26/11/2015

Pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes


Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:
Cupcakes:
- 150g sugar
- 150g flour
- 1 egg
- 60ml vegetable oil (or light olive oil)
- 50ml water
- 150g canned pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 100g chocolate chips
Cream cheese frosting:
- 250g cream cheese
- 120g butter (room temperature)
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.

2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and keep aside.

3. In another bowl, add the pumpkin puree, oil, egg, water and spices and mix using an electric mixer at medium speed.

4. Slowly start adding the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mix until all ingredients look completely incorporated.

5. Add the chocolate chips and fold in carefully with a spatula.

6. Put the paper moulds into the tray and then spread the mix evenly across.

7. Bake for around 25 minutes.

8. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting.

9. Sift the icing sugar and whisk with the butter and the cream cheese.

10. Keep in the fridge until needed.

11. Allow the cupcakes to cool down completely and using a piping bag, top them with the frosting.

Bon appétit!



19/11/2015

Green beans with pine nuts, parmesan and lemon


Ingredients for 2 people:
- 400g green beans
- 30g pine nuts
- 1 lemon
- 60g Parmesan cheese shavings
- A handful of fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 branch of fresh thyme
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt
- Pepper


1. Add the 2 cloves of garlic (peeled) and the thyme to a small saucepan and cover completely with olive oil. Cook at low heat (ideally the oil should be at 80°C) for around 20 minutes. The garlic should look slightly brown and translucent. Remove from the fire and allow the garlic to cool down completely.

2. In the meantime, peel and clean the green beans and steam them for around 5 minutes (steam them slightly longer if you like your vegetables softer).

3. Add the cooked green beans to a bowl with cold water and ice to stop the cooking.

4. For the vinaigrette, smash the cooked garlic and add 3 tablespoons of oil from the cooking process, the juice of the lemon and a pinch of salt.

5. Toast the pine nuts until golden.

6. Mix the green beans with the parsley and the vinaigrette and top with the toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and pepper.

Bon appétit!



17/11/2015

Tiramisu


Ingredients for 6-8 people:
- 140g sugar
- 300ml whipping cream
- 3 eggs
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 200ml strong coffee
- 100g cacao
- 24 savoiardi biscuits
- A splash of Amaretto/rum/brandy


1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream with half of the sugar and keep aside.

2. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and keep aside.

3. Using a fork, mix the mascarpone cheese with the egg yolks and the remaining sugar.

4. Add to the mascarpone mix the whipped cream and the whipped egg whites very slowly to make sure the mix remains airy and foamy.

5. In a small bowl, dissolve 1/3 of the cacao with the coffee and add a splash of Amaretto or another alcohol you like. You can also skip the alcohol if the dessert is made for kids.

6. Soak the biscuits in the coffee (not too much since the biscuits will break if they are too wet) and place them in the base of the dish where the tiramisu will be presented.

7. Pour half of the mix on top of the biscuits and repeat the same process to create another layer of biscuits and mix.

8. Top with the rest of the cacao and keep in the fridge for at least 8 hours (ideally it should rest for 24 hours).

Bon appétit!