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Posts from April 2014.

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Embracing Spring

April 24th  •  Posted in Lifestyle

So spring has always been my favourite time of the year and I was really looking for a lovely day to be spent outside without a coat on and that time has finally come when I can put on a cute spring dress and let it show completely and not only through my jacket. This was exciting, and something I love even more about spring are flowers, lovely walks in parks and cute roads and a good old on-the-go lunch.

This week my boyfriend and I had a lovely day in Vigevano, a city near Milan I used to visit a lot during my childhood, which is the cutest place to visit when spring comes around. It has cute little streets to walk down, a pair of cozy gardens and I expecially love the old square which according to my boyfriend totally looks like you are on a set of The Borgias. We had a good old flat bread from La Piadineria (our favorite place) and picked up our usual zucchini, mozzarella and tomatoes vegetarian piadina, which was delicious as always, but it tasted even better eaten outside under the sunshine.

We also had a pair of stops in the green areas of the city, in the Sforza Castle garden and the little park with a cute lake filled of swan, fishes and turtles that have always been there since I can remember. It was just a super lovely day and this kind of trips far away from the crowd, the shops and crowded malls, always makes me think nowadays we tend to forget we can have a lovely time even far away from a big city like Milan, from the shops and the caotic metropolis. This made me remember my childhood, and I know there’s nothing more bittersweet than that, but it also made me think there couldn’t be a best way to embrace and welcome spring this year. We definitely need to plan more trips like this and have a lovely time exploring cute places this year, as we never tend to do that.

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Black Cherry & Chocolate (Ben’s) Cookies

April 14th  •  Posted in Recipe

Last month I was in London and of course I needed to give some Ben’s Cookies a whirl for the first time. Fair enough I felt in love with them, and once I came home I knew I had to try baking them myself. A month later I came up with a pretty custom recipe very Ben’s Cookies inspired and totally Luke Evans based (oh dear, check his channel out because he makes the most beautiful videos) and thought I could share it with you as I’m pretty satisfied with the result. I assure you, these cookies are delicious, my entire family loves them, and if you’re looking for something easy to make but very impressive to offer to your family or guests, you should give them a whirl!

For 9 big cookies you’re going to need:

  • 300g brown sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 325g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A lot of dark chocolate and some sour black cherries

As you can see the ingredients are pretty basic and the majority of them I’m sure you all already have in your fridge, the only thing you may need to buy are black cherries, but these cookies are very customizable and you can add whatever you want and make them as you prefer like nuts, almonds, white chocolate, everything really! They’re also pretty easy to prepare, you just need to remember to preheat the oven at 220°C and having your butter at room temperature before proceding.

I simply beated all the ingredients together with a whisk as it’s the easiest way: starting from butter and sugar, I wanted it to be very soft and fluffly so I beated those two ingredient together for a few minutes, then I added the egg and beated again. Once mixed flour and baking powder together, I added them to the butter, sugar and egg mixture little by little until the dough was formed and it was quite solid and firm and not too sticky. If you feel your doug is too sticky add a bit of flour and beat again. Then I chopped the chocolate and added it to the mixture with some black cherry as well and blended all very evenly so that all the cookies had the right amount of chocolate and cherry once formed. I created nine big balls with my dough, arranged them on a baking tin lined with parchment paper and flattened them a tiny bit with my hands. Keeping in mind these cookies will spread out, I placed them reasonably apart from each others. Then I baked them for 12/13 minutes in the oven at 220°C, and they came out very chewy and gooey, but you can definitely let them bake a few minutes more if you desire. Consider your cookies will continue cooking on the hot baking tin when you pull them out of the oven, so don’t overcook. I left them rest and cool for 20/30 minutes before trying them.

I think the dark chocolate really compliments and balances the sweetness of the sour black cherries, but I can’t lie, they are very sweet, and if you don’t love super sweet things you may have to consider using a lot less cherries than I did. But these to me were perfection, and I’m really satisfied on how they came out, so I hope you can enjoy this recipe too and try them in the upcoming future!

What is your favorite cookies flavor?

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