Archive for March, 2009

Chocolate Brownies

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate
180 g butter
100g flour
4 eggs
200g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
strawberries, mint leaves and sugar powder to serve

Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 6.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Cover a baking tray with baking paper.

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave or au bain marie, stir well. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar until fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly until just combined. Stir in the walnuts. Pour the mixture on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. The brownies are ready when a wooden stick comes out clean. Take the brownies out of the oven and cut them in 6 pieces. Let them cool a little on the tray. Serve with strawberries and mint leaves sprinkled with sugar powder.

Warm Chocolate-Anise Cakes with Pear

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Ingredients:

150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
80 g butter
4 eggs
80 g sugar (powder)
2 Tbsp flour
2 ripe but not too soft pears, peeled, cored and cut in small cubes
1/3 tsp ground anise

Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. Grease 6 small baking dishes with butter

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave or au bain marie, stir well. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with sugar  and anise until fluffy. Stir in the flour. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly until just combined. Stir in the pears. Divide the mixture between the baking dishes and bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Fragrant Chili Beef

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Ingredients:

2 beef steaks of good quality
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground cumin
1/3 tsp ground turmeric
1/3 tsp ground coriander
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp honey
1 red chili
½ glass orange juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
fresh coriander

Prep. time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 2.

Cut the meat into stripes and season with salt and black pepper. Pre-heat olive oil in a frying pan or a wok. Add chopped garlic, onion and all dry spices and fry until the onion becomes golden. Add the meat and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until browns. Sprinkle flour over the meat and stir well, add honey and stir again. Finally, add chopped chili, seeds removed, salt to taste and orange juice. Stir well and cover with the lid, let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce becomes thicker.

To serve:
Serve with chopped coriander and jasmine rice.


Lime Biscotti with Pecan and Cranberries

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Ingredients:

2 cups of flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup of butter, at room temperature
¾ cup of sugar
zest of 1 lime
zest of 1 orange
1/3 tsp of ground anise
¼ tsp of salt
2 eggs
1 handful of pecan nuts
1 handful of dried cranberries

Prep. time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes

Materials: electric mixer/food processor

Serves: 10-12 (depending on your appetite).

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a tray with baking paper.

In one bowl combine sifted flour and baking powder. Mix well.
Put butter, sugar, zest, salt and anise in the mixer and pulse until combined. Add eggs one by one. Add flour and pulse until just combined.

Move the dough on a table sprinkled with flour and add nuts and cranberries. Mix well with your hands. The dough should not be too heavy; it should lightly stick to your hands. Form the dough in a 6cm wide log and move it to the baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven. Move the biscotti log on a cutting board and cut in 2cm wide slices with a sharp knife. Arrange the slices back on the tray still covered with baking paper and bake them for another 15 minutes.

Take the biscotti out, let them cool down and enjoy!
Remember, the Italian way is to have some sweet wine together with them.