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Lavender ‘Pasta di Mandorla’ Cookies

Lavender 'Pasta di Mandorla' Cookies

– submitted by Kitchen Angel   Ingredients   1 packet Pasta di Mandorla baking mix 4 jumbo egg whites 25 grams culinary lavender   Method   1.  Preheat your oven to 175oC.  Line a tray with baking paper. 2.  Empty the contents of the baking mix into a bowl and create a well in the middle. 3.  Add the egg whites and lavender and mix well until the dough is moist and smooth and all lumps removed. 4.  Place mixture into a piping bag with a medium star nozzle.  Pipe swirls of about 3cm in diameter onto the tray. 5.  Bake at 190oC for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  

Marzipan vs. Chocolate

Marzipan vs. Chocolate

sicilian marzipan fruit

Mario’s Italian Influenza

Mario's Italian Influenza

It was meant to be a short break to spend quality time with Mario’s parents, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and the rest of the family.  A celebratory break of sorts, to be there for this milestone, take a few days out with the family and the chance to grab some well-deserved rest and relaxation in between the Christmas craziness, catering jobs and other events. Whilst it was definitely ‘quality’ time with the family, being that we really didn’t leave the famiglia home much, if at all, and we did get to partake in the amazing wedding vowels renewal and feast that followed for the anniversary party – it was really the one and only day that we could really call a holiday. You see, Mario was unfortunately struck down with a horrible case of influenza and associated viruses, which kept him couch ridden for much of our holiday.  While his mother loved being able to spend so much time with her boy (who, to be honest, has probably never been under that roof for so much time since he was a toddler), it was definitely not the holiday we had hoped for. It’s a tradition in Mario’s family to make stracciatella soup for sick loved ones – a light, hearty and nutrient full broth to warm the soul.  True to tradition, mamma whipped up her boy his soup and whilst we can’t say the influenza passed all that easily, there was obviously some magic being worked, as there were no complaints of being stuck at home. As we come into the dreaded flu season in Australia, I suggest you give this soup a …

stracciatella recipe – italian egg drop soup

stracciatella recipe - italian egg drop soup

As we come into the dreaded flu season in Australia, I suggest you give this soup a try, it definitely has some flu fighting properties in it and served with some crusty bread it is a delicious meal in itself.  Have a go at infusing some other flavours in it too, like ginger, garlic and tumeric for those who like to go that extra mile with their nutrients around this time of year. Ingredients: 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley salt and freshly ground black pepper   Yield: 4 servings   Instructions: 1. Place stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. 2. Crack egg into saucepan and whisk gently. 3. Season with salt and pepper. 4. Simmer for another minute. 5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Panettone Zuccotto Recipe

Panettone Zuccotto Recipe

  Zuccotto is an Italian dessert with origins in Florence, believed to have been inspired by the city’s famous “Duomo” (cathedral dome). Regardless of its origins, it is a dessert made throughout all of Italy, with each area adding its own regional touch, via citrus fruits, local nuts, chocolate, liqueurs and even the cake used to form the dome, resulting in vary flexible and delicious dessert.       Do not be deceived by the look of the zuccotto – it is not the prettiest dessert you’ll see around.  The elegance and creativity of this dessert is shown in how it is filled and the skill required to “turn it out” onto a serving platter, the final decorative touches and flavour …. all things you will want to show off to your guests as they will not believe you have made the dessert yourself without breaking a sweat. As mentioned above, the variations of this dessert are many and once you’ve learnt the basic steps you really can make it your own.  My version uses panettone and quality ingredients.  The decision in what to use in the filling is really the hardest part of this recipe.   Ingredients 1kg ricotta 200g whipped cream 140g caster sugar 70g candied fruit, diced 50g dark chocolate, chopped 600g panettone, cut into 2 round discs and the rest lengthways, approximately 2.5 cm thick 200g pistachio kernels 200-300ml strong black coffee, sweetened with sugar cocoa powder, for dusting icing sugar, for dusting   Instructions 1. Line a deep bowl, approximately 15cm in diameter, with clingwrap ensuring all parts are covered and allowing excess over the sides. 2. Place the ricotta into …