Friday, February 27, 2015

Is Tiramisù the most adaptable dessert for Fusion Cuisine?

Pineapple tiramisu at Bistro:D restaurant, Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei

Photo by Peter Dowling ©

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Beautiful beetroots!

I love making fresh juice with red beetroots, it tastes great and the colour always cheers me up. Then the other day my friend Alan from Dream of Italy gave me an Italian beetroot from his garden, I think that it must be this one. Well, when I cut it I though that it looked so pretty that I didn't want to juice it! So I just cooked it al dente, and then cooled it under cold water and added extra virgin olive oil, lemon and salt. Unfortunately the cooking took the colour away, but it still looked really pretty (scroll down for the photo). Next time I'll get another beet from Alan I'll try it raw, cut into very thin slices.

And then I used a 'normal' red beetroot for my juice!
1 large red beetroot, 6 large carrots, 4 stalks of celery, half a cucumber and 6 pears.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Limoncello Tiramisù

Would you like t make a tiramisù style dessert without coffee? Are you a fan of lemons and limoncello? I had a jar of lemon curd to finish, so I made up this lemon version, and it worked wonders: in fact it tastes so good that no one will be believe that it is so easy to make! Of course I used NZ best limoncello, Limoncello Sovrano

3 tbsp of lemon curd
300 ml cream
1 small glass of Limoncello Sovrano thinned with a little water
12 savoiardi biscuits
Edible Flowers to decorate

Smooth the lemon curd with 3 tbsp of cream, then whip the rest of the cream and fold with the lemon curd mixture. Place the Limoncello in a deep plate and add a little water to thin it down (or use just limoncello - I prefer to thin it down so that my kids can also eat this). Quickly soak the savoiardi biscuits in the limoncello, one side only, then place them in a serving bowl, soaked side up.

 Add some cream and lemon curd mixture and then repeat, making two or there layers (depending on the shape and size of your bowl. 

Cover everything with a final layer of cream and lemon curd mixture and refrigerate for a few hours.

Decorate with edible flowers (I used roses and borage flowers). Serve.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Plum jam with a little brown sugar

I am back to New Zealand and it is still plum season in the Oratia orchards! But is it so hot that plums don't last long after picking, so I had about 1 kg that was far too ripe and soft for eating. I washed them and then place them in a pot with a little water and boiled them, then I strained the 'paste' to discard stones and leftover skin and tasted it. I usually add 50-60% of sugar (I don't like the 1kg fruit for 1kg sugar ratio they do in NZ), but this paste was already sweet! So I added just 2 tbsp of brown sugar and a pinch of citric acid (as a preservative) and, fearing that the jam wouldn't set, 1/3 tsp of agar agar. If I were to keep this jam longer maybe I would have added more sugar, but I only made 5 small jars and two are gone already!
It is a really delicious and sweet jam, and it is the first time (after 18 years in NZ for me) that plums seems to be so sweet when ripe (almost like in Italy), and a jam need so little sugar - I guess it is due to the dry January we had.
But I really want to try to make a jam with even less sugar (or no sugar at all) to keep, any suggestion?

Remember that the first pears and the famous Oratia Beauty apples are also in season at the Dragicevich Orchard, 556 West Coast Rd, Oratia, Auckland. The Oratia Beauty apples are the first fruit to be added to the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Ark of Taste
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


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