Sunday, 1 September 2013

Lavender, apricot and ricotta cake

I ADORE lavender in desserts. It yells Summer each slice you take.
I made this cake starting from a delicious ricotta cake base, then I added dried apricots and lavender flowers.
The taste is fresh and delicate. The cake is very light and moist thanks to ricotta, with a crispy apricot top.
This is my dad's favourite cake.




Ingredients


Top:
250 g dried apricots
2 Tbsp Cointreau
2 Tbsp sugar
125 ml boiling water

batter:
125g butter
125g sugar
300g flour
200g ricotta
3 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
vanilla bean, split
2 Tbsp fresh lavender flowers


How to


Boil water with Cointreau and 2 Tbsp sugar. Pour over the dried apricots and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Put them in the blender until rughly chopped.

Prepare the cake batter: beat butter, vanilla and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add flour and baking powder. Finally add the ricotta and mix roughly. Put the batter in a 20 cm baking tin, lined with packment paper, and cover the surface with the apricots.
Bake at 180° for 20 minutes, then put over the cake some foil to prevent the surface from burning. Let bake for another 25 minutes.



Thursday, 1 August 2013

Chocolate Madeleines

Madeleines are one of my favourite little cakes.
It's for their chewy, spongy and rich texture, that I particularly love.
This is my chocolate version. 
In my house they don't last  not even one day long...they are tasty I suppose.




Ingredients:

5 eggs, separated
150 g butter
100 g flour
200 g sugar
150 g dark chocolate



Instructions: 

Preheat the oven to 180°.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. 
Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale.
Melt the butterand dark chocolate. Add them to the egg and sugar mixture.
Stir in egg whites and flour, alternately.
Puor the mixture into madeleines tin and bake 10-12 minutes.



Sunday, 14 July 2013

Lemon Curd Tart


I made thousand cakes during this years, but tarts were always a big problem for me. They never came out like I wanted so I started to hate them deeply. Today I wanted to put myself to the test. I'm happy to say that for once I'm satisfied with the result. Today I hate tarts a little less.

It came out a rustic but delicate lemony tart, slightly sour, not to sweet.







for the pastry:

250g flour
125g butter, chopped
100g sugar
1 egg

for the curd:

1/2 cup lemon juice
100g butter
1 egg + 3 egg yolks

2 lemons


Prepare the pastry: put the flour and sugar in a large bowl and add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Try to work wickly to avoid the pastry to become greasy. Add the egg and knead the dough. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
As an alternative, put all the ingredients in the food processor.

For the curd put juice and butter in a saucepan and stir until butter is melted. Beat the egg and egg yolks with the sugar and put them in the lemon and butter mixture. Stir constantly for 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

 Roll the dough on a floured surface into a 28cm round. Wrap around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 25 cm pie plate. Remove all the excess of dough from the edges with a knife. Prick the bottom with a fork, then cover with baking paper and put enough beans to cover all the base of the tin. Cook for 10-12 minutes than remove the paper and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

Pour the lemon curd over the cooked dough. Garnish with lemon slices, slightly cooked in a sugar+water syrup until tender.