Saturday, 15 April 2017

ITALIAN SPONGE CAKE (PAN DI SPANGA)



Sponge cake is an excellent base cake for ice cream, pudding or shortcake type cakes.

This recipe is for a 24 cm/10 inch round prepared pan (spring form is best).

Oven temperature 340 F

Ingredients:

6 large to extra large eggs at room temp. or soak them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes

1 1/2 cups flour - Use cake flour if possible or make your own (see below)

3/4 cups of sugar

Pinch of salt

Lemon zest and/or vanilla extract

Beat Eggs for at least 15 minutes until thick and fluffy


Instructions:

Beat eggs and sugar and lemon zest and/or vanilla together for at least 15 minutes.

Sift flour with pinch of salt mixed in.  Sifting flour mixture a little at a time into the egg and sugar mixture gently fold it in with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Make sure all the flour is evenly incorporated into the mixture, while still keeping the batter light and fluffy.

Using a spatula, gently put cake batter into prepared pan (buttered and floured).  Do not even out the top of cake or bang it--leave batter as is.

Place pan in 340 F oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. When cake is ready, turn off the oven and keep the cake in for 10 minutes with the oven door left slightly ajar using a wooden spoon to hold it open. DO NOT OPEN OVEN FOR THE FIRST 20 MINUTES OF BAKING OR THE CAKE WILL FALL!

Let the cake cook completely before filling.  The Cake can be covered with cling wrap and used the next day to fill and ice.



Link to making your own cake flour.  Joy the Baker - How to Make Cake Flour




Adapted from:  As Easy as Apple Pie (Italian Sponge Cake - Pan Di Spanga)



Wednesday, 15 February 2017




Shrimp Scampi with Capellini

Makes 6-8 large servings

Ingredients:

Two 450 g packages of capellini (angel hair pasta)  I like to buy the nests instead of straight pasta (La  Molisana Nidi '0' Capelli Angelo Pasta #100)
1/4 cup olive oil
40 or more med/large shrimp fresh or frozen (if frozen defrost in fridge overnight)
6 large cloves of garlic (squeezed through a garlic press)
1-2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes (add more if you like it hot)
3/4 cup of dry white wine or more if it evaporates too much
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons of butter
chopped Italian parsley as desired

Preparation:

Bring water from Capellini pasta to boil while preparing shrimp (below)
Heat olive oil on high heat in a large skilled, then add shrimp and cook, stirring until cooked through
Using a slotted spoon to keep oil in pan, move shrimp to a bowl.
To the heated olive oil in the large skillet, add garlic, red pepper flakes, wine, salt and pepper cooking and stirring over high heat for about two minutes.
Add butter to skillet and stir until it is dissolved.
Add shrimp from the bowl back into the skillet, stirring to fully coat.
Remove skillet from heat.
Cook Capellini pasta for about 5 minutes according to directions.  Reserve 1 cup of water from the pasta in case you need to add more moisture to the pasta after combining shrimp and oil mixture. Drain pasta.
In the large skillet or stock pot, mix the drained capellini pasta with the shrimp mixture, tossing and coating pasta well.  Add reserved water only if needed for more moisture.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley as desired.  Enjoy!




Adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shrimp-scampi-pasta-234258










Monday, 18 May 2015

MACARONI AND CHEESE CASSEROLE


This is a retro Macaroni and Cheese Casserole recipe that I adapted from my Betty Crocker cookbook that I purchased in 1986 and was printed in 1984 (eleventh printing).  It has a copyright of 1969 and 1978 from General Mills Inc. It is my go to recipe for Macaroni and Cheese and it is the original way to make it and the best way, in my books.  I have added more macaroni and more cheese to make a large casserole in an 11 x 14 glass casserole dish.

Ingredients:

900 grams of uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup margarine or butter (4 tablespoons)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 package (450g to 500g) of cheddar cheese cut up into cubes
Add in:  cooked ham, cut up into cubes

Instructions:

Cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Add margarine, chopped onion, salt and pepper to a pan and saute until onion is slightly tender and translucent. Stir in flour.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly until mixture is smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in milk.

Return pan to heat and stir constantly until mixture boils ad thickens.  Reduce heat and add cheese.  Stir thoroughly until cheese is melted and evenly mixed through the sauce.  This is where you can also add cubed ham if desired.

Grease casserole dish with margarine or softened butter.

Mix cheese sauce into the macaroni either in the pot where macaroni was cooked or pour macaroni into casserole and stir sauce evenly into the macaroni.

Cook uncovered in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I found this recipe online that is exactly like the original one from my Betty Crocker cookbook that I adapted above:  http://www.food.com/recipeprint.do?rid=350280