Forget about sugar: creamy apple cake

creamy apple pie creamy apple pie-2

This is a wonderful recipe that doesn’t need sugar nor sweetener, the apples are doing all the sweet job! And it is easy, the way I like to keep my baking.

Ingredients

700g of roughly grated sweet apples(I use a large hole grater but I guess it could also be done with a food processor)

250ml of Greek yogurt

2 eggs, beaten

1 tea spoon of vanilla extract

150g of white flour

3 table spoon of cinnamon powder

1 generous table spoon of baking powder

1 round 20cm diameter cake tin with removable bottom, a teaspoon of butter and 2 table spoon of flour for coating the tin

Method

1. Preheat the oven at 180°C . Prepare the tin spreading it with the butter and then sprinkling the flour all over.

1. In a bowl mix grated apples, yogurt, beaten eggs and vanilla.

2. Add the flour, the cinnamon and the baking powder and mix gently with a spoon. The mixture will be very soft and wet.

3. Once the mixture is ready you need to put it in the tin and put it into the oven immediately. Use a spoon to flatten the cake surface before cooking.

4. Cook for 45 minutes and then let the cake in the oven turned off for 30 min. The cake will be very creamy inside. Once cooled down keep it in the fridge.

Perfect served with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh berries or nuts.

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Super purple eggs

super purple poached eggs

 

Slice of rye bread, braised red cabbage, poached eggs, walnuts and fresh thyme.

A superfood alternative to eggs benedict.

Poached eggs are sexy.

Idea and pictures by Ilaria Cannava’

sexy poached eggs

 

superfood

Mardi Gras in New Orleans: MUFFULETTAS

My exploration of Southern cooking is going on and I am travelling again to Lousiana to celebrate Mardi Gras with New Orleans’ signature sandwich. It is a more or less century old culinary  tradition of the Italian immigrants local community, created in a Sicilian deli. Today this impressive sandwich can be found all over town and its a real must during Mardi Gras celebrations.

Muffuletta is the actual kind of Sicilian bread the sandwich is prepared with and the main distinguishing filler is a so called olive salad (I find very reductive calling it like that and you will understand why!)

No funny stuff here… I did bake the right bread myself and I prepared the salad chopping the ingredients using my trusty Sabatier cook knife!

After researching I came up with the following adapted recipe.

MUFFULETTA BREAD

Its a round yeast bread circ 20cm diameter and just a 4-5 cm tall, topped with sesame seeds.

Ingredients

3 cups flour

7 gr fast action dried yeast (1 sachet)

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

cornmeal

olive oil

Method

In a bowl mix the flour with the yeast and the salt. Mix the water and the oil in a separate bowl. Pour the liquid mixture slowly in the bowl with the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork and then go on working the dough with your hands on a flat surface till smooth and elastic. Shape the dough in a ball, put it back on the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered. After that work the dough in a round circa 2cm thick, spread the sesame seeds on top and press them gently in the dough. Spread some cornmeal on a baking tray and place the dough disk on it, cover with cling film and let rise 1 hour circa.

Heat the oven at 220 Celsius, brush the top of the loaf with egg yolk before put it in the oven and cook for 15 minutes then turn off the heath and leave it inside the oven for another 5 minutes. The cooked bread must sound hollow when tapped on the top.

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OLIVE SALAD

Well….. a lot of amazing flavours that make a great salad! As concept it reminds me of the “farcitura” that back in Italy and back in the days they used to put as extra filler in the classic “toast” (white slice bread filled with cheese and cooked ham, grilled)

Ingredients (to fill one muffuletta)

50g of black olives

50g of green olives

1 tablespoon of capers

80g of pickled vegetables (carrot, gerkins, cauliflower)

half roast red pepper

a quarter of red onion

2 garlic cloves

5 fresh basil leaves

a small handful of parsley

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Method

Finely chopped everything and mix well!

I chopped first the olives and the capers, then the veggies and finally garlic onion and herbs.

olive salad-1704

THE MUFFULETTA SANDWICH

1 muffuletta bread

olive salad

100g cooked ham

8 slices salami

8 slices provolone or emmental

Cut the bread, spread the salad on one side, put a layer of ham, one of salami and one of cheese and then salad again, top with the other half of the loaf and cut in 4.

It’s massive, evil tasty, juicy, tangy and fresh!

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The third way of coffee in Berlin #1: NO FIRE NO GLORY

NoFireNoGlory-26I spent some time in Berlin during the last Autumn. Fresh of my experience with Monmouth coffee at the Sourced Market and my visit at London Coffee Festival, I had to explore Berlin’s amazing coffee scene.

Having to spend at least 45 mins travelling to get a flat white at Caravans in Kings cross for example (And I do live in zone 2 North London) imagine my feelings when I discover that one of the best coffee shop in town was 5 mins away from my accommodation in Prenzlauer, just a short walk in a jolly good residential area with hardly any traffic, large cobbled pavements lined by trees and small independent shops and restaurants offering outdoor sits (even when they retail books, shoes or kitchenware!).

The coffee shop is NO FIRE NO GLORY a relaxing, laid back and chic environment where COFFEE COLLECTIVE (Copenhagen) and BONANZA COFFEE (Berlin) are brewed and retailed.

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I enjoyed a lovely flat white sitting outdoor and then approached one of the baristas asking permission for taking a couple of pictures. I took my shots and had a little chat with her. She was very kind and took my details and a couple of days after I was sitting in front of a coffee with Ralf Berlit, owner of the coffee shop and one of the key man in the developing of the third way of coffee in Berlin. He happened to like my work and wanted more pictures. Great guy and great chat!

Ralf approached the coffee business from a very different background but once he had to deal with coffee machine purchase he did realize how big the chances and the possibilities were and it was no brainer for him to aim to the top.

He probably felt it necessary: best coffee machines, best coffee making and last but not least the best coffee, meaning also attention to the supply chain and well being of producers and environment.

We talked through all the process: finding the venue and waiting for permissions, challenges in refurbishing and creating your style with tight budget, difficulties in finding investors in Berlin, the challenge of educating customers to a nice espresso and a proper milky and foamy coffee. The challenge to sell a quality product that respect customers and producers. Finally… the satisfaction of doing all that!

We talked also about London coffee scene (everyone dealing with coffee in Berlin is really up to date with what’s going on in London!). I think he really would love to retail some London coffee but as for the situation on the last Autumn no one wants or can export yet (need to research on that!)

Here some pics I took for Ralf at NO FIRE NO GLORY.

Can’t wait to be again sipping on my coffee outdoor Rykestraße 45, maybe on a Sunday after a stroll at he Kollwitz platz market…

 

 

Roman cauliflower

roman cauliflower

 

No, I didn’t just take pictures, I did actually cook it. The whole cauliflower, without leaves, rubbed in oil, garlic and chillies put in a clay pot full of vegetable stock and then covered with foil. In the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour, checking from time to time, and then half hour under the grill. It’s like cooking a big joint of meat! Served with cous cous and Greek yogurt. Just amazing.

I know its a long way to cook, but the preparation is super quick and once in the oven you can forget about it and spend your home-time as usual, like drinking while dealing with your n+1 social media accounts.

The cauliflower comes from Queen’s park farmers’ market, one of my favourite source of good food.