giovedì 9 gennaio 2014

Chocolate & orange cinnamon rolls

I made some simple cinnamon rolls a while back but I wanted to try something different and as I really love the chocolate and orange combination I thought I would try it in these rolls too. I was really happy with the result and I will be making these again in future. 

For the dough
500 gr white flour
1 tsp salt
50 gr brown sugar
15 gr fresh yeast
75 gr butter
200 ml milk
1 egg

For the filling
100 gr brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
100 gr butter, softened
100 gr dark chocolate, chopped
zest of 1 orange

Mix the sugar, salt and flour in a bowl. Rub in the yeast and then softened butter. Mix in milk and egg and make into a dough. Turn the dough onto a clean, floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
Now leave it to rise until it has doubled in size.
To prepare the filling simply mix all the ingredients together except for the chocolate.
When the dough is ready roll it out into a rectangular shape and spread the filling all over, sprinkle the chocolate on top.
Roll up and cut into slices about 2 cm thick. Put the slices in a baking dish and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Cook at 200°C for about 20/25 minutes.

Rotolini alla cannella con arancia e cioccolato

Per l'impasto
500 gr farina 00
1 cucchiano di sale
50 gr di zucchero di canna
15 gr lievito di birra
75 gr burro
200 ml di latte fresco
1 uovo

Per il ripieno
100 gr di zucchero di canna
2 cucchiaini di cannella
100 gr burro, morbido
100 gr cioccolato fondente tagliato a pezzetti
la buccia grattugiata di un arancio

Mischiare farina, sale e zucchero in una ciotola. Aggiungere il lievito e il burro ammorbidito e impastare con le mani. Aggiungere latte e uovo e impastare bene per dieci minuti su un piano pulito ed infarinato. Coprire e lasciare lievitare per due ore (o fino al raddoppiamento della pasta). Nel frattempo preparare il ripieno mischiando tutti gli ingredienti in una ciotola, escluso il cioccolato.
Stendere l'impasto ottenendo una forma rettangolare e spalmare il ripieno su tutta la superficie. Arrotolare e tagliare a fette di circa 2 cm. Disporre i rotolini ottenuti in una teglia da forno e lasciare lievitare ancora mezz'ora prima di infornare a 200°C per circa 20/25 minuti.

venerdì 27 dicembre 2013

Chocolate crinkle cookies

I recently made these chocolate crinkle cookies, I'd made them in the past and remembered how delicious they were so I wanted to try them again to give to people at Christmas. The thing I like about these is that the taste and consistency is very similar to a brownie, but they look so much better! So if you want to impress these are perfect, they look and taste amazing and are really easy to make.

Here's the recipe I used:
175 gr dark chocolate
140 gr butter
10 gr baking powder
200 gr plain flour
2 eggs
150 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs icing sugar 

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until pale. Add the chocolate and vanilla and combine. Then sift the flour and baking powder and mix in. Refrigerate for at least two hours, I left it overnight and cooked them in the morning.
When the mixture has cooled make walnut sized balls and roll in the icing sugar, put on a lined baking tray and flatten slightly with your fingers.
Cook at 170°C for about 10 minutes.

175 gr cioccolato fondente
140 gr burro
10 gr lievito per dolci
200 gr farina 00
2 uova
150 gr zucchero
1 cucchiaino estratto di vaniglia
3 cucchiai di zucchero a velo

Far sciogliere a bagno maria la cioccolata e il burro. Nel frattempo in un'altra ciotola sbattere uova e zucchero fino ad ottenere un composto pallido. Aggiungere il cioccolato e poi la farina e il lievito setacciati. Mettere in frigo per almeno due ore. Io l'ho lasciato tutta la notte e li ho infornati la mattina. Quando il composto è raffreddato fare delle palline della dimensione di una noce e passarle nello zucchero a velo. Mettere le palline su una teglia rivestita di carta forno e schiacciarle leggermente con le dita. Infornare a 170°C per circa 10 minuti.

venerdì 20 dicembre 2013

Homemade Cookie Jars

For Christmas this year we decided to give everyone a jar of homemade biscuits. I looked for some cute labels to print out and I found these from a website called which I really like because they're festive but not in the obvious way. Then I just covered the jars with some brown paper to keep it simple. I did look for some nice fabric to use but I couldn't find any I liked and decided to stick to the paper but I'm actually really happy with the result.

These are the recipes I used:

600 gr plain flour
15 gr baking powder
250 gr soft butter
2 eggs
150 gr icing sugar

I sifted the flour, baking powder and icing sugar and added it to the butter and eggs and used my hands to mix it. When everything was mixed, I divided the dough into three parts. I left one plain and added some cinnamon to one and some orange zest to the other.

For the chocolate biscuits:
250 gr plain flour
75 gr cocoa powder
7 gr baking powder
120 gr soft butter
1 egg
75 gr icing sugar

I rolled out the dough out and used various cutters, kept them all very small so they would fit in the jar well. When cold I melted some dark chocolate and used it to decorate some of the biscuits by just making horizontal stripes with a piping bag and a small round tip, it's really simple but gives a really nice effect. 

venerdì 6 dicembre 2013

DIY cake stands

In the quest to find the perfect cake stand, and one that wasn't the same as all the others in the shops, I decided to make my own! 
It's really quick and easy (and cheap!) and the results are pretty decent in my opinion.
So I bought some candle holders, glasses and plates from IKEA and a melamine cup and plate from the kid's section in Zara Home.
I got some glue from a DIY store, just make sure it works with ceramic and glass, and glued everything in place. I left them to stand for 24 hours before using them, just in case.

Nella ricerca dell'alzata per torta perfetta, ho deciso di farla da sola! Ho comprato piatti, bicchieri e porta candela da IKEA e della colla adatta all'uso con ceramica e vetro. Ho incollato tutto e aspettato 24 ore prima di usarle.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the result, the only downside is that it's difficult to find some really flat plates like the one on real cake stands but I still think it's a pretty good way to have something different. I have to say this black and white one is my favourite because the two colours work really well together and the white spot on the plate ties everything together perfectly in my opinion. I will definitely be trying this again in the future!

Il risultato mi piace. Questa in bianco e nero è decisamente la mia preferita perché i colori sono perfetti insieme. Ci proverò sicuramente di nuovo in futuro!

mercoledì 18 settembre 2013

Blackberry crumble

A few days ago we went blackberry picking. Unfortunately we didn't have much success because the blackberries were really high up and we couldn't reach them. But we managed to get enough for a crumble.

Here's how I made it. I used around 150 gr of blackberries and cooked them with 3 small apples, adding a spoonful of sugar and of water, for about 20 minutes. In the meantime I prepared the crumble topping with 110 gr softened butter, 200 gr plain flour and 75 gr brown sugar. I gently rubbed the butter into the dry ingredients with my hands until it reached a crumbly consistency. At this point I put the cooked fruit in an oven dish, topped with the crumble topping and put in the oven at 200º C for 25/30 minutes.

Qualche giorno fa siamo andati a raccogliere le more. Purtoppo non abbiamo avuto molta fortuna perche' le more erano quasi tutte in alto, ma ne abbiamo raccolte abbastanza per fare un crumble. Uno dei modi preferiti per mangiarle.
Ho usato circa 200 gr di more, 2/3 mele a seconda della dimensione. Ho cotto le mele e le more in una pentola con un cucchiaio di zucchero e due di acqua per una ventina di minuti. Nel frattempo ho preparato la copertura con 110 gr di burro, 200 gr di farina 00 e 75 gr di zucchero di canna. Ho lavorato tutto con le mani molto delicatamente, ottenendo delle briciole. Ho messo la frutta in una teglia bassa per il forno e ho ricoperto con il composto. Ho infornato a circa 200º C per 25/30 minuti.

domenica 8 settembre 2013


Pavlova is a dessert from New Zealand named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. I've been wanting to try this for a while, but I didn't think I would like it as I don't like meringue. Instead I loved it. It's truly delicious, the whipped cream, meringue and fruit together are perfect!
Here's the recipe I used.

Serves 4/6
4 egg whites
200 gr sugar
200 ml whipping cream
mixed berries

Preheat oven to 130º C fan. Clean the bowl with a bit of lemon juice and kitchen paper to ensure there is no grease. Whisk the eggs until they form soft peaks, until you can turn the bowl upside down without them sliding out. Now add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time and whisk after each addition. When finished spread the meringue on a baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper making the edges higher. Bake in the oven for one hour. Leave to cool completely before adding the whipped cream and fruit just before serving. You can also add some icing sugar to decorate.

La Pavlova e' un dolce di origini neozelandesi creato, si dice, per la ballerina russa Anna Pavlova. E' da molto tempo che la voglio provare, ma non piacendomi la meringa, non pensavo mi sarebbe piaciuta. E invece e' buonissima! La meringa mischiata con la panna montata e la frutta e' perfetta. 
Questa e' la ricetta che ho usato.

Per 4/6 persone
4 albumi
200 gr di zucchero
200 ml di panna 
frutti di bosco a piacere

Accendere il forno a 130º C ventilato. Pulire la ciotola e le fruste con un po' di succo di limone e carta assorbente, per eliminare eventuali tracce di unto. Montare a neve ferma i bianchi poi aggiungere lo zucchero un cucchiaino alla volta continuando a mischiare bene. Preparare una teglia con un foglio di carta forno e stendere la meringa lasciando i bordi piu' alti. Infornare per un'ora. Lasciare raffreddare e poi, poco prima di servire, aggiungere la panna montata e la frutta.  Si puo' decorare con un po' di zucchero a velo.