domenica 30 ottobre 2011

the bread in one bite

With the approach of the cold season, the fun of cooking is enhanced by a renewed pleasure and we start to receive and pamper our guests with new delicacies. A sure way to surprise them is to welcome them with the unique smell of homemade bread.

giovedì 27 ottobre 2011

profiteroles with chocolate, butter cream and dulce de leche

Mtc! Health! Here we go again...each month from the 1st to the 26th  I repeat to myself  "no, no I won't do that this time, not at all, ...the profiteroles, la pate de choux as it is said in Paris in the upper floors, but we're crazy!?!   
Oh well however... it's raining and raining I can't go out in the park, so perhaps I can try, at least it's a recipe of  my guru, idol, mentor Luca Montersino I can not do mistakes with his own recipe. No, no it's absurd, I do not have the time to do it, but they decide that you do a race, one blogger decides we have to use 1 egg, 1 egg have you heard? what can I do with 1 egg, one omlette? But however at last I could do it: because I've got the egg, even the flour, the cream no, but I invent something for the filling, chocolate yes, always in great quantity from Ecuador, so I think that yes I go ahead I try...and yes I've got it! I've succeded in making pate de choux ...great Montersino, great satisfaction.

Ingredients for about 70 puffs:
I have exactly devided in 3 the original doses indicated by Montersino. 

  • 360g eggs (weighted shelled)
  • 245g water
  • 222g butter
  • 35g whole fresh milk
  • 233g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
  • Dulce de Leche
  • butter cream: 150g butter  130g icing sugar e 1 tbs vanilla liqueur
For the chocolate frosting:
  • 400gr dark chocolate (57%)
For the caramel:
  • 150gr sugar
  • 4 tbs water


1. In a heavy bottomed pot pour the water with the cold butter cut into small pieces with a pinch of salt. Melt over low heat and wait until boils well; then pour all in one the sifted flour; mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the walls. 
2. Pour the mixture into the pot of the food-processor (DOESN'T NEED TO BE COOLED) Montersino docet and has always reason. At moderate speed knead the dough and pour in the milk, that will lower the temperature; then pour 2 eggs at a time and wait until they are well incorporated before adding the others. 
3. The mixture must have the aspect of a smooth cream, and if it's needed, add another egg or an half. Brush melted butter on the baking trays and dab the excess with paper towels. No parchment paper is needed, because ... (see it on youtube in the video of Montersino). Put the mixture in a sac a poche and make many puffs distanced one from another. Bake at 220° for about 10 minutes (it took me 15').

For the butter cream mount all the ingredients until fluffy and pour it in a pastry bag.
For chocolate frosting, see here the method for tempering chocolate.
With the pastry bag fill the puffs with buttercream and others with the dulce de leche (soften a few seconds in microwave). Then dip in the tempered chocolate only the surface and make the classic pyramid. In the interstices decorate with the buttercream made down friom the pastry bag.

Decorate as desired with threads of caramel.


domenica 23 ottobre 2011

pistachios plumcake and the sea at Colosseum

Last week there was a storm in Rome and I was at the Coloseum to get to work. Under the Coloseum there was a sea, yes you read well a sea, real waves of water like those at the sea.

giovedì 20 ottobre 2011

divine brownies by linda collister

The title anticipates its qualities: soft and moist inside, crunchy outside, in a word, divine. 
I got  here the recipe. Here is her description:
"No Nuts, no coffee, nothing added to these brownies to distract from the main attraction – dark chocolate and cocoa. Take care not to overcook, brownies are meant to be gooey in the middle – it’s what makes them so gorgeous to eat."

venerdì 14 ottobre 2011

mercoledì 12 ottobre 2011

rocher plates with dried fruit by paul.a.young

This is a recipe I wanted to do from the first day I received as gift the book "Adventures with Chocolate" by paul.a.young; but as many recipes in the list of the things to do even this one always slipped to another day, until I saw it inthe blog of Stefania and finally decided to do it for a Sunday lunch.
 For about 12 large pieces
(in brackets the doses that I used to make 1/5 more)
  • 250g dried fruit of your choice, coarsely chopped  (350)
  • 100g raisins or other dehydrated fruit (140)
  • 300g dark chocolate (420) Ecuador 57% (or at your choice) tempered*

Put the dried fruit on a baking tray in cold oven and bring the temperature to 180°. When the oven is hot, cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to obtain an homogeneous roasting. Let cool completely. Mix 200g (250) of dried fruit with dehydrated fruit with the tempered chocolate stirring as quickly as the chocolate allows in this phase. Spread the mixture on a pan lined with a parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Flatten with a rolling pin until you obtain the desired thickness. Let cool the chocolate but before it completely hardens lift the top sheet and sprinkle the rest of dried fruit and cut into squares or in the shape and size you prefer. 
It keeps up  to 2 months...but it does not last even 2 days.

* In his book paul.a.young also explains the ways of manually tempering chocolate, here I report the one that for method and time is faster and easier (you should not pour the chocolate on the working plan). You have to stir solid chocolate into molten chocolate to "inoculate" in it crystals. Take 2/3 of the total chocolate, melt it in a double boiler or microwave until it reaches the temperature of 55° (this is the correct temperature to melt the fats, the sugars and the crystals crystals contained in the chocolate). If you melt chocolate on a double boiler, the bowl should not touch the water but must be suspended  and the water should never boil. If you melt the chocolate in a microwave put it at the highest temperature for 25-30 seconds, stir it gently and put it again in the microwave so as to control the temperature each time. When the chocolate is at 55° pour the remaining chocolate and stir vigorously until it will be completely melted and wait until the temperature  reaches. 27°-28°. The chocolate must be then gently warmed to working temperature, 31°-32°.  

giovedì 6 ottobre 2011

rustic tart with chestnut cream

Experiment shortbread nr. 100....In my path made of butter-egg-flour, the adjustments and attempts to create new balances of flavours really abound over the years. This is another very successful for me and the tasters for the rustic texture and quite sweet base. The sugary scent is perceived through the fruits and the chestnut cream used on the bottom of tart; while  the pastry makes balance with a dry flavour that tastes like vanilla and adjusts the sizzle of the taste buds. The flavours of late summer and early autumn met to pass the baton. 

Ingredients for a cake tin of 28cm.
  • 200g flour 00
  • 400g yellow corn flour foil
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Bourbon Vanilla Bean
  • 2gr salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon 
    To decorate:

    • grapes
    • pears
    • chestnut cream (I used the one of Trappiste)
    • 4gr gelatin sheets
    • grated coconut

    Sift the flours and make a fountain in the middle of a work table. Open the berries lengthwise, draw out the seeds and put them in the two sugars. Break the eggs in the center of the fountain, add the sugar and vanilla and mix as a batter, add salt, lemon rind and the melted butter, mix well without taking the flour in the sides. When the mixture is homogeneous start to take the flour and knead briefly, form a ball, flatten between two sheets of baking paper and store in the refrigerator for 30'.

    Roll out the pastry into the  greased tin. Pour 3/4 of the chestnut cream and bake for 45' at about 190°. While the tart cools, you can peel the fruits and make the slices and cut the grapes in half. Arrange the fruit slices in circle. Prepare a jelly: soften the gelatin sheets in cold water for few minutes, melt them on low heat with two tbs of jam and brush it thoroughly over the tart and fruits. Sprinkle the grated coconut (if you like). 

    I participate in the contest of Matteo

    domenica 2 ottobre 2011

    tuttifrutti in a caramel basket

    Here we are again with Mt Challenge, a seemingly simple challenge, (a fruit salad, nothing more simple!)  but   in fact it was not so: the contest required a fruit salad and the recipe in the blog of  Ale e Dani is far more similar to the Arcimboldo's paintings than to a simple fruit salad... so mumble mumble