THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: CHOCOLATE BIRTHDAY CAKE

Hello!Last Friday I was really busy preparing this great cake for Davide’s birthday. I worked all the morning and also for half afternoon, but now I can say that the result payed my efforts. I took some shots during the preparation, it would be nice to hear your comments about it… Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
– 115 gr wheat flour;
– 100 gr sugar;
– 4 eggs;
– 100 gr butter;
– 175 gr dark chocolate;
– 10 gr baking powder for desserts;

FOR THE FILLING:
– 250 gr Nutella cream;
– 200 ml fresh cream to whip

For the butter cream:
– 250 gr powdered sugar
– 125 gr cold butter;
– 1-2 milk (or cream) teaspoon;
– vanilla (or almond) extract

Decoration:
– Sugar paste (yellow and orange) as needed;

PREPARATION:

First of all, put the chopped dark chocolate together with the butter in a bain-marie. Wait till the ingredients are completely liquefied. In the meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, sift the ingredients such as flour and sugar, then mix with a wooden spoon the egg yolks together with the sugar. Then add the liquefied chocolate and the butter and blend all the ingredient well.

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After that, add the flour with the baking powder, little by little, and blend the mixture every time you add a small quantities of flour; finally, whip up the egg whites and add them to the mixture. Mix always bottom up, till you’ll obtain a soft and compact dough. Warm up the oven and cook the cake at 200 °C for 30 minutes. I choosed to make two different round baking tray (diameter 18 cm) to make a cake with two layers – but you could also cook the mixture all in one baking tray. (diameter 26 cm)

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Until the cake is in the oven, you’ll start preparing the butter cream: this is the cream you’ll use to cover the cake. The preparation is really simple: cut the butter into cubes and put it in the mixer. Work the butter at maximum speed for 30 seconds. Then sift the powdered sugar (to avoid lumps) and add it to the butter, two spoon at a time, always using medium-high speed. From time to time, remove the sugar stucked on the borders of the mixer. When you have finished the sugar, you can add the vanilla extract. Work the mixture for a last time (5 minutes) till the cream will have a soft, light colour.

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The cake in the meanwhile is ready: take it out from the oven and let it cool down on a grid. It’s time to decide which cream you’ll use for the filling; I choosed a nutella cream and I prepared fresh whipped cream. I assembled the cake with the two layers of stuffing, then I started to cover it with the butter cream: during this last step, pay attention to spread equally on the cake surface the butter cream, using one or two spatula.

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Put the cake in the fridge for one hour, then take it out and start to decorate it with sugar paste and chocolate syrup as you prefere. When you finish, you can conserve the cake in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Happy Fiesta Friday and Happy Halloween to you all!Cris

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OCTOBER, MONTH OF THE PREVENTION AGAINST BREAST CANCER

Hello to you all!In these past two weeks I’ve been really busy, no time to write properly on my blog. 😦
But Today I think it’s important to share with you this initiative, against the breast cancer: in Italy October is the month of prevention against this type of cancer. For this reason, i choosed to share the initiative of Glossy Girl of the blog Amore, Psiche e MakeUp. I have also to thank Francesca Trucco of the blog Make Up Occhi Verdi for tagging me. Together we’re strong!

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The symbol of the fight against breast cancer are the pink ribbons: they remind us the importance of a good prevention, which could save the life both to us and to a beloved person. The idea of the initiative is to involve the maximum number of people and sensitize them towards the importance of the prevention, also using the following websites:

RULES OF THE INITIATIVE:

1) Thank the person who nominated you, and make a post about the topic on your own blog: don’t forget to insert the links and the tag #inottobreilmakeupsitingedirosa;
2) Copy the rules for the other members;
3) Nominate at least 8 bloggers and tell them about the initiative;
4) Post a photo about an outfit, a makeup, something creative! Everything is allowed as long as it’s pink;
5) Share with everyone you want!

This time, because of the importance of the initiative, everyone of my contacts is invited to participate. I couldn’t just choose only 8 of you.

Here my small contribution: instead of choosing a pink outfit to post, or something fashionable, I would like to share with you 50 shades of pink and fuchsia, enough of this? In the end, the most important thing is to participate!

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Please, you’re all invited to share your thoughts/experiences/useful websites about this, it would be useful for who, like me, is not so well informed about the topic. Have a great day!Cris

POSTCARDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD: GRANADA

“La Spagna ha molto da offrire al visitatore: la sensazione di trovarsi d’improvviso in un altro continente; la novità di paesaggi vasti e selvaggi, le memorie – nell’architettura, nei nomi, nelle usanze – della passata dominazione araba; le austere, splendide chiese; le bianche città andaluse simili a zollette di zucchero sparse su colli spogli; processioni, ferias, zingari, tori focosi, cantanti di flamengo.”

“Spain has much to offer to visitors: the feeling of being suddenly in another continent; the news of extended and wild landscapes, the memories – in architecture, in the names, in the mores – of past Arabic domination; the austere, splendid churches; the white Andalusian cities like sugar cubes scattered on barren hills; processions, ferias, gypsies, fiery bulls, flamengo singers.”

Robert Littell

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: A FINE DINNER IN CREMONA

Hello!This week restaurant review bring us near Cremona, in a small village named Levata di Grontardo. The place is called Ca’ Barbieri – “Ca'” stay for “Home”- and really it is an old stone farmhouse completely renovated, where you’ll taste the typical cremonese cooking, and delicious meat dishes.

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When you enter, you’re welcomed by the owner: there is a small bar at the entrance, then you’ll be accompanied in one of the small rooms of the restaurant, which is located on two floors. The place is rustic, with stone walls and  wooden beams, old wooden tables and cane chairs. Lights are soft and the tables are well divided to maintain the customer privacy.
I found this place by chance: one day I was going to a customer for work, and I passed through the small streets of Levata, when my attention was caught by the sign of the restaurant. Always driving, I was trying to peek inside the court of the restaurant. I couldn’t see really much, but I noted the name of the place. And now, let’s talk about our dinner: we started with two pasta dishes:

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We choosed Tagliatelle with Ragù di cinghiale (boar ragù), and a classic dish of Tortelli with Ricotta and Spinach, but really particular ’cause it was seasoned with lemon and mint… I liked it!So fresh in the mouth.They said the pasta was home made.

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For the main dish, we choose differently: one meat dish and for me, a fish dish. The meat dish was just scrumptious(and huge, as you can see): an american black angus fillet served with roasted potatoes; I tried a pieces of meat, and I must say that it melted in my mouth, it was just perfectly browned.

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I choose a seabass fillet “alla mediterranea”, that means roasted with black olives and tomatoes, spiced with salt, pepper, capers and olive oil. So simple dish but so good, very similar to the fillet i usually prepare, also for Fiesta Friday! It was a pleasant evening of small talk, we’ll go back for sure occasionally.

ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD!

Yay! Today I’ve to give a big thanks to Vik Tory Arch for the new Award she assigned to me. Wow! Starting a new week with a sign of appreciation is always good, right? If you wish, please take a look at the beautiful blog: it’s a blog about writing and books, and it’s a rare thing to find here on WordPress. I love writing and reading books me too, so … it’s always a pleasure to meet other people that shares the same passions…

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The rules are simple, as always, if you wish to take part: thank the person who nominated you, paste the image of the award, state 7 random facts about yourself, and tag other 15 -more or less- bloggers.

Here come my seven things:

1. I don’t wear hats. Never.
2. I rarely wear sunglasses, also when needed;
3. My favourite fantasy movie is “The lord of the Rings” trilogy.
4. Lately, I watched the movie “The fault in our stars”, everybody was crying at the end, but not me… Is it normal?
5. I’m reading “Persuasion” by Jane Austen right now.
6. I wear a shoe size 39 (I think should be a 7)
7. I don’t like particularly turnips!

And these are my winners: (always hard to choose!)

  1. Silvia Rigobello
  2. Citra’s Healthy Kitchen
  3. Selma’s Table
  4. The London Her
  5. Sammy Around The World
  6. Due cuori e una ciccions
  7. Parole di Gusto
  8. Indu International Kitchen
  9. My Kitchen Adventures
  10. The Not So Creative Cook
  11. Posto Corridoio
  12. Le Ricette di Baccos

Enjoy your brand new award! Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: CREAM&NUTELLA CAKE

Hello! Two weeks ago I found on this blog this fantastic recipe: a cake (no cooking time needed) with nutella, cream and hazelnuts: I could’nt resist anymore, i’ve to try it for this FiestaFriday! This is my version of the recipe:

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INGREDIENTS: for a 22 cm (diameter) ring shaped mould

– 250 gr nutella cream;
– 200 gr fresh cream;
– 3 cups of coffee (no sugar needed);
– a pack of dried biscuits;
– chopped hazelnuts as needed for the decoration

PREPARATION:

First of all, you could start preparing the coffee – two or three cups, no need to add sugar in it.- After that, it’s time to whip the cream. In the meanwhile, it’s better to warm up the nutella in a bain-marie to make it smoother.

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It’s important to leave apart a small quantity of nutella for the final decoration on the top of the cake. Then add the nutella to the cream, melting it delicately with movements from the bottom to the top.
Pour the coffee in a bowl and add half glass of water (or milk) and mix it; then take the ring mould and place it on a tray, starting dunk the biscuits in the coffee and quickly place them on the mould, arranging a circular shape.  If needed, break them into small pieces.

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When the first layer of biscuits is ready, you’ll cover it with the half part of the nutella and cream you’ve previuosly mixed together; then create a second layer of biscuits and then again cover it with the remaining nutella and cream.

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To decorate the cake, use the few nutella you’ve previously left apart, spreading it well on the top of the cake. Then, add the chopped hazelnuts.
Put the cake in the fridge for 2 hours at least -or in the freezer if you prefer the ice-cream cake consistency.- When it’s time to serve it, take out the cake from the mould helping yourself with a knife in order to better detach it. Enjoy a slice!