26 November, 2012

Torta Monferina with pumpkin and amaretti cookies

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Long time no see, huh? You're right!
I've been absent for so long from my blog, that most people might have forgotten me? But you also know I've had a good reason for this hiatus.
My little man was born just six days after my last blog post. Beautiful and healthy, an angel baby that everyone could only dream of, but of course, a little baby is above all very time consuming. Not that I complain, on the contrary, I'm enjoying every second I'm spending with him. Confessing... probably enjoying him more than I did with my daughters... perhaps it has to do with the awareness that these moments will pass so quickly (my God, he's already 3 months old) and that I'll never live them again so intensly as now. You know how irresistible the sweet little face can be? How disarming the smile on that little face can be? Beautiful enough to make you forget that's it's been more than three months since last time you slept entire night.
However, I'm never sitting quietly during the day. Every moment I can steal during the mornings is dedicated to cooking and baking. Mornings, of course, because afternoons are frenetic as usual, and once we (me and the little one) have picked up his sisters from school, the house all of a sudden starts looking rather like a luna park.

I know I should stay away from sweets and snacks, but sometimes I just think I couldn't survive the day without that extra sugar charge. There's always time for a diet.
This cake is something that surprised me so positively. My first ever pumpkin cake, don't know if it's going to be the last as well, but it will sure stay on the very top. So tasty, moist, deliciously sweet, and yet you can gobble half of it and not feel heavy. Like, after each slice you feel like you could eat another one. That's more or less what happened when I made it for the first time. Was it the lack of self control or the cake is really so irresistible? You'll have to discover it for yourself. But whether you like pumpkin or not, you'll love this cake originally from Piedmont region, 'cause you won't even know it's there. Trust me, no one guessed the main ingredient.
There are actually many different recipes for Torta Monferina. Usually with apples only, or apples and pumpkin together, but what they all have in common is the addition of amaretti cookies, that add such a particular flavour to the cake, and being made with almonds, substitute the flour. This results in a cake that is so moist that it basicly melts in your mouth.

Torta Monferina with pumpkin and amaretti cookies


Torta Monferina with pumpkin and amaretti cookies

* 600 g pumpkin - butternut or similar
* 300 g amaretti cookies
* 150 g white wine (e.g. Moscato d'asti)
* 100 g sugar
* 4 eggs
* 40 g unsweetened coocoa
* 40 ml rum
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* a little brown sugar for sprinkling


Peel and slice the pumpkin. Place it in a deep skillet, add wine and cook on low heat until it's so soft you can mash it with a fork. If necessary add a little water after all the wine's been absorbed/evaporated. Mash the pumpkin with a fork and set aside to cool.
Grind the amaretti cookies in a food processor, and then mix them with the mashed pumpkin.


Torta Monferina- preparation  Torta Monferina - preparation


Beat the eggs with sugar (you may reduce the quantity of sugar if your pumpkin's quite sweet) until pale. Mix in the pumpkin and amaretti mixture using a hand whisk or a wooden spoon. In the end, add the rum and baking powder sifted together with the cocoa.
Pour the batter into a 26 cm round spring form lined with baking paper.
Bake the cake in an oven preheated to 160°C for about 35 minutes. After approximately 20 minutes, take the cake out for a second and sprinkle the surface with brown sugar.
Let the cake cool in the pan, before cutting and serving.



Torta Monferina with pumpkin and amaretti cookies


Torta Monferina alla zucca e amaretti

* 600 g di zucca (butternut o piacentina)
* 300 g amaretti
* 150 g vino bianco (tipo Moscato d'asti)
* 100 g zucchero
* 4 uova
* 40 g cacao amaro
* 40 ml rum
* 1 bustina di lievito per dolci
* un po' di zucchero di canna

Pulite la zucca e tagliatela a fettine. Mettetela in una casseruola con il vino e fatela stufare a fuoco dolce finché diventi completamente morbida (se necessario, aggiungete un po' d'acqua, ma alla fine deve risultare morbida e abbastanza asciutta). Schiacciatela con una forchetta e lasciate raffreddare la purea.
Tritate gli amaretti e mescolateli alla purea di zucca.
Sbattete molto bene le uova con lo zucchero in una terrina usando uno sbattitore elettrico.
Unite la purea di zucca e amaretti mescolando con una frusta a mano o un cucchiaio di legno.
Alla fine aggiungete il rum e il lievito setacciato insieme al cacao. 
Versate l'impasto in uno stampo a cerniera di 26 cm di diametro.
Infornate la torta a 160°C per 35 minuti circa.  Verso metà cottura circa, estraete la torta per un'attimo e cospargete la superficie con lo zucchero di canna.
Lasciatela raffreddare nello stampo

Torta Monferina with pumpkin and amaretti cookies


Torta Monferina s bundevom i amarettima

* 600 g bundeve (očišćene)
* 300 g amaretta (keksića)
* 150 g bijelog vina
* 100 g šećera
* 4 jaja
* 40 g gorkog kakaa
* 40 ml ruma
* 1 vrećica praška za pecivo
* malo smeđeg šećera za posuti tortu

Očistite bundevu, ogulite koru i narežite je na ploške.
Stavite ploške bundeve kuhati zajedno s vinom na laganoj vatri dok se potpuno ne raskuha i pretvori u pire. Ako je potrebno dodajte i malo vode nakon što vino ispari.
Recept preporučuje Moscato d'Asti, ja ga nisam imala, stavila sam prošek.
Kad se pire od bundeve prohladi dodajte mu izmrvljene amarette i dobro izmiješajte.
Umutite jaja sa šećerom uz pomoć miksera (meni torta nije bila preslatka, ali ako svejedno volite manje slatko, možete slobodno smanjiti količinu šećera, naročito ako vam je bundeva dosta slatka).
Kad su jaja dobro umućena dodajte prvo pire od bundeve s amarettima i izmiješajte polako pjenjačom ili drvenom žlicom.
Dodajte zatim rum i na kraju kakao prosijan s praškom za pecivo.
Uspite smjesu u namašten i pobrašnjen okrugli kalup s obručem, promjera 26 cm.
Stavite peći tortu u pećnicu zagrijanu na 160°C oko 35 minuta. Na otprilike polovici pečenja, izvadite tortu na čas i pospite smeđim šećerom po površini.
Ostavite tortu da se ohladi u kalupu.

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And this is my pumpkin pie... the recipe is a family secret, shhhhhhhhh!



10 comments:

  1. Che amore, è tenerissimo ^_^ Quella torta ti è riuscita proprio un capolavoro e penso che a ragione ne vai fiera più di ogni altra cosa. Bello rileggerti dopo tanto ma ancor più sapere che il bimbo sta bene e cresce in ottima salute :) In questi giorni mi gira di fare un sacco di cose con la zucca. Questo dolce con gli amaretti mi piace un sacco e pure senza grassi aggiunti…meglio di così! Un bacione e un mondo di auguri, buona settimana

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  2. Congratulations on the new family member ;-) He is gorgeous.

    A very special pumpkin cake recipe. I like the idea of using amaretti cookies.

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  3. Congratulations, Dajana - he's just gorgeous! And the cake sounds lovely, too...especially love the little amaretti cookies with it.

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  4. O_O che meraviglia hai sfornato!! ciaooooooo

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  5. Sorry, but forget the cake for this moment. Your family-secret is just too gorgeous - May he grow up healthy, strong and loving. Ciao Carina

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  6. Torta je wow zbog kombinacije okusa, prefino!!!!!! A beba ima najljepše oči, tople i pametne :)))

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  7. Oduševljena tortom čiji recept je super i zbilja predobro izgleda stignem i do najvećeg oduševljenja, prekrasne i preslatke bebice koja jednostavno osvaja !!

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  8. Kakav slatkis! Ovaj dasa , naravno. Definitivno, taj ti je recept najbolji. Srdacno, Vesna

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  9. Dajana, čestitam. Ovaj mali slatkiš je najslađi recept na blodu. :) Ima tako lepe i pametne okice.

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