Life Is Sweet…

Yoghurt Muesli Cake

I’m back! For this first post after a break, I wanted to post a sweet recipe since at the moment it reflects the summer I’ve had, filled with great friends, amazing moments and exciting news since in October I’ll be starting a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster! Continue reading

Recently I bought sunglasses that have a yellowish tint and when you look through them, all seems brighter; at the moment, now even when I take them off, all still seems just as bright.

For this recipe, I tried to remain on the Swiss side of the kitchen and so I made this cake, which is inspired by one of our national breakfasts: the bircher muesli. As a starting point I took this easy yoghurt cake recipe from the site Journal des Femmes (in French) and from there I added oats, blueberries and a streusel inspired topping with almonds. Baking is not my strongest point but this recipe was not only easy, but it was also quick to put together and I didn’t end up with a huge mess in my kitchen. All these aspects made the final result even tastier…

 

 

Yoghurt Muesli Cake

Recipe for a 22-24 cm springform cake mould.

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 35-40 min

 

Ingredients:

In this recipe the pot of yoghurt serves of measurement.

1 yogurt nature

2 jars of sugar

1 sachet of vanilla sugar

3 jars of flour

1/2 pot of oil

3 eggs

1/2 sachet baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1 ½ pot fine oats

250 g blueberries

Butter or oil to grease the cake mould

 

For the topping:

3 tbsp. finely chopped almonds

2 tbsp. flour

5 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. oats

3 tbsp. butter

 

Recipe:

Turn on the oven (180°C). Butter a round mould.

2 Pour the yogurt in a bowl and add in the order in mixing well with a wooden spoon: sugars, the eggs one by one, the flour, baking powder, salt, the oil. Finally delicately fold in the oats and the blueberries.

For the topping place all the ingredients in a bowl and massage them with your fingers until the preparation looks like crumbs.

Transfer the batter in the buttered cake mould and evenly sprinkle the topping on the surface.

Bake for 35-40 minutes on the lower part of the over, by then, when you insert the tip of a toothpick it should come out dry. Leave to cool and unmould.

Blackberry Yoghurt Pistachio Ice Pops

Blackberry Yoghurt Pistachio Ice PopsYesterday I was in my bathrobe and I noticed how without moving despite having just showered, I was already feeling hot and sticky… yup, humidity is a really annoying thing. Continue reading

Remembering I had received some ice pop moulds, when I went to do the groceries I took the opportunity to buy some fresh fruits to make these Yoghurt Blackberry Pistachio Ice Pops. In one day I ate four of them and each was as good and as refreshing as the next one. So now I have a pleasurable solution to sticky weather; the next thing will be how to get rid of the flies that, with the cows grazing in the fields have just swarmed in every house… should someone have a great solution to this problem, I’m a taker!

 

Blackberry Yoghurt Pistachio Ice Pops

 

Recipe for 4 pieces

Prep time: 10-15 min

Refrigeration time: min. 4-5 hours

 

Ingredients:

230 g blackberries

100 g Greek yoghurt

0.3 dl milk

50 g honey

15-20 g chopped pistachios

 

Recipe:

Place the blackberries in a blender and puree them. If you want a smooth result pass the liquefied blackberries through a small holed sieve (I didn’t do it). Add 20 g honey and whisk until all is blended together.

In another bowl pour the milk and the remaining 30 g of honey. Whisk to combine the two ingredients and then add the Greek yoghurt.

Take your ice pop moulds and fill them to a third with the blackberries, add about ½ tsp of the pistachios, then add 1/3 of the Greek yoghurt, another layer of pistachios and finally a last layer of blackberries.

Place the moulds in the freezer for a minimum of five hours.

 

 

Arugula and Walnut Dip

Arugula and Walnut Dip Last week my friend Simo went for a quick visit to her brother and when she came back, along with a bottle of Dolcetto d’Avola she brought along a large pack of artisanal grissini made by her brother who is a baker back in Italy. Thank you Simo. With the heat of the summer I don’t always feel too hungry so I ended up eating this dip with the grissini as a meal with a small glass of white wine. I sat on the terrace overlooking my garden and while I was munching on these treats I watched a tutorial on how to do my make up in a different way as on Friday I’m attending the opening party for the Ascona Jazz Festival. I admit it, make up isn’t my strong point.

To make this dip I looked up in my Flavour Thesaurus book which always has great ideas for combining different kinds of food. Since arugula comes from the same family as watercress I told myself I’d try this combination. Come to think of the end result I guess this creamy dip could also work well as a dressing for a salad, maybe with tomatoes…

Arugula and Walnut Dip

 

Arugula and Walnut Dip

 

Prep time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

 

30 g arugula

150 g Greek yoghurt

2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan

2 tbsp olive oil (+ more to drizzle on top at the end)

4-5 dry roasted walnut kernels

1 spring onion (white part only)

Salt and Pepper

 

Recipe

 

Cut the spring onion into chunks.

In a food processor finely blend the walnuts first, then add the arugula, the spring onion and the olive oil.

Mix the whole with the Greek yoghurt add the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread, raw veggies or grissini (like I did)

The Yoghurt Factory in Airolo – Muuh


On Friday, on my way to Crans Montana for the weekend, I stopped to visit my old friend Andreas at his work place: he work at the yoghurt factory in Airolo (the village just before the Gotthard tunnel when you’re heading north). Continue reading

I arrived by train and as I was stepping down the train I could already see the yoghurt factory since the place is basically part of the small train station of Airolo. Soon I was told to enter the place and wear the “sexy” protective clothing: shoe protections, plastic mantel and a headset. Andreas then came to me and gave me the official welcome (even though we had already seen each other five minutes before) and we began the tour. By the way he was speaking I had the impression it was not the first time someone was visiting, which is something he confirmed. Of course there are business related visits and journalists , but it’s nice that sometimes  schools come over to visit (of course the tour is organized in a slightly different way then) and the children can have a taste of the products. I like this spirit of letting people satisfy their curiosity, I can say that it’s not everywhere this way.

Andreas took me through the process and explained to me the different steps: from when the milk arrives to the finished product. However, more than focusing on the technical process, I want to write about the product because I think it deserves the attention. This is a small factory and besides the farmers providing the milk, there are six people in the “Yogurtificio” (that’s how we call the place in Italian). Andreas is the manager and above him is his owner and boss. I am mentioning Mr. Lombardi (Andreas’ boss) because I remember that less than one year ago he was awarded the prize for innovative agriculture.

The particularity of this product is that the origin of the milk used to produce the yoghurt strictly comes from the region around the Airolo. This also involves the condition that the milk comes from cows which are only fed with grass which has not been ensilaged. This really helps with the taste which is not acid. Another trait of this product is that the flavoured yoghurts are made with products without that are additive-free. The “Yogurtificio” delivers in the Ticino region to Coop and Migros: the two most popular Swiss supermarket chains in Switzerland. Despite the yogurt factory is only about 2-3 years old, it’s doing well and recently it has even began delivering to the Zurich region. Besides the two big clients, the “Yogurtificio” also have their own packaged yogurt which is the Muuh brand, these products are made for the smaller commerce and hotels and restaurants.

I am not a daily yogurt consumer but this one is a good product, trust me, I have tasted a few. Before Andreas worked there, he used to bring a bottle whenever I made dinner; today along with the wine he also brings over yogurt (and not only a couple of pots). Thanks Andreas for the generosity and the fun and interesting moment.

 

Related Links (in Italian):

This is the actual site of the Yogurtificio. There is little information but you can find the contact details.

agroval.ch

These are the two supermarkets that sell the yogurts from Agroval. The first is an actual interview to Mr. Lombardi (Andreas’ boss). The second is the Coop’s program Pro Montagna which is a range of products selected from the mountainous regions of Switzerland.

migros.ch

coop.ch