Category: Holiday Cooking

Neapolitan Easter Bread

Looking for something different to make this Easter?  This Neapolitan Easter Bread  aka Casatiello Napoletano could be just the thing!  Who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread?  And when that bread is stuffed with salami, bacon, cheese eggs and olives it becomes even more irresistible!  

Neapolitan Easter Bread1

Meantime though, who can believe it’s already Easter?  Where has this year gone?  March is always super busy for me at work and this year has been no exception.  I’ve been working into the early hours of the morning some days!  So, despite my best intentions of blogging MORE this year, it has actually turned into less. It’s also been hard to settle into a routine; with my step father’s passing earlier in the year I am living part of the week at my mum’s house and part of the week at home so my usual routines have had to change.  It has been a hard time in many respects but also has been great spending more time with mum from catching a movie to a manicure to painting classes and most importantly cooking and eating together. 

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However, March madness is over at work, it all should be smooth sailing from here, right?   Maybe not…I have a crazy May coming up but that is filled with travels and fun rather than work.  Can’t wait.    However, let’s get back to the bread!  I used the Food 52 recipe for Neapolitan Easter Bread except I swapped out the ham for salami. Another difference between this recipe and more traditional versions is that chopped hard boiled eggs are included in the filling whereas traditional versions have them whole on the top of the loaf:

Traditional Neapolitan Easter Bread

I thought having the  eggs on top like that would make it quite difficult to eat!  And believe me, you will want to eat this, it is soooo good!

Neapolitan Easter BreadAnd the good news is that, if you don’t eat it all at once, it keeps really well. I’ve had it in my fridge for nearly a week now and it is still great when you place it under the grill to toast. 

The bread dough was easy to make and  turned out perfectly. 

 

Neapolitan Easter Bread2Then it was simply to put on the filing, roll it up and pop it in the oven. 

The Neapolitan Easter Bread is lovely warm just as it comes!  Food 52 suggest pesto or chimichurri as n accompaniment.  Warm with butter is superb!  Warm with a little bit of guac is also pretty damn special.!!!!

We ALL wanted a slice of it!

Neapolitan Easter Bread3Speaking of Easter, how cute is this little vintage bunny vase of my mum’s?

Bunny VaseHave a wonderful Easter everyone.  I hope the bunny brings you all the chocolate (Or Neapolitan Easter Bread) you wish for! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath

Still looking for a quick and easy dessert to make for Christmas Day?  Look no further than my Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath!  It’s also as pretty as a picture and delicious to  boot!

Choc Ripple Christmas WreathMaking this could not be easier.  Get a pack of plain chocolate biscuits, whip up some cream.  Add a hefty splash of booze – I chose amaretto but you could use limoncello or Baileys or Kirsch, whatever you have or like.  Add a large spoonful of icing sugar into the cream and stir through.

Then sandwich your biscuits together with the cream mixture and shape into a wreath. 

Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath2Don’t worry too much about getting the shape perfect at first.  Once you have the general shape you can push the biscuits together to make a neater circle.  Then cover the top and sides with the remaining cream mixture.

Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath3Pop this into the fridge for a few hours to set.  Then decorate – I used cherries, blueberries, strawberries and mint leaves.

Choc Ripple Christmas WreathWow!  Has anyone else felt that 2016 was a tumultuous year?  I am so glad to be coming to the end of it.  I am exhausted and looking forward to the break.  No work for me until 6 January so I have a lot of time for some much required r&r.

Choc Ripple Christmas Wreath
A quick, easy and delicious festive dessert.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pack plain chocolate biscuits
  2. 500ml thickened cream
  3. 1 tbsp icing sugar
  4. 1 tbsp Amaretto or liqueur of your choice
  5. Cherries, berries and mint leaves to decorate
Instructions
  1. Pour the cream into a large bowl and beat until firm peaks form. Add the Amaretto and icing sugar and fold through.
  2. Spread each biscuit with approximately 2 teaspoons of the cream and sandwich together. Form into a wreath shape.
  3. Cover with the remaining cream and place in the fridge to set for four hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, garnish with cherries, berries and mint leaves.
Adapted from Woolworth's Christmas Leaflet 2015
Adapted from Woolworth's Christmas Leaflet 2015
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Wishing you all the very best for the Festive Season!  I hope it’s wonderful however you choose to celebrate. 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade

Back in the day when I was a philosophy student, one of our tutors used to give us moral problems to solve. You know the sort of thing. Would you push one person into the path of an oncoming train to save a hundred people? Well today I am going to talk to you about a food bloggers dilemma – The Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade conundrum.

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade10

What if you had an item of food that tasted really good. Awesomely good. And it took no time to make and is a perfect addition to a Christmas, or any, cheese platter. Only thing is, it is really, really ugly.

Seriously ugly.

Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it.

The Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade looks like a turd.

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What do you do? Post it anyway? Then cringe in a corner and wait for the sounds of international guffaws to reach your ears?

Or simply not post ? And deprive the world…well a small segment thereof of a definite snicker and a delightful addition to their cheeseboard in all it’s pooh looking glory?

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Well you know what? Damn the torpedoes! Maybe 2016 can become the year of keeping the internet real and we can all be free to post picture of ugly food free of ridicule.

Starting with the Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade.

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade6This may be the ugliest thing you have seen but it tastes…welll:

By itself – good

With Cheese – amazing

With cheese and a glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry or a Sparkling Shiraz – mind blowingly awesome!!!!!

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade9

This recipe for the Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade came to me via my friend Pam who gave me one of these ugly but awesome rolls for Christmas last year. I ate mine in one go.  And I don’t even like figs! 

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade7I gave one of these to my boss the other day… I wrapped it in the paper and cellophane with the red ribbon as in the photo below.  Because as one of my friend’s commented.  “if you leave one on his desk unwrapped, it just looks like you’re being passive aggressive”.

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade1He later told me that he and his family enjoyed it very much so it was taken in the spirit of good cheer and Christmas spirit in which it was given. And I warned him beforehand that it was of dubious looks so he was fully prepared. An added advantage is that my bosses wife who is coeliac could also enjoy this because it is totally gluten-free.

Mine were also vegan because I used maple syrup not honey as the sweetener.

nel and Pistachio Roulade3

People of the world, close your eyes, think of England, do whatever you have to do but please, please, please make this.  You will  not be disappointed.

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade

Fig, Fennel and Pistachio Roulade

Adapted from my friend Pam who got the recipe here: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/fig-walnut-and-fennel-roulade

Ingredients

  • 500g (2½ cups) dried figs, stems removed
  • 100g (1 cup) pistachios, lightly toasted, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • rice flour, to dust

Instructions

  • Using a large knife, chop figs until they form a chunky paste. Or if you are lazy like me put them through a food processor until they break down into the same.
  • Place figs in a large bowl with the pistachios, spices, maple syrup and brandy. Knead mixture for 4 minutes or until it starts to come together, adding extra brandy if mixture is too dry.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with rice flour. Shape dough into a 20 cm-long log, then roll in rice flour, to coat.
  • Wrap log in baking paper and twist ends to seal. Place in a large container with a plate on top, weighed down with a tin. Set aside in a cool, dry place for 3 days to dry out before slicing to serve. Fig roulade will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Notes

Adapted from my friend Pam who got the recipe here: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/fig-walnut-and-fennel-roulade

http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/12/20/fig-fennel-and-pistachio-roulade/

And whilst we’re speaking of the holidays, here is one of my favorite Christmas stories courtesy of David Sedaris. 

I read this on the train on the way to work one day and I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself.  This is quite honestly the funniest thing I have ever read. 

 http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/sedaris/

And for the non-readers, here is a you tube.

Let it be known that this is the year I gave you a Christmas present that looks like a pooh. And 6-8 black men.

I hope you love them both as much as I love you for reading and commenting and being a part of my little space of the internet.

Merry Christmas!Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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