Thursday, 27 May 2010

Salatini at Nencioni's

In case you hadn't noticed, my husband is Italian. No, excuse me, he is Florentine. As if being Italian isn't exotic enough!
His father's side of his family are all still based in the centre of Florence, in the same place Leo grew up; playing football under the Loggia, running in and out of the family antique shop and asking for 200Lire to spend on little snacks in the pasticcerie (or more likely, the pinball machines).

There are certain traditions that occur each time we travel to Italy now.
The plane must always be delayed by one hour, it will always rain when we visit in May and we must go to Nencioni's for Salatini.
Salatini are very simply little filled puff pastry rounds. Our favourite way to have them is just with mozzarella, but Nencioni's also sell them with mozzarella and artichoke, ham and tomato, and anchovy.
A word of warning, one is absolutely never enough. Thank goodness this recipe makes ten!

1kg all butter puff pastry
100g mozzarella, sliced into 10g pieces
25g melted butter
Extra flour for rolling out

Preheat overn to gas mark 5, 190C and line a baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thickness.
Cut out 20 6-7cm circles and place half of them onto the baking tray, minimum 2cm apart.
Brush each pastry disk on the baking tray with some of the melted butter. Place a slice of mozzarella in the centre of each one.
Place the remaining pastry lids on top and press down to seal each one. If making the salatini in advance, be sure to put them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
Brush the tops with the remaining butter.
Put in the oven and cook for 20-25mins until puffed up, golden and crisp.
Eat within 15 minutes of taking them out of the oven.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rainbow Cake and a 3rd Birthday Party

I have become a bit of a bore. Whenever someone says 'Party', I say 'Can I make a cake?'.

This weekend was our nephew's 3rd birthday and we celebrated with a delicious Sunday lunch at Nonno and Nonna's house.

One of the final reasons for my starting a food blog was seeing Whisk Kid's blog. She's 19 annd churning out the most asthetically pleasing cakes I've seen in a while that are made by someone with no formal training.
I've been following her inventiones for a while now, but the most visually striking post on her blog is 'the Rainbow Cake' . It is fantastically child friendly (though I know that adults are equally impressed by this cake).

I decided that the quantity of Swiss meringue buttercream was a little extreme so I made just her suggestion for the fill and crumb coat using 9 egg whites and it covered it well enough. For those of you who are a little afraid of Swiss meringue buttercream, please don't be. It is quite easy and not really very time consuming.

Oh, and please, please if you are going to try this yourself, be sure to get the professional gel food colour pastes. They are so vivid and a tiny bit goes a long way.

Here is my interpretation for you to see at last, It took us three whole days to eat!

Ciao Amore Ciao!

Welcome to my little blog. I hope you'll enjoy the recipes and photos that I'll be posting from now on. I've been so inspired by all the other food blogs that there are around at the moment - I can only hope that my creations stand up to my contempories.

I'm sure that just before I begin, you'd appreciate knowing a little more about me.
My name is Alice Pavi and I live in Hereford, England. I have a nine month old daughter, Maddalena Fiorenza, and a devoted husband, Leonardo.Together we have a small restaurant where I am the chef. Although I enjoy all aspects of cooking, I have a particular passion for pastry and ice cream. I'm sure all of that will become clear very soon.

Of course, I have other interests too. These extend to a little light gardening (why not grow what you eat?), the arts and more recently, cooing at babies in supermarkets. Motherhood does strange things to you.

Now, without further ado, welcome to my kitchen!