A bag of puffs
200 ml Whipped cream
100 gr Dark chocolate
1 Cup milk
For the cream
750 ml Milk
200 gr Sugar
150 gr Flour
Recipe: In a saucepan beat yolks with sugar, add flour and vanilla, then pour milk little by little. Bring to boil, remove the saucepan from the stove and let the cream rest. When this cream is cold, mix it with the whipped cream. Use half of this preparation to fill the puffs with. Now take the other half and mix it with the dark chocolate already melted in the warm milk. Then dip the puffs in this chocolate cream, put the mas a pyramid on a nice dish and decorate.
Dedicated to: all the men who brag about themselves and their physical attributes, but finally you discover that… they can only be proud of the adjectives they could find to describe themselves.
I am thinking of D., for example, that I kissed and cuddled for years… before getting finally to THE point… and… discovering that he only had one ball! Bitterness please go awaaaaaaaay!
History: The torrone is a confection typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds and peanuts or other nuts. The torrone is usually shaped into a rectangular tablet and it is frequently consumed as a traditional Christmas dessert in Italy.
Recipe: I could give you the torrone recipe and let you clean up the sugar stuck on your stove after using all the hardware in your kitchen… But I’m nice enough to advise you to buy the torrone in a supermarket ( – :
Dedicated to All the men I met in my life who were convinced they had a golden peanut. And especially to Paolo who looked quite easy to crunch and then I broke my teeth on him.
Imagine a dinner among friends, imagine a couple of drinks too many, imagine a double chocolate cake, imagine a voluptuous blogger selling her creatures, imagine a brilliant man with no cravings for sweets. This is how it all started…
At the beginning Paolo looked easy going, he smiled, he interacted, he even pretended to like the cake I (silver)spoon-fed him. Then the question: “Paolo, what cake would you be?” He wanted to be jell-o, panna cotta, or mousse. But noooooo, Paolo, you are not a foamy dessert, you are a briquette-style cake! Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with this kind of cakes: they are heavy and steady, they are traditional and sweet, they are loved by everyone and above all by moms. Yes, let’s talk about moms… Mine woke me up the day after this dinner with a nice: “Happy new year darling, how is Paolo?”. What?? You still remember Paolo? This means it’s right, the briquette-style cake always strikes on moms ( – ;
Too bad that the briquettes like Paolo (alias the torrone) at a certain point reveal their polemic hard nuts: “Yes, I could kiss you here and now, but you know, my peanut is golden, you need to deserve it…” they say. Or even “Yes, I could touch your butt while dancing, but, hey, I’m not like all the others, I have a golden peanut, I take my time” they add.
OK, Paolo, I admit my defeat, you are crunchier than what I thought… I will never know if you really have a golden peanut or not, I enjoyed the sweet game we played anyhow, and now it’s time to shout once again bitterness please go awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay (( – :
Story: The apple pie is a fruit pie in which the principal filling ingredient is apples. It is sometimes served with whipped cream or ice cream on top. Pastry is generally used top-and-bottom, making it a double-crust pie, the upper crust of which may be a circular shaped crust or a pastry lattice woven of strips. It can be baked for any occasion but for sure it is served for Thanksgiving. BTW Thanksgiving is today!
For the crust
113 gr Butter (from freezer)
156 gr Flour
0.5 teaspoon salt
0.5 teaspoon sugar
3-4 Tbsp ice water
For the filling
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons flour
4 Teaspoons sugar
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
1 Egg white
Recipe: Combine all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor, pulse to mix. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface, gently shape the dough mixture into two disks, wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish. Now add filling to the pie (made mixing all the ingredients mentioned above) and roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together and finally score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape. Bake for 20-30 min (180 degrees).
Trick or Threat: Last time I baked the apple pie I made several mini-pies served on a stick (see picture in the post). Deliciousssssssss
Dedicated to: All my American friends and ex-boyfriends who celebrate today Thanksgiving ( the blessing of the harvest of the preceding year). Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well. On this special occasion, Americans gather around a table full of delicacies such as turkey, waterfowl, berries, fruit, pumpkin etc. But before the meal, the tradition says that the invitees say grace and say thanks for what they have. Shall we also say thanks in front of this succulent apple pie? I give thanks for my family and friends and all the happy things we do together, for understanding, laughter, and for love strong and warm in any kind of weather. Of course, I cannot forget to mention in my grace the sweeeeeet men who make our lives so… entertaining ( – ; THANKS!
115 gr Flour
4 Eggs (room temperature)
1 Tablespoon cold water
150 gr Sugar
125 gr Melted butter (cold)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
500 ml Milk (warm)
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1 Pinch salt
For decoration: Confectioner sugar
Recipe: Separate the egg whites from the yolks, then beat the yolks with sugar. When the mix is foamy add the cold water, vanilla extract, salt and the melted butter. Keep on beating, then add flour, milk and finally the egg whites beaten until stiff and mixed with lemon juice. Now pour the mix in a square baking pan (20×20 cm). Bake in the oven (150 degrees) for about 80 minutes, let it cool down and then put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Source: Giallo Zafferano http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9rA21UYJZw
Dedicated to: H., one of the guys I met on an online dating website…
Yes, dear readers, I have to admit that finally, after so many disillusions with the men met in the real world, I decided to try the virtual world. Very cautious, I only chatted with those guys who had a nice picture and a witty profile. Right, not so many… And not so many got a real date with me. Ooooh, I am so easily discouraged by those horrible orthographic mistakes (can’t you use the spellcheck on your PC? I wonder…), and I am so easily discouraged by slow internet connections…
Anyways, H. could write correctly so we had a first date. Unfortunately the first date was also the LAST because he made a series of bad mistakes:
– He asked for a date on a Saturday night. Maybe he didn’t understand when I clearly wrote to him that I like spending my week-ends with people I really like, such as friends/family/official men of my life.
– The appointment was finally set for a Monday – the day globally consecrated to losers – but he arrived 15 minutes late. Not good, I don’t like to wait.
– He lied on his real age on his profile and the fact that he confessed it straight away when we met didn’t help my disappointment.
– He got all the etiquette rules wrong! Everybody knows that when a couple enters a restaurant, the man has to get in first…
– He hesitated a looooooong time before deciding that picking up the phone during our dinner was not a wise decision. OK, when mom calls it is always important but it is not very romantic.
– He mentioned at least 3 times his ex-girlfriend and, even worse, after some glasses of wine, he admitted that he dated 2 women at the same time for a couple of months!
– He asked me to split the bill for the drinks! “Look, I don’t like to split, I’ll pay” I said, “OK” he answered and let me pay the whole bill!
– Speaking about money… He explained that the dating website where we met is not free for men: it seems that they have to pay a 15 Eur fee every quarter. Then he made the following statement “You know, let’s say I meet the woman of my life, I still have to pay the fee, so in any case, I will keep on using the website otherwise I would lose my money”. Dear H., you are already a looser, nothing else to loose!
– Finally he sent me a text to thank me for the nice time together (ahhh, at least a nice text message!) and he added “Maybe next week-end we could go for a walk together, then my mom has to have a surgery to remove her gallbladder and I will have less time”. Noooooo, dear H, I have already told you that I don’t spend my week-ends with losers like you AND I don’t want to know anything about gallbladders. I only want magic for the first 2 or 3 dates please ( – ;
But I guess I will need to wait for this magic, meanwhile I can bake the magic cake (defined magic because during the baking in the oven, the mix turns into a 3-layer cake with 3 different consistencies) and bitterness go awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
A COOKIE CALLED EVA
430 gr Flour
250 gr Butter
90 gr Icing sugar
3 Teaspoons lemon juice
1 Teaspoon zest
(Apricot jam and water)
Recipe: In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the lemon zest and juice, and then the flour. Put the dough through cookie press or in a cookie-gun. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees then let them cool down. You can use the jam mixed with water to glaze them.
Dedicated to: All the men who don’t fu***king remember my name! C’mon, it’s not so difficult, EVA is the name of the FIRST woman and, above all, EVA is the name of the outstandingly amazing lady that I am!
After Mr Jell-o (“I don’t recognize this number, you are…”) and Mr-the-Flemish-with-two-dogs (I’ll tell you more in due course), here we have Mr Berliner Doughnut… Bon, this was his nickname when I wanted to cake him for my blog (and I repeat, for the blog ONLY), but then… Do you know what happened? Do you really want to know what happened then??
It happened that when I met him, he seemed a very cheerful and nice person. Nothing special, actually it happened that I understood at first sight that he would play in the category “I can be a bit stodgy and difficult to be digested, so not good to eat”. It happened that I also understood quite easily that he was not so into me either. Then it happened that, as it can happen between adults, no matter if there is attraction or not, you can still sometimes have a beer and a chat together, so I contacted him. Finally it happened that he accepted a drink, but he confused me with my friend Renata!
No Berliner Doughnut for you! You only deserve that I throw at your big face all these cookies with my special cookie-gun, lucky you that I won’t use my nail-gun (( – ; Bitterness please go awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
1 Puff pastry
For the cream
4 Egg yolks
Some mint leaves
120 gr Brown sugar
1.5 dl White rum
2 Tablespoons flour
40 gr Butter
4 Lime (juice)
Recipe: Take the pastry and cut it into 12 disks and press a round onto bottom and up sides of each cup of a 12-cup non-stick muffin tin. Bake the disks in the oven (15 minutes on 180 degrees) then fill them with the cream that you have prepared with the rest of the ingredients. Serve cold or at room temperature and decorated with lime slices and mint leaves.
Trick or Threat: Make sure all the alcohol has evaporated before you decide the cream is ready.
Dedicated to: All my ex-boyfriends from Sabaudia ( – ;
Let’s start from the beginning… A couple of weeks ago I left you with a post re: the usual bonfire organised on 15th August in my little Italian hometown, Sabaudia (see A Jar of Sweetness). Now I have breaking news for you, are you ready?
And it was replaced by a ska concert. I have to admit that it was a veeeeery good ska concert but for me it was a bit like a horror movie, imagine:
It is the 15th August. After a nice mojito on the beach (this is why I chose the recipe presented today), I go to my favourite pub in town to party with all my friends. Mr Ice-Cream is singing “Monkey Man” and I dance and giggle around until… brrrrrr… I’m approached by Mr 5th May who wants to introduce me his nice family (third child coming soon?), then Mr Dove arrives with his girlfriend brought there for this special occasion (odd, usually he leaves her at home in a shrine), and oooops I bump into Mr Spinning Top Cake who is tripping around while dancing with his friends. There are also two or three ex-boyfriends that I have not caked on the blog yet (such as Mr Solero and Mr Cotton Candy) and I finally realise that I am in the middle of zombies: the ghosts of my summer pasts. Frighteniiiiiiiiiing!
Now I need a good mojito ( – ; Bitterness please go away!
A JAR OF SWEETNESS
Hi Dear Readerssssssssssssssss!
It’s finally August and it is time for your amazing blogger to go on holidaysssssss!
In the upcoming weeks I won’t write much but, before I go, I want to share with you another sweet recipe and a spicy story.
Recipe: You will need a big jar of Nutella, a slice of nice bread, and then a lot of fantasy ( – ;
While you go mad with the Nutella – yes baby, spread it all over ah ah ah – I’ll get ready for the traditional mid-summer bonfire when having bread and Nutella for dessert after the bbq on the beach in Sabaudia is a MUST.
When I think about this simple slice of bread so deliciously sweet, a lot of souvenirs come to my mind… So this recipe is dedicated to all the men of my life who shared with me priceless moments at the various bonfires in the years:
– The one I swam with in the dark
– The one who hugged me under the moon
– The one I wanted to hug, but he preferred my gay friend
– The one who winked at me while playing Nirvana around the bonfire
– The one who sang Nirvana around the bonfire
– The one who played and the one who sang, why not both of them
– The one who undressed me behind the dunes
– The one who undressed his feelings looking in my eyes under the fireworks
– The one who shared (too much) strawberry vodka with me
– The one who only shared a romantic slice of bread and Nutella
I would like to thank them all because without them my traditional bonfires in Sabaudia would not be the same ( – ; And now, happy holidays everybody!!!
Story: A mendiant (“mendicant” in English) is a traditional French confection composed of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits representing the poverty during the World Wars.
150 gr Dark chocolate
150 gr Milk chocolate
75 gr Sugar
50 gr Butter
30 cl Single cream
Various nuts and dried fruits
Recipe: Put the cream in a pan on the stove and heat it up. Meanwhile put dark chocolate with half of butter and half of sugar in a bowl; in another bowl put milk chocolate with the other half of butter and the other half of sugar. Pour the hot cream in the bowls evenly and mix well. Cover both bowls and leave them in the fridge for about 12 hours. The day after heat up the two preparations separately in a double boiler, use the melted chocolates to make little disks on a sheet of baking paper, finally decorate each disk with dried fruits. Put in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving.
Dedicated to all the cheap bastards I met in my life. Like the Portuguese guy who didn’t even offer an 8 Euro pizza on the first date (useless to say I’ve never accepted a second date!) and like V.
V., wearing an Italian official uniform, looked quite wealthy, honest, righteous, square, and straight as an arrow. Too bad he asked me to lend him 5 original version books of my favourite writer (Amélie Nothomb) and he forgot to give them back before disappearing completely… What a poor guy! And poor me, I had to go back to Belgium and buy them again for my private collection! It’s time to say that he added insults to injuries ) – : Bitterness please go awaaaaaaaay!!
3 Egg yolks
100 gr Sugar
250 ml Milk
250 ml Cream (whipped)
Recipe: Heat up the milk with the vanilla and remove from the stove before it boils, then let it cool down for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile beat together the egg yolks with the sugar, add milk and heat up the mix in a double-boiler. Stir well for about 10 minutes and remove from the stove before the cream boils. Let the cream cool down and then carefully add the whipped cream to it. Put the obtained mix in the freezer.
Trick or Threat: After one hour in the freezer, remove the ice-cream from the freezer, put it in the mixer and whip it. Then put it back in the freezer and repeat this operation every hour for a couple of times.
Dedicated to: All the men of my life that I wanted to eat as an ice-cream and who wanted to eat me as an ice-cream but… finally nothing has never happened.
Let’s take N, for example. N is an explosive guy, singer of a famous ska group, methodical and charismatic, he has a delightful nightingale voice (would he be friend with Mr Easter Dove Cake??), a piercing look, and strong arms. When you see him, you just desire him, and you want to become the main character of one of his songs such as Antonella, Veronica, or even Teresa.
The first time I met him I said to myself “Wow, I want him, he will be my colourful and tasteful ice-cream tonight!” and I know he thought exactly the same thing about me. But, well, life is a bitch and we have never managed to be single at the same time so we have never eaten THE ice-cream… Years passed by and now we are close friends, we make jokes about all this, sometimes we even flirt BUT we know that our ice-cream has irreparably melted and the ice-cream cone is the only thing now left. We know, though, that the cone is our friendship, our mutual respect, our desire… our desire to keep laughing together ( – ;
C’mon N, will you write a song for me anyways? ( – ;
SOUVENIR FROM MIAMI
225 gr Butter (melted)
600 gr White sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
4 Eggs (add one more for a cakier result)
180 gr Flour
70 gr Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda (to give them a nice crust – omit if you don’t want that)
180 gr Hershey’s milk chocolate with almonds
Instructions: Preheat oven to 175 degrees, melt butter in the microwave and lightly grease a baking dish. Then combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended. Gradually stir in the flour and cocoa mixture (whisked with soda and salt) on low speed. Finally toss the chocolate chips in a light dusting of flour, and stir into the mix with a spoon or spatula.
Pour into prepared pan. Spread the batter in the pan, slightly mounding on the sides so it will all bake evenly, and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Trick or Threat: Enjoy hot with a cool glass of milk or a la mode!
Dedicated to: All the PHAT (Pretty Hot And Tempting) chocolate men I saw in Miami.
To Pete, the languorous almond eye contact at Gloria Estefan’s restaurant
To the one moving smoothly on the dance floor – cuz his hips, his eyes, his moves drove me crazy!
To DJ Sample who enlightened my already very bright night with his contagious mash
To the hunk swimming in the Ocean – com’on, babe, swim in my water and I promise it will be spiritual!
To the one caressing his lips with his thumb looking at my generous décolletage – you should have grabbed it, man ( – ;
To the “PIMP” with his gold teeth and his velour jumpsuit
To Jay, the really nice beach attendant from NYC, who knew about Belgium and even about its famous chocolate
And, above all, this recipe is dedicated to Mr ultra sexy Saxobeat playing his sax along DJ Sample’s beats… He def’ made me move!
GGGGGGGG, ain’t shit, it’s hard to look and not touch! It’s like when you are staring at this delicious hot brownies and you think “Nope, I cannot eat them all, I’m on a diet” and then… you just jump on them, you dig?! Nostalgia please go awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
300 gr Flour
A pinch of salt
0.5 l Milk
Recipe: Place all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth and no lumps appear. Meanwhile preheat a non-stick skillet on medium heat and scoop a spoon of the batter into the pan tilting the pan in a circular motion coating the surface evenly. The crepes take about one minute a side to cook. Continue the same process with the rest of the batter. Once the crepes are all done, heat the Nutella using the double boiler method and spoon generously the Nutella on one half of the crepe. Fold over the crepe to create a half moon shape and sprinkle with some icing sugar. Serve immediately!
Trick or Threat: Let the batter sit a couple of hours before cooking it.
Dedicated to: Augustus and those (few) lovely guys who brought me there. Augustus is the only cinema of my hometown. It has been a theatre then it became a cinema and now it is turning into… nothing! It is going to close ) – ;
The authorities have no right to decide to close the venue of the best dates I’ve ever had! What a trepidation: sitting in the red velvety armchair, with watery eyes because of the romantic movie your boyfriend offered you, with butterflies in your stomach when you could feel his arm on your shoulders… C’mon, girls, we have all experienced these magic moments!
We didn’t really care about the movie, we were just enjoying being in the dark with the love of our life, waiting for the Nutella crepe to share with him after the movie.
We cannot permit that Augustus disappears, there are thousands of girls wishing to live what we once lived, we cannot deceive them! Long life to Augustus, nostalgia please go awaaaaaaaaay
250 gr Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 Pinch salt
175 gr Chocolate chips
250 gr Creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp Sugar
250 ml Milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the topping: Mix 125 gr sugar + 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 45 gr soften butter + 2 tbsp finely chopped peanuts
Recipe: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a 23×13-cm pan. In a bowl sift the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and the chocolate chips. In another bowl beat the peanut butter, the sugar, the egg, the milk, and the vanilla extract. Lightly stir this preparation into the other one.
Meanwhile prepare the topping and put it aside. Spoon half the batter into the pan and smooth, sprinkle half of the topping, spoon the other half of the batter and cover with the remaining topping. Bake until risen and golden for at least 30 minutes.
Trick or Treat: Don’t eat straight away! Once cool, unmold the cake, wrap it and keep at least one day.
Dedicated to: All the Americans I met at the “Peanut Bar”, bar known for serving peanuts in big baskets and attracting a loooot of Americans.
Customers were very interesting: nice young men, all with a safe job mainly in the US Army, all clean-cut guys with a witty sharp look as bomber pilots. But the real bombs were us, beautiful Italian young ladies. We had all the Americans we wanted – even two per night – just by jumping around and making the first eye contact. But how to choose the best “product” in this real “love supermarket”??
Easy, me and my friend decided to open the United States map, count the States, and collect them all! Just a kiss was enough to “have” a State so the only thing to do was to ask: “Hi, where are you from?” Ah, Hawaiiiiiiiiii, OMG I need it! Or “Hi, are you from the South or the North?” Oh, Texas, sorry I already have it…
So we collected Alaska, South Carolina, Maine (oops, I only remember his red cap, not even his name…), Rhode Island, Nebraska, and many others. Sometimes we had “doubles” like it happened with Mr California (B, btw you were the best and we still remember you!) and we just exchanged them like baseball cards.
All of my “States” just kissed me goodnight at the front door of my apartment and not all of them deserved a big cake in their face, maybe this is why it was a great experience: Nostalgia please go awaaaay!
Thanks C, without you I would have never discovered the Peanut Bar!
BOXING DAY MUFFINS
Story: The Panettone is one of the typical Italian sweet bread loaf originally from Milan usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas in Italy. But when Christmas is over and you still have one at home, what can you do? Just recycle it!
200 gr Panettone
250 gr Flour
100 gr Sugar
200 ml Milk
75 ml Olive oil
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Pinch of salt
Some icing sugar
In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients, then add all the liquid ingredients previously mixed in a different bowl. Fill the muffin cups ¾ full of the moistened mixture and bake in the preheated oven (180 degrees) for 15-20 minutes. Let the muffins cool down then sprinkle them with the icing sugar and serve.
Trick or Treat: Use a classic Panettone
Dedicated to: All the men of my life who lasted from Christmas to Boxing Day (2 days). To all of those I remembered every year, at Pazzaren’s famous Xmas parties, singing “Last Christmas I gave you my heart and the very next day, you gave it away”. I want to dedicate these special muffins to S who, after the first innocent date, invited me for a second one, this time at his place! “Just to make a muffins contest” he said… Yeah, right! But OK, I accepted. Do you think he called me back to give me his home address?? Bitterness please go awaaaay!