetables, and tofu and drank one of my favourite juices, guava juice. My boyfriend tried instead the teriyaki wok with pork. Vote for price/quality: A+

Last but not least I want to mention also another great restaurant, the Landalm in Untertal. This is a traditional Styrian restaurant both in the kitchen and in the interior design. The traditional Austrian kitchen is perfect for hungry skiers and especially here the portions were huge! I had a "Backhendlsalat" which is salad with fried stripes of chicken, cress, and pumpkin seed oil. My boyfriend dared a little more and had a "Schladminger Pfandl": it was literally a pan full of spätzle, mushrooms, and meat. As a dessert we had "Palatschinken" with apricot jam, sprinkled with icing sugar and ground hazelnuts. Lovely!

So as you can see I really enjoyed my days in the mountains, mainly skiing and eating hehehe! I like baking, but eating and writing about it is probably the best part of my blog (for me at least). So if you happen to be in Schladming try these places, I recommend all three of them. Already can´t wait for the next ski week...

♥ Enjoy 

Tiny Hand With Heart