Friday, July 29, 2011

Pan di Stelle Tiramisu

Here is an imitation of tiramisu made with Pan di Stelle biscuits, the famous Mulino Bianco biscuits. We could say that it’s a tiramisu for children, because the coffee is replaced by the milk, but I must say, as well, that it is much loved by adult gourmands too.
Milk is not the only difference, obviously: the biscuits are replaced by the Mulino Bianco biscuits, as previously mentioned, and there is no mascarpone either.
 This is a very delicious and easy to prepare dessert, the procedure is very similar to the traditional tiramisu, maybe that's the reason why it’s called like this.
Here's the recipe:

Ingredients: 
 1 package of Pan di Stelle biscuits (450 g15.87 oz)
 1 cup of cold milk
 Nutella chocolate 200 -300 g (7.05 – 10.58 oz)
 Whipping cream 500 ml

To decorate
Unsweetened cocoa powder as much as required (and, if you prefer, dark chocolate chips)
 Put on the heat a small saucepan with a little water and let warm up in a bain-marie the Nutella jar (photo 2), it should be smoother.
 Meanwhile, whip the cream until stiff. Put some milk in a bowl, quickly sop up the Pan di Stelle biscuits and make a biscuits layer in a glass oven dish, or of another sort. Fill in the blanks between the biscuits with small biscuits pieces (photo 3).
 Cover the biscuits layer with a thin layer of whipped cream (photo 4) and a layer of smoothened Nutella chocolate (photo 5).
 Repeat three times the same procedure (if you prefer you can make even more then this) (photo 6), complete with a layer of whipped cream and decorate as desired, simply with unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips (photo 7)or with strips of Nutella chocolate (put the smoothened Nutella chocolate in a pastry bag with round nozzle and spread it on top).
Preferably prepare this dessert the day before and put it in the fridge, or at least prepare it 3 hours before serving.
 Bon appetit!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cheesecake alle fragole

Il cheesecake è una torta fredda composta da un base biscottata su cui poggia un alto strato di crema di formaggio fresco zuccherato e trattato con altri ingredienti. La base può essere costituita da biscotti sbriciolati e poi reimpastati con l'aggiunta di burro, oppure ancora la base può essere fatta di pan di Spagna o pasta frolla. Il cheesecake ha origini greche, infatti nel 776 a.c., durante le prime olimpiadi della storia, veniva servito come dolce agli atleti. Poi i Romani lo diffusero in tutta Europa e secoli dopo si diffuse anche in America grazie agli immigrati.
 Il vero cheesecake prevede l'utilizzo della Philadelphia, il formaggio spalmabile per eccellenza, creato nel 1872 dal lattaio americano William Lawrence. Nel 1880, fu adottato il nome "Philadelphia", in quanto la città era considerato il posto in cui venivano prodotti i cibi di qualità migliore, e cominciò anche la diffusione del prodotto in tutto il mondo.
 Però si possono usare anche altri formaggi freschi e molto morbidi come la ricotta e il mascarpone.
Inoltre la ricetta è spesso arricchita con frutta fresca, frutta candita, frutta secca o cioccolato e può essere arricchita con creme e salse di frutta formando di volta in volta tante decorazioni diverse.
Il cheesecake può essere generalmente classificato in due tipi principali: cotto e crudo. Ne esistono diverse varianti, realizzate nelle differenti nazioni in cui il dolce è diffuso, i maggiori produttori si trovano a New York.
Oggi vi propongo questa versione cruda molto fresca e facile da preparare:

Ingredienti:
Per la base
200 gr di biscotti secchi
100 gr di burro

Per la crema:
250 gr di Philadelphia (o ricotta)
75 gr di zucchero
Succo di ½ limone
6 gr di gelatina in fogli
125 ml di latte
200 ml di panna da montare
200 gr di fragole (o pesce)

 Preparate la base: tritate finemente i biscotti (foto 1), mescolateli con il burro liquefatto e tiepido (foto 2), distribuiteli in uno stampo a cerchio apribile (foto 3) del diametro di 26 cm foderato con carta da forno premendo bene con un cucchiaio (foto 4). Mettete in frigo il tempo di preparare la crema (foto 5).
 Preparate la crema: Sciacquate e tagliate a pezzetti le fragole e tenetele da parte. Fate ammollare la gelatina in acqua fredda per 10 minuti.
Nel frattempo mescolate in una terrina la Philadelphia con lo zucchero ed il succo di limone (foto 6-7).
Fate intiepidire il latte, toglietelo dal fuoco e scioglietevi la gelatina strizzata (foto 8).
Unitelo alla ricotta (foto 9). Lasciate raffreddare il composto in frigo finché inizia ad addensarsi, poi incorporatevi delicatamente la panna montata (foto 10) e, per finire, le fragole (foto 11).
Versate la crema sulla base biscottata (foto 12) e lasciate rassodare in frigorifero per almeno due ore (foto 13). Potete decorare la torta con delle fragole intere oppure tagliate a metà, con della marmellata oppure, come nel mio caso, tagliarla semplicemente a quadrotti (foto 14) e servire.
Buon appetito!

Strawberries cheesecake

Cheesecake is a cold dessert made from a biscuit base and a topping made of fresh cheese cream sweetened and processed with other ingredients. Base is made up of crumbled biscuits re-knead with the addition of butter, or even the base can be made of sponge cake or pastry. Cheesecake has Greek origins, in fact in 776 BC, during the first Olympics in history, it was served as a dessert to the athletes. Then the Romans spread it throughout Europe and centuries later it also spread out in America thanks to immigrants.
The real cheesecake requires the use of Philadelphia, the famous cream cheese, created in 1872 by the American dairyman William Lawrence. In 1880, it was given the name of "Philadelphia", since the city was considered the place where food products were of better quality, and also began the spreading of the product around the world.
You can also use other fresh and very soft cheeses such as ricotta and mascarpone to make a cheesecake.
Moreover, the recipe is often enriched with fresh fruit, candied fruit, nuts or chocolate and can be enriched with cream and fruit toppings making, from time to time, many different decorations.

C
heesecake can be generally classified into two main types: cooked and uncooked. There are several versions produced in different countries where the dessert has spread, the greatest cheesecake makers are located in New York.
Today I propose you this fresh and easy to prepare uncooked version:

Ingredients:
 For the biscuit base
 Dry biscuits (dry cookies or Graham crackers) 200 g (7.05 oz)
 Butter 100 g (3.53 oz)

 For the cheese cream:
 Philadelphia (or Ricotta) 250 g (8.81 oz)
 Sugar 75 g (2.65 oz)
 Juice of ½ lemon
 Gelatin leaves 6 g (0.21 oz)
 Milk 125 ml (4.23 fl oz)
 Whipping cream 200 ml (6.76 fl oz)
 Strawberries (or peaches) 300 g (10.58 oz)
 Prepare the biscuits base: finely crumble the cookies (photo 1), mix them with the melted and tepid butter (photo 2-3), distribute them by pressing down with a spoon (photo 4), in a 26 cm (10.24 in) in diameter round cake mould that can be opened (with the hinge at the side) covered with baking paper (photo 5). Put it in the fridge the time it takes to prepare the cream.
 Prepare the cheese cream: Rinse strawberries and cut them into small pieces and set them aside. Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for 10 minutes.
 Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, mix Philadelphia with sugar and lemon juice (photo 6-7).
 Warm up the milk, remove from the heat and dissolve in it the squeezed gelatin leaves (photo 8).
 Add it to the Philadelphia mixture (photo 9). Let the obtained mixture cool in the fridge until it begins to thicken, then gently mix in the whipped cream (photo 10) and, in the end, the strawberries (photo 11).
 Pour the cream on the biscuit base (photo 12) and let it set in the refrigerator for at least two hours (photo 13). You can decorate the cake with whole or cut in halves strawberries, with jam or, as in my case, simply cut it into squares (photo 14) and serve.
Bon appétit!