Evil Eye Cookies
This week we celebrated my dad’s 68th birthday… almost 70! (tfu tfu tfu, against the evil eye). To celebrate it I made him a small birthday cake plus special cookies decorated with royal icing to keep away any bad luck from him this year: cookies against the evil eye, a concept deeply rooted in my family.
I haven’t uploaded a blog post for more than a month now, because I tried to be dairy free for a while and the only result of that experiment was a decrease in my baking desire. The damned experiment ended last week on my birthday with a very dairy tiramisu cake. To go back to normal, I made a geode cake for little Eliora and Archie who came to visit from the States.
How to Caramelize White Chocolate & Make Dulce Spread
White chocolate is the most problematic of them all. Simply because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids. But that doesn’t mean it’s not chocolate. It contains enough cocoa butter to be respected and considered as chocolate. However, from the moment I tried caramelized chocolate, I realized it would be hard to go back to just “plain” old white chocolate.
Recently I discovered that the Argentinian cookies Alfajores have Middle Eastern roots with origins from an ancient cooking book from Baghdad of the Middle Ages, just a little over 1000 years ago. (I know, sounds like One Thousand and One Recipes.) The origin of the name in Arabic is al-fakher (الفَاخِر), which means “fine” or “quality” or maybe “praised”.
Ruby Berry Pralines
Tempering chocolate to make pralines on hot summer days is doomed to fail. I was naïve enough to think that the AC would solve the problem. I mean, it’s cool and nice enough in the house with it turned on… for me, not for the chocolate. Tempering chocolate requires a specific room temperature. 18-20 °C / 64-68 °F to be exact.
Chocolate Passion Fruit Pralines
A while back, I met friends from France and we talked about macarons. (What else would you talk about with French people?) We didn’t just talk about any macarons, we talked about Pierre Hermé’s macarons. We all agreed that his best is without a doubt the “Mogador”, a macaron filled with passion fruit and milk chocolate ganache.
The pistachios I brought from Bronte in Sicily last summer are just about to end. I bought 4 kilograms that I used in a variety of desserts. I saved the very last pistachios for a special dessert that won my heart (and stomach) at the end of the trip: cassatina. A festive Sicilian cake filled with sweet ricotta cream, covered by green pistachio marzipan and decorated with candied fruits.
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