I’m back! After a bad cold and spending time sorting out some personal stuff I’m now feeling better… or at least I’m taking action. As I’ve already mentioned I’m eating much better lately and this indulgent Mascarpone Matefaim recipe is the exception that confirms my new diet rules. Continue reading →
A “matefaim “ is a broken up pillow like pancake that you can pair with whatever you fancy. This recipe comes from the Basic Cooking: Cooking Between Friends book from Sabine Sälzer and Sebastian Dickhaut and it’s something I always wanted to try but then it ended up at the bottom of the “recipes I’d like to try list”. Well this time I went for it and it’s a fairly easy procedure for a melt in your mouth result. The messiest part is when the bottom has browned and you have to break the matefaim into smaller bits while the top isn’t very firm yet. In the beginning I thought it would turn out a mess but gladly for me, it didn’t. With all the uses one can make of mascarpone cheese, this is a pretty good one for me.
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15-20 min
1 pinch salt
50 g powdered sugar (+ extra for sprinkling on top of the “matefaim”)
1 tbsp. organic lemon zest
4 tbsp. milk
100 g flour
250 g mascarpone
20 g butter
Separate the egg whites from the yolks from 2 of the 4 eggs into two bowls. Beat the remaining 2 eggs and add them to the yolks with the salt, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Gradually add the milk, flour and mascarpone.
Whisk the egg whites to a peak and gently fold them in the rest of the preparation. Just remember not to overwork the batter; even if a few lumps of egg white remain it’s not a problem.
In a large pan (don’t use the non-stick kind) melt the butter on a medium fire and spread it on the bottom. Add the batter, which should be 2-3 cm thick and smooth it with a spatula. Let the bottom of this large pancake cook. Once the bottom will have solidified, take a fork or a spatula and break the pancake into small pieces.
Turn the pieces around using a spatula and once they’re brown on all sides place them in a serving plates, sprinkle icing on top. Accompany these matefaim with applesauce, chocolate sauce, a berry coulis or a few apple slices topped with lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar.
Like every year I was looking forward to last Tuesday: we have been harvesting our grape. Continue reading →
We are always a group of about eight people and after everything has been picked clean and has been loaded onto the cars we reward ourselves with a nice glass (or two) of wine. I also usually always prepare something to graze and so this year I decided I’d try to make this traditional pie from the French speaking part of Switzerland. I though this recipe would go well with the harvesting theme since it’s a grape juice pie. I made it over the lunch break and was quite curious to taste it. I wasn’t the first to get my hands on it but the general consensus was a very positive one. Once I managed to get a piece I found the pie had a somewhat delicious caramel taste and fortunately it was not something too heavy neither in the mouth nor on the stomach. The only thing I want to say is that usually this pie is made with white grape juice but since I couldn’t find any, I went for the red grape kind.
Each year I always look forward to this day because the company is always friendly and we always have a good time and since many of them knew my father well, I’m always asking about anecdotes I may not have heard before… but then, what happens on harvest day stays in harvest day 😉
Grape Juice Pie – Tarte au Raisiné
For a 28-30 cm pie dish
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook time: 1h 30
400 g short crust pastry – about 32 cm diameter
1l natural grape juice
1,5 dl milk
2 dl cream
2-3 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sugar
Bring the grape juice to a boil and let it reduce to 1,5 dl. Once reduced the result should be a syrupy mass. Once done set aside to cool.
Meanwhile combine the milk, cream and flour in a pan; heat them while constantly stirring until it becomes a smooth paste. Set aside and leave to cool.
In a bowl combine the eggs and the sugar and whisk.
Roll out the pastry on a pie dish; pierce more time with a fork.
Mix together the reduced grape juice with the milk, cream, flour combination and then add the whisked sugar and eggs. Stir all together and pour in the short crust pastry lined pie dish.
Cook in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30-35 min.
Note: this recipe comes from Alfred Haeferli’s Swiss Cooking book.
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)
Amor Polenta Cake
Recipe for a 20 cm cake mold
Prep time : 15 min
Cook time : 40-45 min
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
1 vanilla pod
½ bag dry yeast
1 pinch salt
(optional : 1 grated lemon zest or a shot of liquor such as Kirsch)
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.