giovedì 10 luglio 2008

Italian Cooking Class - Highbury House - 2nd of July

Dessert dessert dessert.... how could I live without?
I decided that we could dare to try the recipe of the cantuccini ... and of the chocolate and pears tart... everything was really nice!!! What a great flavour!

Cantuccini toscani

400gr flour
125gr Butter at room temperature
180 gr Sugar
3 Eggs
100 gr Almonds (crushed)
1 Teaspoon orange flavor or the peel of a whole organic orange
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk to spread on top of cantuccini


Preheat the oven at 180°
• Mix well, with a fork, all the ingredients beside the almonds in a large bowl.
• When the ingredients are well blended add the crushed almonds.
The dough should be like a ball.
• Put the dough on a lightly buttered oven tray.
Press down gently with the palm of your hand to flatten it.
Using a brush spread some egg yolk on top of it.
• Bake for 30 minutes at 180°.



Chocolate and pears tart

For the tart dough:
500gr white plain flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
100gr sugar
100gr butter
a pinch of salt

For the top:
3 or 4 pears
100gr butter
250gr dark chocolate
50gr sugar
a bit of milk if necessary

• Prepare the flour. Mix the eggs and egg yolk together with the flour. Add the sugar, the butter and the salt. Knead them till you get a good homogenous dough. Wrap it in plastic paper and put it in the fridge for minimum 30 min. In the meanwhile you can prepare the pears.


• Peel the pears. Cut them in thin slices. Put the pears in a pan and add the sugar and the cinnamon. Cook them till they are very very soft! Add the chocolate and let it melt. When the chocolate is melted add the softened sweet pears

• At this stage take the pastry dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a buttered pan. The pastry can also become overheated or overworked at this stage, which means it will tend either to break up or to stick. If this happens, you can solve the problem by adding a few tablespoons of cold water or half an egg white to the dough. If the pastry tears while you’re rolling it out, you can easily patch up the tears once it is in the tart pan and they won't be noticeable when the tart has been filled and baked). Make some holes with a fork before putting the tart in the oven.

• Let it cook for about 30/40 min. at 180°.