Zuccotto Meringato

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Recipe and photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

The idea of this scrumptious dessert came to my mind thinking about three of my favorite elements of the Italian Art of Pastry : Pan di Spagna, Zuccotto and Meringata.

Pan di Spagna is the traditional Italian sponge cake used as a base for many Italian desserts. It is a light and quite dry cake that is usually brushed with liqueur or syrup before the addition of the filling.

Zuccotto is a semi-frozen, chilled dessert made with cake, liqueur and ice cream. This dessert is traditionally made in a special pumpkin-shaped mold called Zuccotto ( literally little pumpkin ).

Meringata (Italian Meringue Cake) is a delicious frozen dessert made of whipped cream sandwiched between meringue rounds. The Meringata is usually served with warm chocolate sauce.

Buon Appetito !!!

Servings : 6

Difficulty : difficult

Prep Time : 45 min. + 3 hours in the fridge

Cook Time : 20 min.

INGREDIENTS

For the Italian Sponge Cake

5 eggs, separated

4.5 oz granulated sugar

3.5 oz flour 00

0.88 oz potato starch

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Syrup

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 shot of rum

For the fillings and cover

1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 cup mini chocolate chips semi-sweet

10 vanilla meringues, crushed

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Grease a round 9 inch cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.

In a medium bowl sift together flour and potato starch, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, then add the vanilla extract and blend.

In another medium bowl, whip egg whites until stiff.

Gently stir the whipped egg whites into the egg/sugar mixture.

Fold in, little by little, the sifted flour and the potato starch.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Slice horizontally into 3 thin layers then cut every layer into stripes (1 inch width).

Prepare the syrup placing water and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved . When the syrup is warm, add the rum and stir well.

Whip the heavy whipping cream until just firm, add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Line a medium mixing bowl with cling wrap, place stripes of sponge cake to cover the entire bowl (bottom and sides), brush the sponge cake with the syrup. Trim the edges with a knife (if necessary).

Fill the cake halfway up with the filling, make a layer with sponge cake, fill with more filling. Finish the cake with a layer of sponge cake. (Preserve the remaining filling and place it in the fridge).

Cover the cake with cling wrap than place a wheight over (a plate will work well). Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Invert the zuccotto over a serving plate, remove the cling wrap, spread the remaining filling evenly over the cake.

Decorate the cake by joining the crushed meringues to the top and sides of the cake.

Place the zuccotto in the fridge for another hour before serving.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!

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Let’s celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a green and healthy recipe : Lasagne Asparagus and Burrata. This delicious recipe won the Alpine Fresh contest last year and I’m so proud to share it again with all of my friends, followers and readers.

Remember to keep it always simple and delicious…buon appetito!!!

INGREDIENTS

12 sheets fresh flat rolled egg pasta (lasagne)

1 bunch fresh asparagus

1/2 little onion, chopped

14 oz Italian burrata

2 tbsp unsalted butter

4 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1/2 cup asparagus cooking water

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt & pepper , to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Wash the asparagus and boil them in boiling salted water.

Drain the asparagus with a slotted spoon.

Keep the cooking water, set aside.

Cut the asparagus and the burrata into small pieces. Keep some asparagus tips for decorating the dish.

In a large skillet, brown the onion with butter until golden. Add the chopped asparagus and saute for 5 minutes.

In a food processor whirr together ¾ of burrata , sauteed asparagus , half of the Parmigiano Reggiano, 1/2 cup of asparagus cooking water, 1/2 cup heavy cream, salt and pepper until the misture is smooth and without lumps. Set aside.

In a large skillet boil the lasagne sheets in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, then with a slotted spoon move them onto a dish towel.

Spread some asparagus cream evenly all over the bottom of a baking dish, then start to build lasagne laying down the first layer of boiled lasagne sheets, then spread over evenly some asparagus cream, sprinkle with some pieces of burrata and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Repeat the operation in the same order (boiled lasagne sheets, asparagus cream, burrata and Parmigiano) until all the ingredients are gone. Finish decorating with asparagus tips on top.

Bake the lasagne asparagus and burrata for about 30 minutes.

Let stand for at least 10 minutes before servings.

Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Brandy & Nuts Brownies Now On Expo 2015 Worldrecipes Homepage

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Once again one of my recipe has been featured in the Expo 2015 Worldrecipes homepage.

Please, check the Brandy & Nuts Brownies recipe in the section Gorgeous Brownies #expoworldrecipes #Expo2015  #tastetheplanet

http://worldrecipes.expo2015.org/en/

Enjoy!

“The First Cup…

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The first cup moistens my lips and throat. The second cup breaks my loneliness. The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified. The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves. Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.

“Tea-Drinking” by Lu Tung (T’ang Dynasty Chinese poet)

The Saveur Blog Awards 2015 : Nominations

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The nomination line for Saveur’s 6th Annual Blog Awards is now open. Saveur Blog 2015 Awards are the recognitions for the best blog in different categories (food, culinary travel, wine, photography) hosted by the prestigious Saveur Magazine.

If you enjoy to read my food blog and think that deserves it, please nominate http://breadloveanddreams.com at the link below:

http://www.saveur.com/article/contests/blog-awards-2015-nominate

It takes only one minute to nominate your favorite blog. Nominations close on March 13 #savblogawards .

Thank you in advance for all the nominations, that means a world to me!!!