July 30, 2009

Risotto ai Fiori di Zucca

Carnaroli is a medium-grained rice native to the Novara and Vercelli regions of northern Italy. It has a higher starch content than the more common Arborio and therefore it keeps its shape better during the slow cooking process. What else would be more appropriate than some beautiful zucchini blossoms to prepare a risotto with the "king of rices"?

5 zucchini blossoms

2 tablespoons olive oil

250 g risotto rice
200 ml white wine

500 ml vegetable stock

50 g freshly grated parmesan

50 g butter
salt, pepper

Wash the blossoms, removing the stems and pistils, let them dry and slice.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the shallot until it has becomes translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains have become translucent; about 4 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. Begin adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed. When the rice is almost done stir in the zucchini blossoms and sliced stems. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan and butter. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes.

July 28, 2009

Crumbs instead cookie

On the weekend, doing my usual shopping trip to the farmers' yards, to buy fresh milk, green beans, I found three baskets of raspberry with a note: "the last raspberries of the season". Needless to say that I took them all with the plan of preparing sorbet. I thought it would make a nice dessert among some lavender infused white chocolate sabayon and pumpkin seed cookie. Well, the cookies looked awful, but were so delicious that I decided to crumb them on the plate.

500 g raspberry
70 g sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon dried lavender
25 g white chocolate
75 g milk
2 egg yolks
20 g sugar or lavender sugar

white chocolate liqueur or Marsala to taste

Heat sugar with water until it is dissolved, let it cool and pour it over the raspberries. Puree, sieve to remove seeds and let the rest of the work do your ice cream maker. For the sabayon heat milk with dried lavander, pour it over the chocolate and mix well until molten. Whisk
eggs with sugar, add milk-chocolate mixutre and beat over heat until it has a nice thick consistence. Flavour with liqueur or Marsala. Cookie recipe is going to follow.

July 27, 2009

Milan Cookies - Daring Bakers

Yesterday afternoon, I realized that it is soon end of July and I haven't prepared this month's challenge yet, so I rushed to the kitchen and got started. I decided to go for the Milan Cookies, because I am not a fan marshmallows. The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour

Cookie filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

July 25, 2009


It was a rainy afternoon, simply perfect to try my special frying pan, that I was seeking for years. Poffertjes are a traditonal Dutch treat, that look like tiny pancakes, but they are much lighter. Usually served with icing sugar and butter. You also find these in the Czech cuisine, personally I knew them under the name Talkedli, or Czech "doughnut". Traditionally those are served with Powidl a plum stew that is prepared without any sweeteners or gelling agents. I chose to serve with icing sugar and some delicious apricot jam.

400 g flour
20 g fresh yeast
2 eggs

500 ml milk
100 g sugar
oil or butter oil for frying

Pour flour into a mixing bowl, pour 200 ml lukewarm milk in the middle, sprinkle yeast and 20 g sugar in it. Let stand until yeast swims on top. Add egg yolks, a pinch of salt, rest of the milk and the sugar. Mix well with a help of a wooden spoon for 10-15 minutes. Let it stand for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat egg whites and fold into the batter. Heat the frying pan and bake them one after the other and serve warm.

July 1, 2009

Berry Tarte

Luckily, I still had one portion of pate sucrée in the freezer so it was easy to prepare a nice tart for the guests coming over the next day. As berries, cherries now are everywhere I decided to bake a berry tarte. I found beautiful dark rosa gooseberries and thought that these would go pretty well with raspberries. Actually the tart is pretty much the same like the tarte au citron in the preparation.

200 g raspberry
150 g gooseberry
180 g icing sugar
3 eggs
225 g diced butter (room temperature)

Puree berries and sieve. Mix puree with icing sugar and whisk in eggs. Cook it over steam until it thickens (82-83°C). Let it cool down to 60°C and mix in butter. Cool cream and fill the pastry. Chill for 2-3 hours or better over night.

Related Posts with Thumbnails