Tiramisu Cake with Amaretto

In this blog I’ve already posted the recipe of our favorite tiramisu recipe with amaretto into a cake.

I replaced the raw eggs with more Greek yogurt which gives to the cake an additional fresh component and safer for the storage.

Make you family all tiramisu lovers happy with this simple recipe.

Tiramisu Cake with Amaretto

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

Sponge

  • 110 g flour
  • 20 g cornstarch
  • 4 eggs (divided)
  • 120 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Coffee brush

  • 100 ml strong coffee
  • 20 g sugar
  • 50 ml amaretto liqueur, quantity to taste J

Cream

  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 200 g Greek yogurt
  • 120 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated (variation: orange zest); optional
  • 50 ml coffee

Dusting

  • 50 g dark chocolate, grated  (quantity to taste)

Procedure

  1. Combine together and sift well flour and cornstarch.
  2. In a big bowl beat to stiff picks the egg whites gradually add the sugar and beat until very thick and glossy.
  3. While the mixer is busy beating up those eggs and sugar, prepare one 26 cm spring-form by greasing it with butter and dusting it with four. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  4. Add eggs yolks as well as vanilla and slowly until incorporated.
  5. Spoon half the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour. Do not use the electric mixer to add the flour, since this would deflate all the lovely air pockets that will help the cake to rise. Add the second half of the flour and again fold it in gently. Make sure to lift the mixture from the very bottom of the bowl as you fold in the flour.
  6. Spread it out into the spring-form evenly using the spatula. Bake for 30 minutes at 170°C or until done (toothpick test).
  7. Remove from the oven and place on a grid to cool down.
  8. In the meantime prepare the coffee brush combining well all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
  9. Combine all the ingredients for the cream with an electric mixer.
  10. When the cake is cooled down, cut it into 3 layers. If you need some help for this step, check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHyGSrCm8c8&ab_channel=GialloZafferanoItalianRecipes
  11. Place the top layer upside down on your cake-plate. Brush half of the coffee mixture and spread with a spatula more or less one quarter of the cream. Grate some dark chocolate on the surface of the cream. Repeat with the second layer, coffee, cream and chocolate.
  12. To finish place the bottom layer (upside down) on the top, spread another quarter of cream and dust with the chocolate. Place the remaining cream into a small plastic bag, cut the tip and pipette the cream to decorate the cake.
  13. Place into the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Avocado and Oranges Salad with Fennel Fronds

Fronds are those cute frilly light green leafy things attached to the stalks that grow out of a fennel bulb. They look like fresh dill, and they have a light taste similar to aniseeds. I grow fennels in my garden especially for these, I add this to spinach or chard to make the Greek kaltzunias (little small pies) and to attract butterflies in my garden. If you buy fennel with these, don’t throw these away and if you do not need them at the moment, freeze them! If you do not get them, then replace them with tinny fennel bulb slices.

The origin of fennel and orange salad is not completely known, but it may have its roots in the Arab world and come to Europe after the invasions of Spain and. The orange salad was created as a poor dish (wild fennel can be found at the border of many roads) and it doesn’t require cooking. Today, the fennel and orange salad is known all over the world and it is served as an appetizer/salad or as a final dish after an important meal.

I love to collect fennel fronds if traveling in Greece in Early spring, the same period as oranges get ripe.

In this recipe I completed the ingredients with avocado for its soft texture and the taste which combines well with citrus, In addition a roasted pine nuts give a welcome crunchy texture.

For the dressing I opted for some white balsamic vinegar flavoured with honey and Dijon mustard.

Avocado and Oranges Salad with Fennel Fronds

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Salad

Ingredients

  • Green salad leaves to cover the bottom and the sides of the serving bowl, washed
  • 2 ripe but firm avocados (reserve some slices for decoration drizzled with lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 oranges peeled and diced (make a few slices and reserve for decoration)
  • 2-4 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped (reserve some for the topping)
  • 2-4 tablespoons green onions slices (reserve some for the topping)

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Topping

  • Reserved herbs
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted

Procedure

  1. Arrange the green salad in the bowl.
  2. Peel and slice the first avocado, place then in another bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss well with your hands. Peel and slice the second avocado add this to the first and gently again toss them together.
  3. Add the other ingredients for the salad over the avocados.
  4. Combine well the ingredients for the dressing.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and very gently toss them together.
  6. Place the mixture over the arranged salad leaves, decorate with the reserved avocado and orange slices and sprinkle with the herbs and the pine nuts

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Bread Pizza

Never throw your stale bread away! You can make breadcrumbs, bread pudding, meatballs, and French toasts, and, and, and! Did you know you could also prepare a wonderful pizza? Once again, this is great opportunity to make your family happy with this great meal and at the same time, your stale bread will be gone very quickly!  

Bread Pizza

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 250 g stale bread, sliced into 1 cm thick slices (quantity may be changed upon your needs)
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups béchamel sauce
  • 1 cup tomatoes sauce (for example marinara sauce), not to liquid
  • 1 tablespoon dried fried onions, optional
  • Chopped basil, to taste and optional
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Topping to taste as capers, olives, anchovies, halved cherry tomatoes
  • 150 g mozzarella sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, oregano, marjoram or thyme leaves, optional

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C
  2. Coat your baking dish (about 32 cm wide) with little olive oil and arrange bread slices in order to cover the bottom
  3. Spread béchamel sauce over the bread
  4. Combine your tomatoes sauce with dried onions, chopped basil and oregano. Spoon this mixture over the béchamel
  5. Top the pizza with ingredients of your choice
  6. Add mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes at 220°C until the mozzarella begins to take a golden brown color
  8. Remove from the oven add some pepper and the fresh herbs
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Day 19: Stay at Home or In the Garden: Arancini di Risotto allo Zafferrano

Every time we prepare saffron risotto (Italian Pilaf), we prepare some more as next day we love the leftovers lightly fried in the skilled until it becomes a crunchy crust.

Today I noticed a recipe form Sicily called “arancini”, this was the inspiration for mine, and I created a North Italian version with North Italian ingredients….and the ingredients I have at home now after two weeks of “stay at home” and without shopping trips!

In the fridge, we had some grated mozzarella, but I suggest it possible to use the fresh one (cut into cubes) or another soft North Italian or Swiss Italian cheese as for example “formaggella”.

Arancini di Risotto allo Zafferrano

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Oil for the baking try and for your hands

  • 1000 g cold saffron risotto, mine was prepared with dried porcini
  • 5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese or better formaggella, quantity to taste
  • 150 g mozzarella, grated or cut into cubes
  • 6 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Dried herbs to taste (I suggest rosemary) to taste
  • Salt (I used my homemade salt with dried basil flowers) to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Combine the risotto with the parmesan if this was not included already in the saffron recipe. Dived it into about 12 portions.
  2. Dived the cheese into the same quantity of portions.
  3. Coat your baking tray and your hand with oil.
  4. Take the first risotto portion with you hand, flatten it little bit and place the cheese inside. Carefully close it into a ball and place it on the tray. Repeat with all the rice and cheese portions. Remember to coat your hands when needed.
  5. Combine breadcrumbs, herbs salt and pepper.
  6. Roll the first ball into the crumbs mixture and place it on the tray again.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake the balls until golden brown and crispy. This takes about  25-30 minutes.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Day 11: Stay at Home or In the Garden: Spinach and Feta Muffins

As most muffin recipes, they are easy and quick to be prepared; for this reason they can be served for a week dinner as well, we served these instead of bread together with meat balls.

You can adapt the recipe and for example add grated carrots instead of fried spinach.

If you are using an acid ingredient, as in this case the feta, baking soda will be enough, if not, please use a mixture of baking soda and baking powder.

These muffins can be prepared in advance and reheat for about 3 minutes before serving.

Spinach and Feta Muffins

  • Servings: 12 pieces (6 cm wide)
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 mall onion, chopped
  • 200 g spinach, washed and chopped or only young leaves
  • 200 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g feta, crumbled
  • 50 g walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder, to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sesame seeds for topping, to taste and optional

Preparation

  1. Heat oil and fry the onion until translucent. Add spinach and sauté until just soft ad water adsorbed. Remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  3. In a bowl, sift together flour and baking soda.
  4. Add milk and egg. Stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in feta, walnuts and sautéed spinach.
  6. Season with nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste.
  7. Scoop the mixture in muffin molds (I used 6 cm wide silicon molds).
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seed or more walnuts.
  9. Bake at 180°C for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and done.
  10. Best serve them lukewarm.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Carciofi alla Romana – Roman Style Artichockes

This is a traditional Roman (Italian) dish which can be severved as appetizer or as a side dish.

Now, that we are approaching the spring and in southern Countries the spring is already there, artichokes appear in the shops and I really don’t want to miss them!

The kind used for this preparation is called “Mammole”, they are quite big sized artichokes and the leaves are rounded shaped.

The mint used for this dish is usually the “mentuccia romana”, in my case I used Turkish mint in my garden, from which I can find some leaves even in winter. I think that the Greek mint (diosmos) would fit also perfectly; for this preparation I would avoid pepper mint, chocolate mint or mint kinds intended for drinks or cocktails. Spearmint would be good as well.

I prepared 3 artichokes, but give you the recipe for 4 of them.

Carciofi alla Romana - Roman Style Artichockes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Artischockes (Mammole kind)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 200 ml water (more or less)
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. In a small bowl combine the herbs and the garlic, add ½-teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. To clean the artichokes prepare some lemony water (using the juice of half lemon) and rub your and with some lemon as well in order to prevent blackening.
  3. Remove the outside leaves which appear woody and without pulp. Peal the stem and cut it but leave a small piece. If the remaining stems appears soft, do not discard them, but add it to the preparation.
  4. Cut the top of the artichokes (depending on the size, about 4 cm). Open the center of the artichokes and remove the filaments with spoon, a knife or better with the vegetable carving instrument. Place the artichokes in the lemony water; this will prevent them from darkening.
  5. Open the artichokes with your fingers and stuff them with the prepared herbs mixture.
  6. Place the artichokes head side down in pot where they can fit tightly. Add the stems.
  7. Pour the remaining olive oil and the water.
  8. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, open the lid and let reduce the liquid.
  9. Serve them hot n on a serving plate.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Dried Figs stuffed with Almonds and Orange Zest

This year we had a very warm summer and the garden gave us a lot delicious figs, which we shared with friends.

However, it was only during our holidays on Crete after noticing that most of the figs fall on the floor and, as I hate food waste, I decided to try to dry some figs and prepare a great souvenir of the summer in a jar.

The good thing we had for this, beside the figs of course was the sun; the strong Greek sun is best to preserve these figs and for this reason, I searched in the internet how I should proceed.

To make them more special, I decided to modify an Italian recipe (from the *Puglie* region) and so I started to collect ripe but still firm green and black figs and to dry them in the sun!

Figs can be dried halved or cut in two pieces; I opted to cut them into two halves as the effect of the sun would be stronger drying the figs quickly and the rays would destroy all possible parasites.

The best way to dry them would be on a grid, but since I did not have this, I used my normal baking try with a black baking foil, which attracted the sun and kept the heat; in two days, the figs were dry enough, some of them almost to dry! J

If you don’t have the opportunity to collect and dry the figs, you should opt for the dry figs from the store and halve them with a scissor taking care to keep them partially attached.

These figs are an unusual addition to the holiday table and make a unique Christmas gift from the kitchen!

Dried Figs stuffed with Almonds and Orange Zest

  • Difficulty: easy
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You need

  • 50 dried figs, butterflied
  • 1 orange, peel only removed with a vegetable peeler and cut into small pieces
  • 50 almonds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch o cinnamon
  • 10-20 bay leaves

Procedure

  1. Add a piece of orange peel on one side of the butterflied fig.
  2. Add an almond on each it and cover with the other side. Press them well together.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C/350°F, Check on the color and temperature as cooking time may vary from oven to oven!
  4. In the meantime, combine the powdered sugar with the cinnamon.
  5. Switch off the oven, take out the figs out, dust with sugar and place them in the oven for other 5 minutes.
  6. In order to store them for a long time, place the still warm figs into sterilized jars layered and with several bay leaves between the layers for added flavor. Store the jar in a cool dry place.

Tip1: After sun drying the figs, some of them resulted very dry, too dry for this preparation, for this reason I placed them in bowl, sprinkled them with water (about tablespoons for 5 cups of dried figs) covered them, and placed in the microwave for 2 two minutes. After resting for about 10 minutes they were ready for this preparation.

Tip2: Quartered walnuts and orange zest by lemon or tangerine zest may replace Almonds!

Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Tomato Confit

If you have a garden with a lot of delicious ripe but still firm tomatoes and you wish to save the for the winter, this is the perfect recipe for you!

I used San Marzano Tomatoes, but if you have only cherry tomatoes this will go as well simply skipping the peeling procedure and starting form point 9; reduce time and heat as need until the tomatoes reduce their juices but don’t turn to dry.

These slow-roasted tomatoes are fancy food ingredients which can be served as appetizer or addition to sandwich, salad, or pizza.

Tomato Confit

  • Difficulty: medium
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You need:

  • 1-2 kg San Marzano or Roma tomatoes (or not to big tomatoes)
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil
  • herbs to taste

Procedure

  1. Bring water to boil in a big pot (about 2/3 of pot content) . Prepare a big colander that fits in the pot.
  2. Fill the kitchen sink with cold water, adding ice if possible.
  3. Make a cross incision on tomatoes peel using a sharp knife.
  4. Place tomatoes in a colander.
  5. Place the colander in the hot water.
  6. After 30 seconds remove from the hot water and place them in the cold water.
  7. Leave them again for about 30 seconds then remove them and sit them somewhere to drain and rest for a couple of minutes.
  8. Remove the skin of the tomatoes.
  9. Halve the tomatoes.
  10. Remove seeds with their water.
  11. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for approximately one hour at 150°C/300°F.
  12. Remove from the oven and let cool down.
  13. Serve with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and herbs or preserve these in jars.

To preserve then for the winter:

  1. Tightly pack the confit tomatoes and with their  juices into 500 ml jars within 1 cm of the tops and screw on lids.
  2. Place in a large, heavy-based saucepan and pour in enough water to cover the jars, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 40 mins. Turn off the heat and leave to cool in the water.

Frollini all’Arancia – Orange Cookies

After the cookies I’ve prepared last week, I’ve decided to prepare some more simple cookies these came out so good and cute, that I could not wait until they were home and I had so send them a photo of them.

The preparation was very easy, I simple made the dough with the food processor and this saved me a lot of time.

For the shape I tried different methods and finally I found that the citrus press would make e the best job and it was so quick! Don’t forget to dust the dough balls, so they won’t stick to the citrus press!

Frollini all’Arancia – Orange Cookies

  • Difficulty: easy
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You neeed:

Dough

  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 160 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 orange, only zest grated
  • 175 g cornstarch
  • 400 g flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Dusting mixture

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Topping:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or orange juice), quantity to adjust
  • Marmalade or jam (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dough together and work them with the food processor (or the hakes) until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl combine the two ingredients for dusting.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Take a happened teaspoon of dough, roll into a small ball. Dip the ball in the dusting mixture, tap to remove excess roll again. Place on the cookies sheet.
  5. Repeat until you finish the dough and if necessary prepare little more dusting mixture
  6. Make a small hall pressing the point of you citrus squeezer over each ball. You can fill the hole with little marmalade of jam if desired.
  7. Bake for about 12-14 minutes at 180°C until the borders turn lightly brown. I’m using a fan forced oven, probably with a traditional oven you will need more time.
  8. While the cookies are in the oven combine powdered sugar and the citrus juice. As only so much liquid until it becomes thick but not completely liquid. Transfer this mixture into a small plastic bag
  9. Cut a small corner of the plastic bag and paint the cookies to taste.
  10. Let the glaze dry completely before placing the cooking into cookies-boxes.

 

Biscotti rustici al limone – Italian rustic cookies with lemon

These quick and simply flavorful cookies are the perfect snack for you while you are studying or in the office as energy source when needed. If for breakfast, on the way to work or for a short break (school or work) they are always very welcome.

Biscotti rustici al limone – Italian rustic cookies with lemon

  • Difficulty: easy
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You need 

  • 1000 g flour (you may also use whole-wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla powder
  • 400 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g margarine, butter or oil
  • 1 lemon, grated zest only
  • 120 ml Marsala wine (or other sweet dessert wine), quantity to be adjusted

Variation instead of lemon zest: orange zest, bitter almond flavor or with cacao or with cinnamon or with the addition of almonds/nuts.

Procedure

  1. Sieve and combine all the dry ingredients
  2. Add all the other ingredients and work until well combined (we used the knead machine). During this step add the wine in portion until the dough comes together but it don’t stick to your hands.
  3. Make portions and roll logs of about 2-3 of diameter, make slices about 2-3 cm thick. Usually they are shaped to round balls, but we simply kept the slices as they came out.
  4. Transfer to trays with parchment foil.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 10-13 minutes until borders turn light brown.
  6. Let cool down and dry on a grid.
  7. Store in a fresh place in air tight containers.