Monday, December 30, 2013

Savoiardi cake with buttercream and caramelized almonds (luscious cake from Aigio-Pelloponese)

hello and merry christmas to all! this is a dessert my stepmother used to make when i was young. this christmas she made it and offered it in the christmas table and i was very happy to taste it again...
this is a recipe her mother and grandmother made. it is a very rich cake and has only 8 ingredients.
 you won't be disapponted!
Savoiardi cake with cream and caramelized almonds

you will need

800 gr savoiardi (preferably from a pastry shop)
400 gr sugar
400 gr good gresh cow butter like Lurpak
400 gr almonds without skin
4 tubes of vanilla powder
12 egg yolks
1 cup of cognac
13 greek coffees (prepared earlier so the residue sits on the bottom and they are not hot)

how to

put the yolks and the sugar in a big bowl and start beating with the mixer in a medium speed for about 30' so that all the sugar is dissolved and the mix becomes whitish and creamy .

add the butter (which you have taken out of the fridge hours ago and is soft) in pieces and keep beating for another 30'.

in a small bowl mix the coffee without the residue and the cognac.

dunk for a sec the savoiard from one side and then the other side and in a deep plate start arranging them so that they cover the whole bottom.

when the bottom is fully covered, apply 1/3 of the cream evenly with the help of a spatula.

after the cream is laid, start putting another layer of slighty soaked savoiardi in the coffee-cognac mixture.

spread the rest of the cream on top of them.

put it in the fridge and start the process of caramelizing the almonds:

in a pan over hot fire put the almonds and quickly sprinkle them with about 1/2 cup of sugar, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and starts to melt.

keep stirring from time to time so that the almonds don't burn and when the sugar is almost like the colour of dark caramel remove from fire and spread them on a piece of silicon mat or parchment/baking paper.

try to separate them while they are hot, one to one, because when the caramel hardens they break and lose their shape.

when the almonds are totally cold and hardened, spread them on the top of the cream with their pointy side in.

ta da!


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Red wine mushroom risotto with mascarpone

Red wine mushroom risotto with mascarpone, served

for 4

you will need:

1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
white agaricus mushrooms roughly sliced
1 cup arborio rice for risotto
1 cup of bordeaux red wine
1 cup of boiled water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 grated carrot
1/4 orange lentils (or plain lentils will do)
1-2 tbsp mascarpone
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp fresh roughly chopped dill (heaped)
1 tbsp fresh roughly chopped parshley (heaped)
pink himalayan salt, freshly grated pepper to taste

how to:

in a pot, pour the olive oil and when it becomes hot, add the chopped onion and let them cook in high heat until they acquire a slight colour and become tender.

add the rice and stir constantly.

add the chopped mushrooms while stirring and the butter.

after some minutes, when the rice and the mushrooms develop their aromas, pour the wine in and keep stirring.

add the lentils, grated carrot and when it drinks up the wine, add a cup of boiled water and stir.

keep stirring until the water is diminished.

add the dill, the parsley, the mascarpone and the grated parmesan when the rice is cooked and done, after about 10'-15' and mix well.

serve immediately.


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sun dried tomato dip with cream cheese and yoghurt

you will need:

200 gr cream cheese
6-7 slices of dried tomatoes
2 tbsp sheep yoghurt full fat or plain greek yoghurt
2 tbsp of chives
1/2 cup of dill
1/2 cup of parsley
1/2 small onion
juice of 1/2 lemon
some drizzles of olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

put all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until the mixture has acquired an homogenous texture and you can see only miniscule bits of them.

you can dip crackers, breadsticks, potato chips or toast some bread and spread it on it.

also it is fantastic on cucumber and carrot slices or basically any kind of raw vegetables.

another idea is to boil some potatoes, cut them to pieces and use 1-2 tbsp of the dip and mix them all together.

it has a great full taste

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