Delizia al Limoncello . . . a cake fit for celebrations!

In three days I will be flying to Italy and I cannot tell you how excited I am, however, I could not leave without sharing with you another moment of excitement in my adventure as a blogger.

I am celebrating 10,000 views on my blog . . . I am ecstatic!

Coincidentally, I hit the 10,000 mark exactly 9 months after my very first post which I thought was pretty cool.

Early Saturday morning I realized that I was close to the magic number so I decided that this time I would celebrate in style – Italian style of course – with a cake.

Back in July, I visited Fante Kitchen Shop in Philadelphia’s Italian Market. The store is like candy land for cooks. I only needed a Fusilli iron but I came out with much more, including a hemisphere cake pan.

As soon as I saw this dome shaped pan I knew what I wanted to bake: A Delizia al Limoncello!

Since July, however, I hadn’t had a chance to bake my Delizia, among other reasons I had to wait for my homemade Limoncello to be ready – for my Limoncello recipe click here.

What better occasion than my 10,000 views to inaugurate my new pan and experiment with a new recipe?!

The original name of this dessert is Delizie al limone (delizie is plural of delizia); it’s the youngest dessert of the Campania region. The dessert has quickly become the symbol of the Amalfi coast, where in 1978, chef Carmine Marzuillo presented this delicacy for the first time.

Generally, the delizie are prepared as individual servings, in the shape of a small dome and they are often arranged in a cluster to allow for a large, more dramatic presentation. I decided to utilize my large hemisphere cake pan to create one big Delizia. Also, I call my dessert Delizia al Limoncello, because, unlike the original recipe, I use Limoncello in every element of the cakes.

So, I celebrate another milestone of my adventure sharing this recipe with all of you.

It’s my way to say THANK YOU to all of you for following me, leaving kind comments, and showing your support.

Please keep visiting and sharing with the world my little piece of Italy.

NOTES:

  • You can bake as individual serving using half sphere baking pan – I just found a silicone mold that seems great on Amazon – or muffins pan.
  • For a more kids friendly version, you can substitute the limoncello with equal amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • You can substitute the potato starch with cornstarch. In this case use only 2 tablespoon of cornstarch and increase the flour by 2 tablespoons.

Ricetta

DELIZIA AL LIMONCELLO

Cosa serve (What you need)

For the Pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake)

5 eggs (yolk and white separated)

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup potato starch (you can substitute with cornstarch – see note above)

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon limoncello

For the pastry cream filling

¾ cup flour (sifted)

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups whole milk

Grated zest from 2 lemons (best quality and organic)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup limoncello

For the pastry cream to cover the cake

2 cups whole milk

¾ cup sugar

3 teaspoons cornstarch

Grated zest from 2 lemons (best quality and organic)

1/3 cup limoncello

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

For the syrup

1-1/2 cup sugar

½ cup water

zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup limoncello

Cosa fare (What to do)

Step 1: making the cake

  • Pre heat oven at 350 degrees. Butter and floured the cake pan.
  • Sift together the flour, potato starch and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and a pinch of salt and beat until stiff peaks form.

  • Transfer to another bowl.
  • Rinse and dry the bowl of the standing mixer, switch to the paddle attachment and add the egg yolks and sugar. Beat until light, fluffy and creamy at least15 minutes.
  • Add the grated lemon zest and limoncello and blend into the mixture.
  • Slowly add the egg whites meringue. Make sure you are working on low speed during this step.
  • When the egg whites are blended into the mixture start adding the sifted flour. Blend the ingredients always working on low speed.
  • Pour the mixture into the cake pan.

  • Bake for 40 minutes. Test: a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean when the cake is done.
  • Turn the oven off but leave the cake inside for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, let stand in the pan for additional 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove from pan (upside down) and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Step 2: making the filling and topping creams

In a pan add all the milk (4 cups) and the grated lemon zest of the 4 lemons. When is about to boil turn the heat off, cover with a lid and let rest for 30 minutes. Then filter through a sieve and divide the milk into two equal parts (you will use each half for each cream).

For the Limoncello cream filling:

  • In a pan add the eggs and the sugar and with a hand held mixer beat until light, fluffy and creamy.
  • Add the sifted flour and mix well with the aid of a whisker.
  • Slowly add the one half of the filtered milk (2 cups). Mix well to blend.
  • Move the pan on the stove and on low heat – while stirring – cook until cream is dense.
  • Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely. TIP: place the plastic wrap directly on the cream to avoid forming the skin.

  • In the bowl of the standing mixer, with the whisk attachment, whip the entire heavy whipping cream (2-1/2 cups total).
  • When the cream is cold, stir until smooth, add ¼ cup of limoncello and fold in 1/3 of the previously whipped cream.

For the Limoncello topping cream:

  • In a pan add the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly add the second half of the filtered milk (2 cups) and mix well with a whisk.
  • Move the pan on the stove and on low heat – while stirring – cook until cream starts to become dense.

  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • When the cream is cold add 1/3 cup of limoncello and fold in the remaining whipped cream. This cream should result fluid and not very dense.

Step 3: making the Limoncello syrup:

  • In a small pan add the water, sugar and zest of 1 lemon. Bring to boil and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • When cold add the limoncello.

Step 4: Assembling the cake:

  • When the cake is completely cool you can cut the base. Do not discard the base; you will use it later. Tip: To avoid flattening the dome top, I set my cake over a small bowl.

  • Leaving a ½ inch edge, (I used a small bowl as template), using a spoon, carve out the inside of the cake.

  • Splash the interior and top edge with the syrup.

  • Pour the filling cream into the carved cake.

  • Top with the base that you had previously. Splash the base with syrup.

  • Place your serving dish over the base of the cake and carefully turn upside down.

  • Splash the dome with the syrup and then cover with the topping cream. Make sure you are using a large serving plate. Remember, the cream should be fluid and will run all around the base of the cake.

  • Let set for 5 minutes and then decorate the base with whipped cream.

  • You can decorate the top with candied lemon or, as I did, with thin lemon zest ribbons.

Step 5:

HAVE A BIG SLICE AND ENJOY!!!

NOTES:

  • You might have some extra filling cream, use it to make a thin layer into each individual serving plates . . . a little bed for you wonderful slice of cake.
  • If you bake small individual cakes, you can arrange them in a large dish and cover with the topping cream. You will then spoon out into individual serving plates.

This recipe has many steps and requires some time but it is a wonderful treat for a special occasion.

I will be in Sorrento in two weeks and I will sure enjoy a delizia there, but in a meanwhile my family and I have been enjoying My Delizia al Limoncello very much!

Which is your favorite cake for a special occasion?

The recipe for Pan di Spagna is adapted from my old cookbook, Il libro dei dolci.

The recipes of the creams are adapted for gennarino.org

Another Award? Yes, the Kreativ Blogger Award!!!

Kreativ Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by Meg Travels. I love her blog and I am so flattered . . . two awards in seven day! You don’t need to remind me that these are not “real” awards . . . I know that!

Still, I can be excited at the idea that another of my cyber friends thinks I am so awesome that I deserve to be in the spotlight – again – for few hours. I certainly enjoyed my Versatile Blogger Award last week and I am sure I can handle another moment of fame!

Once again, few rules to follow in order to accept the nomination.

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award to 7 nominees

HERE WE GO

Thank you Meg Travels for the nomination! I am honored to be in such great company.

Meg Travels and I share the same passion for planning and researching trips. Beside traveling in Italy, I love traveling everywhere. Tell me where and when, and I will be planning, booking, packing, and ready to go. You will find many useful information on Meg Travels ‘s journal. So, please pay homage to her blog!

Now for the 7 things about myself; I am wondering if I should share My things from last award or should I disclose a little more about myself? I am going with the latest . . . but, don’t ask for more!

  1. I love little black dresses . . . and black skirts, pants, blouses . . .
  2. I am 15 years younger than my brothers . . . so, I will always be the little sister.
  3. Sardegna is one of my favorite places in Italy.
  4. When I lived in Italy I had a maid and a babysitter everyday . . . why did I leave, you may ask?!
  5. I finally don’t think in Italian anymore . . . but, I still have my accent.
  6. I travel in Italy twice a year, to see my relatives and friends, and to discover new places to share with you all.
  7. GELATO . . . LOVE IT, no need to elaborate.

My seven nominations, no easy task to narrow to only seven! Visit these blogs, you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Please note:

  • These are not in any particular order.
  • I apologize if you have already been nominated.
  • You do not have to accept the nomination.
  1. emilyluxton
  2. Tea&Biscotti
  3. Going Dutch  (My first follower – Thank you!)
  4. Finger, Fork & Knife 
  5. Manipal’s Photo Blog
  6. mondomulia
  7. Juls’ Kitchen 

Versatile Blogger Award

One thing that I love about my new life as a blogger is that I feel like I have acquired a new set of friends . . . cyber friends! It all starts with a “like” at the bottom of a post, then there is a  “tweet”, then a shy comment, and finally comes the “follow”. And there you are, connected through an invisible thread to hundreds of people all over the word. People that you will most likely never meet, yet you share with each other a small part of  your life in this fantastic world where the only requirements are to be polite and respectful of each other.

It is in my blogger’s world that I gained a new friend, Tea & Biscotti,  a blogger from UK, in her own words: “ English by birth, Italian by choice”. I think you can see the connection here!

By  Tea & Biscotti, I have been recently honored with a nomination for an award! Yes, you heard it . . . an award!

Well, let me clarify. It is not actually an award, but rather a recognition from other bloggers.

It sounds pretty amazing to me to think that the delightful Tea & Biscotti finds my blog interesting enough not only to read it herself, but also to be worthy of others’ attention.

Needless to say, I am excited to accept the Versatile Blogger Award.

Few rules to follow when one accepts the award:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or that you follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to the VBA site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So, first and foremost, MILLE GRAZIE to Tea & Biscotti; not only has she nominated me for this award, she has also been following my blog and my tweets, and she has often shown her support. You should definitely check out her blog. It is full of surprises, it’s joyful and loving when speaking about her “Bambina”, is sensitive when speaking of social issues, and mostly, it makes you feel in a good mood.

Selecting my 15 nominatios has not been an easy task. Not because I couldn’t find enough blogs/bloggers worth of the award, but rather because I could find something interesting in so many.

But a choice must to be made so here they are, in no particular order, My Top 15:

  1. emilyluxton
  2. Zen and Genki
  3. Meg Travels
  4. GREENWORDCHEF’S BLOG
  5. Our Italian Table
  6. Going Dutch
  7. Daniel C. Doolan’s News Updates
  8. Homemade Delish
  9. HeartRome 
  10. Finger, Fork & Knife 
  11. Food Lover’s Odyssey
  12. Manipal’s Photo Blog
  13. napoli unplugged
  14. mondomulia
  15. Juls’ Kitchen 

Lastly, My 7 little things about me:

  1. When dining out I NEVER skip dessert.
  2. I always wear my pearls.
  3. My biggest accomplishment is my two wonderful sons . . . the joy of my life.
  4. My inspiration to become an architect came from the Greeks temples of Paestum and . . . The Jetsons cartoons! (I know you are wondering).
  5. My dream is one day to live in a little house on the beach.
  6. I cannot go to sleep if I don’t have a piece of chocolate.
  7. I love Prosecco!

To all my nominees: you are not bound to accept my nomination and please, accept my apology if you have already received this award.

Buona Pasqua. . . Happy Easter!

Espresso and mini Pastiere. . .
Buon giorno!

Good morning World . . . Happy Easter!

On this sunny Easter Sunday I want to thank all of you that have been following my blog.

Today it is April 8th, 2012; I published my first blog exactly four months ago, on December 8th 2011.

This has been a completely new experience for me, very involving I must say, yet very enriching and rewarding.

I have enjoyed the comments that some of you have been kind enough to leave. Please, don’t stop sharing your thoughts and if you enjoy my posts, don’t be shy, hit the LIKE icon!

For many experienced bloggers, out there in cyberspace, keeping track of the number of hits received, might be of little significance.

I am still a novice and I admit that I am almost addicted to checking my stats. I study the “most read” and the google search to understand what people have enjoyed the most. Basically anything involving food is a big hit. . . but I have so much more than food that I want to share: pictures for my trip in Italy, my favorite destinations, history and more. Can I allow myself to just relax and write for the pure satisfaction of Sharing My Italy and everything I love about it? I am sure I can and I will. Am I ready? Not quite! For a little longer I will question myself about the appropriate topics and for a little longer I will be anxiously waiting for the stats!

Few days ago I reached the 2000 mark, I was ecstatic! Last night, for the first time, I received 100 hits in one day and . . . I could not stop smiling.

What I love the most is looking at the map, how amazing that at least one person from 50 different countries, and counting, has been reading my blog! No races, no genders, no religion or believes, no riches or poor, no politics, no borders . . .there will always be someone, somewhere in the world, with whom to share all about My beautiful Country. How great is that!

Well, it’s breakfast time so, once again, GRAZIE and BUONA PASQUA! 

Uova di Pasqua . . .
Italian Chocolate Easter Eggs