Easy, healthy ad nutrient- rich marble cake

My brother started university in September and he move in small flat all by himself. He started to ask me for easy and quick recipes that they are also my specialty. When you are a student and a sport team member as we both are, you don’t have much time to cook, and still you want to enjoy healthy and tasty food. So I start collect recipes that are both delicious and easy for him and me. University experience had a short: as soon as Covid-19 made its appearance in the neighborhood of Milano, my brother came back home but I still teach him recipes for when he will be back in his flat in Milano.

Today I will present you and all the busy students a easy cake full of nutrients given by cocoa power and walnuts.  The cake has a tangy texture and it will melt in your mouth. It is ready in 10 minutes plus cooking time and all what you need it is an oven!

Ingredients

380 gr. floor

200 gr. icing sugar

3 eggs

230 gr. Butter

100gr. milk +2 tablespoon

20 gr. Cocoa

100 gr. grounded walnuts

some halves of nuts

1 orange

12 gr. baking powder

2 gr. of salt

Instructions

Heat oven to 180C. Grease a cake tin and line the bottom greaseproof paper.

Mix butter with the zest of an orange, beat the butter with the sugar sugar, then add 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Fold through raising flour and the baking powder

Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Stir the cocoa powder into the mixture in one of the bowls add the grounded walnuts and the 2 spoons of milk. Add some walnuts halves in the white dough.

  • Alternate the two doughs in the tin as you like. 
  • Bake the cake for 45-55 mins until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container. But out of experience I tell you it will not last that long!

quick, healthy and DELICIOUS granola

Don’t have time? This super healthy granola will be ready in less than 20 minutes!

ingredients:

2 cups of rolled oats

1/2 cup of different kinds of nuts

1/3 cup dried fruit (you can use any kind)

a pinch of salt

1 tablespoon shredded coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup of dates (without the seeds)

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

instructions:

In a bowl start by adding your oats, nuts, salt, dried fruit, cinnamon, and coconut. Stir it all.

In a food processor put the tahini and the dates and when it becomes creamy add it to the oat mixture.

Line the parchment paper on a oven try, and put it in the oven at 160 C for ten to fifteen minutes (until it becomes golden brown). Once your granola is cooled you can add some chocolate chips for extra sweetness.

Now it’s ready to be eaten, but it won’t last long

Sapori antichi: la marmellata e lo sciroppo di corniole

In questo periodo i  mercati rionali delle strade della Turchia sono invasi da ceste piene di corniole mature. In Italia abbiamo quasi dimenticato questo frutto modesto, ma qua lo si usa ancora molto per marmellate e sciroppi. Ricca di vitamina C e antiossidanti, la corniola é un frutto “difficile”, se non é perfettamente matura allappa ed é immangiabile.

http://www.sakaryahalk.com/48595-kizilcik-pazarda-haberi.html

Mi é venuta voglia di provare a fare la marmellata e lo sciroppo di corniole perché avevo voglia di provare qualcosa di diverso ed ho pensato che se non mi fosse piaciuto troppo il sapore avrei comunque potuto utilizzarle nei dolci al posto del colorante, visto il bel rosso vivace.

Invece mi sono piaciute entrambe, lo sciroppo é molto profumato e leggermente aspro, ottimo come bibita in acqua ghiacciata o divino sopra il gelato fior di latte. Con la marmellata ho fatto delle raviole che sono sparite nel giro di una merenda.

Ecco dunque le ricette e le foto della marmellata e dello sciroppo di corniole.

Marmellata di corniole:

Ingredienti

  • 500 gr di corniole
  • 1 bicchiere d’acqua
  • 2 bicchieri di zucchero
  • 1 chiodo di garofano
  • 1 stecca di cannella
  • 1 mela piccola

Procedimento

  1. Dopo aver lavato e asciugato le corniole  e la mela mettetele a cuocere con un bicchiere d’acqua e le spezie. Cuocerle bene, fino a quando la polpa si staccherà leggermente dal nocciolo
  2. Quando saranno intiepidite, passatele al setaccio, in maniera tale che il nocciolo si separerà completamente dal nocciolo.
  3. In una pentola mettete il pure di frutta e lo zucchero e cuoceteli fino a che prendono consistenza
  4. Quando vi sembra pronta, fate la prova: mettete una goccia di marmellata su un piattino di ceramica: se la goccia si indurisce e non scorre via, la marmellata é pronta.
  5. Metterla immediatamente in vasetti sterilizzati, avvitare il coperchio e capovolgere il vasetto.

Sciroppo di corniole

Ingredienti

1,5 litri di acqua

500 gr di corniole

3 bicchieri di zucchero

Procedimento

  1. Lavare e asciugare le corniole, mettere a bollire nell’acqua per circa 20-30 minuti
  2. Separare il succo dalle corniole
  3. Passare le corniole al setaccio in modo da ottenere il purè. Raccogliete il purè in una garza e mettetelo a sgocciolare in maniera tale da spremere tutto il succo possibile.
  4. Mettere insieme il succo ottenuto al punto 2. con quello ottenuto al punto 3, aggiungere lo zucchero e mescolare fino a quando non é completamente assorbito.
  5. Conservare  lo sciroppo in bottiglie di vetro al buio

Soft and Crispy Cornetti with Mascarpone cheese

Yes, I admit that I am a little bit obsessed with Cornetti for breakfast, I never get tired of trying new recipes and this one is really nice with a crispy outside, a moist inside and a heart of melting chocolate.

The occasion to try this wonderful brioche with mascarpone’s recipe, came with two separate, yet related, events. First of all I had some mascarpone left from my tiramisu and I need to use it immediately because it spoils easily, the second is that Andrea Camilleri, the great Italian writer, famous for his Inspector Montalbano, passed away and I start to read all Montalbano’s investigations again. In all those novels food is nearly as relevant as the crime investigated. I am actually reading The Dance of the Seagull, and in this brief dialogue the most beloved Italian breakfast pastry becomes the metaphor of the perennial delays we suffer in Italy.

Preparing those cornetti is really easy and using mascarpone instead of butter helps in cutting off some calories without renouncing to flavor and softness.

In this recipe I added extra texture with a simple layering technic.

For more traditional Butter Cornetti, click here or here

Ingredients:

  • 5 g dry yeast
  • 100 g sugar
  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 125 g mascarpone cheese (+ another 100 g if you want to create layers)
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250 g milk
  • 100g of dark chocolate
  • 1 egg for the glaze

Directions

1.Heat the milk with the butter let it cool down and add the dry yeast, wait for about 10 minutes.

2. In a bowl, mix flour with sugar and salt.

3. Add the milk mixture and the mascarpone 

4.Knead the dough until it becomes elastic and smooth. 

5. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and put in a warm place for about 1.30 – 2 hours or until it doubles in volume. 

6. Knock back and divide the dough in eight small ball. Let it rise for another hour.

Roll with a pin until 2-3 mm high, spread the with mascarpone uniformly, cover with another rolled dough When you have 8 layer, cut the dough in 16 triangles, but some chocolate in the middle of each triangle and roll it. Let it rise for another half an hour.

Make an egg glaze by lightly beating the egg

Brush the top of each roll with the glaze. Bake it in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. If you have a steam oven like me, then start with the low humidy program for about 10 minutes and then turn to the convection bake for the rest of the time.

ENJOY!

Auntie Rita’s wonderfully simple spumante risotto

I came in Italy for a few days, not a very happy occasion actually, as my beloved nana has passed away at age of 99. She was my first cook teacher, she taught me to pick wild herbs to cook and serve in salad, she even showed me how to prepare farm cheese. She was a WWII survivor, born just one year after the end of WWI. She decided to be buried in a country churchyard in Umbria, in the village she was born and she never forgot. 

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But Umbria is also the place where my untie and godmother Rita lives (not a novel character but a flesh and bone honest food lover untie). She prepared this risotto for me and I thought to share with you because it is very easy but it makes the perfect Valentine dish given the fancy presence of Spumante (you can use Champagne if you wish) that add perfume to the Risotto.

Ingredients

Serve 5/6 people

  • ½ white onion
  • 1 l of hot vegetable stock
  • 75 gr of butter
  • 2-3 spoonful of cream
  • half a litre of dry spumante
  • ½ kg carnaroli or arborio rice
  • Grated parmesan to taste
  • Ground black pepper only if you like

Directions

  • Chop the onion very finely. Melt half of the butter in a wide saucepan and cook them gently until softened. In another saucepan, pour the spumante and in another one all of the stock, and keep on a very low simmer nearby to your risotto.
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  • When the vegetables are soft, pour in the rice and turn in the butter until it is glossy. At medium heat, pour one ladle champagne and, stirring all the time, let it be absorbed.
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  • Alternate a ladle of stock and a ladle of spumante, letting one ladleful be absorbed before adding the next, keeping on stirring.
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  • Once the rice is cooked, put some butter and the Parmesan and the cream mix and cover to give time to absorb for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
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Chicken under the brick and the inspiration of chef Samin Nosrat

Crispy outside and juicy tender meat inside, this Tuscany inspired chicken recipe will amaze you.

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A few years ago, at a birthday party, I was sitting with a fellow parent that is executive chef in the best Italian restaurant in the city. I remember he and I agreed on how Italian cooking is based on the quality of the ingredients . “Think about Caprese” he told me “Fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil and good olive oil, and you have a wonderful dish”. How to disagree? You pour some olive oil and even mediocre dish become a masterpiece. But it was only when I read Samin Nosrat “Salt Fat Acid Heat” that I made full sense of the conversation I had with Chef Giuseppe. According chef Nosrat those four elements are the very base of every cooking and once you master them, you are a good cook. Italian cooking is probably based on fat, olive oil in central and southern Italy, butter in the North. But reading this book I made sense also of a Tuscan recipe: pollo al mattone, chicken under the brick. Where in the world could I find a brick, here in Istanbul? And more important, why? But here what chef Nosrat says: “As she drove us home, I told her we’d bone out the thighs and season them with salt. Then we’d cook them in a little olive oil, in a preheated cast iron pan over medium-low heat, skin side down, with another cast iron pan (or foil-wrapped can of tomatoes) weighing them down. Combining moderate heat with the weight encourages the fat to render, leaving behind crisp skin and tender meat. It’s dark meat that cooks up as quickly and easily as white meat.” Excerpt From: Nosrat, Samin. “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.” 

So that’s it, if you have iron cast pans and casseroles you can do the trick, and it is worthy. So here another of our family recipes

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Ingredients:

Serve 3-4 persons

Half a chicken ( I suggest you free range organic, it has better flavor and texture)

For the marinade:

The juice of a lemon

1 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Directions

Lay the chicken in a large bowl and pour the mixture over the marinade ingredients, Marinate for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.

Heat your cast iron pan until it’s hot and grease with oil. Place the chicken on the grill, skin with the skin down. Weigh the chicken down with the large lid of cast iron casserole, 

Grill the chicken until golden brown (about half an hour). 

Cut it into pieces and serve with vinegar or lemon juice dressed salad (it makes a nice contrast according chef Nosrat

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