Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.
There are things that are born almost by chancem but then take a life on their own… this is the case with this Advent period. I was looking back to my baking during the last weeks and I suddenly realized that I have taken up this trend of baking traditional cookies/cakes from all over the world.. well, Europe maily I must say, but it’s not over yet!
Today’s recipe is Vanillekipferl from Austria.
They’re really good and easy to make, and they’re the perfect matcj for a steamy, creamy cup of chocolate.
You just need:
200 gr plain flour
100 gr sugar
70 gr grain hazelnuts (or almonds)
120 gr butter
1/2 vanilla bean (or vanilla aroma if you can’t find the bean)
icing sugar to dust on top
Put in a bowl the flour with the sugar and the cold butter cut into pieces. Then add the egg, the vanilla, the grain hazelnuts and start kneading with your hands. When the dough is well mixed and smooth you can start taking some bits from it, mould it with your hands forming a little cylinder and then put it onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper shaping it like a small croissant.
Then bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Once they’ve cooled down, sprinkle with icing sugar and taste!
I have a confession to make: I hate castagnaccio!
I’ve always thought it tasted like cardboard… not that desirable! But this is a traditional cake from Tuscany and it is the quintessence of cakes for people suffering from celiac disease like my dad. As I did not like it, I made a few adds, like sugar and orange juice… purists will certainly argue about that but I think it is supertasty, so why not!?
It is also quite simple to make and bake, so let’s go.
250 grams of chestnuts flour
5 tbs brown sugar (it is about 50 grams)
1 tbs candiade orange zest
20 gr pine nuts
20 gr raisin
10 gr nuts
15 gr EVO oil
300 ml water (room temperature)
100 ml orange juice
1 pinch of salt
Rosemary to decorate
Soak to soften th raisin and the put the pint nuts into a non stock pan to toast them. As soon as they start to exude the oils turn the heat off and let them cool down.
Take a bowl and sifts the chestnut flour into it, then pour the water in and then the orange juice, and stir well to prevent lumps. Then add the sugar, the oil and a pinch pof salt.
Whisk well until it reaches a batter-like consistency.
Then add the pine nuts, the raisin and the candied orange zest.
Put the batter into a greased baking tray (about 18 cm diameter), decorate it with the nuts, some other pine nuts and rosemary, and then into the convection oven, preheated at 180 degrees and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Check the cake with a toothpick (start some 10 minutes before the baking time is due) as every oven bakes differently.
The flavours of chestnuts and orange are so good together and they’ll surprise you!
It’s the perfect vegan and glutenfree cake!
Christmas time is cookies time! This time forget the famous gingerbread (I’ll make them too!) because these cookies are made with fresh ginger that I love! They’re super easy to make too, and this is another perk. I usually tend to avoid butter, but this time its creaminess is part of the symphony of flavours that these cookies ooze. There are several recipes around, I use this one:
Brown sugar 50 gr
Plain sugar 65 gr
Fresh ginger 50 gr
Almonds 50 gr
Butter at room temperature 125 gr
Lemon zest 1
All purposes flour 300 gr
Take a mixer and put into it the brown sugar and the almonds, and whisk until almonds turn into grains. Then add the peeled ginger cut in little pieces and whisk again until you get a creamy dough, that you can put into a bowl and mix with the butter (please don’t melt it into the microwave!). and then with the flour. When the dough becomes thick, continue to knead on a pastry board and then form a dough ball, cover it with film and let it rest into the fridge for an hour at least.
After that with the help of a rolling pin roll out the dough about 1 cm thick and cut your cookies the shape you like. Put the cookies onto the baking tray covered with greaseproof paper and bake them in a preheated over (180 degrees) for about 15/20 minutes. Please check well as they cook quite quickly – I usually start checking after 10 minutes just in case… As the quantities of this recipe are for about some twenty cookies it is likely you may need to bake two trays. In this case while the first tray is into the over, put the remaining cookies to be baked into the fridge until it’s time for them to be baked as well. In this way they will better keep their shape during baking. Enjoy!
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
One pinch of salt
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!
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 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.