Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meringue Topping & Tips for Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

Happy Valentine's Day! I know it's a silly holiday but I can't help getting all lovey dovey when I see big red and pink hearts everywhere.  I'm a hopeless romantic at heart what can I say. :-)


I hope you are enjoying this day with your sweetheart and if you're single: friends, chocolate, and some wine are just as good... if not better!

If you're in the mood for baking today, here's a flourless chocolate cake recipe you should try. It's the recipe for the Italian Caprese Cake which I topped with a meringue frosting.  It's pretty easy, there are just a few tricky steps but I'll explain them through. This is Mr. Amore's favorite cake so I made it for him this Valentine's Day. 

Ingredients for the cake: 
Skinned almonds - 200gr
Sugar - 180gr
Butter (room temperature) - 200gr
4 eggs
Dark Chocolate - 150gr

The first step is to roast your almonds for about 10 minutes in the oven at 400°F. Just lay them flat on a baking sheet and they should brown some once done. 


Next place them in a blender or mixer (I used my Nutribullet) and set aside. 


I got a creamy, buttery texture with my Nutibullet but if your consistency is drier and more flour-like, it's fine as well. 


Next step is to melt your chocolate in a double boiler (or in a microwave if you prefer).



Now mix the egg yolks, butter, sugar and almonds until thoroughly blended and set aside the egg whites. 


The batter should be pretty thick at this point as pictured above. 

Now in a clean glass or metal bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 


This is the tricky part... you have to very slowly and gently incorporate the two being careful not to  over-whip the egg whites. 


This is what the final batter should look like. 


Add to cake pan and bake in preheated oven at about 340°F for one hour. 


Now for the meringue topping, whip up 4 egg whites, half a cup of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and whip as done above, until stiff peaks form. Add a few drops of red food coloring if you like for decoration. 


Now add the meringue topping to the cake and decorate as you wish. 


Return to oven for about 10 minutes and voilà! If you have some  topping left over you can make little meringues like these. 

And if you happen to receive a lovely bouquet of flowers this Valentine's Day and want to keep them fresh for as long as possible here are some tips to make them last longer. 

Cut the ends off under running water or in a bowl of water to make sure no air enters the stem. 


Try adding half an espresso cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to the vase water. This is a homemade flower preservative that balances the pH of the water and helps keep the flowers bright and vibrant longer.



Happy Valentine's Day!


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poached "Crazy Water" Sea Bass

Pesce all'Acqua Pazza or "Crazy Water Fish" originated in Capri and was a very popular recipe in the 1960's. Why is it called "crazy water" fish? The term originates from peasants who had the job of making wine for their landlords and the small amount of wine they had leftover they used for themselves and as resourceful as they were, was kept to ferment with grape stems and seeds mixed with large quantities of water and the result was basically water colored with wine thus the term crazy water.  

So how does this apply to the recipe? The original "acqua pazza" recipe was made by taking the fresh catch of the day and poaching it in seawater, olive oil and cherry tomatoes, turning the color of the water similar to the watered down wine mentioned above.  

It's a very simple and light recipe and it really only takes about 20 minutes to make. 


I took two medium sized European Sea Bass but you can use any type of white fish you have for this recipe. Gut the fish...I know gross...but someone's gotta do it! Put a large clove of garlic cut in half in the belly of fish along with some parsley and a pinch of salt. 


Add water to the pan covering only half of the dish as well as 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a cup of white wine.  Cut about 5 cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pan along with a handful of green olives. 


Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 220°C.


At this point the fish has absorbed the water and is super moist, You will find that the skin detaches from the meat very easily and cleaning it is not at all difficult.  



Clean the fish placing the meat in a separate plate and add the tomatoes and olives along with some of the extra water that was left in the pan for more flavor. 


Serve with a salad on the side and you have yourself a healthy omega-3 packed meal :-)


Hope you enjoy this easy and very Mediterranean recipe! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Low Carb Homemade Ice Cream

I've been struggling to limit my carb intake for the past month or so as I have been following (or at least trying to) the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) "diet". It's not actually a diet per se' but more a way of tracking your food making sure to include the percentage of macros assigned to your plan. For example I'm on a 25% carb 40% fat and 35% protein plan. I track everything on my Fitness Pal App and have been doing pretty well. I haven't been drastically losing weight but the numbers on the scale have slowly been coming down. I get a lot of inspiration from SkinnyMeg and her blog is actually how I got introduced to this plan. Her dramatic weight loss really inspires me to push through and keep going. Dieting and weight loss is definitely not easy for me and I think a lot of women can relate. 

So anyways this is a foodie blog not a weight loss blog and I just wanted to share with you how I continue to enjoy ice cream even when I'm watching what I eat. 

The struggle is real here people...Italian gelati are the bomb but they are also made with heavy cream...some use flour...lots of eggs...LOTS of sugar...and then lets not talk about the condiments...chocolate...hazelnuts...caramel...pistachios...etc. So needless to say the calories add up and so do the fat and carbs. 

While on this IIFYM plan I notice that I am having a hard time reaching my protein intake. Carbs and fat are easy peasy to reach (unfortunately!) but it's not as easy as I thought to reach protein. One way I get that extra protein is with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.  So I thought I would try making ice cream using these ingredients. Now I know cottage cheese isn't the best tasting food in the world (I actually hate eating it plain) but I can assure you that when eaten like this you can't even taste it. Promise!

I tried three different ice cream recipes using three different methods. In the first method I made blueberry ice cream using a mature banana and low fat Greek blueberry yogurt. This was actually really good but you can taste the banana. So if banana isn't your favorite, you've been warned! I just mashed up the banana and mixed the yogurt together in a food processor.  Put it in the ice cream maker for about 20-30 minutes and it was finished. I didn't have to add any sweetener because the banana and blueberries were enough to sweeten it up.  For two people I used two medium sized bananas and 150grams of yogurt. 


The next recipe I tried and I'm sorry I don't have any other pictures to show you (they mysteriously disappeared from my phone. I have no idea how..) is using cottage cheese, and egg whites. Using this method I made peanut butter ice cream and this was A-MAZING! 


For two people I used 200 grams of cottage cheese, 20 grams of egg whites, 1 large tablespoon of peanut butter and stevia as a sweetener. You have to be careful when using stevia because a little goes a long way! So I ended up using just three teaspoons.  Again blend everything in a food processor and let the ice cream maker do the work! This was really good. It was the perfect consistency and tasted just like peanut butter ice cream. The only thing when using cottage cheese is that it turns rock hard when you put it in the freezer so you should eat it as soon as you make it....or you can just put it in the microwave for a few seconds if you do want to freeze it. 

After trying this I decided to try eliminating the egg white to see if it was really necessary and if it changed the consistency of the ice cream so I tried making one of my favorite flavors...Mint chocolate chip!



I used the same amount of cottage cheese as the previous recipe but I eliminated the egg white and flavored using a sugar free mint syrup. The consistency was a little less creamy but it turned out good all the same. Based on the flavors you are using you really just have to taste and see how much sweetener you should use. I ended up using less than three teaspoons of stevia here for example. 


The secret is to blend the ingredients well before actually making the ice cream. You need to break up the cottage cheese so that it's creamy and smooth like in the picture above. For the mint chocolate chip I added a couple tablespoons of mint syrup to the 200 grams of cottage cheese and that's it! 

I do think that the egg white adds to the recipe though so I will be adding it in the future. 

You really can make so many different types of ice cream using this method and even though it's not the real thing, it's pretty darn close!!

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead! 

xoxo

Silvana

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spumante Poached Salmon Steaks

I wanted to share this recipe with you because it was so incredibly good when I first tasted it and I had to try making it again. My father introduced me to this when he came to visit me in February.

He found the recipe here. In reality it's a champagne poached salmon recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I switched up some of the ingredients to accommodate what we have readily available here in Italy. Spumante is Italy's champagne (it's also a lot cheaper) and I had a real tough time finding dill as well which is fundamental to Emeril's recipe so I ended up substituting the dill with Italian parsely.  My dad said I need to get a dill plant from the States next time I fly over LOL. We'll see if I make it through customs! j/k

Anyways, I have never had poached salmon before and it was a very new technique for me. It has such a delicate and sophisticated taste that I just could not get enough of and I had to share it with you in the hopes that you give it a try if you have never made this type of salmon before.

The poached salmon is accompanied by a creamy vanilla sauce that is just perfection and goes so well with the delicate taste of the salmon.



Here is my version of Emeril Lagasse's recipe:

For the salmon

 - 2 salmon steaks
 - 1 bottle of spumante
 - 1 shallot
 - 1 tablespoon of butter
 - 6 parsley sprigs
 - 1 teaspoon of salt
 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the vanilla sauce

 - 2 shallots
 - 1 cup spumante
 - 1 cup heavy cream
 - 4 tablespoons of butter
 - 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
 - 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
 - 1 teaspoon of salt
 - 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

I began with the sauce since that is probably the trickiest part. Start by adding the butter and shallots to the saucepan and heat on medium.


After heating for about 5 minutes add the cream and lower the heat. 


Next I added the Spumante, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and pepper and left that to simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. 



In the mean time, in a wide skillet heat the butter and add the bottle of Spumante, parsley and shallots heating on medium. 


Add the salmon steaks and poach until cooked through. I would say about 5 - 7 minutes on each side depending on the size. Salmon easily over cooks so be careful to check on it often. 



While the salmon is cooking, I strained the sauce so as to remove the shallots. 


And now your delicious Spumante poached salmon is ready to be served!!  I probably should have added another half a bottle of Spumante to the skillet because most of it evaporated during cooking and so I guess it wasn't technically "poached" at that point but it was still really, really, really good :-) 



Have a spectacular weekend and a Blessed Palm Sunday 

xoxo










Monday, February 22, 2016

Fisherman's Risotto

Good morning and Happy Monday to you!!!

Today I am excited to share my favorite recipe of all time with you! This is what I usually order whenever I go out to an Italian seafood restaurant and is a big favorite of mine.

I really enjoy making risotto's and I've shared some recipes with you before. Here is my pumpkin risotto recipe and here you can find my asparagus risotto.

Using just one main ingredient for a risotto (like porcini mushrooms, asparagus or even spinach) makes things a lot easier because the cooking time doesn't vary; but when you're using more than one ingredient and especially when using seafood, you have to be extra careful with the different cooking times.



Ingredients for 4 people:

 - 300 grams of uncooked white rice
 - 500 grams of mussels
 - 500 grams of clams
 - 1 fresh calamari
 - 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
 - 1 shallot
 - 1 tablespoon of butter
 - 1 litre of vegetable stock
 - one  spoonful of fresh chopped parsley
 - pepper to taste

Start by preparing the calamari. Rinse it well and cut into small pieces. You don't have to be precise here but keep in mind that they shrink a bit while cooking.


Next prepare the mussels and clams by cooking them on medium heat as done in my Seafood Cavatelli recipe.   Remove the shells and filter the juice with a sifter and napkin to catch any sand that is inside the fresh clams. Set aside.


Now that you have prepared your ingredients, you can heat the chopped up shallot in olive oil until translucent. 


Next add the calamari and let that cook for a couple minutes making sure to stir continuously. Then add the rice.


Let the rice heat up a bit in the skillet then proceed by adding a couple ladles of stock. When you see the rice start to dry up add another ladle and so forth.


Again, the secret to a great risotto is to give it time and let the broth absorb into the ingredients. Check the cooking time indicated for the rice you are cooking with and at the half way point add the mussel and clam juice. 


Taste the rice as you add the broth so you make sure not to overcook it. When the rice is almost done and you can feel it is still a bit firm (usually after 12-14 minutes) add the mussels and clams. Turn off the heat and add the butter and parsley. Keep stirring and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Add some pepper if you wish...but no salt is necessary.


If you like seafood, I hope you'll give this a try. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

I wish you all a great week ahead :-)



Linking to:


http://www.lifeandlinda.com/2016/02/link-party-84.html