Showing posts with label sunday sweets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunday sweets. Show all posts

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kumquat Coconut Cake

Remember in my last post where I shared with you a photo of my bountiful kumquat tree and had no idea what to do with the fruits? Well I tried a great recipe that I'll share here today. It's really simple to make and the kumquats give the cake a delicious citrus flavor that pairs together rather nicely with the coconut. 


I saw many recipes online for kumquat coconut cookies and thought I might try mixing the two ingredients into a cake topped with cream cheese frosting and it turned out fantastic.

So I picked the kumquats from my tree and I used about 30 of them in this cake. If you want a more citrus flavor you can go ahead and just add more. 


Ingredients for the cake: 

 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
 - 3 eggs
 - 1/2 cup milk
 - 1 cup vegetable oil
 - 30 chopped kumquats 
 - 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
 - 1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut 
 - 2 teaspoons baking soda
 - 1 teaspoon salt


When chopping up the kumquats make sure to remove the bitter seeds if they have any. Mine had a lot and it was kind of a pain but it's a necessary step. 


Mix the ingredients together in your mixer until everything is blended evenly. 


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and pour batter into a previously greased and floured baking dish. 


Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 


You can't even begin to imagine how good this cake made my house smell. It smelled divine for the whole day...no Yankee candle can even compare!


I let the cake cool completely and frosted with home made cream cheese frosting which went really well with this cake. 


I shared some with my next door neighbor and her family (so that I wouldn't eat it all myself lol) and they enjoyed it as much as I did so I'm happy to say it was a hit. 


Who says you can't eat cake for breakfast? I sure enjoy it :-)

Have a spectacular week ahead! 

xoxo, 

Silvana

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Loquat Crumble Pie



These are the loquats that I picked from my tree last weekend. I had no idea what to do with them at first and I knew I had to use them all or else they would go bad since they are completely organic and once picked they tend to go pretty fast.



I thought about making marmalade but again it probably wouldn't keep for that long since I wouldn't be using any preservatives so I kept looking for some ideas and I stumbled upon this...




Ok then! I decided to try making a loquat pie and see just how amazing they really are! 




...Pretty amazing I have to admit. 

Begin by peeling and de-seeding the loquats cutting them into fourths. This takes some time but it's not as bad as it seems. 


I used about 4 cups of loquats. Add to a pot with about 2 cups of water and let cook on medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes. 


Next make a mixture of:

 1 cup of sugar, 
1/2 cup of all purpose flour, 
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 
1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
pinch of salt. 


Once the loquats are cooked through add the flour mixture and continue stirring until it thickens up nicely. 


After about a couple minutes the filling is ready. Set aside and let cool while you make the pie crust. My kitchen was smelling so good at this point and it was at that time I realized that this recipe was a keeper!



I used the pie recipe found here and used half of the ingredients because I only made the bottom portion of the pie crust and for the top I made a crumble crust by mixing 1 stick of room temperature butter, 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Mix until crumbly and cover the pie. 



Bake in a preheated oven for 350° for 30 minutes. It you see the top start to brown too much cover with aluminum foil. 


I decorated with some powdered sugar and served with vanilla ice cream :-)


and with this I think I might have to agree with Kristen Stewart...loquats make the best pies!


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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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday Sweets - Strawberry Kiwi Tart with Lemon Glaze (no gelatin)

Hello lovelies! It's been a while since I posted a Sunday Sweet recipe so today I wanted to share with you a simple dessert recipe that we made yesterday.  My Aunt made a strawberry kiwi tart with a lemon syrup glaze covering the fruit instead of the typical gelatin glaze used for fruit tarts. It turned out fantastic! 





Ingredients for the pie crust:

 - 400grams flour
 - one teaspoon baking powder
 - 1 egg and 1 yolk
 - 180 grams sugar
 - 200 grams room temperature butter 
 - zest from 1 lemon






Wrap the pie crust dough in plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.





Add beans (or pie weights) to keep the crust from bubbling up during baking.


Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 


Ingredients for the egg custard

 - 500ml whole milk
 - 4 egg yolks
 - 100grams granulated sugar
 - 50 grams all-purpose flour
 - zest from 1 lemon


Mix the ingredients well and stir continuously in the same direction on low heat until you achieve the typical thickness of egg custard. 



 Wash and cut the fruit you are using and decorate to your liking. 



 Lemon glaze

In a sauce pan add a half cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a half cup of water, 100 grams of sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes and then let cool. Once cooled, pour the glaze over the tart and keep refrigerated until it is ready to be served. 


Enjoy :-)



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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Angel Food Cake without Cream of Tartar

This past weekend I wanted to make an easy low fat, low calorie dessert and remembered when I was a little girl my mom used to come home very often with Angel Food Cake as it was one of her favorite desserts. I loved the lightness of that cake and did some research online for recipes.  The thing all the recipes had in common was cream of tartar... Obviously cream of tartar doesn't exist here in Italy and if it does I have no idea what it's called....so I was faced with my first dilemma.

But this didn't stop me from making my much desired Angel Food Cake! I did some more research and found that the cream of tartar is used mainly to keep the egg whites firm when whipped but I learned that you can achieve the same result with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or vinegar. I preferred using lemon juice. Another tip I can give is not to use liquid egg whites in the cartons because they won't give you the firmness that regular eggs will for some reason even though I think it has to do with the liquid eggs being pasteurized. Anyways, I tried using carton egg whites and it was a flop so just use regular eggs if you can. 

I served the cake with a sauce made from red oranges and decorated with some orange slices. I wanted to use strawberries but I didn't have any unfortunately. The oranges were a hit all the same!


Here is my recipe for Angel Food Cake. 




Ingredients: 

 - egg whites from 10 medium sized eggs
 - 1 teaspoon of lemon juice 
 - 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
 - 1 cup of cake flour 
 - a pinch of salt



Begin by separating the egg whites from the yolks. It is imperative that you whip the egg whites in a grease free glass or metal bowl. Since I didn't use the cream of tartar, this was important so the eggs whip up well and form stiff peaks. 


Add the lemon juice and begin whipping on low. When the whites start to firm up add half of the sugar and mix the other half with the flour and pinch of salt.  Set aside.


Continue whipping until you see the eggs have formed stiff peaks. 


At this point you will very gently incorporate the flour mixture by folding the flour into the egg whites with a spoon a little at a time. 


Once the flour is all incorporated your mixture should look like this. 


Now in an ungreased tall tube cake pan (...it's ok...I didn't have one either, all I had was a silicone bundt pan LOL), gently add the cake mixture. The cake rises during cooking time and I was a little scared that it might overflow at one point but it was all good! 



Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 35 - 40 minutes. 


Now you need to let that baby cool before removing from the pan or else it'll break apart. 

Once cooled gently flip onto your plate and it's ready to be decorated :-) YAY


You can let your imagination run free at this point with visions of nutella, strawberries, whipped cream, blueberries, etc... anything your heart desires!


All I had available were organic oranges whomp whomp...


but it was a success nonetheless!! 




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