Cakes, slide

Red Velvet cake, the apology of everyday love

30 January 2017
Red Velvet cake, the original recipe

How to dress up a cake for a party…and not any party: the festival of people in love, also known as the occasion to buy, like there’s no tomorrow, inflatable hearts, mugs littered with cupids, underpants burdened by uncomfortable and improbable laces. Oh, and apparently it’s also the opportunity to celebrate Love.

During the years in which I had filed away “The NeverEnding Story”, substituted by “The Party” as favourite movie, these types of gifts were abundant in my bedroom shelves. They weren’t necessarily gifts from the “Philippe” of the moment, but rather little somethings carefully sought just for you – only for you and only for today – from the best friend, the sister, the classmate. Continue Reading…

Cakes, slide

Redcurrants mini pies, remembering NYC

15 January 2017
Redcurrants mini-pies

They say that Christmas brings, on top of tonnes of food, a pacifying power, and this year in particular I couldn’t agree more with it. It may be that, with age, one has less energies to spend living in conflict, or perhaps there is a stronger awareness that free time should only be spent in what we find salvific, positive and satisfactory.

2016 has demanded a lot of effort and commitment, for the most part channelled into what is represented by Duty. Pleasure, limited to small cut-outs, daily or seasonal, has been sought with difficulty and great pathos, and sometimes I could not enjoy it at all. It is difficult to clarify this concept but let’s say, if I dare to compare…what use can a really expensive leather armchair be for someone who doesn’t have food or a roof over his head?

Don’t worry, I still have a few panettoni in the cupboard, and not just those. I did say I was daring to compare.
I’ll explain better.
Continue Reading…

Cookies, slide

Dream cookies: the perfect recipes

2 January 2017
Dream cookies: orange and cacao frollini, speculoos, Milano shortcrust and sablés

Perfect cookies. Too many times I’ve typed these two words into Google search bar, only to land on the usual cookies with a thousand variations, intriguing-but-heavy. I was always looking for something totally different: the crumbly cookie, the fragrant and buttery shortbread, the citrus fruity biscuit, the spicy cookie.

Dream Lucia, dream. Cookies with a capital C are a technical and artistic manifestation, not something for amateurs, and while I write this I think of Mrs Bettina, who managed to turn this art into business (Biscotteria Bettina), a gem for my city.

Continue Reading…

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Gâteau Opéra – the french dessert for special occasions

28 December 2016
A classic french dessert: Opéra

There are only a handful of days left before 2017 and this post has been on the launch pad for about 4 weeks now.
I was lingering due to lack of contents, or at least I convinced myself of this. When I was reading again the method, the recipe seemed “so much” to me, that any introduction appeared inadequate and simplistic in comparison. Therefore, in the past month I turned on the pc at least every 2 days, looking at the pictures only to turn it off again without concluding anything. Continue Reading…

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Bundt cake with apple, cinnamon cream and walnuts. I do love California Bakery!

29 November 2016
Bundt cake with apple, cinnamon, cream and walnuts

I’ve been trying for a few days to finish the introduction to this recipe but the thing is, I’ve no words left. Is it the stressful time, the long hours at work, the mentally challenging tasks, the pressure of the deadlines?…Whatever it is, when the evening comes I just want to jump on the bed and pass out watching whatever it’s on the telly that has no commercials.
I allow myself to be bombarded by other people’s thoughts, beliefs, omens, assumptions on future developments, with my hands on my lap and my legs crossed (and perhaps a slightly silly expression on my face). In today’s world everyone knows what to say, except when you actually need genuine advice. Suddenly they are all politicians, plumbers, judges: they all know what to do, what’s right and what’s wrong…and in the meantime everything is going to the dogs. Is there a solution? Isn’t it true that facts matters, while everything else is just a childish way to kill time, and everyone who is listening? Continue Reading…

Cakes, slide

Rosemary, Rhubarb’s french elegance

29 November 2016
Rosemary, rhubarb's french elegance

It was about 4 years ago when I took Paris seriously for the first time. Before then, I had always devoted myself to the French capital with some consistency, but with a complete lack of planning. I would experience a short weekend away like a visit to a Funfair: losing myself in the admiration of the many shades of the City, but with a rather passive attitude. I would be pleasantly surprised if I accidentally came across something I had read about and that had aroused my interest, but I never thought about making it a destination in the first place. Continue Reading…

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Pear tart with frangipane cream

29 November 2016
Pear tart with frangipane cream

The routine of the obsessive search of perfection in the baking world can become exhausting.

When the time available to dedicate yourself to a recipe is also limited, the tolerance of failure is pretty much non-existent. But that’s all the time you’re allowed to read, understand what to do and get it done. There are no excuses, there are no justifications: if you can’t make it within that time, you’ve failed, tomorrow you’re back at work. Continue Reading…

Cakes

Mini tarte tatin on sablés bretons, by Michalak

29 November 2016
Mini Tarte Tatin on sablés bretons by Michalak

 It’s been about three months since I made my entrance into the fantastic world of the Web, and every day I receive some small, or occasionally big, satisfaction. I have often read and heard “the segment is saturated”, “there are more bloggers than recipes”, “it is difficult to make a name for oneself” and so on … but I always felt a certain insensitivity towards these topics.
I do this because I like it and I enjoy it; sometimes on my own, sometimes with close friends. I do not aspire to teach, there are plenty of excellent chefs who do that! I invest time and money looking for Goodness and Beauty: I read, pick, try, experiment, learn and share; I get to know people with the same passion and all this is very satisfying…. Is it a tribute to banalities or a premise for a recipe? Continue Reading…

Cookies, slide

Peggy Porschen Gingerbread

29 November 2016
Peggy Porschen Gingerbread

Here we go, my personal countdown for Christmas big celebrations has begun. I’ve been rambling about spices since last spring in my posts on meringues and tarts. Now I can freely and candidly declare out loud my passion for this sweet and innocent world, for these cookies prepared more or less like you would make minestrone soup: boiling all ingredients in a saucepan. A dark and thick paste, deliciously steaming and spicy: the essence of magic. Once its fragrances begin to reach your nostrils, it’s over: you run downstairs and begin to take out the boxes with the lights, the decorations, the wreaths with berries and pine needles, the gnomes with the bells on their neck and the porcelain reindeers. Oh, excuse me? It never happened to you? Continue Reading…

Cakes

ZUCCOTTO WITH BLUEBERRIES AND RASPBERRY GANACHE

14 November 2016
Zuccotto ai mirtilli e ganache di lamponi

Zuccotto always appeared old to me. Old from the moment it was born. Of course such a name is not a great start towards the celebrity status. Thinking about it, it probably had a few moment of glory in the 80s. It dominated the cover of “The Book of Cakes” by Lisa Biondi, which my mother used to keep back then in her personal section of the living room library.
Sometimes, while I was looking for the Sacher recipe, I would throw a glimpse – half disgusted, half indifferent – to this specialty of Florentine origins. I used to feel so sad: a round and compressed something, with yellow-orange tones, of obscure content. It sounds like the description of a Multicentrum tablet. Continue Reading…