Thursday, June 2, 2011


Okay, so, while I was searching the internet for a decent cake recipe for my bf's birthday, I stumbled upon this site. A young, beautiful Brit who knows her sweets. She decorates cakes and cupcakes and cookies and has some of the most awesome tutorials on the net. I *highly* recommend her. 

With that said, let me just jump RIGHT into the recipe... 

Here's your goal!!

Note: You can tack these chocolate marble medallions on any frosted cake of any size or shape. I baked a basic round white cake with cream cheese frosting. You can also use plain white chocolate and mix in food coloring to get multi-colored medallions. 

-3 tbsp    VEGETABLE OIL
-1 whole BAKED & ICED CAKE 

In a double boiler, melt the dark and white chocolate separately, adding a tablespoon and a half of vegetable oil to each bowl of chocolate to get a liquid consistency.

On a large sheet of parchment or wax paper, pour a spoonful of dark chocolate and make a disc shape spreading the chocolate using the back of the spoon. The discs should be about 4″ or so in

Now, drizzle the white chocolate on top of the rim of the dark chocolate disc as well as in the center. This does not have to be perfect. Just decorate the dark chocolate with the white.

Then, with a knife, cut through the chocolate discs in different angles to spread the white and dark to make different designs. Careful not to overwork the chocolate as we do not want a big light brown blob, but rather a nice “web” design.

Allow the chocolate to set and harden. Dip a sharp knife in hot water after the chocolate has set and slice off a small piece of each disc to get a straight edge. Now, gently press the discs against the frosted walls of the cake.

Now, where you would normally place a second layer of cake, make a slit with a knife all around (about 2″ from the rim of the cake) and stick in the chocolate discs, standing up, so that it resembles a second layer (refer to photo). The same with the ‘top’ or ‘third’ layer. Add a couple of discs in the very center and you could stack a couple on top of those so that it (the cake) looks taller.

Note: You can tack the chocolate discs however you like, though this is the way that I did it. You can also make the discs larger (though, they become a bit more difficult to work with). The number of discs that you use all depends on how large the cake is. I had a few left over which turned out perfectly just in case I broke one.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cheesecake: Fresh & Fool-Proof


What a *glorious* day to make my easy and hassle-free CHEESECAAAAAKE!! Mmmmmmm!! What better way to gain a few extra pounds!! Eeerrr... Okay, perhaps that is not the best way to promote this recipe... More for me in the end, right?!?! Mbuahahahaa!! Oh... wait... I meant more cheesecake, not more pounds. Okay... maybe I'll share... That way you guys can get fat with me. 

I will start by saying that I *LOVE* cheesecake but I *hate* the uncertainty that baked cheesecakes come with. You never know how it will turn out until it's finished!! PLUS, they crack and tough 'skins' form on top of it and sometimes it's mushy in the middle and not dense and rich and it totally ruins your day and wastes ingredients!! Whew!! Don't get me wrong, when I go to restaurants or pastry shops or cafes- I don't hesitate in purchasing one and enjoying it til the last crumb!! I would attempt to perfect the art of cheesecake-making, were I not broke all the time... HEY!! Ingredients are expensive!! Especially in Italy!! Humph!! Try $7 for less than 8oz of cream cheese!! Yeah, for real!! I don't joke about the exaggerated prices the Italians put on basic, delicious ingredients that I cannot live without!! We are not even going to mention the fact that I can't get my hands on crisco. This has ruined my cookie and tortilla-making life. Humph!! 

Okay, so, before I reveal my easy, scrumptious, stress-free recipe for no-bake-fresh-fool-proof-cheesecake- I'll have you know that there are several variations that you could do easily using the same filling (minus the lemon juice). This just so happens to be a fresh, tangy twist on a classic. I used pulverized (crushed/pureed/crumbled- whatever) lemon cookies for the crust. No baking involved whatsoever. You could substitute the lemon cookies for oreos and get a delicious, decadent oreo cheesecake!! Just replace the lemon cookies with oreos in the recipe below for both the crust and topping (photo at the bottom of the page).

Without further ado and no more guilding the lillie... I give you the ONE, the ONLY Foooooooool Proooooof Cheeeeeeeesecaaaaaaake!!! ((waaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa *crowds cheering* waaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa)) 

  • 16 ounces, weight Lemon Flavored Cookies
  • ½ cups Butter Or Margarine Melted
  • 16 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 3 cups Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup Strawberries, Sliced (OPTIONAL)

*Note: I use sweetened whipping cream and whip it myself at home instead of store-bought or canned whipped cream. I, personally, prefer the taste and the texture. You could use store bought if you prefer. Also, you can decorate this cheesecake any way you like. I just so happen to like fresh strawberries with this, but it would definitely be delicious with chocolate or caramel or strawberry syrup… Possibilities are endless!
1. Crush the lemon cookies to get approximately 2 1/2 cups worth. Mix in melted butter and mold into a pie/cake dish (make sure you get some edges, too). Add more or less if needed, depending on the size of pan you use. Place in the freezer while making the filling (or for about 20 minutes).
2. With a hand-held mixer, cream the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice together. Add in the whipped cream and beat for about 3 minutes.
3. With a plastic spatula or spoon, spread the mix into the pie crust. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices if desired. Refrigerate for a minimum of 45 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Potato Croquettes MMMMMMM!!!

Goooooooood day, people!! Today, I am going to teach you how to make "Panzerotti di Patate" A.K.A "Potato Croquettes". 

This recipe is one of those classic, signature southern-Italian appetizers that you'd find your Nonna frying up in the kitchen in a cottage in the middle of vineyards near the sea. In Italy. Or in Europe... Or in ...Milwaukee... ??? NOOOOOT!! No, but, really- your grandmother could definitely fry these up in a kitchen in the cottage in the middle of-- well, not vineyards-- but trees-- in Milwaukee... Ehem... 

So, let me begin by saying that I have an intense passion and obsession for potatoes and cheese... Separately AND together... BUT, combined I must say, is soooooo much better. Potato love, people... Potato love. Oops... I was supposed to begin...

((throat clearing))


These are incredibly delicious and easy to make. Awesome for a dinner-party or just to content the kids!! Or hubby... Or chihuahua. ((grimace))

BTW, these are best fresh from the fryer, so if you have to make them ahead of time, sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and reheat in the oven before serving. 

  • 2 pounds Potatoes (preferably Old)
  • 150 grams Grated Parmesan (preferably Half Parmesan, Half Pecorino)
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 100 grams All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • 300 grams Plain Bread Crumbs, Preferably Homemade, Divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt, Or To Taste
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper Or To Taste
  • 1 cup Chopped Dry Cheese Such As Swiss, Scamorza, Pepperjack, Etc. (optional)
  • 2 whole Egg Whites
  • 3 cups Olive Oil For Frying (or More If Needed)
Note: When mixing in the eggs, I recommend starting with 1 to 1 1/2 eggs just in case the mixture becomes too wet with 2 eggs. The egg is used simply to amalgamate the mixture. If it becomes too wet, it can break apart during frying, so to avoid that, we’ll start with less and add more if necessary.
Boil the potatoes till soft. Remove the skin and completely mash or puree the potatoes.
Mix in the puree, the grated parmesan, 1 1/2 eggs (see note at top), flour, parsley, and half of the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the mix seems too dry, add the remaining 1/2 egg.
Form little logs with the mix (approximately 3 to 4″ long and 3/4″ thick). They don’t have to be perfect, just make sure they are log-shaped. At this time, if you wish, you can stick in each log a cube of chopped dry cheese of your choice.
Dip each log into the egg whites and immediately coat in the bread crumbs.
In a large, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil (adding more or less for deep frying). Fry the croquettes till deep golden brown.
Serve hot and enjoy!