A sentimental journey into my past and into my present, as there would be no present without the past. A collection of recipes, pictures and thoughts. A vehicle, really, to allow me to "find" myself, once again, through my travels in a wonderful time capsule smelling of Borotalco, green Palmolive soap, basil and the smell of the sea, which came in through our windows in my past and forever present time in the place where my soul wants to be: MY WONDERFUL ITALY!
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Panzerottini Dolci ( Cute Sweet Half Moons filled with Chocolate or Jam and Cream Cheese)
I have loving memories of some of the sweet things my mum used to cook: the almond cakes with a burnt, black bottom, her delicious focaccia, with a burnt base, the black toast she used to like (you had to toast it twice, so it would burn) and... when she bought bread, it had to be slightly burnt.
She once made black cherry jam... needless to say, it really was black! It stuck to the bottom of the pan and burnt! Needles to say: it was fantastic for being slightly burnt. We just loved it. Our mother was a chef... she was just much better at savoury, than sweet things, as, like me, she didn't really like cakes and sweet stuff. But she had the Mida's touch: everything she touched became GOLD or got burnt!
One Christmas she made these little panzerottini... little pastry half moons filled with jam. I was so excited she had made something different from the usual, for Christmas, I had to have a taste... my goodness me... "What spices did you put in this?" Well... she'd only put origano in her little half moons. Not good... it should have been cannella (cinnamon!)
I found a recipe for my mum's panzerottini and I actually made some. I didn't use any spices in mine, but I did fill them with hazelnut chocolate spread and... dark cherry jam and soft (crean) cheese! They look so yummy!
Sweet Half Moons
(This quantity made 25 small half moons)
300 g (11oz) white flour
50g (2oz) butter
1 tbs sugar
pinch of salt
rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp baking powder (if baking)
For the filling:
some icing sugar
preheat oven (160C) if you wish to bake
I placed the flour on a board, then made a well. In the middle of this I put: sugar,1 pinch of salt, my butter, 1 whole egg, the rind of 1 lemon. I mixed all the ingredients, till a soft plyable dough was formed. My dough was a bit dry, so I added some cold water, to soften it.
I wrapped in foil and refrigerated for half an hour...
....Half an hour later... I rolled out the dough, onto a floured surface, cut out discs, about 8 cm in diameter. I filled half the discs with chocolate spread (over half a teasp is enough) and the other half I filled with a very small amount of cream cheese and cherry jam.
Filling my panzerottini
I closed the discs using cold water and a fork,to make half moon "pockets" then fried in really hot oil. I tried baking some of my panzerottini, but they were too hard, as there's no yeast or baking powder in this recipe. I decided that next time I would eitherjust fry my panzerottini, or add a teaspoon of baking powder to the mixture, to make the recipe more suitable for baking (160 C)I actually think the recipe would work batter with the addition of baking powder, whichever cooking method you use.
I dipped cherries in melted chocolate, to go with my panzerottini and decided I wanted my presentation to look Victorian. It looked so good... even if I had to only eat this with my eyes, I would be happy!