Thursday, May 23, 2013

Home Made Chocolate Ice-Cream

 Coming back from the kindergarten Kid1 and I were discussing which kind of ice-cream should we prepare for the evening. He immediately discarded frozen-yogurt and plain Vanilla. He let me choose between Lemon and chocolate. Since I didn't have enough lemons in my fruit basket I had to give up and go for the chocolate. 
 Truth be told, Kid1 was the one who suggested to add some fresh fruit into our bowl in order to make the chocolate ice-cream healthier :-)

200gr Dark chocolate (60-70%)
60 gr Sugar
125 ml cream
250 ml milk

Warm half the milk and add it on top of the finely chopped chocolate, add sugar and mix well with a hand blender. Add the remaining milk and cream to the mixture. Stir well with a spoon until all ingredients are completely dissolved. Pour the mix in the ice cream maker (I've a Gelataio SIMAC) and wait until the ice cream is fluffy (Almost half an hour for me).
Decor your ice-cream as you wish. Today we used fresh strawberries and apricots :-)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I took a day off

Yesterday I took a day off from running behind my boys and (Thanks to the In-laws) went to visit the International Fair Books in Turin. It was my first time and I candidly thought that there I would have found lots of new treasures and lovely people who would have answered my strange questions.

After one hour I was pissed off and I felt cheated. I mean, I didn't drive 200km to find a mere mega store. All the bigger publishers were there in the middle of the main pavilion with shops, not bookstores, full of hard cover versions of their big hits. Mostly all the same stuff you can find in the main isle at FNAC divided for publisher and not for genre.

I asked a couple of questions and soon gave up. The shop assistants were only kids hired for the event. I mean, I asked a guy if he knew how I can jump to a selected page on a Kindle Paperwhite (I've the classic version)  and he told me he wasn't there to sell them... I asked another girl at what time I would have found Peppa Pig at her corner (I knew a couple of her little fans who would have appreciated a pic ;-P) and she shrugged. She knew only that  the 6 feet high pink puppet, I saw walking through the corridors, was still working o_O

The small publishers were nice and friendly, but  I'm not into Nobel Prize literature, or New Age literature, or niche market literature, therefore I didn't have so many question to ask them.

By the way exploring the Fair I visited the cooking publishers corner and found my favorite Maestro Pasticciere, Maurizio Santin, presenting his book.

He made my day :-D One way or the other, chocolate is an effective cure for bad mood and his fabulous dessert will be soon tested and commented here :-)

Here my signed copy :-)

I'm trying to  upload a short video of his show, sooner or later it will be here. I'm still fighting with my new smartphone at the moment ;-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Indie treasures

Time to share with you another worth reading Indie Book

It's an amazing book (It has few little understandable flaws, but the story is funny, fresh and original) with an amazing heroine, JANIE. Someone defined her as a mix between Heather Wells (You can meet her in Size 12 Is Not Fat with Bonus Material (Heather Wells Mystery) by Meg Cabot) and Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory.  Don't you know her? Well there's a sample below. She's not the cutie one :-D), two female characters I truly love :-)

The Hero is quite a grumpy, bossy, taciturn guy (Not a Mr Darcy, neither a Sheldon Cooper) but ha has his own charm ;-) His nickname is Sir McHotpants. I told you enough :-D

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Italian Essence

I was in the middle of a silly mystery romance when one of the characters said that he didn't like eating Italian food outside Italy, because out of contest our food loses much of its magic. I totally disagree.
What makes Italian food good is the quality of ingredients and even a talented chef with the wrong stuff is destined to fail. Buy fresh real Italian Mozzarella and you'll obtain a wonderful real pizza, buy real Mascarpone and you'll be able to make your own Tiramisù, buy fresh real-red tomatoes (Go to the nearest Farmer market, no the veggie isle in the supermarket to find them) and your sauce will be a real hit. Even on the other side of the planet.

Home Made Pizza peperoni & salame piccante

I remember that time when my colleagues and I organized a lunch in the office bringing home made food. I was asked to bring a dessert. The Tiramisù. Same task was entrusted to an other guy. Well, at the end of our special lunch my Tiramisù had disappeared, his (Better said his girlfriend's Tiramisù) laid in the little office refrigerator for a week and was miserably tossed when it started to grow green ugly stuff.
I'm not here to prise myself for my culinary ability :-) I'm telling you this story, because I prepared my Tiramisù with the original receipt, using the required ingredients and process. My colleague's girlfriend decided to give a try to the lighter yogurt version. And the result was pretty awful. 
I mean, do you want to eat Tiramisù? Do it. Embrace the luscious taste and its ridiculous contribution of calories without a second thought. Don't even try to obtain the voluptuous taste of the Mascarpone cream using a low fat yogurt. It's the fat that makes it good.  If you are on a diet go for a strawberry sherbet and cave for the real Tiramisù when you are psychologically ready :-)
Now. Do you want my infallible receipt? Yeah? Here we go.


500 gr Mascarpone
4 Eggs
4 spoons confectioner's sugar 
20 ml dark (sweet & spicy) Rum 
300 ml sugared strong Italian coffee (Not espresso coffee, but the Moka coffee)
500 gr Savoiardi biscuits (Only them! My favorites ar the Matilde Vicenzi Savoiardi)
Cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, beat three egg whites with electric mixture till stiff peaks form and set aside.
In another medium bowl, Beat the egg yolks with sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. If not beaten well, then the filling will have an egg-y taste. Then smoothly add Mascarpone cheese and rum. Mix until there are no more lumps.
Gently fold the egg whites into the Mascarpone mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Dip the cookies in sugared coffee (you can add a other shot of rum if you want) and lay them into a rectangular glass pan or Tupperware. Place the Savoiardi close/next to each other so there is no filling in between. Pour half the Mascarpone mixture onto the cookies and spread evenly across the top. Repeat the process for a second layer of cookies and cream and cover the glass pan with a plastic wrap or the Tupperware with his top. Don't let the cream makes a dry film during the Tiramisù rest :-).
Refrigerate for over night for best results. If you really must, then refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours before serving but it might still be runny. Sprinkle with cocoa.

Do you need more details? ask me! I'll be happy to share my tricks :-)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A weekend with friends

 What would you do in a rainy day with three kids? A trip to the Genoa Aquarium turned out to be an amazing solution. We had fun, we saw dolphins, sharks, penguins and a lot of other fascinating creatures.

The forest under the see.
The shy see horse.

Trumpet fish.

 Look at those Girly-girl Jellyfishes. Aren't they pretty? Swimming in their pool and not near my legs in the open see... They remind me so much of those frilly and glittering ballroom costumes.