Today VespressoCooking turns 1. I can’t believe it! I have no idea how time flew by but it did, and I’m so glad I had the courage to launch myself, head first, in this project. It was such a wild year, I shifted my career, I discovered my infinite passion for photography, I’ve created a poultry microfarm, I graduated from culinary school and became a chef. I hope I don’t sound cheesy but I feel the need to thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every visit, for every line that you’ve read and for every recipe that you’ve saved!
Whenever there’s an anniversary, there has to be a cake, and this particular cake is nothing but extraordinary. It is a chocolate and coffee cake, a mocha delight, if you will. It is a well known fact that coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven but this cake somehow surprises me with every slice. The sponge is the perfect balance between dense and airy and the whipped ganache is simply divine.
The sponge is in fact „torta al Caffé”, an Italian coffee cake. This particular sponge is very popular in northern Italy, and it’s served for colazione, breakfast that is. I felt in love with its texture and its taste at first bite and I wished I could make it in my own kitchen. Persuasive as I am, I convinced the pastry chef (which happens to be a close friend) to give me the recipe and since then I’ve been been baking it at least twice a month.
There’s not much to say about the ganache. Ganache is a cake filling made with chocolate melted in warm whipping cream. The proportion of those two ingredients give the ganache its texture. I use the following scheme: Continue reading Mocha Cake (Coffee Cake with Whipped Ganache Cream)
Naan is an oven baked flatbread made with yeast. These flatbreads are by far my favorite kind of flatbread. They are so easy to make, the ingredients are always in my pantry, they look so adorable, but also these beauties are extremely delicious. This flatbread is so elastic, soft and airy, with a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor. It is such a rustic bread and yet so sophisticated. The technique is quite simple and the active part takes no more than 20 minutes. The passive part, the part when the dough rests or rises is the most challenging part, if you will. It takes about 2 hours to rise, so this recipe isn’t the most suitable if you are in a hurry. But if you have some time to spare, trust me, the result is so rewarding and surely it is worth waiting every minute. Continue reading Homemade Naan
I love baked apples. They taste like those chilly nights of fall. Like the rustle of those wet leaves on your way home from school. Like the smell of the hoarfrost on an early October morning. They taste like childhood. Baked apples are exquisite in their own simplicity, they are the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. I can’t imagine an easier dessert, maybe some Nutella spread on a slice of bread (if Nutella even qualifies as a desert).
I woke up this morning with baked apples on my mind, so I took some local sweet and sour apples, I carved them using a melon baller (this step could be easily made using a vegetable knife) and I stuffed them with a date, oatmeal and brown sugar mixture, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. I dressed them up with a tiny piece of coconut oil (butter would have worked just fine) and I baked them for about half an hour. The result was a stunning vegan dessert, extremely flavorful and so tasty! Continue reading Baked Apples Stuffed with Dates and Oatmeal (Vegan)
When it comes to baking, I’m the laziest person on the planet. I’m (almost) never eager to make a 100-step dessert or a cake that requires to separate eggs / to beat egg whites / to melt stuff / to jump on one foot / to dance samba. I simply don’t get those recipes! From my point of view, if a recipe involves a few ingredients, a single bowl, a spatula and a tray, that recipe has my name on it. You’d never guess, but this particular zucchini bread is one of those recipes!
To make this recipe a little bit healthier instead of using butter I used olive oil and buttermilk and the result is an incredibly moist, almost fudgy, decadent, chocolaty zucchini bread. I tell you, this might be my all time favorite dessert! Continue reading Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread
Tagliata is a grilled or pan-fried sliced stake, generally made from pork or veal. I usually make my tagliata from pork shoulder because I find this cut easy to work with, unpretentious, yet absolutely stunning when prepared well. In this case, I brined the meat for 1 hour (I used this recipe) just to keep it moist long after slicing. I seasoned my steaks with demerara sugar and I fried it in olive oil. It may sound weird using sugar in this equation, but while cooking, the sugar caramelizes into a crispy and delicious crust. I served my steaks with a tangy parsley and basil chimichurri and some flavorful oven roasted cherry tomatoes. Continue reading Pork Tagliata with Chimichurri Sauce and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
This divine cake has two layers: a vanilla-flavored fluffy sponge and a buttery cinnamon topping. It is such a lovely cake, extremely easy to make and incredibly tasty. I served this amazing cake with a delicate and fragrant grape-walnut compote, which I prepared while the cake was in the oven. Continue reading Crumb Cake with Grape and Walnut Compote