Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.
This is quite a peculiar year for many reasons. The pandemic turned our life upside down, and from now on whenever we make a reference to anything, we’ll just acknowledge a before and after. Many of us are striving to go back to their life before, this meaning going out, seeing friends, go clubbing perhaps.
In June Italians usually start discussing about their upcoming summer holidays, and this too is a way to go back to before. We would all need a good vacation. A vacation from fear, sadness, from the signs that lockdown left on us. Mid June is also generally acknowledged to sign the beginning of the swimsuit season, the beginning of the harshest dietary restrictions to fit in the bikini of twenty years before.
I wish everyone could finally fit in their own bikinis, and go back to our wonderful Italian beaches, and for this I am leaving you a low calories dessert to indulge on after lunch or dinner.
The almond puddings with strawberry coulis (but you could use raspberries, or any other berry) are also gluten and dairy free, so they’er perfect for vegans and for most of the people suffering from food allergy. They’re ready in no time at all, so no more excuses for this – you’ve got to try them!
500 gr almond milk
30 gr almond flour (or almonds)
90 gr caster sugar
50 gr corn starch
50 gr strawberry jam
Juice of one small lemon
Heat the almond milk in a casserole.
In the meantime, put into a bowl the dry ingredients – that is almond flour, corn starch and sugar.
If you use almonds, you should finely chop them in your food processor with the sugar, then add them to the corn starch
As soon as the milk starts simmering, pour it onto the dry ingredients, and mix well to avoid lumps.
Use a hand whisk, if you have one.
Pour the mixture into the casserole again, and cook for a few minutes, until it starts thickening.
That then the casserole off the heat, and pour the mixture into the moulds of your choice.
Let them cool down a bit then put them into the refrigerator for at least three hours.
You can now prepare the coulis. Punt the jam into the blender jar together with the lemon juice (filtered) and blend it for a few seconds.
Put the strawberry sauce on top of your almond puddings and serve.
I’ve always loved the After Eight cookies, deliciously filled with mint and covered with chocolate. I loved them to stomach ache, and I have never eaten them ever since.
But the contrast between mint and chocolate is one of my favourites, and I have baked in time several tarts combining these flavours.
Mint and chocolate are quintessentially British, together with beans on toast and cream and strawberries. I went to London a couple of years ago and I found it culinary wise more European than its government would wish it to. I wonder whether it’s like this everywhere in Britain, or if in Bournemouth (where I studied so long ago) they keep on having those terrible cucumber sandwiches.
Today I am preparing for you a dessert embodying mint and chocolate in full. The mint and chocolate panna cotta joins together Italy and Britain, and it’s a perfect combination for flavour and taste. It’s also quite easy to prepare, and as summer is quickly on its way, it’s good to have a great recipe for a dessert which is fresh and full of flavour and does not require the oven.
What’s better than that?
500 ml fresh cream
70 ml mint syrup
70 gr dark chocolate
5 gelatine leaves
Mint to decorate (quite optional)
Soak two gelatine sheets in cold water for about 10 minutes.
Then, put in a non-stick pan 200 ml of the fresh cream and the chocolate cut in chunks. Heat the cream until it gets to the simmering point, then turn the heat off and keep on stirring until the chocolate melts. Then add the gelatine sheets, well wringed out, and stir again until they dissolve.
Pour the cream in even parts in the glasses, and put into the refrigerator for half an hour to consolidate.
After 30 minutes, soak the remaining 3 gelatine sheets in cold water for about 10 minutes.
Then put the remaining cream in the non-stick pan with the mint syrup and bring it to simmering point.
Then turn the heat off, add the gelatine sheets (remember to always wring them out) and dissolve them in the warm cream.
Take the glasses with the chocolate cream out from the fridge, pour onto the chocolate cream the mint cream and put them again into the fridge for at least 2 hours (three would be better).
Before serving, you can sprinkle on top some grated chocolate and a few mint leaves.
Almonds and carrots, a match made in heaven. I have prepared tons of versions of this classic cake, it’s my hobby horse kind of, because for quite a long time I have prepared it over and over again. I kept on eating it, god knows why.
My rabbit time is now over, but from time to time I indulge in baking one of the hundreds of versions of the carrot and almond cake.
Recently I baked many sorts, but I lacked the gluten free and dairy free version.
Sooner said than done, here’s this particular type which you can of course also prepare with plain flour, if you have no problems with food intolerances. It is a very light cake altogether, because it has no dairy, so no butter of course.
But then, apart from keeping in good shape, you’ll get a 20/20 visus!
250 gr carrots (already peeled)
180 gr caster sugar
180 gr gluten free flour mix
70 gr di almonds (you can also use almond flour, but I prefer to feel it under my teeth)
50 gr potato starch (please make sure it’s gluten free)
90 gr sunflower oil (or any oil with a mild flavour)
2 medium range eggs
8 gr baking powder
Grated lemon zest (half)
One pack vanillin
Peel and wash your carrtos. Cut them into small pieces and put them into the food processor with the oil, and blend it until you get a coarse carrot puree.
Grind the almonds in the food processor too, and set aside this one too.
Mix together in a bowl the gluten free flour, the baking powder, the potato starch and the vanillin.
Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl with the mixer until they’re pale and fluffy. Then pour in the lemon peel, the carrot puree and the grounded almonds.
Then add little by little the dry ingredients (sift them first).
You can mix them with the electric mixer, but use a very low speed.
Pour the batter into a 22 cm baking tray, and line it with parchment paper first .
Bake at 180 degrees for thirty minutes.
Let it cool before taking the cake out of the tray.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you want, before serving.
It’s perfect for breakfast, teatime, or whenever you crave for something light and sweet.