– 50 elderflower heads
– 2,4 kg of granulated sugar
– 2 unwaxed lemons
– 3 litres of water
– 50g of citric acidFirst of all inspect elderflowers carefully and remove unwanted guests (do not wash the flowers!). After that, place the lemon slices and the elderflower heads into a big bowl, large enough to accommodate 4/5 litres. Bring the water and the sugar to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and let cool for around 45 minutes.Add the citric acid and pour the lukewarm liquid over the elderflowers and the lemon slices. Stir the mixture well for around 5 minutes. Place a towel over the bowl and let the syrup stir in a cool and dark place for 3-5 days. Stir the mixture twice a day.After 3-5 days, take a sieve and lay a clean tea towel inside it to strain the syrup. Discard the flowers and the lemons. Pour the filtered syrup into clean glass bottles or jars. Store the syrup in the refrigerator or freezer. Elderflower syrup can be kept in the freezer since the high sugar content keeps it from freezing. Serve the syrup diluted with soda (4 parts water and 1 part elderflower cordial), with white wine or Prosecco and some mint leaves.
The ideal period to pick elderflowers is May-June … and this is where I picked up mines : Canale Quarantia, Foci dell’Isonzo (Italy)
Enjoy your drink,
Bunnies from Trieste
Today I will be sharing with you a traditional Easter recipe from my city: Trieste (Italy)! The Pinza Triestina is one of my favorite Easter treats and it normally has the form of a big circular loaf with a cross in the middle. I’ve decided to prepare some small bunnies to make them wish you HAPPY EASTER from Trieste!
– 50g of fresh yeast
– 500g of flour
– 1 egg and 3 yolks
– 100g of butter
– 125g of sugar + 1 tsp
– 115ml of milk + 2 tbsp
– 1 tbsp of rum
– 7g of salt
– lemon zest
– 1 egg
In a small cup mix together 1 tsp of sugar, the fresh yeast and 2 tbsps of lukewarm milk. Put the flour in a large bowl, form a hole in the middle and pour the yeast mixture in. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for around 10 minutes.
In the meanwhile beat the butter, the lemon zest, the sugar, the egg and the yolks until light in color (add in the yolks one at time). Add the butter mixture to the flour and yeast one, together with the milk, salt and rum. Using a wooden spoon beat vigorously until the dough begins to lose its gloss. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for around 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160° C. After the fermentation process, take the dough and form small balls. Brush the top of the loaves with some egg yolk diluted with water before baking. Bake for around 30 minutes.
Enjoy your Pinza Triestina!
I wish you a happy and sweet Easter!
Macarons à la Linzer
For the shells:
– 200g of almond meal
– 200g of powdered sugar
– 200g of caster sugar
– 146g of egg whites
– 5cl of water
– edible pearls, edible snowflakes, ribbons and food decorating pens
Combine the caster sugar and the water in a saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to 118°. In the meanwhile put half of the the egg whites in a mixer bowl and whip them on medium speed to soft peaks. Pour the 118° syrup in a thin, steady stream into the whipping egg whites.
Continue whipping the meringue on medium speed until the temperature drops to 50°.
In a large bowl combine the almond meal, the caster sugar and the other half of the egg whites and mix well.
Add a small part of the meringue to the almond paste and mix gently, then add the rest of the meringue, fold and scratch the surface until the batter starts to run glossy.
Put the mixture in a pastry bag with a large tip and form two circles (one big and one small) on parchment lined sheet pans. Allow the macarons shells to sit for 1 hour until the surface feels dry to the touch.
Preheat the oven to 150° and bake the shells for approximately 14 minutes. Cool the macarons shells on the sheet pans.
For the Linzer filling:
– 120g of red currant jam
– 38g of walnut meal
– 38g of almond meal
– 2 tsp of cinnamon
– 20g of powdered sugar
– the peel of 1 lemon
Mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Fill your snowman macarons with the Linzer filling. Decorate the snowmen with edible snowflakes and pearls, food decorating pens and ribbons.
I wish you all a sweet Christmas time!!
I’ve found these buttons in my living room near the Christmas tree… I think Santa came too early and lost something from his jacket!
For the shortcrust pastry:
– 125g of butter
– 2 egg yolks
– 250g of flour
– 100g of granulated sugar
– 1 pinch of salt
– 1 tsp of cinnamon
– lemon zest
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until you obtain a dough ball.
Put the dough in the fridge for around 30 minutes. After that roll it out on a floured surface.
Take two round baking moulds with different diameters, cut out your biscuits and form four holes in the middle (I used a chopstick).
Preheat the oven to 175° C (347° F). Put your biscuits in the oven and bake for around 13 minutes or until golden on top.
Pass a ribbon trough the holes and here you have your delicious button biscuits, a perfect Christmas baking idea!
Have a sweet Christmas time!!
No butter, cream or food coloring. Just 3 natural ingredients for a simple but surprising result.
– 500g of mixed cereals/müsli (rolled oats, dried fruits, almonds, hazelnuts, raisins, chocolate chips…)
– 3 tbsp of honey
– 200g of dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 175° C (347° F). Put the chocolate in a bowl, place it over a sucepan of simmering water and wait until it’s melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly.
In the meanwhile mix together the cereals and the honey. Pour the chocolate into the mixture.
Put the mixture in a baking pan (around 25cm x 30cm) lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to press the cereals and to compact the mixture. Bake for around 15 minutes.
Press and compact the mixture again with a spatula. Let the müsli cool. With a sharp knife cut the cereals in bars or little cubes. If you want you can decorate your bars with white chocolate, paper stripes or ribbons.
Last weekend I picked up the last roses in my grandmothers garden. I’ve decided to prepare 100% organic candied roses and petals to garnish my desserts.
Ingredients (for 5 roses and 20 petals)
– 50g of granulated sugar
– 1 egg white
– an artists’ brush
Preheat the oven to 5o° C. Clean up the roses and let them dry completely. Put the sugar in a small cup and the egg white in a separate one. Dip the paint brush into the egg white and brush the front and the back of the petals. Dip the flowers in the sugar and place them on a pan lined with parchment paper.
Let the flowers dry in the oven (at 50° C) for 2 hours. Place the flowers in a dry place.
Decorate your desserts with these beautiful flowers.
With Halloween right around the corner it’s time to wrak your brain for some spooky baking idea!
I’ve decided to bake some fluffy vanilla cream cupcakes topped by ghost meringues ideal for Halloween parties.
For the cupcakes (16 pieces):
– 5 eggs
– 150 g granulated sugar
– 5 g of vanilla sugar
– 100 g flour
For the cream:
– 3 egg yolks
– 250 ml of milk
– 80 g of granulated sugar
– 25 g of flour
– the peel of 1 lemon
– 5 g of vanilla sugar
– 250 ml of whipped cream
For the ghosts:
– 3 egg whites
– 1 pinch of salt
– 220 g of powdered sugar
– 5 g of vanilla sugar
First of all prepare the meringue ghosts. Preheat the oven to 80° C. Whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the sugars and the salt gradually while beating. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Put the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a large spout tip and form your ghosts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 3 hours or until meringues are dry. Paint the eyes with edible pencils.
For the cupcakes preheat the oven to 180° C. Take the 5 eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg whites with half of the sugar until stiff peaks form. Whisk now the egg yolks, the vanilla sugar and the other half of granulated sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Add slowly the flour.
Slowly and carefully add the yellow mixture to the whisked egg whites. Be careful not to deflate the mixture! Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for around 20 minutes.
For the cream whisk together the egg yolks, the vanilla sugar and the lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add slowly the flour and the milk being careful not to form lumps. Cook the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts boiling. Let it cool down in the fridge for around 1 hour. Now whip the 250 ml of cream and add it slowly to the cold lemon and vanilla mixture.
Create a hole in the middle of your cupcakes and fill it with the cold cream. If you prefer, before adding the cream, you can also add some melted chocolate on the bottom of the hole. Put your meringue ghosts in the middle and decorate with some cream on the borders.
For a really scary Halloween ghost add a “BOO!” flag on each cupcake :)
Here you have your super spooky Halloween baking idea for delicious treats!
When I started making my chocolate chip cookies my digital scale stopped working so I decided to proceed in a 100% American way: for the first time I used the “cups” system! To be honest I never loved it that much but after today I changed my mind! Try these soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies perfect also as ice cream cookies sandwiches.
– 1 cup of butter (220g)
– 3/4 cup of granulated sugar (150g)
– 3/4 cup of brown sugar (165g)
– 2 cup of flour (256g)
– 1/4 cup of potato starch (35g)
– 1 cup of chocolate chips (180g)
– 1/2 cup of ground hazelnuts (70g)
– 2 big eggs
– 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
– 1 teaspoon of salt
In a bowl, whisk together the butter, the brown sugar and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time, each one mixed in completely before adding the next.
Pass through a sieve the flour, the potato starch, the salt, the baking soda. Add them to the butter dough and mix slowly. Stir in the chocolate chips and the hazelnuts.
Put the dough in a plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175° C (347° F).
Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges (20 minutes).
The best way to savour your cookies in summer is to fill them with a delicious ice cream!!!
After a long period away from my baking oven, after tooooo much store bought desserts, after months living in the city of chocolate, Brussels, now I’m back to my kitchen!! Today’s cake is a delicious cheesecake perfect for summer dinners or a picnic with friends! Enjoy..
For the pie crust
– 200g of whole-wheat biscuits
– 60g of melted butter
– the juice of 1/2 lemon
For the filling
– 200g of Philadelphia
– 200g of ricotta
– 130g of granulated sugar
– 100g of cream
– 30g of yogurt
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 spoon of flour
– the bark of 1 lemon
– 1 vanilla bean
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
For the crust grind the biscuits finely in a food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the biscuits. Put the biscuits mixture in a cake pan and press firmly to cover the whole surface of the pan (edges included). Pour the lemon juice on the surface. Your crust is now ready to be covered by the cheese mixture.
For the filling put the ricotta, the Philadelphia, the sugar, the cream, the yogurt, the eggs, the vanilla and the lemon bark in a large bowl and mix slowly. Stir in the flour.
Pour the cheese mixture on the biscuits crust and bake for 1 hour (160°C – 320°F).
Let the cheesecake cool for 2 hours and conserve it in the fridge. Serve the cake at room temperature and decorate it giving vent to your creativity!