Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Love at first bite, sinfully delicious desserts ( Torta Bella, Apple Cake, Chocolate Biscotti)


Heavenly Cake/
Torta Bella

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the cake pan

1 ½ cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon lemon extract

2 cups of confectioners’ sugar

Grated zest (orange part only, without the underlying white pith) of 1 orange

Grated zest (yellow part only, without the white pith) of 1 lemon

¼ teaspoon salt

4 large egg whites


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan with olive oil. Sprinkle the inside of the pan with flour and rotate the pan to coat the sides and bottom evenly.


Sift the 1 ½ cups of flour and baking soda together into a small bowl.


In a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs and confectioners’ sugar together until creamy, smooth, and doubled in volume. Add the zests and about half the salt and beat well. Alternately add the olive oil and flour mixture to the sugar mixture, stirring gently after each addition.


In a medium-sized bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, whip the egg whites with the remaining salt until they hold stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted up. Add about one fourth of the whites to the batter and, with a spatula, gently fold them in, scraping the batter from the bottom of the bowl over the whites. Fold in the remaining whites the same way.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is deep golden brown and springs back quickly when pressed with your finger, about fifty minutes. Cool cake. With a thin bladed knife, around the edges of the pan and release the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely, may take ½ hour. Can garnish with mint, fresh strawberries and cream.

 Apple Cake

7 apples, such as Gala, Red Delicious, Jonathan, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious
Peeled and sliced into chunks.
1 ½ cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a cutting board, slice apples and discard seeds and skin. Set aside apple slices. In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix with an electric mixture and slowly add flour, baking soda and then apples. Stir in walnuts or continue to beat with mixture on medium speed using a spatula to clean sides of bowl. Place in a greased loaf pan and cook for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. May dust with powdered sugar, and also you can add cranberries or raisins to the Autumn Harvest Cake. Pecans can also be substituted in place of walnuts.

Chocolate Biscotti Cookie Recipe

3 cups of all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup of granulated sugar 
1/2 cup of firmly-packed light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon of baking powder
¾ of a teaspoon of salt 
3 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder, 100% Cacao
3 eggs
1/3 of cup olive oil 
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed of orange juice 
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup of chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
Directions: In a medium sized bowl, with an electric mixer, blend sugars, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, olive oil, and orange juice. Next, add baking powder, salt and flour. Continue to mix, add flour a cup at a time, using a spatula to blend mixture. Finally, slowly add the chocolate chips and nut of your choice. Next, with your hands, mold the dough first into a ball and then into a loaf. Place loaf on a greased baking sheet (a Tablespoon of butter or a spray of cooking spray or even a dab of olive oil on the pan spread will help prevent sticking. Flatten dough into a loaf shape with your hands.  In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake for 20 minutes, take out loaf and cut with a sharp knife, into diagonals cookies about ¾ th of an inch thick. Return to oven, and bake on each side of the cookie for an additional ten minutes. If you bake both sides, you will have an extra crunchy biscotti cookie. For a softer biscotti, return to oven and bake on only one side for ten minutes.