Thursday, 24 April 2014

Pan di Ramerino

This is a traditional tuscan sweet bread from Prato. It means "rosemary bread".
It is slightly sweet with a mild rosemary flavour and raisins.
I added a touch of honey to enrich its taste.
I did not follow the traditional recipe to the letter, I added a bit of butter in the dough, which gives a moister texture and the bread lasts longer.

25 g fresh yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup warm milk
5 cups flour
50 g butter, melted
1 egg
50 g raisins
3 Tbsp honey

4 Tbsp olive oil
a sprig of rosemary

1 egg white

Melt the yeast in the warm milk, with a Tbsp sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, this means that thr yeast is active.
In a large bowl put flour, remaining sugar, egg, butter, raisins and honey. Put the liquid mixture into the dried one and mix. Start to kneat the dough on a lightly floured surface for at least 5 minutes, or until it becomes elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
In a non-stick pan heat the olive oil and rosemary to low heat. Set aside and let cool.
Once cooled add the olive oil and rosemary (chopped) to the dough. Kneat until all is well incorporated.
Divide the dough into 8 balls, put them on a baking tray lined with packment paper and let rise again for 30 minutes, cover with a towel, always in a warm place.
Brush the surface of the breads with some egg white.
Bake at 200° for 15 minutes or until golden on the bottom. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Teddy cookies

I get crazy when I see original cookies. Animal ones always catch my eye. These are extra cute.
I gave these as a gift to one of my friends, they're simple, but effective.

250 g flour
125 g butter, cold and cut into chunks
100 g sugar
1 egg
50 g almond, unpeeled

Put flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. Mix until you get a crumbly batter. Add the egg and mix.
Kneat the dough until smooth. Shape into a ball and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough and cut with a small Teddy cookie cutter.
Place the bears on a baking tray, put one almond each in the center of the bust, pressing gently. Fold the arms on the almond trying to secure it.
Bake at 160° for 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

False Panna Cotta

This is my light version of panna cotta. I used to do this a lot  as a daily dessert. 
If you reach the right point of sweetness to cancel the yogurt acidity, it really taste like cream.
Vanilla bean scraped and heaten up into the milk will give a wonderful flavour, as well as a lovely dotty look. Sometimes I use Alpro soy milk to replace the bean and still have a vanilla-like taste.

170 g greek yogurt
150 ml milk
sugar to taste
3 gelatine leaves (6 g circa)

raspberries and rose water to garnish

Bring the milk to a slow boil, when bubbles appear turn off the heat and add the jelly. Let cool a bit.
Wisk the greek yogurt until smooth, add sugar to taste. Add the milk and wisk well. Put in the fridge until firm.

(Makes 2)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Lemon jam and strawberries tart

I'm starting to enjoy tarts, they always look cool.
I made this one with calm and patience, two things I never had around tarts.
Did it worth the effort?

for the pastry
200 g flour
75 g butter, room temperature
75 g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tbso warter
zest of 1/2 a lemon

for the filling:
100 g lemon jam
400 g 
2 Tbsp sugar

Prepare the pastry: in a food processor put butter, egg yolks and sugar. Mix and slowly add the water. Add the flour and the lemon zest. Bind the dough together and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry and cover a 24 cm tart tin, make a few holes on the bottom using a fork. Put back in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Line with packment paper and cover the surface with beans or rise. Bake at 190° for 15 minutes.
Take off the beans/rise and cook for further 10 minutes.
Spread evenly the jam on the base.
Wash and cut the strawberries lenghtwise, sugar them and put them onto the jam.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Let cool completely.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Rose Butter Cookies

I love baking with flowers.
To me, roses and rosewater in desserts immediately recall Persia and Greece, then sun and warm weather.
Today it was like this.
Be prepared to see several other things-with-flowers recipes.
There will be many.
Starting from this.


225 g butter
150 g sugar
300 g flour
1 tsp rose water
3 Tbsp dried rose petals

In the food processor mix 2 Tbsp dried petals with the sugar.
Add the butter, softened and beat until creamy, but not fluffy.
Add the flour, remaining rose petals and rose water.
Shape the batter into small balls, arrange them on a baking tray lined with packment paper, 4 cm far from one another, and press them a little with your fingers.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Bake a 180° for about 14 minutes, or until slightly golden on the surface.
Let cool completely.