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 02/06/07 Orange Polenta Cake from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Buon Giorno e bentornati!" Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Orange Polenta Cake
  -Bignole
  -Amaretto Almond Cake

Enjoy these sweet treats and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, coconut, amaretto, lemon, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.
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 Recipe: Orange Polenta Cake

Orange Polenta Cake

This is an upside-down cake, with soft, sweet orange slices on a grainy-textured polenta cake.

Ingredients:

3 navel oranges
4 ounces/110 grams butter
3 tbsp + 4 ounces/110 grams + 2 tbsp caster sugar
5 ounces/140 grams self-raising flour
3 eggs
2 ounces/60 grams polenta

Directions:

Slice one of the oranges coin thin.

Half fill a wide pan with water and bring to a boil.

Place the orange slices in water (don't bother with the top and bottom slices) and simmer gently for two minutes. With a fish slice, lift them out on to a tea towel to dry them a bit.

Line an 8 inch/20 cm cake tin with a piece of foil, then place the orange slices over the base, filling all the gaps in a double layer. You may not need all the slices. Sprinkle the 3 tbsp of sugar over the top.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Cream the butter, 4 ounces/110 grams sugar and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy.

Grate the zest of the other two oranges and mix it in, along with a couple of tablespoonfuls of flour.

Beat in the eggs and the juice of half an orange.

Fold in the rest of the flour and the polenta.

Spread the mixture over the slices of orange, hollowing out the center a little (this will help it rise to a flat top).

Bake for 45 minutes, until a skewer plunged into the middle comes out dry.

Allow to cool a little, then invert on to a plate, peeling off the foil.

Juice the remaining one and a half oranges and mix the juice with the 2 tbsp of sugar. Jab the cake with a skewer, going through the orange slices into the cake. Slowly spoon over the juice, letting it soak in.

Cut with a serrated knife.

That's it!


 Recipe: Bignole

Bignole
Mini Profiteroles

Ingredients:

2 ounces/60 grams butter
5 ounces/150 grams flour
3 large eggs
3 and 1/2 ounces/100 grams hazelnuts, chopped fairly finely
2 tbsp sugar
5 fluid ounces/140 ml double cream
1 tbsp Frangelico liqueur (optional)
3 ounces/90 grams plain chocolate

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).

Heat the butter with 9 fluid ounces/250 ml water in a small pan. When the water comes to a boil, draw it off the heat, tip all the flour into the pan and beat the mixture until it is smooth and comes away from the edge of the pan.

Let cool for 20 minutes, then beat in the eggs one by one, to make a soft, glossy paste.

Mix in 2 tbsp of hazelnuts.

Drop teaspoonfuls on to a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper (pipe the mixture for perfect puffs) and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until puffed up and golden.

Cool on a rack, poking a hole in the base of each puff to let the steam escape.

In a food processor, grind the remaining hazelnuts finely with the sugar.

Add the cream (and a splash of Frangelico if you have it) and pulse until the cream is thickened and lightly whipped. Spoon into a piping bag and use to fill the puffs.

Drizzle with melted chocolate and keep in the fridge until ready to eat. (Freeze any leftover chocolate-coated bignole for up to two weeks). Makes about 40 small bignole

That's it!


 Recipe: Amaretto Almond Cake

Amaretto Almond Cake

Ingredients:

6 ounces/170 grams butter
6 ounces/170 grams caster sugar
3 eggs
3 ounces/85 grams ground almonds (freshly-ground whole nuts give good flavor and texture)
3 ounces/85 grams self-raising flour
4 tbsp Amaretto liqueur

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs and nuts, then fold in the flour.

Scrape into a lined 2 lb loaf tin and bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.

Jab all over the top with a skewer and spoon the Amaretto over.

Leave to cool before taking out of the tin.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Senator Andreotti Definitively Cleared of Italy Mafia Ties

October 15 - Italy's top court on Friday definitively cleared former prime minister Giulio Andreotti of charges that he had been the Mafia's political godfather in the corridors of power.

"Wonderful, wonderful," Andreotti said. "I am happy to have reached the end of this trial alive. Some people would have liked me to have died before but here I am."

In a ruling that was widely expected, the highest appeals court in Italy upheld the verdict of two previous trials in the Sicilian capital Palermo that had cleared the statesman.

Still, it marked the final end to a judicial saga that began in 1993 when Andreotti was first accused of having protected the interests of the international crime group.

"There is great satisfaction today," said Andreotti's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno. "After 12 years the nightmare is finally over."

Andreotti, now a life senator who served as prime minister seven times, has always maintained his innocence. His name is synonymous with political survival and cunning in the land that gave the world Machiavelli. The statesman, who was known as "Mr. Italy" abroad because he held virtually all positions of power short of the presidency during his career, was first cleared by a Palermo court in 1999.

The most shocking allegation against Andreotti had been that he had exchanged a kiss of respect with "boss of bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina, then Italy's most wanted man. Riina was arrested in 1993.

Palermo magistrates appealed but they lost again at a second trial that ended last year.

But the second Palermo verdict, which the Rome court confirmed on Friday, said that all accusations regarding his activity before 1980 would be automatically put aside because of a statute of limitations.

Opponents of the life-senator said this would always leave a shadow of doubt over his political career.

Much of the prosecution evidence was uncorroborated testimony from Mafia turncoats whom Andreotti accused of trying to settle old scores against him by lying in court.

LAST HURRAH FOR "ETERNAL GIULIO"

Friday's high court ruling was a personal vindication for Andreotti, a devout Catholic who goes to mass every day and has been a friend of every pope since World War II.

Last year, the same high court in Rome definitively cleared Andreotti of a charge of ordering the Mafia to kill a scandal-sheet journalist in 1979 because the reporter was about to publish material that could have harmed his career.

Italians call Andreotti "the eternal Giulio" because of his political longevity and few can remember a time when he was not on the national stage.

Andreotti was a living symbol of the now-defunct Christian Democrat (DC) party that ruled Italy for nearly half a century until it collapsed in a blaze of corruption scandals in the early 1990s.

Supporters say he helped transform Italy from a war-devastated agricultural backwater to an industrial power.

Critics have accused him of having been the quintessential back-room political wheeler-dealer in the post-war period.

A prolific writer of books and articles, Andreotti attended many hearings of all his trials -- which he was not bound to do by Italian law -- and took copious notes.

"Colpevole!"

Well, he might be innocent...and people from Calabria might be level-headed.

"I am happy to have reached the end of this trial alive."
Hmmm...We don't know if he's referring to his old age or from avoiding being knocked off.

Known as "Mr. Italy" abroad because he held virtually all positions of power short of the presidency during his career.
He forgot to run for Pope.

Andreotti had allegedly exchanged a kiss of respect with "boss of bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina.
It's not true. It was a kiss of passion and love (with tongue).

Rome court confirmed that all accusations regarding his activity before 1980 would be automatically put aside because of a statute of limitations.
God only knows who the hell he was kissing on New Years' Eve of '79.

A devout Catholic who goes to mass every day and has been a friend of every pope since World War II.
Oh, what a surprise...
Then Mr. Italy deserves the right to be buried under St. Peter's at the Vatican.

Italians call Andreotti "the eternal Giulio" because of his political longevity.
The "eternal pecker head" first ran for public office when he picked his nose in front of his third grade classmates.

Andreotti was a living symbol of the now-defunct Christian Democrat (DC) party that ruled Italy for nearly half a century until it collapsed in a blaze of corruption scandals in the early 1990s.
When he saw that blaze coming, he got on a jackass, rode out of town and went to play "bocce" somewhere in Milan!

In conclusion, we would like to add the following keen observation; "At least no money was stolen during the trial!"

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and you'll discover why the last improvements to Italy were made by Julius Caesar and why it's been downhill ever since!  Click Here to Subscribe!



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