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.

36 Harry Potter Inspired Food Ideas

One of our favourite wizards will be celebrating his birthday this end of the month! Hmmmm…who is it?

Is it Gandalf? Well, we do love him, but he’s not the one having this birthday soon.

Is it Merlin? We do agree he is one of the greatest wizards in literature, but no, not him.

Why, it’s that cool bloke with a funny scar on his forehead, of course – dear ol’ Harry Potter! Yay!

harry potter figurine

Many Potterheads out there will probably be celebrating in one way or another, but what’s a celebration without food, right?

So, we have composed a list of delicious Harry Potter inspired foods that you might consider having at your celebration of Harry’s birthday. Clicking on the links will take you to the recipes or more detailed information about the dish. Have fun!

Golden Snitches from The Quirky Briars

Butterbeer Cookies from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Harry’s Birthday Cake from Diamonds For Dessert

Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes from Sugar and Soul

Butterbeer Cupcakes from Pastry Affair

Butterbeer Hot Chocolate from Bakingdom

Canary-Creams

Canary Creams
(Image credit: Woman And Home)

Canary Creams from Woman And Home

Butterbeer Ice Cream Floats with Coconut Caramel Ice Cream from Gringalicious

fizzing-whizbees-honeydukes

Fizzing Whizbees
(Image credit: In Literature)

Fizzing Whizbees from In Literature

Harry Potter Butterbeer Pancakes from Sugar and Soul

Weasley’s Fever Fudge from Instructables

Candy-Coated Roach Control from Heather Bailey

cornish-pasties-harry-potter

Cornish Pasties
(Image credit: In Literature)

Cornish Pasties from In Literature

Double Double Chocolate Cauldron Cake from Bakingdom

Polyjuice-Potion1

Polyjuice Potion
(Image credit: Pepper)

Polyjuice Potion from Pepper

Licorice Wands

Licorice Wands
(Image credit: Pastry Affair)

Licorice Wands from Pastry Affair

Liquid Luck / Felix Felicis from In Literature

Harry Potter Polyjuice Potion

Witches-Brew_EXPS_THSO18_138269_D04_25_5b-696x696

Witches Brew
(Image credit: Taste of Home)

Witches Brew from Taste of Home

Bat’s Blood Soup from In Literature

Madam Pomfrey’s Pumpkin Juice Smoothie from Gringalicious

Sugar Quills from A Tale of 2 Foodies

Treacle Tart with Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon from The Sugar Hit

Hogwarts-House-Pride-Cake

Hogwarts Cake
(Image credit: Bakingdom)

Hogwarts Cake from Bakingdom

Steak and Kidney Pie from In Literature

Golden Snitch Pops from With Sprinkles on Top

Pumpkin Juice from Favorite Family Recipes

Hagrid’s Rock Cakes from Pretty Geekery

Cheesy Witches Broomsticks from Cakes Cottage

Harry Potter’s Butterbeer Ice Cream from The Tiptoe Fairy

Sorting Hat Cookies from Housewife Eclectic

Molly Weasley’s Rock Cakes from Bakingdom

HP10-680x680

Pumpkin Howlers
(Image credit: Food and Wine)

Harry Potter Pumpkin Howlers from Food and Wine

Pumpkin Pasties from Bijoux & Bits

Pumpkin Pasties
(Image credit: Bijoux & Bits)

Pumpkin Pasties from Bijoux & Bits

Harry-Potter-Dumbledores-sherbet-lemon

Sherbet Lemon
(Image credit: In Literature)

Dumbledore’s Sherbet Lemon from In Literature

 

Weasley Sweater Cookies from Bakingdom

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.

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¬†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

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe

Near the end of my senior year in high school, a good friend of mine invited me to her birthday party. Actually, she invited probably half of the whole class, which was probably around 25 kids or so. At her party, I came across this super delicious milk and chocolate dessert. For me at that time, it was just about the most delicious dessert I’ve ever tasted. Right there and then, I asked her for the recipe of the dessert, which was prepared by either a family member or a friend of hers. The next week, she gave it to me.

Unfortunately, at 16, I was really more of the eating type and not the cooking type of a person. So even though I was honestly very impressed with the dessert and genuinely wanted a copy of the recipe, also like a real non-cooker, I kept the recipe but never tried making it. An embarrassing admission, I know.

Recently, while being best friends with Mr. Google, I came across an image of that very dessert. Now that I and my husband share an almost similar passion for cooking, I just have to make this dish. I’m glad I did. It turned out to be quite a success and tasted just as amazing as that dessert at my friend’s birthday party. A few friends of mine felt a bit bad that I did not invite them over to have some.

After tweaking the recipe enough to make it mine without deviating too much from the flavour, I’m sharing it with you so you too might enjoy it. My high school friend had called it by an odd name which, nowadays, might be misunderstood as offensive.¬† For that reason, I’ll go with the basics and call this dish Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta.

 

MILK CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA

Ingredients:
(Chocolate Layer)
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup raw sugar
 (White Milk Layer)
1 cup cold water
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 can condensed milk
2 1/2 cups cream

In a small bowl, melt 2 packs of gelatin in half cup of cold water. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder and 1/2 cup hot water thoroughly. Set aside. Heat evaporated milk in a saucepan on low heat and stir in sugar until well dissolved. Blend in the melted cocoa.  Add the gelatin mixture and stir well until dissolved.  Let this mixture cool by stirring continuously, before transferring to a deep tray. Refrigerate for at least two hours to make sure it has completely set.

Prepare the white milk layer while the chocolate layer sets in the fridge.¬† To make the white milk layer, melt 2 packs of gelatin in half cup cold water.¬† Set aside.¬† Mix cream and condensed milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot.¬† Add the melted gelatin and stir until well blended (approx. 10 minutes).¬† Remove from the stove and continue stirring to cool down the mixture.¬† (It is very important that this mixture has completely cooled down before adding it to the chocolate layer, or else you’ll run the risk of melting and destroying the chocolate layer.)

Take the tray of chocolate layer out of the fridge.  Using a ladle or a cup, gradually and carefully transfer the white milk mixture over the solid chocolate layer on the tray.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To serve, turn the panna cotta upside down on a serving platter. If you like, you can also drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle chocolate shavings on top.

Update:

Instead of chocolate shavings, you can also garnish with strawberry slices, just like these two that I made for a friend’s baby shower party.

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Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:  
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup raw sugar
8 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
A pinch of salt
65g unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners/papers.

Combine flours, sugar, cocoa, bicarb soda and salt in a large bowl and mix very well. Add butter, milk and vanilla, and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Spoon mixture into the lined cupcake tray, dividing the mixture evenly.  Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack, before adding your favourite icing or other decors.

Carrot Cake Recipe

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Ingredients:                                       Icing:
Olive oil (for greasing)                        250 g    spreadable cream cheese
2 (300g) carrots, finely grated           1/3 c     icing sugar
1   c   self raising flour                          1/2 t      vanilla essence
1/2 c  plain flour
1   t    bicarbonate soda
1/2 t   ground cinnamon
2/3 c   brown sugar
3/4 c   organic olive oil
1/2 c   maple syrup
3        eggs
1   t    vanilla essence

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, or 150C if using a fan-force oven.  Lightly grease a cake pan with oil and line with baking paper.

Sift flours, bicarb soda and cinnamon in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots.

Place the mixture into the pan and bake for approximately 55 minutes. Then, let cool in the pan for a few minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, combine the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl, using a wooden spoon, until well mixed. Spread the icing over the cake.