Baci Di Dama

Baci Di Dama

These famous seductive and fragrant cookies are a masterpiece of Itallian pastry, specialty of the Piedmontese city Tortona. The legend says they were made in 1800 by a chef trying to impress king Vittorio Emanuelle. The cookies were meant to remind of a kiss between two lovers.

This recipe is from La Cucina degli Italiani written by Vincenzo Buonassisi and published in 1988. The cookbook is a result of an extensive research of the author and contains 2500 authentic recipes.

Baci di Dama (Ladies’ Kisses)

(via Sale & Pepe magazine, Serbian issue, October 2011)

150 g flour
150 g blanched and toasted ground almonds*
150 g sugar
150 g butter
40 g dark chocolate

*Begin with about 200 g raw almonds. Boil some water in a small pot. When it boils, remove from heat and put almonds inside. Let them soak for a few minutes. Remove the skins. Put almonds on a large oven pan and toast them in the oven until they begin to brown. Finally, grind them. I like to use this grinder as it gives them a finer texture then regular blender.

Knead everything into smooth dough. Shape small balls the size of marbles.

Line large oven pan with baking paper and place dough balls on it. Bake in a preheated oven on 160°C/320°F for about 20-25 minutes. This amount is for 2 pans.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Take two cookies and stick them with melted chocolate together.
 
This is my entry for Bake Fest #23 hosted by me :-D

Pavlova

Pavlova

Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.

Ana Pavlova

Pavlova

(original recipe)

3 egg whites
150 g sugar
fresh seasonal fruits
whipped heavy cream

This dessert was created to honor Russian ballerina Ana Pavlova eather by a New Zealand or Australian chef. Hard to say really as she was touring both countries in the 1920s when it’s believed the dessert was first made. The shape of it is supposed to resemble a dress from one of her shows.

First, we’ll make a tutu.

Beat the egg whites stiff with a mixer. Gradually add sugar and mix more until it’s stiff and sugar crystals are gone. Draw 6 circles 8 cm in diameter on a piece of baking paper the size of a large oven pan. Spoon the mixture onto drawn circles. Bake in a preheated oven on 120°C (250°F) for about 50 minutes, then turn of the oven, open the oven door and let pavlovas sit inside for about 15 minutes. Baking time really depends on the oven and the size of pavlovas.

For the froth of the skirt’s net whip some heavy cream. You don’t need to add too much sugar, about 1 tablespoon on 250 ml of heavy cream.

Finally, to achieve the effect of the green roses use sliced kiwi. Which I didn’t :D I had some red currants and gooseberries from my garden and their slightly tart taste balanced perfectly with the sweetness of meringue.

Grissini

Grissini

The legend says that the first grissini were made in the 17th century in Turin. Apparently, a young duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy had problems with digestion and the court doctor commissioned court baker Antonio Brunero to make a bread as light as possible. The bread cured the duke, of course :), and soon, he became a king. It is still told that the king’s ghost haunts his castle leading his horse and holding a breadstick in his hand.

Another fan of grissini was Napoleon himself. He called them les petites batons de Turin.

Grissini

Starter:

140 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry yeast
100 ml water

Knead all the ingredients into dough. Cover and let rise until it doubles in volume.

Dough:

140 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry yeast
100 ml water
1/2 tsp olive oil

Combine all the ingredients except oil with the starter. Knead for about 10 minutes. Shape into ball and transfer into a bowl greased with oil. Let double in volume.

Flatten the dough into a 25×22 cm rectangular shape. Cut into 10 long thin strips (by the thinner side). Roll each strip on a damp kitchen cloth to make it cylindric. Transfer onto a large baking pan lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with salt and bake in a preheated oven on 240° for about 8-10 minutes.

If you like, you can add some dried rosemary into the dough and/or sprinkle it with powdered garlic before you put it into the oven.

Note: I am sending this to Susan for YeastSpotting.

Rab Cake

Rab Cake

It is believed that this cake was first served in 1177. to Pope Alexander III when he blessed Rab island Cathedral. What is certain is that it was a specialty during the rule of Venice over 300 years ago, and it was only served in the homes of island’s wealthy families.

The original recipe and all the details of it’s preparation was a secret, and only a few women knew it and passed it to their descendants. Today, it is a must try when visiting the island.

My humble attempt of this cake looks nothing like the real one, but the taste is wonderful, and almost indescribable.

Rab Cake

Rab Cake
(original recipe)

Dough: Knead dough with 200 g sifted flour, 2 Tbsp pork fat, 2 beaten eggs, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp water and 1/2 Tbsp Maraschino (substitute with cherry brandy if you can’t find it). If necessary add more flour or water to get the dough like for homemade pasta. Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

Filling: Mix together 500 g ground blanched almonds, 500 g sugar, 6 Tbsp Maraschino, zest of 1/2 of lemon, zest of 1/2 orange and 3 eggs.

Assembly: Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Take one part and flatten it very thin. Cut a snail looking shape using pasta wheel like on this photo. Place filling on it, leaving the edges of the dough free. Flatten the second piece of dough and using pasta wheel, cut out ribbons, 1,5-2 cm width. Brush the edges of the snail with cold water and start sticking ribbons on it’s sides, wrinkling them with your hands (photo). Bake in a preheated oven on 100°C for 30-40 minutes. When it cools, dust generously with powdered sugar.

Video on making Rab cake.

Esterhasy Torte

Esterhazy Cake

It’s this blog’s second birthday today!

I made this cake two months ago, but decided not to post about it until today. Wanted to share something really exceptional with you today, and this cake is exactly that. It was made somewhere in 19th century to honor Pál Antal Esterházy, minister in Austro-Hungarian Empire. And although it became one of the most famous cakes in Europe, how and why exactly was made is hard to say. I even found that it was made for an Esterházy princess. Either way, if you come to Vienna or Budapest, don’t miss it, that’s where they make it the best. Until then, here is a brilliant recipe by Superkemija.

Esterhazy Cake

Esterhasy Torte

Biscuits

8 egg whites
200 g blanched almonds
170 g sugar

Toast almonds on a non-stick pan for about 5 minutes, until they begin to get golden. After they’re cooled, ground them. Cut 7 pieces of baking paper in a shape of a 30 cm side square. Draw a 26 cm diameter circle on each of them. Place all pieces of paper on a table. I know, you’ll need a very large table ;) Spread some butter over the circles (very important, if you don’t you wont be able to peel the paper of the biscuit). Preheat oven to 200°C.

Beat egg whites with sugar very stiff. It’s good when if you turn the mixing bowl upside down the egg whites still stay inside the bowl :) Carefully and slowly whisk in ground almonds. Spread the batter as even as you can over the circles (photo). Bake each layer for about 7 minutes – until it get a bit golden (photo).

Cream

8 egg yolks
1 bag (10 g) vanillin sugar
150 g powdered sugar
50 g flour
250 ml milk
250 g butter

Beat butter foamy with a mixer. Mix egg yolks with vanilla sugar and powdered sugar. Slowly stir in flour. Boil milk, remove from heat and stir in the yolks cream. Stir with a wooden spoon and return to low heat. Stir continuously. In a couple of minutes it will begin to curdle. Remove from heat and mix into a smooth cream with a mixer. To cool it, place pan with a cream over a larger bowl filled with ice cold water and continue to mix. Mix butter into a cooled cream.

Now, take one layer of biscuit and spread a thin layer of cream over. Continue to the last layer. Don’t spread cream over a whole last layer, only a little (photo). Finally, spread cream on the side of the cake. Plan in advance, there isn’t a lot of cream, make sure you have enough for everything.

White Mirror

1 egg white
200 g powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Start adding sugar to the egg white a little by little. Stir until you get thick mass, then add lemon juice, and now, depending on the size of egg white, add more sugar. This shouldn’t be neither too runny, nor too thick.

If you are uncomfortable with the raw egg white in the mirror, head over to Cafe Chocoláda for a hack with orange/lemon juice.

The Net

30 – 40 g dark chocolate

While you’re preparing the white mirror, melt the chocolate. Pour it into a freezer bag and cut a tiny hole on one edge. Everything should be done very fast – the net won’t look pretty if the mirror begins to dry before you draw on it.

Spread mirror on the top layer of the cake, immediately start drawing concentric circles with chocolate (photo) and then start drawing lines using a toothpick from the center of the circle to the edge, then in the other direction, until you get the net (photo). At the end, put some ground almonds (not blanched) on the side. Keep in the fridge overnight.