Thursday, July 26, 2018

pound cake

Cake o'clock. 
And today I present beautiful simplicity, great texture, la grande bellezza cake!
I have been repeating myself, but whenever sun is up I can only think of salty blue water. My mind and body naturally navigate only in one direction, the Adriatic.
This cake goes so well with a seaside, especially evening hours of a day. 
After a good day of swim, floating in the sea, gazing at the skies, when Sun is almost down, while your hair is still a bit wet and you might need long sleeves but no shoes just flip flops or even barefoot, piece or two or even three will serve as a perfect ending of a day.
This particular one is blueberries and jam pound cake. Recipe is adopted from great and super creative Emiko Davies, you can find a video here

As mentioned, any seasonal fruits and any homemade jam will do. What is important is to beat sugar and butter well and add eggs one by one beating well after each addition, so you end up with as much air as possible and fluffy better. This creates that great and beautiful texture of a pound cake, forever classic beauty.

Since I used smaller loaf tin I have cut ingredients by half, and this is why it is not that high, but I added same amount of jam and fruits. 

Blueberries and Jam Pound Cake
125g butter (room temperature)
125g icing sugar
125g plain flour
2 eggs
lemon zest
blueberries, about one cup
3 tablespoons peach jam

Preheat oven to 170C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Beat butter and sugar with lemon zest until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very pale and extremely creamy (about 7 minutes with electric beaters). Fold in the flour and pour into loaf tin. Dollop jam down the middle of the cake then swirl through with a knife, pointing down about 3cm into the batter. Add blueberries to the top of the cake. Bake 1 hour or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

dolce pasta

Spaghetti With Bread Crumbs and Sugar

There is a recipe for sweet spaghetti with bread crumbs and walnuts, Spaghetti da Quaresima. I read it is common dish for northern part of Italy, Romagna. You can find the recipe in an Italian cookbook that was first published in 1891, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
My grandma made pasta with walnuts but she would not mix these two, she made dolce pasta either with nuts and sugar or the one from the picture above, pasta with bread crumbs and sugar. When there was nothing ‘sweet' on the table she would made this for us children. I love this dish so much. You don't even need a recipe for it, just heat few tablespoons of oil in a pan and add few spoons of homemade bread crumbs in. Toss for a while to get a bit of color, but not too much (you don't want to burn the bread), add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, stir and add well cooked pasta. Stir again, place on the plate and eat.
Today we cook pasta al dente, but for this dish I usually do as thought by grandma, overcook pasta. I like when mushy pasta sticks to sweet and crunchy breadcrumbs. You can use butter instead of oil, or add spices to the dish, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves.. I don't like using any of these, I like it plain, as it is, just sugar and bread crumbs.
But dollop of sour cream with a pinch of cinnamon on a side works great.
Sometimes I eat this as a main course, but not too many people eat sweet dish as a main. It is a heritage from a childhood that I keep close to heart and with happy belly.  

Ingredients for one, served as a main course
80g spaghetti 
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp bread crumbs
25-30g sugar

Cook pasta a bit longer then recommended. While pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat, add bread crumbs and stir for 2-3 minutes, add sugar and stir for another minute or two. Toss the drained pasta in the breadcrumbs/sugar mixture and eat.