Apricot Sheet Cake with Crumble

As harvesting time is in full swing, I cannot help but bake and cook even with the big heat outside.

Today, I saw nice apricots at one of my “go-to” veggie and fruit shops and thought I could try something new.

We’re invited for dinner tonight, so this may make a nice dessert.

Ingredients for a 20×35 cm baking sheet:

4 large eggs

200gr caster sugar

150gr butter in cubes

200 gr flour (all purpose)

1/2 lemon, zest only

1tbl spoon vanilla sugar

8gr baking powder

1kg apricots, washed and cut in 1/8

For the crumble:

100gr flour

65gr caster sugar

65gr butter in cubes

Plus icing sugar for the finishing touches

For the dough, blend the sugar, vanilla sugar, zest and butter for 10 minutes with a hand mixer.

Separate the eggs, add the egg yolks to the sugar/butter mix. Blend well.
With clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Add the baking powder to the flour.

Now alternatively add flour and egg white to the mix, stirring very gently until you get a creamy texture batter

Heat the oven to 180c.

Line the baking tray with baking paper. Pour the batter into the tray and spread it out evenly.

Now spread the sliced apricots on the batter.

Mix the flour, sugar and butter with your hands until you get a crumbly texture. Spread the crumble over the apricots.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 180c

Let cool off and cover with icing sugar. Cut in pieces of the size you like them. Can be enjoyed as is or with a blob of softly whipped cream.

PS: as I had a spoonful of Mascarpone and whipped cream left from another dessert, I added those to the batter. Not a must but makes it extra moist.

PPS: the other dessert is a peach semifreddo. Same recipe as my melon semifreddo. Substitute melon with 1kg sweetest peaches.

Semifreddo al Melone

A refreshing dessert when it’s really hot!

We were invited for a Ferragosto lunch, I think almost 100% of all Italians that day celebrate with family and friends, eating, drinking and being merry (Kudos however to those who work that day)! So, I was bringing a dessert and opted for a refreshing Semifreddo. It’s so simple to prepare!
Ingredients for 4 persons
1 melon, choose a beautiful and sweet one
7 tbl spoons caster sugar
3 tbl spoons lemon juice
5 tbl spoons of fresh mascarpone
2dl whipped cream
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
Slice the melon in half carefully and remove seeds. With a spoon, shave the pulp out of the melon halves, be careful not to hurt the skin of the melon.
Sieve the melon liquid (keep the liquid to pimp your ice tea or water) and purée the pulp with the lemon juice, sugar and mascarpone until you get a silky mixture.
Whip the cream and add the vanilla sugar, add to the melon mixture until well amalgamated.
Now fill the Melon halves with the mixture, cover with saran wrap and freeze over night. If you have melon mixture left, put it in a cake pan and freeze it as well. You can keep it for 2 weeks.
Remove the melons from the freezer ca. 30 mins before serving and put them in the fridge. Slice the melon halves in 4 pieces and serve with some mint leaves as decoration and some Amaretti.

Maccheroncelli with Guanciale al Brandy Sugo


Fancy some quick pasta lunch? Try this recipe, it’s very tasty and prepared in less than 30 minutes, unless you want to let simmer the sugo for some longer for even more taste!
Ingredients for 2 persons:
300gr Pancetta (not our cat Pancy of course!), I used Guanciale aged in brandy. Basically any type of greasy bacon works.
300-400ml canned tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
2 spring onions
Small tin of peas
Oregano, Thym, Salt, Pepper, spicy olive oil, chilli flakes, bay leaves
500gr Pasta, me: Rummo Maccheroncelli
In a deep pan, fry the Pancetta without adding oil. When slightly brown, add garlic and onion, stir fry for 2-3 minutes, add 1-2 teaspoons of the spiced oil, thym and oregano.
Now add the Tomatoes and the salt, pepper, bay leaves and chilli flakes. Stir well. Add the peas and let simmer on low heat.
Meanwhile, boil water in a pan, add salt and the pasta, cook as per instructions. Me, usually 2 minutes less to really have them al dente.
Add the pasta to the sugo, stir well and serve. For those who like it, add grated Parmesan cheese. Buon appetito!