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Calling all bakers!!

h
heylids Jun 30, 2011 09:33 PM

We will be visiting an older couple that is having their 50th anniversary.

It will only be the four of us, as they are celelebrating their anniversary in Italy.

It is a casual meeting, however I would love to bake something elegant to bring.

I would greatly appreciate suggestions with recipes, please keep in mind we are not big on sugary sweets.

Thank you to all the wonderful bakers on this site.

  1. goodhealthgourmet Jun 30, 2011 10:32 PM

    what a lovely gesture! i think it would be really nice to bring them an Italian dessert in light of their impending trip.

    random ideas for things that don't necessarily have to be cloyingly sweet:
    - ricotta cheesecake
    - rainbow cookies
    - biscotti
    - olive oil cake
    - torta della nonna

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      chowser Jul 1, 2011 11:14 AM

      I like these suggestions, have a soft spot for ricotta cheesecake w/ marsala raisins.

      I'd also add an orange polenta cake--the tartness of the orange takes away from the sweetness and you can control the glaze.

      http://scarpettadolcetto.wordpress.co...

    2. shecrab Jul 1, 2011 05:06 AM

      Crostata. Their charm lies in their rustic look ( no pressure for picture-perfect) And you can use any flavor fruit jam the recipients prefer.

      1. s
        S_K Jul 1, 2011 08:15 AM

        I know that this isn't something to be baked, but I love cannoli. Other things that don't have to be baked are tiramisu or a berry salad with a tiny dash of alcohol in it. If not because it is something that has to be baked then I really like the ricotta cheesecake idea or a custard pie.

        1. biondanonima Jul 1, 2011 08:26 AM

          If you don't want sweet, you could do a focaccia or other Italian bread - focaccia is fun, though, because you can be creative with toppings (or leave it plain).

          1. h
            heylids Jul 2, 2011 10:38 PM

            Thank you all for your suggestions. I was thinking more along the line of an elegant cake...
            I didn't mention earlier that they are also italian and so to make a ricotta cheesecake or tiramisu doesn't seem special enough....I think?? I might be putting more pressure on myself then need be, cuz I would like it to be elegantly italian but not something that a nonna would be making herself.....trying to out-do a nonna's tiramisu, crostata or ricotta sweet is just impossible!!!
            I have placed another posting under a different heading in hopes that I get more suggestions.
            I really appreciate all of your responses, so much that I made a crostata this afternoon just for us!
            Thank's goodness I didn't have any ricotta cuz I would have baked one of those.
            The foccacia is something I have made on occasion and don't feel I have mastered baking bread, though it seems easy, the flavours don't hold up once it's cold or the next day....
            Once again, thank you for taking the time to respond and if you have any other suggestions please don't hesitate to send them!

            6 Replies
            1. re: heylids
              goodhealthgourmet Jul 2, 2011 11:04 PM

              Rainbow Cookie Cake:
              http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2009/11/italian-rainbow-cookie-cake.html

              or a chocolate-hazelnut torte...
              http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChocolateHazelnutTorte.html

              or chocolate-almond...
              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

              oh, and there's no need to start another thread - you just end up with two similar discussions going on at the same time, particularly since you've now clarified it here and asked specifically for cake suggestions.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                Caitlin McGrath Jul 3, 2011 02:32 PM

                That chocolate-almond torte in the seriouseats.com link is really wonderful. It is not fancy-looking, so won't suit if that's what you're looking for, but it has a very sophisticated flavor and is quite easy to make.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  h
                  heylids Jul 3, 2011 02:47 PM

                  Thank's caitlin, I think I might bake the almond chocolate, my only question, is it very sweet? It looks lovely and isn't anything she would probable bake herself. The bonus is that is it simple and easy to bake.

                  1. re: heylids
                    Caitlin McGrath Jul 3, 2011 02:54 PM

                    No, it is not very sweet. As it uses unsweetened chocolate and plain almonds, it's quite restrained in sweetness.

                    1. re: heylids
                      goodhealthgourmet Jul 3, 2011 04:53 PM

                      Caitlin beat me to it - i specifically suggested it because it's *not* extremely sweet - i know that's what you wanted.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        h
                        heylids Jul 3, 2011 10:25 PM

                        Thank's Goodhealthgourmet and Caitlin McGrath.
                        BTW that cookie cake looks vibrant!!!
                        Chowser's suggestion looks good too, hummmm brown butter!

                        Some very nice suggestions and simple. I was getting myself a bit stressed thinking big and fancy but these torte'd are elegant and uncomplicated. Let's the ingredients speak for themselves without over complicating the matter.
                        That's what I love about this community, they always put me on the right track!
                        Thx...

              2. Hank Hanover Jul 2, 2011 11:58 PM

                Here are some links to some Italian desserts but I really like the sound of the lemon profiteroles.

                Profiteroles are pretty easy to make and if lemon doesn't rock your boat, you could make a mascarpone cream of some form or maybe a cannoli cream or an almond flavored pastry cream.

                The four of you could be sitting around a patio table sipping espresso and occasionally popping a profiterole into your mouth...sounds lovely.

                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-hazelnut-ravioli-recipe/index.html
                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/almond-cake-recipe3/index.html
                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-amaretti-cake-recipe/index.html
                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hank Hanover
                  h
                  heylids Jul 3, 2011 02:49 PM

                  Hank hanover, I am thinking the lemon prefiteroles, I will make my own puffs....or the almond chocolate tarte...decisions, decisions....
                  Again thank's for the suggestions everyone.

                2. chowser Jul 3, 2011 02:54 PM

                  Since you don't want to compete w/ what Nona can make, what about doing something that has italian flavors but is not italian--like this hazelnut brown butter cake? It's not too sweet and the chocolate hazelnut is classic.

                  http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/03/haz...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chowser
                    h
                    heylids Jul 3, 2011 10:16 PM

                    Very nice chowser, I wonder if I used almonds... since I have them on hand... if it would make just as nice a cake....

                    1. re: heylids
                      chowser Jul 4, 2011 08:24 AM

                      I often do that with recipes but have never tried it with this one. I would do it. It makes a big difference if you toast the almonds first.

                  2. greygarious Jul 4, 2011 08:55 AM

                    It is unclear what your scenario is....are you celebrating with this couple in Canada before their trip, or are you going to be taking this dessert to a couple who live in Italy? If it has to travel, there are more considerations to be taken into account. If they live in Italy, you don;t want to be bringing something they can readily obtain locally.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: greygarious
                      h
                      heylids Jul 4, 2011 02:15 PM

                      G, we will be visiting them in Canada at their home.

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