Showing posts with label olive oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label olive oil. Show all posts

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lime olive oil pound cake

Bolo de azeite e limão / Lime olive oil pound cake

During this isolation period, I have not made too many sweets: my husband is not into them very much and I don’t want to end up eating it all myself. I do search for some chocolate when anxiety comes hard on me, I must confess, but having to deal with an entire cake before it goes stale might be tricky.

So in almost 3 months at home I have baked 3 cakes so far, one being the yogurt marble cake I shared with you weeks ago. I felt like baking another cake last week, but didn’t have time to wait for the butter to soften (and I don’t have a microwave oven to speed up the process). So I made Alice Medrich’s pound cake with olive oil and it was not only easy to put together but it turned out tender and delicious. I could have used sherry, as the original recipe calls for, but I wanted a recipe that more people could make during these times, so I adapted it a little bit and replaced the booze with milk. A little lime zest and a pinch of nutmeg made it all even better.

Lime olive oil pound cake
adapted from the sherry and olive oil pound cake on this book

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125g) sugar
finely grated zest of 2 limes
150ml flavorful extra virgin olive oil
3 cold eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
150ml whole milk, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour an 8-cup capacity Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine sugar and lime zest and rub with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the oil and beat until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Stop the mixer and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Stop the mixer and add ½ of the milk, then beat just until it is blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, followed by the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

Serves 8-10

Monday, March 12, 2018

Simple breakfast bread (dairy free)

Simple breakfast bread / Pão de forma do meu jeito

I wanted a bread recipe I could make sandwiches with, turn into toast for breakfast, and do everything we do with packaged white bread. I no longer buy that and most of the homemade versions I found called for milk or butter (or both). I thought of making Kim Boyce’s oatmeal bread, which is delicious, replacing the butter with olive oil, but the making of that recipe is not as straightforward as I needed it to be.

I reached out to King Arthur Flour’s website and I bring you my take on their white breakfast bread: a bit of whole meal flour, a bit of oats, no dairy. It is not a light bread and I like it that way, but the big surprise came when my 3-yeard old nephew saw the bread cooling on the counter and asked for some. I gave him a tiny piece, so sure that he would not enjoy such a dense kind of bread, but he devoured it in seconds and asked for seconds (and thirds). :)

Simple breakfast bread
slightly adapted from here

1 1/3 cups (320ml) lukewarm water
1 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
1 tablespoon demerara sugar – for the caramel flavor; use granulated if you prefer
½ tablespoon honey
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) whole wheat flour
1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoons table salt

Place the water, yeast, sugar and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Whisk with a fork and set aside until foamy. Add the olive oil, flours, oats and salt and knead for 8-10 minutes until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Transfer to a large bowl brushed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to prove for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Brush with olive oil a 5-cup capacity loaf pan. Punch the dough to remove the excess of air and transfer to a slightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, then fold it like a letter and fit into the prepared pan. Cover and set aside to prove again for 1 hour – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown – bread should sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack to cool. Cool completely.

Makes about 10 slices

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake / Bolo de pera, azeite de oliva e chocolate

I have been running around like a headless chicken lately, with loads of work and other things to solve. For that reason, I haven’t posted much and I am also behind with my personal emails.

I decided to stop by very quickly with an equally quick to make cake: put together in almost no time, it is a tender and delicious combination of fruit, olive oil and chocolate. Good for those weeks you have barely time to breathe but still want a slice of cake and a cup of coffee or tea at the end of a tough day.

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake / Bolo de pera, azeite de oliva e chocolate

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake
own recipe

2 large pears, about 200g (7oz.) each
lemon juice, for drizzling over the pears
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a tall 20cm (8in) round cake pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan*, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter it as well.

Peel and core both pears, slice one thinly and dice the other. Drizzle with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the diced pear. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter, then sprinkle evenly with the chocolate. Bake for about 50 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack.

* if your pan is not very tall, use a 9in (23cm) pan

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Orange olive oil waffles

Orange olive oil waffles / Waffles de laranja e azeite de oliva

I do not make waffles very often because my husband does not like them, leaving me to eat the whole batch alone (not pretty), but since I like them a lot I am always interested in trying new flavors and toppings. A bit of research led me to the fact that the key to get crispier, crunchier on the outside waffles was to use oil instead of butter, and it actually worked.

Now that I no longer can eat regular dairy I have been making my waffles like the ones I bring you today, with olive oil and lactose-free milk, but if you prefer the butter flavor over the crispy texture it is just a matter of replacing the olive oil with melted unsalted butter.

I absolutely love the combination of orange and blueberries – one of my favorite flavor combos – so it is my duty to tell you that the waffles taste amazing served with the baked blueberry jam I posted a couple of years ago (it works well with frozen, thawed blueberries when fresh ones are not available).

Orange olive oil waffles
own recipe

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 large egg
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, place the sugar and orange zest and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, milk and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated – do not overmix.

Heat a waffle iron until very hot; lightly coat with nonstick spray – my waffle maker is nonstick, so I do not coat it.
Working in batches, cook waffles until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Makes 5-6 waffles

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hasselback baby eggplants

Hasselback baby eggplants / Mini berinjelas Hasselback

If you have been reading me for a while now you probably know that I am a huge fan of Nigella Lawson – I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago and got one of my books autographed. She is the one who, ages ago, introduced me to Hasselback potatoes, a recipe I find not only delicious but also really pretty.

When I was still working on the book project, I thought one day: “why not Hasselback other veggies, too?”. One day, at the farmer’s market, I saw these beautiful baby eggplants and the Hasselback feeling came back to my mind. To make things more interesting, there had to be cheese, of course, but a strong flavored one. A drizzle of garlic oil turned everything into a delicious and perfumed side dish – if my husband saw this post he would strike the word “perfumed” off, for that and “gorgonzola” cannot be in the same sentence as far as he is concerned. :D

Hasselback baby eggplants / Mini berinjelas Hasselback

Hasselback baby eggplants
own creation

12 baby eggplants (about 600g/little less than 1 ½ pounds)
4 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g gorgonzola cheese, firm enough to be sliced

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Tear 12 pieces of foil, about 20x20cm (8x8in) each, then crumple each one of them formatting into little nests – they will be the support for each eggplant, that way they don’t roll around the baking sheet.
Place the foil nests on a large baking sheet and brush their cavities with a little of the olive oil. Set aside.

In a mortar and pestle, place the garlic and salt and pound until a paste forms. Add the black pepper and the remaining olive oil and mix well.

Place each eggplant on a wooden spoon and cut into slices without going through the end – you want the eggplant to remain whole. Cut the gorgonzola into thin slices and place them inside the slits in the eggplants – make sure the cheese slices are thin enough to fit into the eggplants. Place the eggplants into the foil nests and drizzle with the garlic oil. Bake for about 25 minutes or until eggplants are tender.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Friday, August 11, 2017

Orange, blueberry and olive oil muffins and a lactose problem

Orange, blueberry and olive oil muffins / Muffins de laranja, mirtilo e azeite de oliva

I know how rare it is nowadays to post recipes on the blog on two consecutive days, and I am still running around like a headless chicken trying to do everything I have to do lately, but since next week will be even busier than the week ending today I decided to go crazy and bring you these muffins: again a speedy recipe, but a very delicious one. These muffins are golden and really moist, very tender and perfumed with orange zest.

I am a complete sucker for citrus as you all know and in these muffins the orange flavor compliments the blueberries in the most wonderful way. The addition of olive oil is a nice surprise, not to mention that this became my go-to muffin recipe after I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant, a month ago or so: I have made it using lactose-free milk with good results (next time I will try making them using almond milk).

Orange, blueberry and olive oil muffins
own recipe

¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 8 paper cases. Fill the empty cavities halfway through with water (this will prevent the pan from warping).

In a large bowl, place sugar and orange zest and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, olive oil and vanilla until smooth. Pour over dry ingredients and stir lightly with a fork just until combined – do not overmix or your muffins will be tough; muffin batter is not smooth as cake batter.
Stir in the berries. Divide the batter among the paper cases, then bake for about 20 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to the rack. Cool completely or serve warm.

Makes 8

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chocolate granola to make breakfast even more delicious

Chocolate granola / Granola de chocolate

I know that for those of us who like to cook making things from scratch is actually fun and does not feel like a burden, but even for those who are not very fond of cooking I would recommend making their own granola – the difference in quality is huge, you have complete control over the ingredients (especially sugar) and can tweak flavors as you wish, creating delicious types of granola.

I have been making this chocolate granola for a couple of years now for it is so insanely delicious and very easy to put together – it is my favorite granola, hands down, the tastiest I have ever tried. The only real challenge is to NOT eat the entire batch while it cools down – be warned. :)

Chocolate granola
own recipe, inspired for several others I saw online

400g jumbo oats
100g sweetened coconut flakes
50g flaked hazelnuts or almonds
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
½ cup (45g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (100g) agave or honey – I prefer agave here because its flavor is more subtle, letting the chocolate flavor shine
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine cocoa, oil, sugar and agave (or honey) and whisk over medium heat until melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.

Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to coat. Spread mixture over foil and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the granola around and bake for another 15 minutes – the granola will still be soft and will get crunchy once cooled. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate. Wait 1 minute for it to melt, then mix everything together. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 8-10

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Olive oil buns and great news

Olive oil buns / Pãezinhos de azeite de oliva

There hasn’t been a new post around here in a good while but there is a good reason for that: my job hunt has come to an end! Days ago I started working in a new company (for those of you who don’t know, I work as an executive assistant) and it was a very busy week – it was all about meeting lots of new people, getting to know how the company works and the details of my job description. I feel really, really happy for having a job again after so many months, so this is a celebration post! \0/

I know that some of you might look away from this recipe because of the many steps, but let me tell you something: these buns are easy peasy and what you really need is a bit of time to spare and a bit of prepping in advance – you don’t have to do much with the dough besides leaving it at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.

I chose this recipe for today’s post exactly because in life sometimes we need to be patient and wait for the Universe to do its thing – some things can’t be rushed, no matter how anxious or even sad we feel (like I did weeks ago). In this case, I can guarantee that the buns are worth all the hours called for in the recipe: they are delicious and have an amazing texture.

Olive oil buns
slightly adapted from Bread Cake Doughnut Pudding: Sweet And Savoury Recipes From Britain's Best Baker

Ferment:
65g all purpose flour
65g water, room temperature
1g dried yeast

Dough:
200g lukewarm water
pinch of sugar
2g dried yeast
350g all purpose flour
4g table salt
90ml olive oil – I used extra-virgin

Make the ferment: combine the ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Bread: put the water in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk in the yeast and sugar until dissolved, then set aside until it foams, about 5 minutes. Add the ferment, flour and salt, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes or until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. continue mixing on medium speed and gradually pour in ¼ cup (60ml) of the olive oil, then keep mixing until dough is smooth, glossy and elastic (it will be a very wet dough). Form roughly into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour (if the day is too cold, leave the oven on so the kitchen is a bit warm).

After 1 hour, using a rubber spatula, mix in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover again with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.

Lightly brush a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each into a ball, making sure the top is smooth. Place the balls into the prepared muffin pan and let them prove for 1 hour – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F. Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold and place onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cardamom, lemon and olive oil madeleines

Cardamom, lemon and olive oil madeleines / Madeleines de azeite de oliva, limão siciliano e cardamomo

Madeleines are small cakes, therefore I guess it was just a matter of time until I went for a version made with olive oil after using the ingredient in so many cakes.

I found some recipes online (I’ve told you I love the Internet, haven’t I?), but what really caught my attention was the combination of cardamom and lemon: it sounded delicious and Russell’s madeleines looked super cute.

Cardamom and lemon are indeed great together, and madeleines made with olive oil are as fantastic as the ones made with butter (and they stay moist and tender on the following day).

I do like making things from scratch but I’m all for shortcuts when they’re good and feasible; however, one thing I don’t use is pre-ground cardamom – I bought it once, ages ago, but did not like it. I started buying the pods and grinding the seeds myself and I never looked back. If I may, I recommend you do the same, not only for these madeleines but for all sorts of cardamom recipes (click here for some inspiration).

For completely dairy-free madeleines, the molds should be brushed with oil instead of butter – I haven’t tried that yet, so if anyone tries it I would love to hear about it.

Cardamom, lemon and olive oil madeleines
slightly adapted from here

80g granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
110g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Place sugar, lemon zest and cardamom in a large bowl and rub together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the eggs and vanilla and using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attached, beat for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes light and thick.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt over mixture and fold to combine. Fold in the olive oil.
Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Brush twenty 2-tablespoon capacity madeleine molds with melted butter and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Brush the molds again and refrigerate for another 10 minutes. Divide the mixture between the molds (do not spread it out). Bake until golden and cooked through (8-10 minutes), then immediately unmold onto a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 20

Monday, July 21, 2014

Olive oil brownies and feeling nostalgic

Olive oil brownies / Brownies com azeite de oliva

You’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve been using olive oil in my baking quite regularly and with great results – it makes the cakes flavorsome and oh, so moist. That is why I couldn’t wait to try using olive oil in brownies – I was curious to find out if the ingredient paired beautifully with chocolate as it does with apples, coconut and citrus.

I found this simple, yet wonderful recipe online and it comes from one of the first food blogs I ever read, the beautiful The Traveler’s Lunchbox – it made me feel very nostalgic, but in a very good way. It reminded me of my discovery of food blogs, how eager I was to read them and how amazing it was to see so many people passionate about cooking and baking as I was. It was a first for me to see people actually enjoying making dinner or baking a cake, for up until that day I had never met anyone who felt what I did towards food – I knew tons of people who loved eating, but I knew no one who took pleasure at the act of making it as I did.

All of a sudden all those strangers felt a lot closer to my heart than many people I knew in “real life” – I guess that is what happens when you finally find people with something in common, for my friends did not like the kind of movies I watched back then and for sure did not feel that making dinner for a family of five was fun at all (we became six when my sister was born). They were so lazy that if their moms didn’t make any food on a given day they would feed on bread and butter, and some of them wouldn’t even eat on a plate to avoid washing up. I got older, my love for the kitchen became bigger, and my friends continued to believe that cooking was a stupid thing to learn.

Now you can imagine how I felt when I bumped into the first food blog. :)

It’s been a while since Melissa last updated the blog, but I recommend reading the archive – there are plenty of great recipes there, such as the one for these brownies; she calls for dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, but since I did not have any I used the one I had and added one tablespoon of cocoa to boost the chocolate flavor.

Olive oil brownies
slightly adapted from the beautiful The Traveller’s Lunchbox

115g dark chocolate, finely chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids*
1/3 cup (80ml) fruity extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (70g) all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Brush a 20cm (8in) square baking pan lightly with canola oil, line it with a piece of foil leaving an overhang in two opposite sides, and lightly oil the foil as well.
Place the chocolate in a small bowl and melt it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisk in the oil, then cool.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Fold in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour, cocoa and salt. Stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and distribute evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is dry and crackly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little wet. Cool completely, then cut into squares.

*the original recipe called for 70% cocoa solids, I didn’t have any, so I used the one I had (53% cocoa solids) and added cocoa for a deeper chocolate flavor

Makes 16

Monday, July 14, 2014

Coconut olive oil cake

Coconut olive oil cake / Bolo de coco e azeite de oliva

These past weeks, in which I have been experimenting with my baking and adding more vegetables to my cooking, have been a lot of fun: once you start trying new things (with both good and bad results because well, that’s life) it’s like a blindfold being lifted from the eyes, I guess – you just want to discover more and more.

It is such a joy to open the fridge and know that you are moments away from a delicious and nutritious meal. It is a great feeling to watch a courgette and some cheese get transformed into fritters (that tasted really good with a few drops of Tabasco), or to make a flavorsome sauce with eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and ricotta while a pot of pasta boils away. I used to cringe at the thought of whole wheat pasta, but after buying Di Cecco’s linguine and cooking it twice with different sauces I’ve come to the conclusion that my past bad experiences with the ingredient were caused either by poor quality pasta or poor recipes.

Being out of the comfort zone is a good thing.

As my butter supply was running low and I needed the 100g left to make cookies (more on that soon), I decided to bake the cake I had in mind with olive and canola oil, and the result was a tender and delicious cake – no icing, no frills, just simple, good cake to be eaten with freshly brewed coffee (I had my slice with a glass of wine because watching Brazil’s ridiculous soccer team embarrass themselves twice in a row requires alcohol).

Coconut olive oil cake / Bolo de coco e azeite de oliva


Coconut olive oil cake
slightly adapted from the delicious Under the Walnut Tree: 400 Recipes Inspired by Seasonal Ingredients

4 medium eggs*
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
1 cup (100g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
50ml canola oil
120g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly oil a 20cm (8in) round cake pan, line the bottom with baking paper and oil the paper as well. Dust everything with flour and remove the excess.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and pale. Stir in the lime zest, juice, desiccated coconut, canola oil and olive oil. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely in the pan. Unmold, carefully peel off the paper and place onto a serving plate.

* I had only large eggs at home, so I chose the smallest four to use in the cake

Serves 8-10

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Apple olive oil cake and things that work

Apple olive oil cake / Bolo de maçã e azeite de oliva

Another trailer for Gone Girl has been released, and it is fantastic – one can count on David Fincher to set that kind of dark mood in a two-minute trailer, for sure, and if I already was looking forward to watching the movie now I just hope time flies. :D

I’m not too keen on Ben Affleck portraying Nick Dunne – let’s just wait to see what happens – but, on the other hand, could there be anyone more perfect to play Desi Collings than Neil Patrick Harris? \0/

The music fits the atmosphere of the story really well and when the trailer ended I could read that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are the ones behind it – these two have already have already given us two amazing and innovative soundtracks (and deservedly took home the Oscar for The Social Network). It is great news that they’re once again working with Fincher – what a great combo. And the same way Fincher is sticking with Reznor and Ross for another job because he knows for sure they will perform amazingly, I’m back to baking with olive oil.

After the success of the orange olive oil cake I baked the other day – two colleagues told me they baked the cake, too, and they loved it – I was thrilled to see an apple cake made with olive oil on Anna Jones’ beautiful book. Without much thought, it was the first recipe I tried from the book and the result was a tender, moist and flavorsome cake, with a nice hint of spices. Really, really good. This cake is dairy-free and can be made with spelt flour – I can’t find it in my neck of the woods (such a shame!), so I used all purpose flour instead.

Apple olive oil cake
slightly adapted from the amazing A Modern Way to Eat: Over 200 Satisfying, Everyday Vegetarian Recipes (That Will Make You Feel Amazing)

250g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon honey
150g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith apples
handful sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly oil 20x10cm (4x8in) loaf pan, line it with baking paper and lightly oil the paper as well.
Sift flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, mix the honey, sugar, eggs, olive oil and vanilla until you have an even mixture. Stir in the flour mixture and mix again, until evenly combined. The mixture should be quite thick. Grate in the apples and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the almonds.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack. Cool completely, then peel off the paper.

Serves 8-10

Monday, June 23, 2014

Orange olive oil pound cake and trying new things

Orange olive oil pound cake / Bolo de azeite de oliva e laranja

From time to time I catch myself trying to be more creative in the kitchen, trying to use different kinds of flour, for instance, or to use more vegetables and less meat. Lately it has been a little less temporary than it used to be, I’ve been thinking of incorporating healthier food in between my cakes and cookies, or at least try new ways of making good old favorites, even if for flavor only. Don’t know the reason why it happened, but I hope I manage to succeed.

I’ve been browsing many blogs and there’s so much out there to be tried and tasted, like the beautiful chocolate cake I saw this morning. There are so many ways of preparing the food I love, it’s a shame not to try them, even if in the end I settle for the old school ways I will be happy to have tried something new.

Amidst so much information, I ended up reaching for a very reliable source, someone whose recipes always turn delicious and I can bake with my eyes closed: Alice Medrich. Her olive oil pound cake sounded so good, I loved the idea of using olive oil instead of butter – I know it’s nothing new but it’s something I seldom do, I usually rely heavily on butter.

To make the cake even moister, I replaced some of the all purpose flour with almond meal and added the zest of 1 orange because orange cakes are really out of this world – this is no exception.

Orange olive oil pound cake
slightly adapted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

170g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g almond meal
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1/8 teaspoon table salt
½ cup (120ml) flavorful extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 small eggs, cold
½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20x10cm (8x4in) loaf pan, line it with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Sift the flour and baking powder together, stir in the almond meal and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the sugar and orange zest and rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is fragrant. Add the salt, oil, and vanilla and, using the whisk attachment, whisk until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk (start and end with the dry ingredients).
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and risen and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for about 15 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely. Remove the cake when the cake is cool.

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spicy pecorino cookies - another great recipe for entertaining

Spicy pecorino cookies / Biscoitos apimentados de pecorino

The panna cotta I posted the other day is a good recipe for entertaining, but it’s not the only one: I like to serve canapés or small bites so my guests don’t starve while the pizzas are in the oven (or don’t get dizzy from the drinks). :)

These savory cookies are delicious and can be made ahead – in fact, you can keep the dough log in the freezer for up to 1 month and slice and bake the cookies whenever you want. I used pecorino because I love its sharp and strong flavor, but parmesan is a good replacement here (it is the cheese used in the original recipe). The poppy seeds add a nice crunchy texture, and as much as I love that next time I make these cookies I’ll omit them: they’re likely to get stuck in people’s teeth, and that’s not an elegant thing to do to guests. ;)

Spicy pecorino cookies
slightly adapted from the oh, so beautiful Seasonal Baking

85g finely grated pecorino (if using a milder cheese, add a pinch of salt to the recipe)
85g all purpose flour
2 pinches cayenne pepper, or to taste
80g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, mix the pecorino, flour and cayenne. Mix in the butter and olive oil and, with your fingertips, gently work everything together. If it is too crumbly, add a drop more olive oil. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a log – like Martha does here. Sprinkle the log all around with the poppy seeds, making sure they stick to it. Wrap in parchment. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until very firm.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
Cut the log into thin slices and place 2.5cm (1in) apart on the sheet. Bake for 10– 15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool in the sheets.

Makes about 30

Monday, January 6, 2014

Roscón de Reyes (King Cake)

Roscón de Reyes / Bolo de Reis

My favorite time of the year is coming to an end, and later on today I’ll put away all my Christmas decorations – it’s such a pity, I love seeing them throughout the house.

The sixth of January is also the day to celebrate the Three Kings, and to do so I bring you this delicious recipe, a sort of brioche topped with a lemon glaze – unlike the King Cake I’d seen on this book, Gourmet Traveller’s version is a lot prettier, with no plastic baby hidden inside: just tender sweet bread with almonds, ginger and cranberries.

Who said atheists can’t enjoy some of the Catholic traditions? ;)

Roscón de Reyes (King Cake)
slightly adapted from the always gorgeous Gourmet Traveller

110ml whole milk
2 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
60g granulated sugar
500g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
55ml olive oil
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped and softened
glacé ginger, halved glacé cherries and blanched almonds, for decoration – I used dried cranberries instead of cherries

Lemon glaze:
100g confectioners’ sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Warm milk and 100ml water in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm, add yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and set aside in a warm place until foaming (4-5 minutes). Combine flour, salt, oil, citrus zest and remaining sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, gradually add milk mixture, beat for 5 minutes, add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Beating continuously, gradually add butter and beat until a soft dough forms (3-4 minutes). Cover and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1-1½ hours).
Knock back dough, cover and set aside to rest (10 minutes). Lightly butter a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface, roll into a 30cmx50cm rectangle, then roll into a long cylinder, pinch edge to seal firmly, then bring ends together to form a ring and pinch to seal. Place seam-side down in prepared pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until nearly doubled in size (30-40 minutes). In the meantime, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold onto rack. Cool completely.

Lemon glaze: sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and gradually add the lemon juice, stirring until drizzling thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle roscón with glaze, set aside until icing is almost set, then top the glaze with ginger, cherries and almonds and serve.

Serves 8-10

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Apple and polenta cake + a surprise from Cannes

Apple polenta cake / Bolo de milho e maçã

I must confess that reading that “Blue is the Warmest Color” had won the Palme d’Or surprised me quite a bit: not because of the film itself – I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t judge – but because I would never expect a jury presided by Steven Spielberg, a director who very seldom makes adult films, would vote for such a bold film. Maybe Ang Lee had something to do with it (he should have been chosen President of the Jury imo). And even if it was a political choice as some believe it was I’m still surprised, for Spielberg was never the controversial one. I just hope “Blue is the Warmest Color” gets distributed here in Brazil, and soon – I would not like to wait for it as much as I had to for “Drive”.

Something else surprised me weeks ago: Amber Rose’s beautiful cookbook. I don’t worry about nutrition when I bake – I think that if you’re eating a slice of cake or a brownie it’s about pleasure, leave the nutrient talk for your lunch and/or dinner - but I ended up finding Rose’s approach to baking a very interesting one. This cake, for instance, is sweetened with honey instead of sugar, and the result is excellent. Just make sure you use a variety of honey you’re fond of because the flavor is definitely noticed in the cake.

Apple and polenta cake
slightly adapted from the beautiful beyond words Love Bake Nourish (I bought mine here)

Apples:
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter
2 ½ tablespoons honey
450g Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm dice

Cake:
1 cup (100g) almond meal
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (115g) all purpose flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (110g) cornmeal
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
150ml honey
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
3 large eggs
140ml olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep the apples: melt the butter and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and bubble until it caramelizes a little. Add the apples and cook over medium-high heat until the apple pieces are golden and the syrup is sticky, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) round cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, all purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, honey, yogurt, eggs, olive oil and vanilla until well combined. Pour into the dry ingredients and fold until combined. Stir in the apples.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack, then carefully unmold. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Serves 8-10

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lemon-frosted pistachio cake

Lemon-frosted pistachio cake / Bolo de pistache com cobertura de limão siciliano

Hollywood is dominated by men, or better, by white men, so I am always glad to watch women deliver great work. Not many directors are women - some of them are really, really talented and responsible for masterpieces, like Jane Campion and Susanne Bier. Now Vera Farmiga, an actress I'm very fond of, has stepped into directing shoes and brings the beautiful and so sensitive "Higher Ground" - a movie that discusses religion and faith very openly and honestly; even though I don't believe in anything, I felt touched by Farmiga's movie because I was once the girl who sought answers for so many questions, the girl who thought that everything in life happened because a certain being wanted it that way. I liked the movie a lot and hope that Vera Farmiga continues to work behind the camera.

***

This cake is not the super tender type of cake I usually bake, but it's so delicious I cannot wait to buy more pistachios to make it again.

Lemon-frosted pistachio cake
from the always delicious Delicious - Australia

Cake:
¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups (195g) pistachio kernels, ground*
1 cup (100g) almond meal
1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest of 1 orange
100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rosewater

Icing:
1 cup (140g) icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons hot water, if necessary

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Butter and line the base of a 23cm (9in) springform cake pan with baking paper**.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir in the pistachio and almond. Place sugar and whole eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 4-5 minutes until thick and pale. Beat in the olive oil, zest, butter, vanilla and rosewater, then fold in the flour mixture. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Icing: sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl and gradually add the lemon juice and enough hot water to make a smooth dropping consistency.
When the cake is cool, pour the icing over the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. Set aside until firm, about 20 minutes.

* if you’re grinding the pistachios at home, add part of the flour to the food processor to avoid turning the nuts into a paste

** I used a regular 23cm (9in) cake pan (no removable bottom); I cooled the cake in the pan over a wire rack for 25 minutes, then carefully inverted in onto a plate, removed the paper, then inverted it again (top side up) onto the rack to cool completely

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Olive oil bread + "The Hunger Games"

Olive oil bread / Pão de azeite

I asked for your thoughts on “The Hunger Games” trilogy a couple of months ago and today I want to tell you that I’m hooked on the books! By some of my readers’ suggestion I started with “The Hunger Games” even though I’d watched the movie and I really liked the book – my love for the movie got even bigger. Last night I started reading “Catching Fire” and the only reason I’ve put the book aside is because I have to work. :D Suzanne Collins has hypnotized me pretty much like Stieg Larsson did last year.

Great suggestions are always welcome and that is why I made this bread a couple of weeks ago: my dear friend Ana Elisa had told me that it was a very easy recipe that yielded delicious bread and after having a slice of it at her house I had to make it too; it was hard not to eat both loaves in a couple of hours, I’ll tell you that much. :)

Olive oil bread
from the beautiful Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes

5g dried yeast (or 14g fresh yeast)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) lukewarm water
2 ½ cups (350g) all purpose flour, more if needed
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup chopped green olives

Put the yeast in a large bowl with the olive oil, sugar and water and mix together with a fork. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
Add the flour and salt and mix until it comes together. Turn onto a clean surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic – I used the Kitchen Aid mixer for that.
Lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back in it, cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free warm place until dough doubles in volume, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Add the half the olives to each dough portion and then work the dough to form a baguette-like shaped loaf. Transfer the loaves to a large baking sheet lined with foil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.
Bake the loaves for 30 minutes or so or until golden and the bottom of the loaves sounds hollow when you knock on it.

Makes 2 loaves

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cherry tomato and thyme focaccia

Cherry tomato and thyme focaccia / Focaccia de tomate cereja e tomilho

I’d never heard of “The Hunger Games” book trilogy until the frenzy for the movie started but since I adore Jennifer Lawrence – how can anyone not? – I decided to watch the movie; I thought it was really good but it was also, certainly, the most agonizing hours I’ve spent in a movie theater recently – as I went home I felt my body sore from all that tension. :/
I really don’t mind going to the movies alone but when I saw Josh Hutcherson on screen I wish my husband were there with me: we both adore “Little Manhattan” so much and it was a surprise to me to realize that yes, time has flown and that adorable little boy is now an adult. :D

***

Usually cherry tomatoes don’t last long at my house: I nibble on them all the time, pretty much every time I open the refrigerator – I even like them pure, without any seasoning, but they taste especially delicious with a sprinkling of salt (I like Maldon a lot) and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Yum. But last week I managed to save a handful of cherry tomatoes for this focaccia and it was worth the “sacrifice” – it’s dead simple to make and flavorsome and it’s great split in half and filled with cheese.

Cherry tomato and thyme focaccia
slightly adapted from the always fantastic Australian Gourmet Traveller

2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons dried yeast
500g all purpose flour
100ml extra-virgin olive oil + extra for greasing and drizzling
¾ teaspoon table salt
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
5-7 thyme sprigs
sea salt (I used Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper

In the large bowl of a stand mixer combine sugar, yeast and ¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water. Mix with a fork and stand in a warm place until foamy (5 minutes). To the yeast mixture add the flour, oil, table salt and 200ml water (room temperature). Using the electric mixer fitted with the dough hook knead until a soft smooth dough forms (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and stand until doubled in size (1 hour). Line a large baking sheet with foil and brush it with oil.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and, using your hands, shape it into a 22x27cm (9x11in) rectangle. Cover with a tea towel and stand until doubled in size (20-30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Press tomatoes cut-side up into dough, scatter with thyme, drizzle with oil, season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and bake until golden and cooked through (15-18 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Serves 6

Monday, March 5, 2012

Le gibassier

Le gibassier

I was just searching for a recipe to use some of the candied orange peel left in my fridge from making the almost mother-in-law cake, but what I found was the most beautiful bread I’d ever seen, a type of bread I’d never heard of before. I adore it when certain things lead to great discoveries, and I felt this way again a week ago, when after watching the fantastic "The Fall" I made my usual trip to IMDb: going through Lee Pace’s profile I found this movie, which I’d never heard of before and looks exactly like the type of drama I love.

Le gibassier
from the always glorious and delicious Australian Gourmet Traveller

1/3 cup (80ml) lukewarm whole milk
14g (2 sachets/4 ½ teaspoons) dried yeast
6 tablespoons (72g) granulated sugar, divided use
2 ½ cups (350g) all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons orange-blossom water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (70g) softened unsalted butter
100g candied orange peel, drained and finely chopped – I used homemade, recipe here
icing sugar, sifted, for dusting

Stir milk, yeast and 3 ½ tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl and stand until foamy (10 minutes).
Combine flour and remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add eggs, oil, orange-blossom water, vanilla and yeast mixture and mix until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes), then, mixing continuously, gradually add softened butter until incorporated. Add candied peel, knead to incorporate, then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours).
Line a large baking sheet with foil. Knock back dough and divide in half. Roll out each half into a rough leaf shape, cut slits in bread, gently pull slits slightly open, and set onto the prepared sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen tower and place in a draught-free place until doubled in size (1 hour) – after this period of time the slits I’d previously made on the breads were almost invisible, so I cut the breads again before baking them.
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Bake gibassier until dark golden and cooked through (10-12 minutes). Dust with icing sugar and serve warm (I thought it tasted great at room temperature, too).

Serves 8

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