09/21/10 Zabaglione Cake

"L'amore domina senza regole." (Love rules without rules.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Mussel Soup
  -Gnocchi Paris Style
  -Zabaglione Cake

Hugs to you from all at our little bakery. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Almonds and Amarena Cookies

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 Recipe: Mussel Soup

Mussel Soup
Zuppa di Cozze


For the Fish Stock:
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) white fish (or white fish heads and bones with the gills removed)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, moderately crushed

For the Soup:
20 mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved
Pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 country-style bread slices
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Fish Stock:
Pour 3 pints (2 liters) of water into a large saucepan, add the onion, carrot, celery, herbs, and peppercorns and season with salt.

Gradually bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then add the fish (the water should just cover the fish).

Return to the heat, bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the fish cool in the stock for a stronger flavor.

Strain the stock.

Leave to cool slightly, then strain.

Prepare the Soup:
Get rid of any mussels with broken shells or that do not shut immediately when tapped.

Put the mussels in a dry frying pan, place over a high heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the shells open.

Discard any mussels that remain closed.

Remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.

Add the onion and saffron and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and fish stock, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes.

Add the mussels.

Toast the bread on both sides under a preheated grill.

Rub the slices with the garlic and place a slice in each of four soup bowls.

Ladle in the soup and sprinkle with the fresh parsley. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Gnocchi Paris Style

Gnocchi Paris Style
Gnocchi alla Paragina


For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 oz (50 grams) oz butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper

For the Gnocchi:
6 eggs
10 oz (275 grams) plain flour
1 and 3/4 pints (1 liter) whole milk
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
3 oz (80 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper 


Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste like flour.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.

If too runny, return to the heat and add 2 slices of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

Note: For a richer bechamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of double cream; for a lighter béchamel sauce, add half milk and half water.

Prepare the Gnocchi:
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6 and grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Heat the milk with a pinch of salt in a deep saucepan and add the butter.

When it has melted, add in all the flour at once, stirring constantly.

Lower the heat and stir constantly for about 10 minutes until the mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan.

Remove the pan from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then stir in the eggs, one at a time.

Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil.

Using a piping bag with a 2/3-inch (1.5-cm) nozzle drop small pieces of the mixture into the boiling water. The gnocchi will rise to the surface when they are ready.

Remove with a slotted spoon and spread out in the prepared dish.

Spoon the bechamel sauce over them, sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese and bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Zabaglione Cake

Zabaglione Cake
Torta di Zabaglione


For the Zabaglione Filling:
3 large egg yolks
3 oz (75 grams) golden caster sugar
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) plain flour, sifted
9 fl oz (250 ml) Marsala
12 fl oz (340 ml) double cream

For the Cake:
4 oz (110 grams) self-raising flour
1/2 level teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 oz (110 grams) very soft butter
4 oz (110 grams) golden caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
A little sifted icing sugar, to dust


Prepare the Zabaglione Filling:
Using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg yolks for 1 minute in a medium bowl, then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale yellow (about 3 minutes).

Whisk in the flour a tablespoon at a time, mixing in very thoroughly, then gradually whisk in the Marsala.

Tip the mixture into a medium heavy-based saucepan and place over a medium heat.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it has thickened and is just about to boil; this will take about 5 minutes (if it looks a bit lumpy, tip it into a clean bowl, then whisk until smooth again).

Let the custard cool, whisking it from time to time to stop a skin forming.

When it is cold, cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F (170°C) Gas Mark 3.

Prepare the Cake:
Take a large mixing bowl, place the flour and baking powder in a sieve and sift into the bowl, holding the sieve high to give them a good airing as they go down.

Add the other cake ingredients to the bowl and, provided the butter is really soft, just go in with the electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture, which will take about 1 minute (if it seems a bit stiff, add a little water and mix again).

Spoon the mixture into the tin, level it out with the back of a spoon and place the tin on the center shelf of the oven. The cake will take 30-35 minutes to cook. To test whether it is cooked or not, touch the center lightly with a finger: if it leaves no impression and the sponge springs back, it is ready.

Remove from the oven, then wait about 5 minutes before turning it out on to a wire cooling rack.

Carefully peel off the base paper then pull it gently away without trying to lift it off.

Leave the sponge to cool completely.

Assemble the Cake:
Whip the double cream in a large bowl until stiff, then add the zabaglione custard to the bowl and whisk again until thoroughly mixed.

Place the cake flat on a board, then, holding a serrated palette knife horizontally, carefully slice it into 2 thin halves.

Next, reserve 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the zabaglione filling to decorate the sides of the cake and spread the rest of the filling over the bottom half, easing it gently to the edges.

Place the other cake half on top and press down very gently.

Before you spread the mixture on the sides of the cake, it's a good idea to brush away any loose crumbs, so they don't get mixed up in it.

Now, using a small palette knife, spread the reserved filling evenly all around the sides of the cake.

Finally, dust the top with the icing sugar before serving. Serves 8-10.

Note: If the cake is made ahead of time, store it, covered, in the fridge (to keep it firm), but remove it half an hour before serving.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & 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:

Mafia Mobster Captured While Attempting To Stay In Shape

Rome - July 29, 2010 - Police said they have ended a convicted mafioso's 11-year flight from justice by literally catching him on the run, apprehending him on his daily jog.

Vito Zappala, 61, had been a fugitive since 1999 following a conviction for drug dealing and trafficking with Mafia methods.

The man, who was captured in a town near the northern city of Treviso, is considered part of a gang handling drugs deals between Belgium and Italy that is linked to the Laudani Mafia clan from the Sicilian city of Catania.

Ah, no more wine-flavored Gatorade, "'fanculo!"

Sharing jogging tips with other organized criminal members can be gratifying after you have experienced it. So, let the spirit of life on the run spread:

1) Before getting started with jogging, consulting your clan boss is important if the massive earnings from your drug trafficking could be compromised...and if you're overweight.

2) Even though the drugs you sell could kill, it's essential to give up smoking which, in any case, is detrimental to cardiovascular fitness.

3) Loosen up first. The perfect method is to swill a full glass of homemade wine. If the urge to jog persists, double the loosening exercise.

4) Choose an unspotted place to jog like the basement or the North Pole.

5) Leave the iPod and carry a police scanner along. The whereabouts of legal forces helps relax the mind.

6) Check your resting pulse. If you can't find your pulse, check the pulse of one you routinely extort from. Do not press too hard on his neck, as it can stimulate a reflex mechanism like peeing in your pants.

7) If you are using jogging equipment like a treadmill, do NOT keep it near an open window where there is a clear shot of your head.

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