Brunsli – Swiss Chocolate Cookies

Brunsli - Swiss Chocolate Cookies
I don’t know about you but I love organising dinner parties. I get so excited when I can plan, prepare, cook, decorate, welcome the guests and entertain them. Continue reading

This Saturday, after a long time I’m hosting my fiancé’s birthday party at my home. The guest list is getting longer by the minute and honestly I don’t really know where to place everyone since I’m afraid the table will be too small for the number of guests. I have a couple of days to figure this out.

Talking about parties, soon the festive season will start and a thing I like to do is to spread the love with a few sweet treats like these “Basler Brunsli”. It’s the first time I’ve made them, usually I would taste the store bought ones and I can gladly say that these are so much better than the commercial ones. These traditional Swiss cookies, besides being gluten-free, have a great chocolaty taste without being dry. Now that I have tried these, I will never go back to the store bought ones. For this easy recipe I went around the Internet and saw that the ratios are basically everywhere the same. In my version of the recipe (which I adapted from the site: famillesuisse.ch ), I added a little cocoa powder and a little salt.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT! 😀

Brunsli - Swiss Chocolate Cookies

 

Brunsli – Swiss Chocolate Cookies

 

Recipe for about 30-35 pieces (depending on the cookie cutter size)

Prep time: 30 min (+ 6-12 hours resting time)

Cooking time: 5 min

 

Ingredients:

250 g ground almonds

200 g sugar (I used brown sugar)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

100 g dark chocolate (85% cocoa beans)

2 egg whites

½ tsp. salt

1 pinch cinnamon powder

 

Recipe

In a bowl mix the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites to a peak (optionally add a pinch of salt).

Gently blend the egg whites with the content of the first bowl.

Fill a third bowl with warm water (not boiling) and place the chocolate to soften for 3-4 min (it’s important not to stir). After the time has passed, remove the water and add the chocolate to the rest of the ingredients and gently fold the chocolate in.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1 cm thick. To do this place the dough between to pieces of waxed paper, the situation will be less sticky and easier to work with.

Using the cookie cutter of your choice, start cutting out the shapes. To make the removal of the dough easier, dip the cookie cutter into a little sugar. When there is no more room to cut any more cookies, gather the dough and roll it out once more. Repeat until the dough is finished.

Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with waxed paper and let them dry between 6 hours to a whole night.

Heat the oven to 250 and bake for 5 min. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

Barley and Zucchini Burgers

Barley and Zucchini Burgers Does anyone ever feel tired when seasons change? Continue reading

I do. One thing I have found helps though is to eat healthy and limit the size of portions. If I eat a rich lunch I can’t seem to be able to keep my eyes open in the afternoon. In this state of mind I have made these burgers which my mother had already made a few months ago and recommended the recipe to me. I adapted the recipe, according to my taste, from one of the Betty Bossi cookbooks. If you wonder what or who Betty Bossy is here is a link to the description I found on Wikipedia, which I thought was short but accurate. I grew up with my mother (who comes from the French part of Switzerland) checking those books out. Personally as much as I like their recipes I try to avoid their ready made products (which only exist since a few years) because I have a little trouble with either the components or the taste.

 Barley and Zucchini Burgers

 

Barley and Zucchini Burgers

 

Recipe for 2 as a meal or for 4 as an appetizer

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients

For the burgers:

120 g pearled barley

1 sachet saffron

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 zucchini

1 garlic clove

4 fillets sun dried tomatoes

1 tsp. olive oil + more for the burgers

2 tbsp. flour

1 egg

2 tbsp. grated Sbrinz or Parmesan

Salt and pepper

 

For the sauce:

80 g yoghurt

2 tbsp. cream cheese

2 tbsp. chopped chives

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the barley in boiling water corresponding to four times its amount. To the water add some salt, the saffron and the cayenne pepper. Cook for 25-30 min (or until tender) and drain if necessary.

Meanwhile roughly grate the zucchini and pass the garlic through a garlic crusher. Thinly slice the sun-dried tomatoes. Add 1 tsp. olive oil and sauté the zucchini and garlic for 5-6 min; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.

Let everything cool down a little then in a bowl mix the barley with the zucchini and tomatoes, the flour, the egg and the grated cheese.

Make 8 equal sized burgers and cook them on a medium fire with a little olive oil for about 5 min per side. Serve.

For the sauce just mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. If making this recipe as a main meal, serve with a salad or veggies or in a bun.

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie / Hachis Parmentier Recouvert de Polenta

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie Does the cooking method contribute to categorizing a dish as comfort food ? Continue reading

I think that it’s the case at least for the oven. One of my favourite dishes is a cottage pie and usually I make it the traditional way with potatoes but sometimes it’s nice to give it a change and so this time I topped it with polenta. Instead of using only water I prepared the corn mostly with milk which makes the mass creamier. Actually, in Ticino it’s quite common to eat polenta in a bowl filled with milk. This used to be a poor man’s meal. For the meat instead I began with a “mirepoix” which is also the base I use for a bolognese sauce. For the rest I more or less followed Gordon Ramsay’s  shepherd’s pie recipe; especially for cooking times. It was some time I had not made this dish.

 

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 50 min

Ingredients

 

For the beef :

2 carrots

1 celery stalk

1 onion

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

650 g minced beef

1 large tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves

0.5 dl red wine

0.5 dl stock

(optional: a small tsp cornstarch to thicken)

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

 

For the polenta:

180 g fine polenta

6 dl milk

3 dl water

(optional: 1-2 knobs butter)

120 g grated cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Finely dice the carrots, celery and onion. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher. In a pan with one tbsp olive oil, add the carrots, celery and onion to soften for 5 min.

In another pan  (or use the same  and set the vegetables aside) heat the rest of the olive oil and add the minced meat. Cook until the meat is browned. Once done remove excess liquid and fat ( I used a sieve). Place the meat back in the pan with the rosemary and thyme. Add the tomato puree, the vegetables and finally pour over the wine. Reduce by half. Now add the Worcestershire sauce and the stock. Cook for about 20-25 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the polenta bring the water and milk to a boil. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook for ten minutes on a low fire and constantly stirring. When done add in the butter  and 90 out of the 120 grams of cheese with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the meat to a baking dish ( I used individual ones), top with the polenta evenly spread and finally sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20-25 min, until the top is nicely browned.

 

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Version Française

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

La méthode de cuisson contribue-t- elle à rendre un plat réconfortant ? Je pense que c’est le cas, du moins pour le four. Un de mes plats préférés c’est le hachis Parmentier et d’habitude je le fait de la manière traditionnelle avec des pommes de terre mais de temps en temps j’aime bien changer. Cette fois je l’ai fait en utilisant de la polenta. Au lieu d’utiliser que de l’eau ou du bouillon j’ai préparé la farine de mais avec une majorité de lait. En effet, ici au Tessin c’est une chose commune de manger la polenta servie dans un bol rempli de lait. Ce plat était un des repas de l’homme pauvre. Pour la viande j’ai commencé avec un mirepoix (la base que j’utilise aussi quand je prépare une bolognaise). Pour la suite j’ai plus ou moins suivi une recette de Gordon Ramsay ; surtout pour les temps de cuisson car ça faisait un moment que je n’avais pas fait de hachis Parmentier.

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

Hachis Parmentier Recouvert de Polenta

 

Recette pour 4

Temps de préparation: 20 min

Temps de cuisson: 50 min

 

Ingrédients

Pour la viande:

2 carottes

1 branche de céleri

1 oignon

3 cs huile d’olive

2 gousses d’ail

650 g viande hachée de bœuf

1 grosse cs purée de tomates

1 cs de feuilles de thym

1 cs feuilles de romarin coupées finement

0.5 dl vin rouge

(optionnel: une petite cc de maizena pour épaissir)

0.5 dl bouillon

Un soupçon de sauce Worcestershire

Sel et poivre

 

Pour la polenta :

180 g polenta fine

6 dl lait

3 dl eau

(optionnel: 1-2 noix de beurre)

120 g fromage râpé

Sel et poivre

 

Recette

Allumez le four à 200°C.

Coupez finement les carottes, la branche se céleri et l’oignon. Passez les gousses d’ail dans un presse ail. Dans une poêle avec une cs d’huile d’olive, ajoutez les carottes le céleri et l’oignon et faites cuire pendant environ 7 min.

Dans une autre poêle (ou utilisez la même et mettez les légumes de coté) ajoutez le reste de l’huile d’olive et la viande. Cuire la viande jusqu’à quelle soit brune. Enlever l’excès de gras et liquide (j’ai utilisé une passoire). Replacer la viande dans la poêle avec le romarin et le thym. Ajouter la purée de tomate, les légumes et verser le vin. Laissez réduire de moitié environ. Maintenant ajoutez la Worcestershire sauce et le bouillon (éventuellement ajouter la maizena). Poursuivre la cuisson pendant 20-25 min. Assaisonner selon le gout.

Pour la polenta, porter l’eau et le lait à ébullition. Ajouter en pluie la polenta et faire cuire 10 min sur un feu bas en remuant constamment. À la fin ajouter le beurre, 90 des 120 g de fromage et assaisonner avec du sel et du poivre selon le goût.

Transférer la viande dans un plat à four (dans mon cas j’ai utilisé des plats individuels) étalez la polenta de manière régulière et parsemez le reste du fromage par-dessus. Placez dans le four pendant 20-25 min, jusqu’à que le haut soit bien doré.

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots The ‘Tatsch’ is another typical recipe which comes from the Graubünden canton; so basically next door to my region. Continue reading

This is actually a region I am enjoying more and more as it has a lot of recipes I really enjoy. The ‘Tatsch’ in my book is described as a kind of roasted spaezle which requires less time in the making. I had already tried this from a book I had at home and thought it was nice but that I would remake it with more flavour. I left the recipe aside for a while and did not really think about it any more until I saw the version from schweizerkaese.ch (recipe in German) and decided to try this one. I really liked the taste of this version and I particularly liked its light consistence. I totally recommend this recipe as it’s something easy and truly delicious. I will make this again and maybe add some herbs or even cooked vegetables?

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

 

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min + 30 min resting time

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

For the Tatch:

100 g flour

100 g grated hard cheese – I used Appenzeller but you can use another tasty hard cheese such as Gruyère

2 egg yolks

2.5 dl milk

1 tsp salt

2 egg whites

Butter for cooking

 

For the vegetables:

320 g peeled carrots

The zest of one lemon

1 ½ tbsp raisins

3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 large shallot or 2 small ones

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

For the tatsch:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, egg yolks, milk, cheese  and salt to a smooth dough. Leave to rest for 30 min.

Whisk the egg whites to a peak.

Add the egg whites into the batter and fold delicately (do not over work the mass).

Melt the butter in a large, non-stick pan and pour to the batter. Cover and cook over a low heat to solidify and colour on one side. After about 10 min, turn around the tatsch with the help of a pan lid and cook second side. Cook until golden brown, for about 4-5 min. Break the tatsch up into pieces with the help of a couple of forks or a spatula.

 

While the tatsch is resting, you can prepare the carrots:

Cut the carrots and the shallot into strips about 4 cm long.

In a pan with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, add the shallot to soften on a low fire for five minutes. Stir in the carrots, salt, pepper, lemon zest and a little water. Cover and cook on a low-medium heat for about 8 min, or until they have softened. Stir occasionally.

When ready add the parsley and raisins, stir and serve with the tatsch.

Lentil Grapefruit Salad with Salmon Served in a Glass

Lentil Grapefruit and Salmon Salad Served in a Glass Despite the cold weather I felt like having something fresh and light. This past week I wanted to avoid eating too heavy but yesterday, I already broke my resolution Continue reading

when I was invited by my Italian friend Simona to eat specialities from the Valtellina: “sciatt” and pizzoccheri. The “sciatt” are buckwheat battered pieces of cheese (and so obviously they are fried). The main dish was pizzoccheri which, up to now, is a dish I have never seen served in a weight loss facility. I knew I would like it and indeed it was a truly delicious dinner and I thank her for the nice moment. Nonetheless I have broken my resolution. Today I wanted to catch up since I finally managed to have a moment with my mother so I made this recipe. I made it for her because I know these are all ingredients she really likes. We had a nice moment and almost didn’t even touch any family related matters. Around a glass of white wine we enjoyed this salad while my dog was making herself get noticed, hoping we would feel generous and share our salmon.

Lentil, Grapefruit and Salmon Appetizer 3

 

Lentil Grapefruit Salad with Salmon Served in a Glass

 

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 25 min

For 4 portions

 

Ingredients:

120g green lentils

2 tbsp olive oil

100g Greek yogurt

2 tbsp chopped parley

80-100 g smoked salmon

2 spring onions

2 small grapefruits

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp lemon juice

 

Recipe:

Cook the lentils in two times their volume in water for 25 minutes. Once ready, add the olive oil, the cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.

Mix the yogurt with parsley and set aside. Cut the smoked salmon into small pieces.

Slice the spring onions. Cut the top and bottom off the grapefruit and then with a knife remove the skin following the shape of the fruit. Remove each section by cutting along the membrane. Keep any of the juices dripping from the grapefruit. Cut each section into two or three parts and add them to the lentils along with the spring onions. Add grapefruit juice mix and correct taste with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper if needed.

In a glass place the lentil salad, on top place the yogurt with the parsley and then the salmon. Drizzle with a bit of lemon juice and repeat the operation for the other three glasses. Serve.

A Very Short Visit at The Chocolate Museum – Caslano

C.M. 5We left yesterday morning with the idea of enjoying our day. After a quick coffee my boyfriend and I headed towards the Lugano region. Our first stop would be in Caslano for a visit at the Alprose chocolate museum and factory. After stagnating for a while in the traffic we finally got there. Unaware of the direction we should take to find the entrance we followed the sign which pointed to the museum. We turned the corner of the building and were surprised to find that anything displayed would be held in one of those large party tents. We both found this a bit particular but pushed the curtain and entered the place anyway. Right after getting the entrance ticket there is a chocolate fountain, from there we were handed a bread stick which has been dipped in it. From the entrance, we could not really see what was to come, so we headed a bit forward. First there were a few pictures showing the cocoa bean harvest and next to them were a couple of reproductions of the tools used. It was quite basic and no information was to be seen anywhere.

A few meters away there were about two glass cupboards filled with teapots and cups I guess are supposed to be for hot chocolate. I honestly don’t really understand the point of displaying this many pots and without at least a bit of information. The same goes for the tin boxes next to it. At the end of the museum there was one small section which actually might have provided a little information on the composition of the kinds of chocolate. Unfortunately, there again, I felt that there was minimum amount of effort put into this too. It looked like the display of some grand mother’s personal collection.

There was one last thing we could visit: the factory. There is the possibility to was the production process of Alprose chocolate. We entered the corridor made for the visitors and walked a bit before we saw that nothing was on. I would have liked to see something but I guess that visiting on the 23rd of December does have its disadvantages. We headed towards the exit where the little shop also offered the chance to taste some chocolate products. In the end I guess we were in and out of the place in fifteen minutes.  I am sorry to say that in the end, this particular chocolate museum is set up in a lazy way and a little more attention to it could make it more interesting for children and adults. One thing in their favour is that the price is appropriate. You can see my boyfriend’s perplex expression once we went outside.

Since our visit ended so soon we went for a ‘piadina’ in Lugano and after that we encouraged the economy with some Christmas shopping.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

 

Where: Alprose Chocolat, Caslano

When: Mon-Sun (weekends the factory is closed)

Price: 3.- CHF for adults / 1.- CHF

For who: Everyone

Other links :

http://www.chocosuisse.ch/web/chocosuisse/en/home

http://www.chocosuisse.ch/web/chocosuisse/en/other_services/visitations

Cheese Nests

Cheese Nest Bites 1_renamed_16031I love cosy moments when it’s cold and raining outside. Continue reading

Tonight after a while it should rain, maybe with a bit of luck the snow will finally cover the top of the Alps. I really want to ski next week but at the moment there is really not much snow. I know my friends would say:

‘But Fanny, you never ski anyway’.

Not (totally) true. It’s just because I’m a perfectionist when it comes to skiing conditions: sun, good snow and possibly not too many people. Anyway tonight, with my boyfriend, I want to make it a cosy evening and except for the salad, nothing will require the use of covers. I went for a selection of local products with crudités and these cheese baskets are something I wanted to try. I recently found the idea for this recipe on cheesesfromswitzerland once I was looking for some other kind of information on Swiss cheese. Unfortunately this recipe appears not to be on-line any more but they have other interesting ideas besides general information on Swiss cheese. Their version was made with ham, celery, croutons and a dressing containing apple juice and mustard. With the rain as a background sound, we will enjoy our meal and watch a few episodes of the third season of Game of Thrones.

Cheese Nest Bites 4_renamed_26258
Cheese Nest Bites 5_renamed_3103 

Cheese Nests

 

Makes 6 bites

Prep time : 10 minutes

Cook time:  7 minutes

 

Ingredients:

60g grated cheese (for example a coarse Gruyère)

½ tsp flour

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

1 tsp cider or apple vinegar

Salt and pepper

1 handful baby spinach

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 220°C.

Take enough oven paper to line the surface of a baking tray. Cut the paper into 6 equal parts and place them on the tray.

Mix the flour, the cheese and a bit of pepper together. On each piece of oven paper place about 2 tsp of the preparation to form a round of about 8 cm. I helped myself with a round mould. Place in the oven for about 7 minutes (keep an eye on the process). Once you like the colour remove the tray from the oven (my advice is to cook the cheese rounds a bit more than what I did in the pictures). Take one piece of the paper with the cheese on it and flip it over the an upside down  espresso cup or similar sized container. Remove the paper and leave to cool.

In a small bowl mix the mustard, the honey, the vinegar and a bit of salt together.

Thinly slice the spinach leaves and mix them with the dressing (you might not need to use all of the dressing).

Roughly chop the walnuts and the cranberries.

Once the cheese nests have cooled, delicately remove them from the cups and fill them with a bit of spinach and sprinkle a bit of walnuts and cranberries.

 

Market Morning – Bellinzona

On Saturdays I woke up earlier than usual and with my boyfriend we went to the market in Bellinzona. I admit that I go there less often than I would like to; on Saturday mornings I usually like to keep my feet in my slippers; usually one hand holds the coffee and the other is keeping the keyboard of my computer busy. Anyway, we got to Bellinzona it was mid morning. We began our tour by walking around the stands and while Stefano’s eyes were fixed on the meats and cheeses, I was looking up and around to to watch the town’s beautiful architecture.

Continue reading

Bellinzona is the chief town of our canton. This place characterized by three elevated medieval castles which are now part of the UNESCO world patrimony. A couple days ago I watched a documentary on the medieval era which gave a good overall impression of how hard the daily life would have been for the lowest ranked members of the society of the time. I knew of course how the people struggled to survive but the thing is that they also led extremely boring lives. I learned that without distractions and constantly working, the market was the only amusement available to the poor people.

Maybe because it’s something I don’t really do regularly, but I love going to markets, they have a popular feel which I find heart warming. It’s not only the general feel but also all the detail our senses pick up. The smell of roasting chickens, the fresh bread, the voices of people talking in our dialect, the sight of the colourful constructions, and the idea of how much I will enjoy the local products once I get home; these are all things that make me have a great day.

General information on Market Morning – Bellinzona :

When: every Saturday from 09:00-13:00

Where: Viale Stazione, Bellinzona, Ticino.

For who: everyone.

Why: even if you don’t buy anything, it’s just a pleasure to walk around and observe and feel the surroundings.

Link: www.bellinzonaturismo.ch

 

Pumpkin Knoepfle / Spaetzle with Sage Butter and Caramelized Onions

Pumpkin Knoepfle 6As a student, I remember going to the supermarket and buying the ready made spaetzle. Continue reading

Once you have tried home made ones I can tell you: there’s no comparison with the commercial products. Now I know why I wouldn’t get excited over the store bought ones: plastic consistence and a lack of flavour in general. When I made these ones, the bad memories of the flavourless disappeared and was replaced this version. I found the recipe in a book I recently bought and instead of using spinach I used pumpkin. I like the way it turned out from the first try. Next week is my turn to cook for our new weekly event: the ladies’ night. I thought I could make some knoepfle, maybe served with some meat. Anyway there’s basically still one week to go and I know I will probably change my mind three or four times before I take a decision. Thinking about it, I get the same dilemma when I have to choose which shoes to pack when leaving for a weekend. So, this is my version of the spaetzle / knoepfle or as we call them in Switzerland spaetzli and knoepfli.

Pumpkin Knoepfle 1

Pumpkin Knoepfle / Spaetzle with Sage Butter and Caramelized Onions

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:

300-400 g pumpkin cut into cubes

400 g white flour

4 Eggs

1 tsp salt

0.75 dl milk

0.75 dl water

¼ tsp nutmeg

2-3 tbsp butter

A small bunch of chopped sage leaves

2 red onions

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small tbsp sugar

 

For the knoepfle:

Soften the squash cubes in a pan with a couple tbsp water on a low-medium fire.  Once they are soft (after about 15 minutes, depending on cube size) remove from fire and mash well. Set aside to cool (if there is, remove excess of liquid).

Add the flour with salt, nutmeg, milk, water, eggs. Mix all together with a wooden until bubbles form. Add the mashed squash and mix it in. Set aside to rise for 30 min.

Heat water with salt. Divide the dough into four parts and use either a knoepfle sieve or scrape the dough on a cutting board, making the small pieces fall into the water (these will be larger and will become spaetzle). When the knoepfle rise to the surface they are ready. Remove them with a skimming ladle and rinse under cold water.

Heat 2 -3 tbsp butter with the sage leaves. Once the butter is starting to colour, add the knoepfle to brown.

 

For the caramelized onions:

While the dough is resting cut the onions in ½ and slice them.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on a low fire and add the onions. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the onions don’t burn.

Once the onions are soft (personally I like them when still have a bit of a bite) add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until caramelized.

 

-Serve the knoepfle with the caramelized onions and eventually some good grated cheese.

 

Amor Polenta Cake

36. Amor Polenta 3 (800 x 600)It was only a couple of months ago that I first tried a polenta cake. Continue reading

I took a friend of mine to one of my favorite restaurants, at the Grotto Lafranchi in my Valley Maggia. It’s a place I just like everything about: the food is delicious and the atmosphere is so friendly (this is a must for me, I’d rather have so-so food but a great environment than the other way round). Since I go there often since a couple of years I know the small team and the chef proposed us one preview of the autumn desserts: the Amor Polenta. He served us this cake with a white chocolate sauce and pink peppercorns. The little crunch the polenta gives to this cake is why I fell for it so I decided to make my own. I went online and looked for a few different recipes ( imenudibenedetta.blogspot.com and gusto-arte.fr) and had a look in my cookbooks for tips on making a good pound cake and worked on this recipe. I was happy with the result although my version of the cake was a sweeter than the one I remember tasting and since I serve it without the white chocolate sauce it works well this way. Anyway this is an easy but delicious cake which I ended up eating more than I would have liked to…

About the Amor Polenta:

I would have liked to know more about the origins and myths tied to this cake but I have found not particular historic references. I found out that this recipe comes from northern Italy, from Varese, in fact it is also called “Dolce di Varese”.  Originally this recipe it was something the poor would make and traditionally this recipe is made in a long cake pan with a fluted base (source: www.pasticceriasieni.it)

36. Amor Poolenta 1 (800 x 497)

Amor Polenta Cake

Recipe for a 20 cm cake mold

Prep time : 15 min

Cook time : 40-45 min

 

Ingredients :

100 g powdered sugar

100 g butter (remove from fridge a couple of hours before use) + more to grease the mold

40 g wheat starch

40 g white flour + more for the mold

80 g fine grain polenta

2 eggs

1 yolk

1 vanilla pod

½ bag dry yeast

1 pinch salt

(optional : 1 grated lemon zest or a shot of liquor such as Kirsch)

 

Recipe :

Heat oven at 180°C.

Sift the wheat starch with the flour and the yeast.

Split the vanilla pod and remove the seeds.

In a bowl place the sugar and the butter.  Cream them together for 5 min. Start adding the eggs and the yolk one at the time. While mixing, now add the flour/starch mix little by little to the rest. Next add the vanilla, the salt, the polenta and the ground almonds.

Take a 20 cm baking tin. First rub the butter on the inside and then coat with flour. Pour the preparation into the tin and bake for about 45 min (my over is pretty warm so I had to turn the heat down a little towards the end, you might want to consider how yours works too). When you insert a toothpick in the cake and it comes out dry the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 min. Remove from the tin and leave to cool for 30 min before serving.