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Category Archives: Desserts

Happy Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day, the annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

Let’s celebrate with delicious Italian sweet or savory pies, because baking is a lot like mathematics!

#PiDay

Pies by Ale Gambini 😉

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Chiacchiere (Italian Carnival Fried Dough)

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Today in Italy is celebrated Fat Thursday, the traditional Catholic feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and Carnevale. Carnevale is the most colorful and playful period of the year, when everyone wears a costume or a mask, and celebrates in the streets with festive parades, allegoric floats, coriandoli (paper confetti), stelle filanti (paper streamers) and delicious sweet treats such as Chiacchiere. Chiacchiere are sweet crisp pastries, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and are known by different names depending on the regions in which they are prepared :

Lombardy : chiacchiere

Bologna : sfrappole

Tuscany : cenci

Rome : frappe

Tentino Alto Adige & Friuli Venezia Giulia : crostoli 

Liguria & Piedmont : bugie

Sardinia : meraviglias

No matter how we call them, Chiacchiere are simply delicious.

Buon Carnevale!!!

…another recipe homemade, simple and delicious included in my cookbook “A Queen In the Kitchen“.

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Available on:

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Amazon.com (US)CA, Amazon Europe: (ITFRESDE) and UK.

Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini & Angelica- BreadLoveAndDreams.com

 

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. to rest

Cook Time : 2 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1 shot of Grappa

vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl place the flour, make a well then add sugar, butter, eggs, salt and Grappa.

Kneed by hand until the dough becomes soft and pliable. (You can also knead with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

Cover with plastic paper an allow to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

Divide the dough in 4 equal parts.

With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough with a pastry wheel or serrated knife into rectangles 2×4 inch , make 1 or 2 incisions in the middle of each rectangle.

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot then fry the chiacchiere in small batches until both sides are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and place the chiacchiere over a serving plate covered with paper towel.

Dust with abundant powdered sugar while warm.

Hazelnut Crème Brûlée…Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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“Cooking is love made visible.” ~ Anonymous

Hazelnut Crème Brûlée is my way to celebrate the “sweetest” day of the year. Crème Brûlée is a French dessert consisting of a rich custard base, topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. I flavored this scrumptious dessert with hazelnut spread and garnished with organic fresh berries.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.+ 2 hours rest

Cook Time : 45 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pint heavy whipping cream, room temperature

6 tbsp hazelnut spread

granulated sugar, to sprinkle

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 250 F degrees.

With a hand or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until white and frothy.

Stir in the vanilla extract.

Gradually add the heavy whipping cream and whisk until smooth.

Spread evenly a tablespoon of hazelnut spread on the bottom of each ramekin.

Pour the cream mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until set but still trembling in the center.

Allow to cool at room temperature.

Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle each custard with a thin layer of granulated sugar and caramelize with a kitchen torch until a crispy top forms. (If you don’t have the torch, place the ramekins under the broiler for a couple of minutes)

Serve immediately accompanied with fresh berries.

HOW TO Make Pinwheel Pastries

Simple, fun and delicious, the pinwheel pastries are ready in no time. Watch my easy-to-follow video recipe and learn how to make them. For this recipe I’ve used apricot jam, strawberry jam and hazelnut spread but all jams, preserves or nut spreads work well.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious.

…if you like it, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Enjoy!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Yields : 6 pinwheel pastries

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.

Cook Time : 20 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

puff pastry, thawed

apricot jam

strawberry jam

hazelnut spread

whole milk

granulated sugar

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees.

Slightly flour a work surface.

Gently roll the thawed puff pastry .

Cunt the put pastry into squares.

Make incisions 1 inch from the center towards each corners.

Fold every other tip towards the center, pressing a little bit in the center.

Place 1 teaspoon of your favorite fruit or nut spread in there center.

Move over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 20 mints or until golden brown.

 

 

 

HOW TO Make Nutella Mug Cake

You may love it our hate it but Nutella is the world’s most famous hazelnut spread. In this episode of HOW TO I’ll show you how to prepare a simple and delicious mug cake. It only takes few ingredients and a couple of minutes in the microwave to make this yummy cake.

If you prefer, you can substitute the Nutella with other hazelnut spreads available at your local groceries or deli stores.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious.

…if you like it, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Enjoy!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Yields : 1 mug cake

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 5 min.

Cook Time : 2 min.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup Nutella

2 tbsp whole milk

1 egg

1 mug

DIRECTIONS

Place the flour in the mug.

Add the baking powder and mix.

Add the Nutella and the milk and stir until well combined.

Crack in the egg and stir until well blended.

Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy warm.

Sbriciolata Alla Nutella (Nutella Crumb Cake)

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To all the Nutella lovers, here is so far the best Nutella cake I’ve ever baked. Sbriciolata (literally crumbled) is a type of cake that holds a smooth filling (in this case Nutella) between two layers of crunchy shortcrust crumbs. The preparation of the dough is the same as for the Sbrisolona cake, the typical Lombard tart originated in the city of Mantua, crumbly in texture and rich in flavor.

Try the Sbriciolata also filled with :

  • ricotta and chocolate chips
  • pastry cream
  • apple
  • pumpkin
  • lemon curd

Buon Appetito!

 

Photo by Ale gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Servings : 6 to 8

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 20 min.

Cook Time : 35 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2.5 cups flour type 00

1 pinch salt

8 gr vanilla baking powder (Bertolini or Paneangeli)

8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold

4.5 oz granulated sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 small jar (13 oz) Nutella

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degree.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and vanilla baking powder.

Add sugar and diced cold butter, work with your fingertips until a sandy mixture forms.

Add the egg and work briefly until the mixture tuns into big crumbs.

Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.

Place half of the crumb mixture into the cake pan.

Soften the Nutella for 30 seconds in the microwave then spread over the mixture.

Cover the Nutella with the remaining half crumb mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool completely in its pan.

Serve lightly dusted with powdered sugar.

HOW TO Make Strawberry Santas

Strawberry Santas are the most fun and delicious Christmas treats for the whole family. Easy to make, delicious to eat, it takes only a few minutes to turn your organic fresh strawberries into little cute Santas filled with mascarpone cream.

This recipe makes 6 big Strawberry Santas.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious!

Please take a moment to LIKE, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE. We really appreciate your support!
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Credits:
Ale Gambini (Host Chef – Founder – Video Maker – Video Editor)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Yields : 6 Strawberry Santa

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 20 min.

INGREDIENTS

6 big strawberries, washed and dried

4 oz mascarpone cheese

4 oz powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Holiday sequins and pearls, to decorate

Kitchen tools

1 paring knife

1 pastry bag with a small star tip

DIRECTIONS

With a paring knife, slice the stems off the strawberries then cut the top third of each strawberry. Set aside

Prepare the mascarpone cream by whisking together mascarpone and powdered sugar until creamy.

Add the vanilla extract and blend well.

Fill a star tipped pastry bag  with the mascarpone cream and pipe a small amount over the large pieces of strawberries.

Top with the Santa’s hats (small strawberries pieces).

Make pom pom and Santa’ s buttons by piping just a smidgen of mascarpone cream.

Use Holiday sequins or pearls for making eyes.

Dust with powdered sugar for a snow effect.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!