I read a recipe for a Strawberry- Raspberry Cake in the latest issue of Food and Wine magazine. It is a delicious cake that is served in the Friuli region of Italy. It sounded so good, except given the time we are living in, I did not have the required ingredients at hand. So here is my version, a delicious blackberry cake inspired by the original. It is sooooooo delicious!
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp packed orange zest
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 heaped cup fresh blackberries
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Baking spray to prepare baking tins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and spray the bottom and sides liberally with baking spray.
2. Wash and dry the blackberries. Take a few of them and slice in half. Leave the rest whole.
2. Fit the paddle blade to the stand mixer and combine the sugar, butter, and salt at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add in the vanilla extract and orange zest and give it a whirl.
5. Add both the flours and beat a few times till the mixture is smooth.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and even it out.
7. Arrange the blackberries all over the top.
8. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or till the top is golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
9. Cool the cake completely. Sprinkle with a dusting of confectioners sugar. Slice into 12 pieces and serve with a cup of coffee.
Last year, I was introduced by a mutual friend to a guy who was as obsessed with creating and eating good food as I was. So it was natural that when this guy started a food blog, I turned to it for inspiration. Recently, the team behind this food blog breakingnaan.com wrote about their success pairing fettuccini with fenugreek leaves (a leafy vegetable widely available at Indian grocery stores). The minute I read this, I started thinking about my favorite Indian dish on cold winter days…aaloo methi or potatoes with fenugreek leaves. And then the light bulb went off! I could create an Italian version of this dish by pairing gnocchi with fenugreek leaves!
Here’s how you can create this dinner in under 30 minutes. Start with the ingredients below.
Clean the fenugreek leaves well to remove all sand and grit and chop finely.
Cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package.
Heat some olive oil, add a teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes and two cloves of crushed garlic.
When the garlic sizzles, add the fenugreek leaves and cook for about five minutes till the leaves are wilted.
Now add the cooked gnocchi to the fenugreek leaves and toss till the gnocchi are coated with the leaves (about a minute).
Grate some fresh parmesan cheese over the dish and serve hot!
Presto! Here’s the finished dish! We did not have a morsel left over:)
Each of us has a version of comfort food; food that makes us feel joy and contentment. For my younger daughter, despite all the variety I cook, there is something innately happyfying to her about eating breadsticks from Pizza Hut. We don’t have a Pizza Hut close by, but if we ever happen to hit the local Target, grabbing breadsticks from the in-house Pizza Hut is a must. The joy on her face as she lovingly dunks each stick into the marinara sauce and slowly brings it to her mouth is simply priceless.
Aiming to continue to soar on the “loving mom” front, I scoured for recipes and finally narrowed down my selection to two. There was much anticipation as I embarked on my first attempt to create a copy. In went the ingredients into the Kitchen Aid and out came the dough. The topping with parmesan, garlic, onion and salt smelled just like the original. But alas – the dough did not rise and the resulting product turned out to be crispy rather than the softer, oil rich original.
I was disappointed, but did not give up. The following week I was back at work, with the second recipe. This time around, the dough came up beautifully, the topping was fragrant just like the original and the breadsticks came out beautiful (take a look and let me know what you think). The taste was very good with one caveat! It came out less greasy than the original.
I’m going to tweak the recipe a few times till I can get to the perfect copy. But till then, I’m happy that I have a way to provide my daughter a dish she loves “on-demand”.
If you’ve ever created a copy of a restaurant dish you love, or even these breadsticks, we’d love to hear from you.