Cherries in Chianti Classico and my first taste of love

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Cherries in Chianti Classico – Ciliegie al Chianti Classico

Music: Strawberry Wine, Deana Carter. As a teenage girl, I also used to spend summers in the countryside with my grandparents. We didn’t drink strawberry wine – nobody does here in Tuscany – but my granma always cooked cherries in a syrup made with chianti classico and sugar that I just loved. The boiling went on and on for hours and my sister and I, who could not wait that long, ate the cherries directly from the pan, when it was still on the stove. It is the simplest of foods, but it always brings such sweet memories. Hope you like it.

Ingredients:

cherries 1 kg

chianti classico 1 bottle

5 Tsb sugar

Place the cherries in a big pan, add the sugar and the wine. Set on high heat for five minutes, mixing well. Then bring the heat to real low and let cook until the syrup is reduced. Serve warm or cold on its own or with ice-cream.

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Posted in Fresh Fruit, Snacks | 2 Comments

Aniseed Brioche for tortured, tangled hearts

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Aniseed Brioche – Brioche all’Anice

Music: Tortured, Tangled Hearts – The Dixie Chicks. I made this brioche (using Pierre Hermè’s recipe – you can find it in this wonderful blog) for a friend of mine who had love troubles. She’s a big fan of this Tuscan traditional cake, which I also love, and because Easter is gone and you can’t find it anymore, I decided to make it myself, at home. I made a simple brioche and add some anise seeds. Next time, I’ll try it with a little lavander, too.

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Lemon, Polenta Cake and fields of gold

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Lemon, Polenta Cake – Polentina al Limone

Music: Fields Of Gold, Sting. A butter yellow cake to be packed in your picnic basket as the days get sunny and warm. A slice of it, and we’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we lie in fields of gold.

Ingredients:

180 gr sugar

180 gr butter

3 eggs

200 gr polenta

50 gr flour

2 organic lemons, juice and zest

1 tsp baking powder

Beat the butter with the sugar, then add the eggs (one by one, mixing after each addition), the lemon juice and zest, the polenta, the flour and the baking powder. Pour into a well-greased mould and bake at 180° for about 45 minutes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Liebster Blog!!!

Incursione italiana in onore della Bene, che voglio ringraziare per questo graditissimo premio! Passate a trovarla nel suo dolcissimo blog e non dimenticate di provare il suo leggendario cheesecake. IMBATTIBILE!!!

I miei cuoricini vanno ad alcuni blog che sono ormai entrati nella lista delle mie letture quotidiane: Symposion, dove trovo sempre un sacco di spunti interessanti – soprattutto quando sono a corto di idee per le mie amiche veg (grazie Gio!), l’Esterina, un blog dalle fotografie irresistibili, e Tocco e Tacchi della bravissima Chiara, mio punto di riferimento per i lievitati, la cucina di mare e tanto altro ancora!

Ecco le regole:
Questo premio ha lo scopo di far crescere i nuovi blog, cercando di dar loro più visibilità nel web.
Ci sono solo 3 regole da seguire:
1) Accettare il premio e scrivere un post nel proprio blog
2) Scegliere dai 3 ai 5 blog che seguite e che siano nati da poco o abbiano meno di 100 lettori fissi e comunicare loro che hanno vinto
3) Linkare il blog della persona che ve lo ha inviato.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Breakfast Tarts and I love Mondays

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Breakfast Tarts – Crostatine da Colazione

Music: I Don’t Like Mondays, The Boomtown Rats. If there is something positive about Mondays is that I can get my hands on cakes, biscuits … I made during the weekend. These little tarts keep up to one week, they can be filled with anything you like (from yogurt+granola to home-made jam, from preserved fruit to chocolate spread) and will make you run into the kitchen as the alarm starts ringing. And, most importantly, they will make you love Mondays.

Ingredients:

310 gr flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

200 gr butter

320 gr hazelnut chocolate spread (I used this one here)

100 gr brown sugar

2 big eggs

2 Tsb milk

greek yogurt

home-made granola (recipe here)

Cream together butter, chocolate spread and sugar. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Place in the fridge 1 hour, then lay the dough and cover a few tart moulds. Bake at 190° C for about 15 minutes, then let cool completely. Serve with greek yogurt and granola or with anything you like.

Posted in Cakes, Chocolate, Snacks, Tarts | 3 Comments

Blueberry Clafoutis Muffins and I can’t get enough

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Blueberry Clafoutis Muffins – Muffins tipo Clafoutis ai Mirtilli

Music: Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You, Brooks & Dunn. These soft-centred, juicy cakes taste like a clafoutis and look like a muffin. Fruity and silky, they are the perfect match for Brooks & Dunn song. Recently, even Taylor Swift covered it – she’s not Brooks & Dunn, but I think she was pretty good anyway.

Ingredients:

100 gr flour

2 eggs

140 gr milk

10 cl cream

50 gr brown sugar

blueberry jam

granulated sugar

In a bowl, mix the flour with the eggs, beating after each addition. Add the milk and the cream. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into well-greased muffin cups, then place in the freezer for 1 hour. Afterwards, place a spoonful of blueberry jam on each muffin, and cover with the remaining mixture. Bake at 200° C for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with granulated sugar and serve warm.

Posted in Cakes, Jam, Puddings, Snacks | 4 Comments

Kale Bread and I’ll never forget

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Kale Bread – Pane al Cavolo Nero

Music: You Said Something, PJ Harvey. Bread, the simplest of foods, made special by an unusual ingredient you weren’t expecting. Just like words said on an ordinary day that come out like a revelation, totally unannounced. One in the morning and you said something that I’ve never forgotten. You said something that was really important.

Ingredients:

Flour 250 Gr

EVO Oil 1 Tsb

Butter 50 Gr

Kale 130 Gr

Fresh Yeast 12 Gr

Warm Water 150 Ml

Salt 1 pinch

Sugar 1 pinch

Sunflower seeds (optional)

Boil the kale in salted water for 5 minutes, then reduce to small pieces and fry in a pan with oil and butter for a few minutes. In a bowl, mix the flour and the kale. Add the fresh yeast (melted in the warm water), the salt, the sugar and mix well. Let rest for 1 hour, then work again and divide the dough into 2 logs. Let rest for another hour. Top with some sunflower seeds if you like and bake at 200° C for 20/25 minutes.

Posted in Bread, Snacks | 7 Comments

My Granola and rock n’ roll men

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My Granola

Music: Blonde In The Bleachers, Joni Mitchell. This is my comfort snack as the blonde in the bleachers even if I’m home and don’t tape my regrets to the microphone stand. There’s no song in the world that fits me better. Love Joni.

Ingredients:

350 gr rolled oats

50 gr sunflower seeds

20 gr sesame seeds

80 gr slivered almonds

6 dried apricots, diced

30 gr raising

100 gr dark chocolate, cut into small pieces

1 Tsb butter

80 gr water

100 gr honey

2 Tsb brown sugar

1 pinch salt

Mix butter, water, honey, sugar and salt, then place on medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. In another bowl, mix oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and sesame seeds and add it to the liquid mixture, mixing well. Place the granola on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake at 160° C for about 50 minutes. Let cool completely, then add chocolate, dried apricots and raising.

Posted in Snacks | 5 Comments

Apple, Chestnut Honey, Cinnamon & Vanilla Bundt Cakes and it feels like home

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Apple, Chestnut Honey, Cinnamon & Vanilla Bundt Cakes – Tortine alla Mela, Miele di Castagno, Cannella & Vaniglia

Music: Feels Like Home, Chantal Kreviazuk. Apples from our garden, chestnut honey my aunt makes (her bees, actually…), cinnamon and vanilla from my day-dreams. These small, sweetly pungent bundtcakes will make you wanna lose yourself and take you all the way back where you belong, no matter where you are. A window breaks, down a long, dark street and a siren wails in the night but I’m alright, ’cause I have you here with me and I can almost see, through the dark there is light. Well, if you knew how much this moment means to me and how long I’ve waited for your touch. And if you knew how happy you are making me, I never thought that I’d love anyone so much.

Ingredients:

180 gr flour

1 Tsb starch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

120 gr butter, melted

50 gr brown sugar

50 gr chestnut honey

1 vanilla bean, seeds

cinnamon, powdered

2 apples, finely grated

2 eggs

1 pinch salt

granulated sugar and cinnamon, for the coating

Mix together the flour, the baking powder, the salt and the cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, the chestnut honey, the eggs and the vanilla seeds. Add the melted butter and mix. Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the grated apples. Pour into bundtcake moulds and bake at 180° C for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix together some granulated sugar and cinnamon powder. Let the cakes cool a few minutes and when they are still warm, toss them in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Posted in Cakes, Fresh Fruit, Snacks | 5 Comments

Honey, Raspberry Cake and a piece of my heart

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Honey, Raspberry Cake – Torta al Miele & Lamponi

Music: Piece Of My Heart, Janis Joplin. I want you to take it, take another little piece of my heart now, baby! Oh, break it, break another little piece of my heart, darling! Have another little piece of my heart now, baby. You know you got it, if it makes you feel good. I’ll have a piece of cake! Love this song – the only and original version by genious Janis Joplin.

Ingredients (for 1 small cake + 6 mini muffin cups):

230 gr flour

2 tsp baking powder

120 gr butter

5 Tsb honey

2 eggs

milk

1 pinch of salt

raspberry jam

pumpking seeds (optional)

In a bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder and the salt. In another bowl, beat the butter with the honey until fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Add a couple Tsb milk and the eggs, beating after each addition. Pour into moulds (buttered and covered with baking paper), brush the dough with the raspberry jam, top with some pumpking seeds and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar. Bake at 180° C until golden (about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the moulds you are using).

Posted in Cakes, Jam, Snacks | 5 Comments