Italian Desserts

So, you’re planning a party with an Italian influence. What are you having for desserts?

To help you out, here are some of the well known Italian desserts. And nope, you just won’t be able to stop your mouth from watering, so you might as well get some tissues. ūüôā

Gelato

Image by By Filipe Fortes from New York, United States

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, so this should be a hit at kiddie parties. In traditional Italian style, though, a gelato is a soft ice cream with at least 3.5% butterfat and contains a small amount of air. Milk, cream and sugar are the main ingredients of this cold sweet.

 Spumoni

Spumoni, as you can guess from the photo, is another ice cream sort of Italian dessert. But what makes it distinct is that it is made of layers of various flavors and colors of ice cream and also contains nuts and candied fruits. Pistachio, cherry and chocolate or vanilla are the most common flavors combined to make spumoni.

 Panna Cotta

Image from Toscana City Centre website

Panna cotta means ‘cooked cream’ and it is so because this dish is composed of thick cream, honey and egg white. With careful monitoring of time and temperatures, this dish could indeed taste like cooked cream. Later versions of panna cotta contain gelatin. This yummy pudding can be served with fruits and syrup.

Cannoli

Image by William Meppem

¬†Cannolo is the singular form of this word, which means “little tube” in Sicilian language. In plural form, they’re called cannoli. They’re made of tube-shaped pastry dough with a creamy filling (usually with ricotta content). They’re often served dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Semifreddo

Semifreddo means “half cold”.¬† Most often, it is made by combining equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream, which gives it a similar consistency to a frozen mousse.

Ward Conference Cakes

We had a successful ward conference last Sunday, with so much people in attendance!¬† Because we were expecting a lot of visitors from the stake, we thought we’d bring a lot more food than usual for the ward luncheon after the meetings. Hubby prepared his meat dishes, plus rice.¬† I made a couple of cakes for dessert, which I thought I’d share with you today.

ward con carrot cake

Above is a couple of layers of carrot cake, with cream cheese icing, orange gelatin, and fresh fruits on top.¬† When it came to slicing this cake, having it in 2 layers didn’t seem to be a good idea. It was a heavy cake, so the slices kept on wobbling and falling over. Of course, I used my carrot cake recipe, which can be found HERE.¬† Hubby was wondering why my carrot cakes are much more delicious compared to the store-bought one we had sometime ago (which was too sweet and dry). I told him, the secret to having a delicious moist carrot cake is not to over cook it. When it’s cooked, take it out of the oven right away!

ward con strawberry cake

This one is a strawberry cake, with buttercream icing, an ugly purple drip icing, and all the lollies and bickies in the house. I was not very happy with the shade of the purplish drip. I should’ve had it in a different colour. Thankfully, the layering inside looked perfect when it was sliced – such a beautiful shade of pink! Too bad I was busy slicing it for those who were excited to taste it, so I wasn’t able to take a photo of the sliced cake.¬† I’ll have to blog the recipe next time, so you guys can try it too.

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Ages ago, I came across a 1970’s magazine for youth/young adults. One article was about a fun outdoor activity with lots of games and fun. Since I was looking for ideas for games we could do at an upcoming outdoor event, there was a game in the article that caught my attention. It involved chocolate pudding, being fed by one blindfolded person to another also blindfolded person.

The first time we did the game, I had to buy a few cups of chocolate pudding from the supermarket. The game turned out to be a hit – lots of laughter from the players and spectators as well!

A couple of years later, we decided to do the game again at another event. This time, due to tight funds, I wondered if I could get a hold of a chocolate pudding recipe and if it would be the less inexpensive option. I did and it was, so I kept the recipe. Here it is:

chocolatepudding.png

CHOCOLATE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS
6 Tablespoons cornflour
¬Ĺ Cup sugar
¬ľ Cup cocoa powder
4 Cups milk
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Egg, well beaten
1 Teaspoon vanilla

PROCEDURE
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan. Gradually add a little milk and stir to a smooth paste; stirring constantly add remainder of milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Do not boil.

Pour a bit of the hot mixture into well beaten egg, beating while pouring. Add egg mixture into pan with remaining hot mixture. Stir until well blended.

Return to heat and cook until pudding consistency. Remove from heat. Pour into individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Optional: Add crushed Oreo cookies on top. You can also serve it with whipped cream instead.


Party tips:

This yummy snack/dessert is also perfect for garden themed parties or construction themed parties, if you are after foods that go well with the themes.

construction earth.png

For a construction themed party, you can pretend it is earth or top soil.

garden earth.png

For a garden themed party, you can ‘plant’ a piece of edible herb on top and add a popsicle stick with a name of a veggie or herb. Then you can pretend they are seedlings!

Harry Potter’s Golden Snitches Recipe

To produce golden snitches in food form for hubby’s Harry Potter party, I didn’t want to do what others have done, which was to create round cakes (cake pops) and cover the snitches with artificially coloured icing to make them look like snitches. Besides, I had too much on my plate then to bother intricately decorating each cake pop. I just wanted something that was relatively easy to make.

Then I recalled a homemade sweet called Yema. I knew a few people whose mums used to make these sweets and get them to sell these to other kids at school. The brightness or dullness of this dish’s natural yellow colour depends on the ingredients you use and their proportions. Some can be quite pale, while others darker and almost brownish. In addition, you can also coat the yema balls with raw sugar or glaze them with caramelized sugar (which is a bit more tricky).

For the duration of hubby’s Harry Potter party, I called them not yema, but Golden Snitches.¬† Here’s the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

10 egg yolks
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, or zest
Raw sugar for coating

Procedure:

In a non-stick pan, combine egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon until well blended.  Place pan on stove, over low heat, and stir constantly until thick enough to be formed into small balls.  It is important to keep on stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan while cooking to avoid burning parts of it.

Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.  When cool enough to handle, shape them into small balls, about an inch in diameter, which seems to be just a good size for a snitch.  Roll each ball in raw sugar.

Arrange in a serving tray with enough spaces in between the snitches so they don’t look too crowded when you add the wings.

———————-

¬†I made the wings days in advance so they’re ready to add to the golden snitches on the day of the party. I used toothpicks, aluminum foil and double-sided tape to make them, while seated on the couch, also watching an action movie with the hubby. ūüôā

15 Amazing Harry Potter Themed Cakes

Perhaps the TV station GO must have heard of hubby’s Harry Potter themed birthday celebration. Because a few weeks later, this station decided to show the Harry Potter films every Friday evening. On the first Friday evening, I was wearing the Gryffindor gray pullover sweater vest, Gryffindor scarf, and a witch’s hat, and munched on the remaining jelly beans and chocolate frogs while watching the movie. I’m not really a super fanatic of HP, but since I had all the props lying around, I thought I might as well have fun with them! Hahaha.

Speaking of Harry Potter, today I’m sharing with you some of the amazing Harry Potter themed cakes I came across while researching for hubby’s party weeks ago.¬† I’m linking each photo and caption to their sources. They might come in handy in case you’re planning an HP party of your own, so here they go…

from Cakes Decor

 from Cakes Decor

 from Cake Punk

 from Everything Harry Potter

 from Sweet Discoveries

¬†from That’s Nerdalicious

 from Cake Central

 from Crust N Cakes

 from Between The Pages Blog

from A Sweet Design (Flickr)

 from Pat A Cake Cakes

 from Tumblr

 from Puntapelotaforo