Day 3: “Giada’s Family Dinners”
January 3, 2011
Who doesn’t love Giada? With her perky personality and her easy going personality, in which she introduces us to not being afraid to bring Italian food into our own homes, what isn’t to like. When I picked up her family dinners cookbook I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to make. I really think I could make most of her recipes on a regular basis and my family would not complain. Even my favorite Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing recipe is in here. I decided on the following three recipes:
- page 177 Pancetta wrapped pork roast
- page 179 Baked mashed potatoes with parmesan cheese
- page 239 Zuccotto
The Ruling: The verdict is in….we loved them all. The pork roast was full of flavor, I think the 10 cloves of garlic helped. Although that didn’t stop the youngest child to dip it in barbecue sauce…..crazy kid! The mashed potatoes were creamy and comforting on a cold winter’s night. But the star of the show, had to be the Zuccotto. Can you hear me trying to pronounce it? It doesn’t sound so pretty, but boy did it taste great. I made this to take to a New Year’s Eve party (one day delayed because of a blizzard). But it was worth the wait! Will I make this again, probably not unless my husband will play the pound cake puzzle for me. You see part of the instructions are to put the pound cake into slices, and then cut the slices into triangles and then piece it all back together to cover a bowl…..insane! That gave my left brain a work out that it has not seen since I tried to balance my check book. Although I am afraid it will be a requested dessert from here on out….sigh. I made just one switch, instead of brandy I used amaretto. (It is my opinion that you can not have to much almond flavoring!)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 (12-ounce) loaf pound cake
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups chilled whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Spray a 1 1/2-quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bowl with plastic wrap. Cut the pound cake crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice diagonally in half, forming 2 triangles. Line the bottom and sides of the prepared bowl with the cake triangles. Brush some of the brandy over the cake triangles lining the bowl. Reserve the extra triangles.
- Stir the chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of cream in another large bowl until it is thick and fluffy. Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Fold half of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the chocolate cream over the cake, covering completely and creating a well in the center. Cover and refrigerate if not assembling cake right away.
- In another clean large bowl, add the remaining 1 cup of cream and almond extract. Using an electric mixer with clean beaters, beat on medium speed and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold in the nuts. Spoon the cream mixture into the center of the well of the filling.
- Brush the remaining cake slices with brandy and arrange them, brandy side down, over the cake, covering the filling completely and trimming to fit, if necessary. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
- Invert the cake onto a platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.
Pictures of the Pancetta wrapped pork roast and the baked mashed potatoes were thrown in just to tease you!
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com . Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at email@example.com