Torta caprese

Torta caprese

The torta caprese is one of the most luscious cakes you can imagine.
And the simplest to make. A few passages and you’ll be thrown in another world.
The history of this cake dates as far back as the 1920s, or so it seems and like many of the most famous Italian cakes it is alleged to have been created by mistake. We Italians are creative even beyond our control! Apparently a famous chef was intent to prepare a chocolate cake for some distinguished American guests (some say they were famous American Mafiosi, but who would say?) and he forgot to put the flour in it, thus making maybe the first gluten-free cake of the century. The cake soon became exceptionally famous and it still is. No need to wonder, taste a small bit of it and you’ll know why.
Any baker in Italy has a recipe, I’ll leave you mine:
125 g dark chocolate
125 g butter
100 g sugar
150 g almonds
3 eggs
Powdered sugar
One pinch of salt
Water
Preheat the oven to 350° F /180° C.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in a non-stick pan (preferably) with some water (not much, two or three tablespoons will do) over a moderate flame, stirring continuously. Once melted, add the butter in pieces (still stirring) until it melts. Then take it off the flame.
In the meantime, toast the almonds in a non-stick pan over a flame until they’re slightly brown. Chop them with the aid of a mixer. Add the almonds to the chocolate mix and let it cool down a bit.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they’re clear, and then add the chocolate mixture. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Then pass on to the egg whites, beat them with the help of a pinch of salt until they’re stiff and then gently fold them with the rest of the ingredients.
Tale a cake pan and cover it with greaseproof paper. Pour the batter into it (level it if necessary) then bake for 20/30 minutes (check with a toothpick).
Remove from the oven and let it cool down. Then decorate with powdered sugar.
You’ll love it!

Banana bread

Banana bread

This recipe comes directly from Canada , and I thank Lorena for the tip.
I have developed a sort of aversion for cakes based on bananas, but I must say this recipe satisfied me, at last!
Besides it’s ridiculously easy and it is a good alternative for breakfast. The ingredients are few:
3 ripe bananas
76 gr melted butter
292 gr flour
220 gr brown sugar
cinammon and nutmeg (to your taste)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Put in a bow the squashed bananas (it’s also good to calm your nerves!), the sugar and the butter. Whisk well then add the egg, the vanilla and the baking powder. then add the cinammon and the nutmeg to your taste (I don’t like nutmeg, I just used cinammon, one teaspoon approximately). Whisk again and then incorporate the flour little by little.
Pur the dough in a baking pan covered with greaseproof paper and bake from 45 minutes to an hour approximately. Check well using a toothpick, as the baking times depends on how moist the bananas are (this time it took more than an hour, after 45 minutes the dough was still partially raw).

If you want to try this recipe, send me the pic of your final result in the comments below.

Glutenfree cookies

Glutenfree cookies

After a while I’m back into my glutenfree cooking with these biscuits, whose recipe is quite traditional (you can find the ordinary version on the Il Cucchiaio D’Argento website). I had it changed a little because I wanted to use the glutenfree Mix C by Schaer, and I wanted them to be lighter (no butter in this version). Of course you can add butter, and in this case the proportion is Always 80/100 (i.e. 80 grams of oil for 100 grams of butter):

280 gr Mix C flour
75 gr brown sugar
100 gr vegetable oil
80 gr cold water acqua almeno ambiente (non calda o tiepida comunque)
the zest of half a lemon
half teaspoon of baking soda
a pinch of salt
icing sugar for decoration

Put all the dry elements into a bowl, plus the lemon zest, and whisk, then add the oil. Whisk again until everything is amalgamated and then add the water in small quantities. The water should make the dough soft and relatively crumbly. So pay attention to this passage, if you use too much water you may end up having a sticky dough instead.
Put the dough into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes in wrapping film (form a ball).
Once the time has passed, gently knead again for a few minutes and then using a rolling pin roll the dough out (about half centimeter thick).
Use the dough cutter you prefer to cut the biscuits, then put them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about ten minutes.
Once they’ve cooled down, cover them with icing sugar.
You may want to cover them with chocolate (in this case melt the chocolate bar into the microwave and then dip the cookies into it) or use the jam the way I did in the picture above.
These cookies are delicious with tea.
…….. and they’re fit for vegans too!

Vegan muffins with carrots and nuts

Vegan muffins with carrots and nuts

Yesterday was World Vegan Day, so I thought to celebrate it with those who embraced this lifestyle I am so curious about.
Last Tuesday I had a delicious vegan dinner prepared by Chiara Canzian, a young and talented vegan and vegetarian chef, to whom I promised (well I threatened her for what matters) to steal a few of her recipies. So I think the day is just the one to start this stealing.
You may want to visit her blog
This recipe is not on her blog yet, you can find it on the book she wrote with her dad Red Canzian (he’s the bass player of the most famous and longlasting Italian pop group), called “Sano Vegano Italiano” (ed. Rizzoli). I write it down here for you, in her version (as I made some small adjustments, as I always do)
300 gr wholemeal flour
200 gr brown sugar
200 gr soy milk (I used Almond milk)
8 gr cream of tartar
8 gr baking soda
150 gr nuts (weight them without shell)
150 gr carrots
80 gr sunflower oil
a pinch of cinammon
As first thing, mince the carrots and the nuts in a blender (the carrots must be cleaned beforehand).
Then take a bowl and whisk together oil, milk and sugar.
In another bowl mix the baking powders and the cinammon with the flour.
Then start pouring little by little the mixture of liquids into the flour, and whisk it well to avoid lumps. After you have incorporated the entire liquids, mix the carrots and nuts, and whisk everything until the dough is smooth and without lumps.
Put the dough into the fluted baking cases and then bake them into a ventilated oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Once they’ve cooled dowm, sprinkle some icing sugar.
Tasty and easy to make!