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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Liebster Blog Award

I really wanted to have a recipe for you guys today, but lately cakes aren’t my thing.

Don’t worry though, this one I’m pretty sure I can fix and post in the future, it is mainly a problem of cooking time and finding the right topping.

This is actually the first time the toothpick method for checking if the cake is ready failed…miserably.

Even though that was not my intention, I ended up with something like this

source

Except it wasn’t that pretty…neither intentional =D

On to the better things:

Amanda over at Pickels & Honey recently nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award!  The Liebster Award can be given to any blog that you’re loving that has less than 200 followers. To accept the award, you have to thank the person who nominated you on your blog and . . . .

–Link back to the blog who nominated you
–Nominate 5 other blogs for the award
–Inform those 5 blogs by leaving them a comment on their blog
–Post the award on your blog

Thank you so much Amanda, I love reading your blog with all the drool-worthy recipes and beautiful pictures, and to know that you enjoy my blog really made my day!

I don’t really know how many followers these blogs have, but this is who I’d like to nominate:

Chockohlawtay

Itty Bits of Balance

My Daily Joy 

I only have three because most of the blogs I read are big and definitely have more than 200 followers =D

I hope you all have a great Sunday!

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Chocolate Boxes

In case you ever wondered what 772 chocolate truffles look like… wonder no more 🙂

As I told you in my previous post, my sister and I were pretty busy last week making these as Christmas Gifts for all our relatives. Every year we do something (usually some kind of cookie) to bring to family gatherings, but this year we decided to step it up a notch and, well, the result was awesome!

My sister, Cristina, spent her whole summer at a pastry campus at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie in France, and is now working as an apprentice in a Pastry shop in Milan, so most of the recipes we used (and some equipment) were kindly borrowed. We had a few hectic days, but I had tons of fun: I learned how to temper chocolate, fill the moulds, cover coconut in chocolate…I had a blast, and am kind of sad it’s all over! But I did take a few pictures for you to enjoy 🙂

        

  

We put 2 of each truffles in cardboard boxes with a note on each and an “instruction sheet”, explaining what was in each truffle, and this was the final look

  

I’m happy to say they were a success!

On a different note, I would like to thank Kristina, editor at Be @ Home, for giving me a “Creative Chef Award”; I never thought someone would appreciate my blog so much, and this award made for one happy girl!

 

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ACE Muffins

ACE muffins: a.k.a., muffins made with juice that has vitamin A, C, and E!

I based these muffins off a popular plum-cake here in Italy:

 They are called “Camille” and feature in the ingredients carrots, almonds and orange juice. I’m not the biggest fan, I like them but am happy even without them.

The other day I was thinking of what to make and Mattia suggested (or so he says, I don’t quite remember ;)) I make them; he’s a much bigger fan than I am!

So I searched for a few recipes and found out they are super easy to make!

The original recipe calls only for carrots and orange, but I thought adding a bit of lemon juice coud only improve them, and turn them from Camille to ACE muffins.

ACE Muffins

makes aprox. 15 muffins

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water)

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

heaping 1/3 cup almonds

2 carrots,grated ( 1 cup aprox.)

zest of one orange

juice of 1 orange + 1 lemon + 1/4 cup carrot juice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp sunflower oil

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl mix the flax egg and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Grind almonds in food processor.

In another bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, ground almonds and baking soda.

Add to the flax egg the juice, grated carrots, orange zest, vanilla and oil. Add the dry to the wet and combine well, but don’t over mix. Fill muffin pan with the mixture to 3/4 of the height, and cook for 15-17 minutes.

I might not be a fan of the real deal, but I most certainly do like these!

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Homemade Vegan Butter

Hey!

Mattia came to Milan for the weekend so we got to spend some time together :). We usually take turns on the weekends; I went to his house last week, so this one was his turn ;). Tonight we decided we’d go out to dinner, and a mexican restaurant was our logical pick; we decided we’d try a new one, a bit cheaper than the one we usually go to. Dinner wasn’t bad, but oh boy am I stuffed! I guess that’s what happens when you have chips with salsa and guacamole, vegetarian enchilada as my main course, aaaand dessert :D: Mattia and I almost always order two desserts and split them, and tonight we opted for a slice of pear and chocolate cake and some pineapple.

I must say, I’m not really in the mood to talk about food, but I’m really excited about this recipe!

Lately I’ve been enjoying vegan baking, and you might have noticed it :D; but it isn’t too easy: sometimes what you really need in a recipe are eggs and butter.

Egg substitute? no problem, I have flax seeds.

Butter problem? that might be a problem for those of us who don’t have access to Earth Balance or similar products. And cookies don’t come out the same way without it!

So I searched the internet looking for a solution and found it!

Homemade Vegan Butter 

Slightly adapted by VeganBaking

1/4 cup + 2 tsp soy milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp + 1 tsp refined coconut oil

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tsp granulated soy lecithin

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Place the soy milk, apple vinegar and salt in a bowl and whisk. let it sit for 10 minutes for the mixture to curdles. Meanwhile, melt the olive oil with the soy lecithin, until all the granules have dissolved. Add the coconut oil so it melts, then allow the melted oils to cool down.

Place the milk mixture and the oil plus the xantham gum in a food processor and process for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture in a mold and place it in the freezer so it solidifies.

I carved it…can’t you tell?! 😀

After it’s solid, you can store it in the fridge just like normal butter.

I suggest you take a look at the original recipe post, because the whole process of making butter is thoroughly explained.

My thoughts on the butter? it’s perfect for substituting dairy butter in recipes! I’ve tried it in cookies for now, and loved the result. I’m not sure I would want to have it as a spread for bread…but again, I’m not a big fan of any time of butter on bread…except peanut butter, obviously ;).

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