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.
There are two flavours that put together remind me of the summer, and they are lemon and lavender. I used the flowers of this plan on various occasions, but the combination I prefer is with lemon, and in fact I have used it time and again.
To be true, any excuse to open the envelope containing the lavender buds, and be surrounded by the memories of a summer in the South of France, with lavender fields as far as the eye can see, the light blue sea and a pair of espadrilles that I consumed as much as I walked around!
I returned to France several times, for work mostly. But more than Paris or the north, it is the South of France the place I remember more fondly.
I let myself inspire by lavender fields to realise these mini pound cakes with lemon and lavender, a classic combination, that are so easy and quick that we can name it the last minute recipe. If you realise you’ve run out of breakfast stuff, this is the recipe that’s gonna save your day!
The basic recipe can be adapted to almost any combination of flavours according to the season. For the end of spring, lemon and lavender are just perfect.
170 gr baking flour
40 gr rice starch (or another starch)
100 gr sugar
8 gr baking powder
2 medium range eggs
40 ml lemon juice
Zest of a lemon
60 ml sunflower oil (or any other vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon of lavender buds (edible)
Sift the flour and the starch with the baking powder and set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until they are very fluffy and pale. It’s going to take about ten minutes, depending on your mixer.
After that, incorporate the flour and the oil (alternating them) with the help of a spatula. Keep on until both ingredients have all been amalgamated.
Them, pour in the lemon juice, the lavender buds and the zest of the lemon. If you see that the batter is too thick, add some more lemon juice, or a few drops of water.
The batter must be quite firm, but slightly soft as well.
Fill in the mini pound cake moulds for something more than a half of their volume, but please pay attention that they’re not overstuffed and we dn’t want them to overflow.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees, and when it reaches temperature bake the mini pound cakes for about 25 minutes. I sprinkled some granulated sugar on to for a more breakfast feel, but you can do without it as well.
Let the mini pound cakes cool on a rack
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.