here we are, ready to start this new adventure!!! “A cake a day” the ENGLISH section of the blog!!!
I’m not a native english speaker, so forgive me if my english is not perfect! I’ll try to do my best! I’ve studied english only at school and Italians aren’t universally known for their skills in languages 😛
I’ve practiced a little at the place where I work, but the greatest school for me was the internet, where I could talk to people and meet new friends.
of course my English is far away from perfection, so be patient please!!!
even if they aren’t good at languages, Italians are known for their cooking abilities, so I hope you will find something interesting in my blog (and that this will make even with the mistakes :P)
the name of the blog “Un dolce al giorno” means “A cake a day” because we have a famous italian saying which is: “una mela al giorno toglie il medico di torno”.
translated in english sounds something like this: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” because apples are a very healthy food. this is of couse a wordplay because cakes are not considered such a healthy meal, but they are damn good!!!
the love for baking also helped me in a very hard period of my life, so it was a sort of cure for me.
soooo…let’s start this new section, you will find italian traditional cakes here….but also some of the anglosaxon/american tradition, seen through the eyes of an italian, revisited a little bit to be adapted to our taste.
ABOUT MEASURING UNITS:
here in Italy we use the decimal system so you will find ingredients weighted in grams and liters. we don’t use the cup system. I think it’s not so exact.
for example when you add the flour into a mixture, sometimes also 10/20 grams can do the difference, and if you don’t use the scale, everytime you will have a different result with your cake, in taste and consistence. (I’m speaking also of butter, sugar and everything else)
I know that they are measured cups but I’m sure they cannot be as accurate as a scale, when I ask you to put 170 gr of flour, it’s really difficult to pick up that exact quantity without a scale.
I see that happen with measuring jugs (we use them for liquids, there’s no other way to do that!), they are far away from precision.
- we usually weigh everything using the scale, so you will find every ingredient measured in grams.
- we never use cups and spoons. the only times when you will find something measured in spoons they will be spices and sometimes flour, but only when a little quantity of flour is required in the recipe (1-2 spoons)
- when I say “spoon” I usually speak of a regular spoon, used to eat soup.
- when I say “coffe spoon” I mean a little spoon used to have breakfast and melt the sugar inside the coffe, so it’s littler than a teaspoon.
- we usually buy baking powder in small pre-filled bags. 1 bag is 16 about grams, half bag is 8 about grams, 1/4 of bag is about 4 grams. I’ll try to do my best and write grams instead of 1 bag, half bag, etc, but old habits die hard 😛
- we rarely use self-raising flour, but instead we add baking powder to the flour.
- the most used flour for baking cakes in italy is “00” which is a really finely milled flour, but you can use plain/all purpose flour.
- regarding liquid ingredients, we use measuring jugs, and I usually give the ingredients in milliters, it’s easier, so 1/2 liter will be 500 ml, 1/4 liter will be 250 ml.
- about vanilla: vanilla it’s really expensive here. I usually buy a powder called “vanillina” which is a sort of artificial flavouring, but you can use of course real vanilla or vanilla’s extract.
what I’m going to say will probably sound not so much conventional, but this is what I think about the whole matter.
I never do muffins with the traditional tecnique: all the liquid ingredients there and all the dry ingredients here, mix them together, leave the dough grainy and put it inside the baking tray.
I have tried to do muffins with this tecnique once and I didn’t like them.
I know it’s a super-easy and fast way to do them, and of course it’s the worldwide known tecnique, but I use another one, which is probably more similar to the cupcake one.
I use to beat the butter with the sugar (or sometimes eggs with sugar) until I don’t get a soft and pale cream, then I add eggs and all the other ingredients.
you will have a softer and spongier muffin, so fluffy, creamy and buttery. if you will try this tecnique you will not turn back, I assure you.
muffins will remain soft for a longer time, they won’t become tough and hard after few hours.
this is of course my point of view. as I have said, the muffin recipes are seen through the eyes of an italians and cakes are a serious matter for us.