May 7 2019

Cuban Flan

This wondrous recipe is the Cuban version of the universally known European Créme Caramel , which, despite its French name, was born in Spain. The classical recipe is based on just milk, eggs and sugar; the Cubans substituted the fresh milk with powdered and condensed milk, probably easier to find, thus creating a dramatically different texture. Richer and creamier, trust me, it is a dream come true.

Serves 6

  • 1 tin condensed milk (397 gr)
  • 200 gr powdered milk
  • 3 whole free-range eggs
  • 1 tbsp natural vanilla powder (or, half a vanilla bean, halved and scraped)
  • 125 ml water
  • 200 caster sugar for the caramel

 

In a small saucepan place the sugar, put  on low heat and let it caramelize: do not stir the sugar until melted and darkened. Coat a 1.2 liter baking tin with the caramel and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the powdered milk with the water and whisk well; add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly  through in order to eliminate any lumps (you can use an immersion blender to reach this goal perfectly), then add the eggs.

Add the vanilla, combine everything together and pour the mixture in the caramelized tin using a sieve to remove any remaining lumps and, especially, any bubbles.

Cover with aluminum foil, put the tin in a baking pan with boiling water and bake bain-marie in the oven, still, at 180°C for 75 minutes. Check the surface: if the flan is set, take it out of the oven, otherwise prolong the baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the tin from the pan, let it cool to room temperature then place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

To unmold the flan, gently scrape along the edges with a round-bladed knife, then turn upside down on a dish. Serve cold.

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Nov 30 2018

Low Cal Chocolate Mousse with Lemony Salt Flakes

Quick and easy to prepare (you can make it the day before), luscious to taste and light on your figure: isn’t that a dream? Let’s try this dessert and you will find that dreams do come true… sometimes.

Serves 4

  • 100 gr top quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa) + 20 gr for decoration
  • 50 gr brown sugar
  • 4 free range eggs (you will need only the whites)
  • 1 fat free Greek yougurt (170 gr)
  • less than a 1/2 tsp lemony salt flakes (or plain salt flakes if you prefer to go easy)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in double boiler (a bowl set over a pan of simmering water). Let it cool to room temperature then add the sugar and yougurt. If you fancy a stronger flavour, omit the sugar. Mix well and set aside.

In a perfectly clean bowl pour the egg whites (it is important for it to be clean in order to have perfectly done egg whites, as any kind of grease can block the process) and whisk with and eletric hand mixer to medium-stiff peaks.

Using a whisk or a spatula, very gently mix together the whites with the melted chocolate and yougurt.

Divide the mix into four ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.

Scatter the surface of the mousse with grated chocolate and some salt flakes.

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Apr 17 2018

Levi’s Cake

This is surely the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten in my life; my mother used to make it on very special occasions. Please notice that you have to make it 48 hours ahead!

Serves

  • 200 gr caster sugar
  • 200 gr chocolate at 70% cocoa, melted and at room temperature,+ 50 gr for garnishing
  • 200 gr butter
  • 6 free range eggs, separated
  • 3 savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers), crumbled

Whisk the butter at room temperature with the sugar using a blender, then add the egg yolks, one at a time.

Add the melted chocolate. Whisk  the eggs whites until stiff and glossy, then add to the chocolate batter.

Take away a half of the batter and incorporate the biscuits.

Pour the batter in a paper baking pan or in a springform pan of 18-20 cm diameter and bake in the oven at 170°C, still, for 25 minutes.  When the cake is at room temperature cover with the other half of the batter. Level with a spatula and cover with plastic wrap.

Put in the frifge for 48 hours before eating the cake, and decorate with grated chocolate.

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Dec 10 2017

Coconut Christmassy Rice Pudding

This recipe features a creamy, rich flavoured rice pudding with pomegranate, giving as festive a touch as it must be in this special  season. Merry Christmas!

Serves 6

  • 75 gr short grained white rice
  • 50 gr brown sugar
  • 650 ml fresh milk
  • 50 gr butter
  • 75 gr shredded coconut
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 small pomegranate, seeds removed

The night before preparing the pudding boil the milk in a saucepan on low heat, pour the shredded coconut in and let it rest at room temperature for the whole night. The day after boil the coconut-milk mix again and cook in the rice, previously rinsed under running water.

Let it simmer for around 30 minutes on an extremely low heat, then add the butter, coconut milk, sugar and eggs, one by one.

Grease a pudding tin with an extra quantity of butter, pour  in the batter,  place in the oven at 180°C, bain-marie, and bake for 1 hour.

Take the pudding out of the oven, cover with aluminum foil so that the pudding will remain moist, put in the fridge and let it rest again for 24 hours.

Unmold the pudding on a large plate and scatter with the pomegranate.

 

 

 

 

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Oct 1 2017

Panna cotta with grape strawberry sauce

 

Make the most of delicious grape strawberry, at its best in this time of year, with this recipe. If you can’t get a hold of it where you are, you can substitute it with any other fruit, though this version is particularly new.

Serves 6

  • 500 ml double cream
  • 200 gr icing sugar
  • 3 jelly sheets
  • 100 ml milk
  • 750 gr grape strawberry
  • 3 tbs caster sugar

 

Heat double cream and sugar, continuously stirring, until the mix is almost boiling. Soften jelly sheets in cold water, and melt in a saucepan with the milk, then pour into the hot mix of cream and sugar. Pour in a cake tin, previously wet with some water, and let it rest in the fridge for 12 hours.

Remove pits from your grapes, and place in a saucepan with caster sugar.

Mix and squish the grapes until all their juice is released. Strain and keep the juice aside.

Pour the juice in a saucepan and let it simmer on low heat until it thickens. This will be your sauce when your panna cotta is ready to serve.

 

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