Mozzarella made me do it

Friday morning. The alarm goes off and I ignore it for about 6 times, the snooze button and my lazy person have been best friends for years now. Then, all of the sudden, the revelation: it is homemade pizza day! Time to jump off the bed and think about how many lovely ingredients I have in the fridge for my pizza. Spoiler alert: I had lots of little savory treats, and I wasn’t afraid to use them.

But this a story for another post, today we will talk about what happened after the pizza.

To make pizza, I usually cut the mozzarella and put it in the blender: once I get a nice cream, I put it in the sieve and I leave it to drain a couple of hours, as the last thing I want on my margherita is a swimming pool of mozzarella water. This time, as I said, I was planning to be naughty and have ALL the treats on my pizza: gorgonzola cheese, nduja (we talked about it in this post: https://theparmigianawhisperer.blog/2020/06/18/hot-stuff/), red onion and obviously mozzarella. However, I don’t think I planned my quantities very well: with all those ingredients, I clearly needed less mozzarella than a margherita would require. I still wanted my naughty pizza, so I ended up with a gorgeous dinner and an entire blended and drained mozzarella in the fridge.

What to do? The finest intellectuals would suggest to go wild and make another pizza, and to be honest with you this was my plan A. Then I remembered that in the most hidden corner of my freezer, almost ashamed to be there between my monthly stock of cornettos and my bone broth, I had a pack of frozen peas, obviously in mint condition.

Disclaimer: To be 100% transparent, in the same drawer I had frozen ragù, that made my life even easier for this recipe (evil laugh).

This was the perfect occasion to make a dish that I didn’t have in ages: timballo di riso! And for once, my Saturday lunch wasn’t going to be crackers and cheese, yay!!

In Italy timballo is usually made on a Sunday or during family gatherings. The name probably derives from the arab word “atabal”, which means “timpani” , the percussion musical instrument. This is due to the fact that once cooked, the timballo looks like a timpani.

Here is the recipe. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Ingredients for 4 people:

-Carnaroli rice, 250g

-mince beef meat, 300g

-ham, 3 slices

-carrot, 1

-white onion, 1/2

-celery stick, 1

-olive oil, 3 tablespoons plus some to grease the tray

-tomato passata, 200ml

-red wine, half a glass

-mozzarella, 1

-grated parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons

-peas, 150g

-breadcrumbs, enough just to spread it on top (I didn’t use it)

Steps:

  1. Chop the onion finely
  2. Put the oil in a pan and add the onion, let it cook at medium temperature until soft
  3. In the meantime, chop finely the carrots and the celery, and add them to the onion
  4. Add the meat and let it cook
  5. Add the wine and keep stirring until it evaporates
  6. Add the peas and the tomato sauce
  7. Let it cook for 90 minutes at low temperature
  8. boil the rice (or use a microwaveable one)
  9. one the rice is cooked, mix it with the ragù
  10. preheat the oven to 180° fan assisted
  11. grease a tray with olive oil
  12. cut the ham in squares
  13. add the majority of the mozzarella, the ham and parmesan cheese to the rice
  14. top the rice with the remaining mozzarella
  15. now if you want, you can add the breadcrumbs on top, I personally don’t like it
  16. cook for 20 minutes
timballo di riso

And you can tell everybody, this is your streetfood

In Italy, there are several recipes that kind of align to the concept of Arancin*: deep fried rice balls covered in a crispy coating: in Rome for example we have the supplì, and in Naples we have “A pall ‘e ris” (rice ball).
The main difference between these three streetfoood is in the stuffing, even if every family has their own “secret recipe”.

Supplì

A supplì is a rice ball but with an oval shape. The rice is usually covered in tomato sauce, and in the centre of the ball there is mozzarella cheese. Once prepared and made in the desired shape, the ball is soaked in egg and covered in breadcrumbs, and then deep fried in oil seed. It is believed that the word supplì comes from the French word for “surprise”, and this is because the French soldiers in Rome were surprised by the mozzarella cheese inside these balls. Mozzarella is a key ingredient for a supplì: when you eat one, you are meant to split it in two halves, and in doing so, mozzarella is drawn out in a string somewhat resembling the cord connecting a telephone handset to the hook. This is why they are now known as “supplì al telefono (“telephone-style supplì”).

A pall ‘e ris

A pall ‘e ris is quite similar to the Arancin*, but they are stuffed with Neapolitan salame rather than ragù, they are soaked in eggs and then covered in breadcrumbs before being deep fried, while arancin* are covered in “legatura” that is basically a mixture of water and flour, and then covered in breadcrumbs.

And then we have the Arancin*, my favourite Italian streetfood! The recipe is a little bit laborious, but I promise you it is all worth it 🙂 I recommend making the ragù the day before and store it in the fridge. This will let the ragù thicken even more, and it will be easier for yuo to manipulate it when you are giving the shape to the rice ball.

Ingredients for 10 Arancin*

Rice

-Carnaroli rice, 500g

-saffron powder, 1 sachet of 0.1g

-beef stock, 1l

-salt, 2 teaspoons

-butter, 100g

Ragù

-Mince beef, 250g

-Mince pork, 250g

-carrots, 2

-celery stick, 1

-white onion, 1/2

-red wine, half a glass

-tomato passata, 300g

-hot water, 300ml

-peas, 150g

-olive oil, 2 tablespoons

-salt and pepper

Stuffing:

-Ham, 30g

-Mozzarella or scamorza cheese, 60g

Coating:

-flour, 200g

-water, 300g

-salt, 1/2 teaspoon

-breadcrumbs, 400g

-sunflower seeds oil, 1L

Steps:

  1. Let’s start with the ragù: chop the onion very finely
  2. Put the oil in a pan and add the onion, let it cook at medium temperature until soft
  3. In the meantime, chop finely the carrots and the celery, and add them to the onion
  4. Add the meat and let it cook
  5. Add the wine and keep stirring until it evaporates
  6. Add the peas, the water and the tomato sauce
  7. Cover and let it cook for 2 hours. I suggest making the ragù the day before the arancin*, so it will be cold and thick for when you need to mainpulate the rice balls
  8. Now it is time for the rice: boil it in the stock for 15 minutes, it hs to absorb all the liquid and it will be super compact once cooked
  9. In the meantime, mix the saffron in 2 tablespoons of hot water
  10. When the rice is cooked, mixed the saffron mixture and the butter
  11. Flatten the rice and cover it with cling film, let it cool
  12. In the meantime, cut the ham and add it to the ragù
  13. Dice the mozzarella and keep it separate
  14. Once cooled, take 2 tablespoons of rice and flatten it against your hand
  15. Now kind of close you hand but not completely, to form a “bowl” with the rice
  16. Fill the bowl with the ragù and place the mozzarella in the centre
  17. cover your bowl with rice and press everything together to get a cone shape (if you struggle, you can just make a round shape like I did in the picture below)
  18. Now that you made all your arancin*, make the legatura: slowly mix together the flour and water, try to avoid any clumps
  19. Once the legatura is smooth, add the salt
  20. Soak the arancin* in the legatura, and then cover them in breadcrumbs
  21. Heat the sunflower oil until it reaches 170C or until a piece of bread turns golden brown in the oil within 45 seconds
  22. Cook the arancin* for 8 minutes or until golden brown. I suggest cooking them one at the time
  23. Using a skimmer, remove the rice ball from the pan and leave them in a tray lined with kitchen roll

Enjoy!!

Homemade arancin* bites
Arancin* round shaped, as I couldn’t manage to get the cone shape ahahah
Properly shaped arancin*
Supplì

Rice, meet ragù

Sicily is the Queen of the Mediterranean sea: she is there, in her all glory, kissed by the waves and hugged by the sunshine. She is majestic, with her natural gifts like Mount Etna or the Aolian islands – and like the most beautiful women, her history makes her even more charming: the Valley of the Temples, the Necropolis, Val di Noto – they are all there to remind us that our history is what makes us beautiful.

The icing on this already phenomenal cake, is the food. Food in Sicily is just a whole different matter, from the sharpness of the caponata to the sweetness of the cassata, you can never get bored with the flavours. Amongst all these tremendous dishes, I do have a soft spot for what I consider an institution of the Sicilan gastronomy: Arancin*.

The reason why I am putting an * rather than O or A, lies in one of the oldest feuds that never died out in Italy: is it called Arancino or Arancina? Even Sicily is divided on this matter: for the Western part of the island it is “arancina”, while Eastern Sicily and the Northern Italy calls it “arancino”.

Western Sicily claims that the correct name is arancina, as the shape of it is similar to an orange (in Italian “arancia”). However, in Sicilian dialect the name for orange is aranciu (which is male), therefore the name arancino seems a more appropriate translation from the dialect.

The Accademia della Crusca, the society of scholars of Italian linguistics and philology, in theory settled the argument and “officially” arancina is the word closer to the Italian language, while arancino is closer to dialect, but they can both be used.

In this endless fight, where both sides have very convicing arguments and historical references to support their theories, I sit amongst the purest and wisest intellectuals: in a chair, with a rice ball in each hand.

Another tricky topic is the history behind arancin*: obviously every Sicilian city claims they invented it. The most likely origin, dates back to the Arab domination, when it was common to eat rice with herbs and meat. The lovely coating we all know today came only in the 1200s, during the reign of Federico II di Svevia, who needed to bring something to eat with him that was easy to carry.

It is also believed that originally arancin* were sweet snacks, invented to commemorate the arrival of a grain supply ship on Santa Lucia’s day in 1646, relieving a severe famine that was affectig the island, and that the savoury filling we all know today was only inroduced in the 1800s, when tomatoes started to be grown in Sicily.

There are several variations of Arancin*: with ragù, butter, pistachio, aubergines, courgette flowers, etc… and they are all scrumptious as you can imagine!

I will post the recipe for the Arancin* al ragù, the most traditional version of this fantastic street food in the next few days – stay tuned!!

Arancin* al ragù
Arancin* al burro
Arancin* with courgette flowers

Love your discard

I have got a confession to make: I am one of those people that made sourdough during the lockdown.

Actually, I became obsessed with it, and I tried to follow as many recipes as possible with my lovely starter: pizza, bread, pancakes, pretzel; you name it, I have probably done it (hundreds of times, with a decent amount of successes and some “interesting”, less successful, results).

I attempted several “miraculous recipes” for sourdough starters, that promised me everything: an unbelievably bubbly bread, the crunchiest pizza ever, the most amazing fluffy pancakes, a new shiny car (spoiler alert: I still have my super old car and all the entartaining noises it makes).

All of these recipes had one thing in common, something that I could never accept in my life: at some point of the development of my starter, I had to discard half of it. I know, I don’t make the rules, but there was no way that I was going to put perfectly good starter in the bin. NO. WAY.

I had to come up with something that would give my discard the glory it deserved: it was just a small piece in the world of sourdough, a world that doesn’t show any mercy or compassion towards my half starter, but I couldn’t be just a spectator or even worse the perpetrator of such a horrific action. I had to do something. (Yes I know I am such a drama queen).

So I started a very long research process on google, all the baking books in my flat, youtube, instagram, my mum, and I came up with a super tasty recipe that I promise you, won’t let you put your discard in the bin ever again. These little snacks dont last more than 24 hours in the house, so I warn you: if you have guests around and you are planning to serve them these crackers, have some backup snacks because I am sure they will be all gone by the time your friends arrive!

Ingredients for one tray of crackers:

-unfed sourdough starter, 130g

-white strong flour, 130g

-olive oil, 60g

-melted butter, 35g

Ingredients for the topping:

-sea salt

-red onion, 1/4

Equipment you need:

-rolling pin

-greaseproof paper

-a tray

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° fan assisted
  2. Mix together the flour and sourdough starter
  3. In the meantime, melt the butter
  4. Mix the butter to your dough
  5. Add the oil and knead until you have a smooth texture
  6. Cut the onion finely
  7. Take the greaseproof paper you are going to use on the tray, cut as much as you need
  8. Put your dough in the centre of the paper and using a rolling pin, flatten your dough until you get a 3-4 mm width
  9. Spread the onion on your dough and gently push it
  10. Spread the salt evenly
  11. Cut the dough in squares
  12. Put in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden

Are you obsessed with sourdough as well? Did you come up with interesting recipes? Let me know!

Tiramisu and its dirty secrets

Who knew that the key for paradise were a few ingredients and a brothel? Very random, isn’t it?

Savoiardi, mascarpone, eggs, coffee: this is what comes to mind when thinking about Tiramisu.

What the majority of non-italian speakers dont know, is that its name literally translates as “pick me up”. It is a curious name for an innocent dessert, uh? Well, as it turns out, Tiramisu is not very innocent (allegedly).

Today we are in Northern Italy, where 4 different regions are still disputing to determine where Tiramisu was originally invented: Toscana, Piemonte, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.

Toscana

According to this theory, Tiramisu was invented in the 17th Century in Siena, to celebrate the visit of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’Medici. For this special occasion, they invented “La zuppa del Duca (Duke’s soup). Coffee had been introduced in Italy around that time, so it is possible that a coffee based dessert was made to honour the Grand Duke, however it is unlikely that it was Tiramisu: savoiardi were originally invented in the Savoia region, and they were not commonly used in Toscana. Additionally, mascarpone is a cheese from Lombardia, and again it wasn’t used very much in Toscana at that time, especially because it is a very delicate cheese that it would be impossible to ship from Lombardia to Toscana at that time.

Piemonte

Some people believe that Tiramisu was invented to honour Camillo Benso, the Count of Cavour to energise him during the estenuating job to unify Italy. This story is not very credible for the reasons above, and also because the use of raw eggs (essential ingredient for tiramisu) was almost impossible at that time due to the risk of contracting salmonella.

Veneto

It is commonly believed that Tiramisu has aphoradisiac effects, and for this reason it was served in to the personnel and the clients of Treviso brothels to “keep the money flowing”. In particular, it is believed it was originally served in the 1930s in the “Cae de Oro”, a brothel particularly famous in Treviso. According to this story, the brothels had proper contracts with nearby farmers, to make sure fresh eggs were delivered every day. At that time, what was served to the clients was called sbatudin, a mixture of egg yolks and sugar served not only to energise the clients and the employees, but also to invigorate the men that were heading home, to avoid any issues with the wives that were waiting for them and would have noticed they were “tired”. When the government shut down the brothels and made them illegal, sbatudin started appearing in restaurants, the most famous of which is “Alle Beccherie”, where the chef “updated” the recipe adding mascarpone cheese. In the 1950s, 3 different restaurants started serving a dessert containing the ingredients of Tiramisu as we know it, but none of them was called Tiramisu.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

It is Friuli-Venezia Giulia that can pride themselves with the invention of the most loved Italian dessert: “Il vettorino” restaurant used to serve, in the 1940s, “La coppa Vettorino” – a sponge soaked in Marsala wine, covered with chocola” hotel in te mousse, zabaione and cream. The restaurant changed the name of Coppa Vettorino in ‘Coppa Vetturino Tirime su’ and then 10 years later, it was just called ‘Tirime su’. Around the same time, the “Rome” hotel, owned by Norma Pielli, started serving their own version of Dolce Torino, a layered dessert originally made of savoiardi soaked in alchermes, butter, egg yolk, milk, sugar and dark chocolate. The dessert served in Norma’s hotel was quite similar, but mascarpone replaced the butter and coffee replaced the alchermes liqueur. This is what historians believe was the first tiramisu ever made, and in 2017, Tiramisu was entered by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies on the list of traditional Friulian and Giulian agri-food products in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.

Traditional recipe

Here is the original recipe for Tiramisu, in Italy we still use raw eggs and every time I mention this abroad, I get very funny looks from people. Sorry guys, it is tradition!

Ingredients:

-Savoiardi, 300g

-cold espresso coffee with sugar as you like, 300 ml

-Mascarpone, 500g

-eggs, 4

-sugar, 100g

-cocoa powder

Steps:

  1. Separate the egg yolk from the white
  2. Take half of the sugar, mix it with the egg yolk and whisk it until you get a super foamy cream
  3. Add the mascarpone
  4. Take the remaining sugar and mix it wil the egg white.

5. Whisk until you get a firm mixture, and add it gradually to the mascarpone cream, folding everything together using a spatula

6. Put the coffee&sugar in a bowl, and dunk the savoiardi for 3 seconds for each side

7. Start making your first layer of savoiardi: dunk a biscouit and put it in a tray

8. Once the first layer is completed, cover it with a layer of cream

9. Add another layer of soaked savoiardi and add another layer of cream

10. Dust with cocoa powder and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours

Did you know all these stories about Tiramisu? Do you have your own recipe? Let me know!

Hot stuff

Picture this: you are living by the sea, kissed by the sunshine almost every day of the year and gifted with the longest summers you can ever imagine. All you want is something refreshing, that can help you cope with the heat, and this is exactly the type of food your area is famous for. WRONG!

Today we are in Calabria, a spectacular hidden gem in the south of Italy, the “toe” of the Italian boot.

In here, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees in summer, even more – people are still talking about that summer in 1983, when they spent most of their days bathing in the sea, hoping for those 46 degrees to drop a little bit.

In such a hot environment, you would expect gelato or granita to be the most popular food – they are surely very much appreciated, but what Calabria is famous for is nduja.

Nduja is a spreadable salame, made of ground pork and pork fat mixed with super hot peppers, that give a chili heat and a bright red color. It originated in Vibo Valentia, and as of today it is still mainly produced in Spilinga. In the old days people couldn’t afford to waste food, so they came up with a very clever way to take advantage of the peppers offered by the environment, and combine them with the cheapest cuts of meat, that would otherwise be discarded. It is still not clear what inspired the creation of this spreadable delight: one of the theories is that ‘nduja was brought in Italy during the Spanish domination in the 1500s, while others think that it was inspired by the French andouille sausage, brought by Napoleon’s soldiers when they occupied Calabria in the early 1800s.

Today, the quality of the meat used to make nduja is obviously improved, and it is getting more and more popular worldwide – you will probably find some in your local supermarket!

If you want to try Nduja and are not very used to spicy flavours, I would suggest mixing a little bit of it with ricotta or burrata, they should “soften” the heat a little bit.

If you love bold flavours, and can handle the little fire in your tongue, you can go absolutely wild: nduja can be used in pizza, pasta, bruschetta, veggie roasts, sandwiches…the sky’s the limit!

What do you think, are you brave enough to try nduja? How are you going to eat it? Let me know! My favourite combination is bruschetta with Nduja and burrata, so simple but still very tasty (and hot)!

When life gives you lemons

New Year’s Eve 2019, 23:59. Ready to celebrate the new year with a glass of prosecco and a resolution list longer than usual (this is what happens when you carry the same goals since 2014), I promised myself this would have been my year. AHAHAHA. Well so far it didn’t quite go as expected.

But what do they say? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I am not a massive fan of lemonade, so let’s step up our game with something more tasty and satifsying: sorbello!

I am not sure sorbello is an actual word, with this name I mean a mixture of sorbetto and limoncello that I came up with during the last few weeks, when my favourite gelateria was shut down – If it hasn’t been trademarked yet, I call dibs on the name.

Sorbetto is a frozen dessert usually made of water, sugar and fruit. The main difference between sorbetto and gelato is the water component, replaced by milk or cream in the gelato.

It is not clear when the sorbetto was originally created: there is reason to believe it dates back to the Arab occupation of Sicily, during this time the Arabs introduced their sherbet – an iced drink made with fruit juice flavored with rose water. Using the snow from the Etna, the Italians created their own version of the frozen dessert. The modern version of sorbetto that we all know has been introduced only in the 17th century , and since then it has become a summer classic or a fantastic in between courses at weddings and dinner parties.

Ingreditents for 3 people:

-lemon juice, 100ml

-lemon peel, 2 lemons

-water, 250ml

-sugar, 200g

-limoncello, 3 tablespoons

Steps:

1.Put the water in a pan, and add the sugar and the lemon peel

2. turn the heat on and bring to boil for 3 minutes or until it gets a “syrup-y” consistency (not too thick, it will thicken more once cooled). Leave it to cool

3. Remove the lemon peel

4. Add the lemon juice and limoncello, and mix everything together

5. Put the mixture in a freezer box, and leave in the freezer 1 hour

6. Remove from the freezer and mix everything with a fork, and put it back in the freezer

7. Repeat every hour for 5 hours or until completely frozen

And they say romance is dead

Have you ever heard of maritati pasta? It is a special pasta combination, made of orecchiette and maccheroni (also known as minchiareddi), particularly famous in Puglia, one of the most beautiful regions in Italy.

Maritati in italian means “married”, and this pasta basically represents the marriage between orecchiette pasta (the woman), and maccheroni (the man).

Fun fact: the other name used for maccheroni, “minchiareddi”, literally translate as “small penises”.

Historically, maritati pasta was served during weddings in Puglia, to wish a happy union to the newly weds. Today, it is the pasta choice for Sunday lunch, generally with ragu or tomato sauce.

The dough for the orecchiette and maccheroni is usually made of semolina flour and water, no eggs or additional ingredients: in the old days, pasta was food for the poor people, who couldn`t afford eggs or fancy ingredients, so we are going to stick to the original recipe! I am also uploading two videos to show you how to make orecchiette and maritati, it is a very relaxing process and I am sure you will love to have a go at it!

Ingredients for the dough – 4 people:

-400g semolina flour

-200ml water

-pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. combine the ingredients together, adding just half of the water at the beginning, and then incorporating it gradually while kneading
  2. if you feel the dough is very hard, put your hands under fresh water and dont dry them, just keep kneading with wet hands
  3. leave the dough to rest for 30 minute

How to make orecchiette:

  1. take 1/4 of the dough and roll it until you have a “sausege” of 1cm diameter
  2. cut the sausage in little squares of 1cm
  3. put a knife on one square and drag it towards you
  4. take the pasta off the knife, and put your finger in it to turn it inside out – video below
  5. you will need to repeat this process with another 1/4 of the pasta – you cant start just rolling 1/2 of the dough because by the time you finish, your squares will be too dry

How to make maccheroni:

1.take 1/4 of the dough and roll it until you have a “sausage” of 1cm diameter

2.cut the sausage in strings about 5cm long

3. using a thin wire (usually in Italy we use a wire called “paduro, but I couldnt find one, so I disassembled my cake syringe) press the strings against the wire and roll them, like in the video below

4. you will need to repeat this process with another 1/4 of the pasta – you cant start just rolling 1/2 of the dough because by the time you finish, your strings will be too dry

And here is the final result!!

I had them with a tomato and mushrooms sauce, topped with grated salted ricotta

Autumn risotto

Picture this: it is a nippy day, it is raining, you are super annoyed with work, your dog chewed your favourite chair, your hair is super frizzy, basically it is a disaster. You have two choices here:

  1. Be super grumpy and start arguing with everybody to have an even worse day tomorrow + go to bed with a super size pack of crisps and 2 chocolate bars
  2. Give yourself a treat wiht a super tasty risotto that will make you forget about everything

Option 1 looks easier and more satifsying, obviously – but trust me, sometimes option 2 is a life saver!

Even if I am the great master of grumpiness, I am sure nobody needs a recipe or instructions for that, so I will move on with the risotto recipe!

Ingredients for 5 people:

-Risotto carnaroli, 320g

-white onion, 1

-sausage meat, 150g

-beef stock, 1.5L

-mushrooms, 150g

-aubergine, 1

-olive oil, 4 tablespoons

-red wine, half a glass

-mascarpone, 150g

-grated parmesan cheese for topping, if you like

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan at medium temperature
  2. chop the onion finely and put them in the pan, let them cook for 3/4 minutes
  3. chop the mushroooms and the aubergine
  4. add the sausage meat in the pan, let it cook for 3/4 minutes or until done
  5. add the mushrooms and aubergine, and let them cook for 3/4 minutes
  6. add the rice and the wine, and keep stirring until the wine evaporates
  7. keep stirring,and once the wine evaporated, start adding the beef stock and keep doing it any time it dries out
  8. once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and add the mascarpone
  9. if you like it, add the parmesan on top and stir

No eggs? No problem!

Sundays for me are the treat day, there is no Sunday without a cake, cannoli or frolle!

Yesterday I found some beautiful lemons at the market, and I thought I could make a lovely lemon cake, like the ones I used to have in Italy.

So this morning I woke up, already thinking about my lovely treat: I started arranging my ingredients and guess what? No eggs! NOOO! I couldnt bear the thought of getting dressed, put the mask and gloves on, queue in the supermarket, swearing because there are no eggs, queue in another supermarket, finding only quail eggs, and so on until lunch time. So it was time to improvise!

I came up with a fantastic alternative that is going to replace my usual cake sponge forever, it is so fluffy, easy and full of flavours! Just a word of warning: while making it, you will think all the time “this is not looking right”, “this cant be right”, “this recipe is useless” etc…And that is perfectly normal because I thought my cake was going directly in the bin, where it belonged to. I uploaded a picture below, to show you what the cake looked like before the oven, it was basically very thick and hard to fold, I literally had to knead it to incorporate all the ingredients! So dont worry if yours looks the same, it is ok and it will taste lovely, promise!

Ingredients for a 18cm diameter tray:

-Flour, 290g

-yogurt, 300g

-sugar, 150g

-seed oil, 110g

-baking powder with vanillina, 16g (I used pane degli angeli)

-zest of one lemon

-icing sugar to decorate

Steps:

1.Preheat the oven to 170° fan assisted

2. Mix the flour, yogurt, oil, lemon zest and sugar together. The mixture will be super thick and hard to manipulate, I ended up kneading it as I would do for a pizza dough

3. once these ingredients are amalgamated, add the baking powder and keep kneading

4. line a tray (or grease it with butter if you prefer), and put your mixture, spreading it evenly with your hands

5. leave it in the oven for 45 minutes

And this is the cake before the oven, as you can see it doesnt look promising whatsoever!