Zucchini Bread

As summer comes, the zucchini is a main ingredient in so many dishes. We can find it in tarts, poelés, pasta, muffins, flans, chips and even bread.

The zucchini is very versatile, it works just great in savory dishes as in desserts, so surfing around the web looking for inspiration, the idea of the well known bread came to me. As an amateur in bread making, I thought it was a good idea to give it a try and finally use some zucchini I had in the fridge.

The procedure is the same for doing some carrot cake, so the result will be very flavorful and summer like.

The bread is super moist and with crunchy parts thanks to the walnuts and hazelnuts =D

For the Zucchini Bread you will need:
Adapted from Simple Recipes
Makes 2 breads

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter and flour 2 baking pans.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

Add in and mix the baking soda and salt.

Add the flour in 3 times time. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and mix.
Fold in the nuts and mix to distribute evenly.

Divide the batter equally between 2 buttered  loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Serve warm with some milk and it will be the perfect afternoon treat =P

Bon Appétit,
Love
Sara

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Italian Biscotti

Hi I’m Sara and I’m doing Diet! =O Horror screammm!!
I’m so bad dieting, I have cravings all the time, there’s just something wrong in my head, as soon as I say the word diet, my body hurts and I need sugar. LOL
You know I’m all about pastry, so how the heck I’m supposed to do the diet? Well, with a lot of courage, water and sleeping I survived the 1st week! Yeahhh, so I needed to indulge myself and my hubs… Flavia, our Lebanese guest mentioned the other day, she loved Biscotti so, I said: Why Not! Biscotti it is!
Honestly, I never thought they where so EASY to make, takes a little time but when ready, these are just incredible.
Looking for the right recipe, I read some online articles about Gina DePalma and her Mosaic Biscotti, even saw a video and she is super funny so it was a “coup de foudre” and I went for her recipe with no hesitation.
I’m really glad I did cause they are so good.
Recipe by: Gina DePalma
Yield : Makes about 4 dozen biscotti
You will need:
  • 3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks, plus 1 egg white for glaze
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups of hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups whole, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and 2 cups sugar on medium speed until pale and thick, Beat in the vanilla extract,

In this moment you can separate your dough in 2 parts as I did. In one bowl I added hazelnuts and chocolate chips to the dough, and in another I mixed in the pistachios, cranberries, walnuts and almonds.

You can substitute the nuts as you desire, even add some white chocolate =P, incorporate the nuts until the dough is thoroughly mixed.

Preheat the oven to 165°C . Lightly grease two large baking sheets with parchment.

Using floured hands, divide the dough into 5 equal portions, to do the right size log (mines where way too big and difficult to cut)

On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion of the dough into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter and 1 inches long.

Place 2 of the logs on one of the baking sheets, 3 inches apart, and 3 of the logs on the second baking sheet, also 3 inches apart.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze each log with the beaten egg white.

Bake the logs until they are lightly golden brown, firm to the touch, and just beginning to crack slightly around 25 minutes.

Allow the logs to cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack until they are cool to the touch, about 40 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 135°C.

With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the biscotti slightly on the bias into wide slices. (Mi knife its just So Bad)

Lay the slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Return them to the oven and cook for 25 minutes more, or until they are toasted, dry, and crisp.

Cool the biscotti completely on the sheets, then store them in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy with coffee, tea or even milk.

If you try them please tell me what you think.

By the way, I put way too much chocolate so the cutting process wasn’t very smooth. Next time I’ll put less =(

Advice: If you have an offset serrated knife, you will be in heaven cutting the biscotti slices. Mine is a bad knife so the cuts aren’t too pretty.

My rustic biscotti were great in taste so see you next time ❤

Bon appétit,

Sara

The Best Vanilla Cupcake- Homemade Nutella Heart

For some, rainny days are totally lame and unispiring, for me are a baking opportunity, LOL! You heard right!
Somehow I’ve managed to fight my rainny cuddle time, to a pro-active baker style challenge.

Yesterday, (late) morning I was craving chocolate. I saw a nutella cupcakes recipe, but guess what? I ran out of nutella : Catastrophe! … Mmmm not so much, I really wanted to do a variation of the nutella cupcakes, so I prepared my homemade nutella with some quality chocolate and 100g of hazelnuts I had left from a previous recipe! Bingo

Doing the nutella is king of long, cause you have to roast the hazelnuts, process them, so they can let go their natural oil, then add the chocolate and process the whole until spreadable consistency. Pfff I spent like an hour doing it but is delicious! And the best part of it, is food additives or preservatives FREE!

Next step was the vanilla cupcakes. I’m super picky in cupcakes matter, and I have try Lots of vanilla cupcakes, but honestly none of them was great enough….. til’ a friend of mine gave me the Magnolia’s one. They are just great, light and perfect, so I’m sharing with you this piece of art.

For the Vanilla cupcakes you will need:
Recipe: Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes from 
Food Network
Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 175 g all-purpose flour
  • 115g  unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 125 mL milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • pinch of salt

reparation
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 1 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Mines are 12 in total.

In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners. Try to put the same amount of batter in each miner, this will allow you to have a uniform size of cupcakes.

Fill 1/3 of the cupcake, next add 1 teaspoon of homemade nuttella in the very center and the cover with the vanilla batter till 2/3 of the liner.

Bake for about 17 minutes (depending the oven), or until tops turn golden brown.

6. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the Chocolate light fluffy frosting:
Frost 12 – 17 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 225 g of unsalted butter softened.
  • 125g of icing sugar (sucre glace)
  • 1/2 teaspoons (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 150 g quality semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted (double boiler) and cooled.
  • 55 ml of whole milk
  • pinch of salt

Preparation:

In a bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer cream the butter and add the icing sugar in 3 times. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add vanilla and continue beating until well combined.

Slowly, add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Incorporate  the milk and salt, and beat on medium speed for about a minute.

Put the frosting into a pipping bag and frost cooled cupcakes .

This Vanilla – Homemade Nutella Heart  cupcakes received an standing ovation from my family. My husband loved it and considering I’m not a buttercream fan, I ate at least 2!

Hope you like them,

Bon Appétit,

Sara