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Mixed Berries Pudding

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Mixed Berries Pudding

It's the first time I make a dessert like this (URRAH!!), one of those things soft and a little messy to eat with a spoon straight from the pan, obviously when still warm, or maybe even right out of the oven. A social dessert, to be thrown on the table for breakfast (according to the Ammmmmerican custom...) letting everyone serve themselves, or to make for 5pm tea while looking into each other's eyes, if by any chance you belong to that enviable group of people who still allow themselves that noble and ancient luxury.
But if - most unfortunately - you got this desire of serving it at the end of a dinner party, I would recommend making it in individual cocottes, so that every guest is responsible for their own fate. And a (mini) scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with it wouldn't be bad either, btw.
Good luck!

Mixed Berries Pudding
for a round pan of 8.5" diameter

flour 75 gr
sugar 100 gr
butter 85 gr
eggs 3
salt 1 pinch
milk 250 ml
brandy 3 tablespoons
frozen mixed berries approx. 300 gr
powdered sugar to serve as needed

Melt butter and let cool. Meanwhile, beat eggs with sugar and salt, add the melted butter, milk, and brandy. Mix well, then add flour and in the end the frozen berries. You will get a fairly liquid batter, but don't panic, everything is under control! Pour the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, and bake at 355 for about 40 minutes, until the surface is golden. Serve hot or warm, sprinkling with powdered sugar.

Mixed Berries Pudding

Tuscan Kale Soup

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuscan Kale Soup

Or else ... how Tuscan kale and I became friends for life.
Because this soup is incredibly simple, just the way I like it, one throws everything in the pot and then happily forgets about it for a few hours; because this dish says winter, yet is able to bring a ray of sunshine in a dark and drafty kitchen (mine); because the ingredients are humble and even a little trivial, but if you put them together and cook them properly, they marvelously acquire a whole new meaning; because Tuscan kale is black, bitter and very hard, but if you have patience... well, ... just try for yourself and let me know :-)

Tuscan Kale Soup
for 4-5 people

Tuscan kale 2
dried Borlotti beans 60 gr
potatoes 2
tomatoes 3
celery 1 stalk
carrot 1
onion 1
fresh thyme 2 sprigs
olive oil, salt, pepper, country bread as needed

The night before, soak the beans in a little bit of water.
Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery and then sauté them in a large pot with few tablespoon of olive oil; after a while add diced tomatoes, thyme and potatoes, peeled and cut in small pieces. Cook for few minutes, and then add kale leaves, washed and cut into strips, the drained beans and 2 liters of cold water. Season with salt and pepper and cook covered for about 2 or 2 and 1/2 hours.
Serve the soup over a layer of bread slices, with a little bit of olive oil and no cheese. For the vegan inside of you.

Thyme and Beans

Raspberry Muffins with Almonds and Sour Cream

Monday, February 20, 2012
Raspberry Muffins with Almonds and Sour Cream

Let's forget the promises, made just about a month ago, let's ignore the disillusioned hopes, the broken dreams and unrequited love. Let's forgive all those posts never written, all the soufflés never tempted, the curdled custards and the unleavened breads. A good old stir - but not too violent, mind you, 'cause muffins won't forgive -, a strong coffee of the darkest ones, a camera lenses' clean up, and off we go.
I start all over with some muffins. For the umpteenth time. One, two, three, let's post.

Raspberry Muffins
with Almonds and Sour Cream

for approximately 12 medium muffins

flour 250 gr
almonds 100 gr
sugar 150 gr
baking powder 7 gr (1 and 1/2 teaspoon)
baking soda 1 teaspoon
salt 1 pinch
eggs 2
sour cream 250 gr
vegetable oil 3 tablespoon
vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
almond extract 1 teaspoon
frozen raspberries 200 gr
butter for the pan as needed
sliced almonds to garnish as needed

Raspberry Muffins with Almonds and Sour Cream

Lightly toast almonds in the oven for about ten minutes, let cool down, and then chop them finely in a food processor, adding a spoon of sugar taken from the total to prevent them to release the oil. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, almond flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Pour wet ingredients in another bowl: eggs, oil, sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts, and mix them lightly with a whip. Combine the dry ingredients previously prepared, stirring just until the mixture is blended, and avoiding beating it for too long. In the end, add frozen raspberries and stir.
Pour a little batter into greased muffin molds, filling each one up to just over half. Garnish the surface of each muffin with few almonds' slices, bake at 350 for 20 or 30 minutes, until the surface becomes golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. If you like, sprinkle muffins with powdered sugar before serving.

Raspberry Muffins with Almonds and Sour Cream