Monday, April 09, 2012





Even the word itself makes a mouth start watering. With its cheesy layers and yummy pasta it’s impossible to go wrong with a great meal that tastes delicious. Don’t be intimidated by a recipe that may seem difficult, but in reality is quite simple to master. Here are some tips to calm your cooking anxiety and make it possible to prepare the best lasagna ever.



Preparation 101

Prepare your lasagna a day before to ensure a successful meal for the next day. Refrigerate it overnight and plan on baking it the next day. The next day let it come to room temperature before baking and then serve it to guests who will be delighted with your lasagna. Baking is an easy process and it won’t take that long to make a yummy lasagna meal that will taste amazing.


Don’t withhold vital ingredients with your lasagna otherwise it won’t taste nearly as good. It’s important to use fresh whole milk for the lasagna sauce and for the lasagna filling, use cheese with whole milk as well.  A delicious lasagna meal will be even yummier if you follow the recipe and cook with ingredients that will make the flavor truly memorable.


If you want side dishes to go with your lasagna you can make breadsticks or find garlic bread at a near by grocery store. That way you won’t have to spend extra time making your own garlic break, unless you feel motivated to do so. A Caesar salad is another great side dish as well as other healthy veggies depending on how many dishes you need.



Noodle Knowledge

Did you know that you can mix and match your noodles? Noodles and fillings don’t have to be a certain kind. Mix and match if you’re running low on a certain type of noodle for a stress-free lasagna preparation. Piecing together different sized noodles may look funny while preparing the recipe, but when it bakes the noodles will come together nicely.



Don’t have noodles? Don’t be afraid to think past your noodle preparation if you’re running low on the noodles that you need. Substitute noodles with other ingredients such as crepes, tortillas, or sheets of phyllo dough. They will work just as well and not to mention will taste great too.



Free Form and Lazy Lasagna

This meal is very simple and easy to prepare prior to an event. This means you won’t have to worry about preparing the lasagna the day of! If you’d like your lasagna slightly undercooked don’t bake it as long and you’ll have “lazy lasagna” that tastes wonderful. Also, to reiterate more noodle knowledge, free form lasagna is perfectly fine. Everything will come together nicely in a lasagna that’s tasty and prepared to perfection.


Sierra is a freelance writer and blogger. She loves a scrumptious meal and in particular enjoys a delicious lasagna recipe that’s perfect for preparing ahead of time.




Italian Cooking

Learn Italian Cooking

Click Here!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to make Torta Setteveli

How to make Torta Setteveli

Delicious Torta Setteveli

Image Courtesy:

How to make Torta Setteveli – the Seven Veils Cake


This cake is as beloved across the whole of Sicily as it is in Palermo villas. The seven veils refers to the seven strata of the cake, making this delightful treat a time consuming affair usually reserved for special occasions. And what could be a more special occasion than the Easter break? when the cake is often made.



Use your favourite recipe to make the chocolate sponge cake in a 10-1/2 inch spring form pan. You will also be wetting the cut surfaces with simple syrup, made from equal parts water and sugar, brought to a boil and chilled.


The cake should be fully cooled and the simple syrup cold before you begin final preparation.


First, trim the cake top to insure it is flat, then slice in half lengthwise, producing two half thickness 10-1/2 inch rounds. Place one at the bottom of a 10-inch spring-form pan, cut edge up. Dab this surface with the simple syrup until damp, then refrigerate.


For the next layer, Praline, uses crushed corn flakes that give some crunch. Melt together in a double boiler:


2-1/2 ounces dark chocolate;

1-3/4 tbs butter;

6 tbs hazelnut paste.


Then incorporate


1-3/4 cups cornflakes, crushed a bit.


Spread praline evenly on cake, and return it to the refrigerator.


The next layer, hazelnut Bavarian cream, requires an ice bath that can hold a good sized mixing bowl.


In a large saucepan, heat to scalding:


1/2 cup whole milk;

1/2 cup heavy cream;

7 tbs hazelnut paste.


While heating, whisk together in a new bowl…


5 egg yolks and

1/2 cup granulated sugar


…until the mixture is uniform and pale. When the milk has scalded, remove from heat and add…


3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin


…and stir to incorporate. Temper this egg mixture with the hot milk a bit at a time, whisking continuously. When incorporated return it to the saucepan and slowly heat to 160°F, stirring regularly. Transfer mixture to the ice bath, and let it cool while stirring.


Then whip…


2 cups heavy cream


…to the soft peak stage, and fold one third into the chilled hazelnut mixture, combine, then repeat twice more until both are fully incorporated.


Spread half onto the cake, then place in freezer for 15 minutes to set cream.


When set, add the other cake round to the pan, treating cut cake surfaces as before. Return to freezer for ten minutes, then apply the remaining cream, and back to the freezer for 45 minutes.


The chocolate mousse for the next layer starts with a chocolate ganache made from…


5-1/4 ounces dark chocolate, cut into small pieces, and…

…a scant 2/3 cups heavy cream.


Heat cream to a very low boil, then pour it over the cut up chocolate pieces and stir until mixed.


Whip 1 cup heavy cream until the soft peak stage, and leave it unrefrigerated so it can warm through slightly to avoid seizing the chocolate. When the ganache has cooled to about 100°F, fold in the whipped cream by thirds to combine.


After the Bavarian cream on the cake in the freezer has set, remove the spring-form rim from the cake. Apply the mousse to the top and sides of the cake, making sure it’s as smooth as possible. Freeze for 45 minutes.


The chocolate glaze covers the finished cake. In a saucepan bring…


1/3 cups water,

1/3 cups heavy cream,

6 tbs cocoa powder, and

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar


…to a boil while whisking. Boil for four minutes, continuously whisking. Remove from heat and add…


3/4 tsp unflavoured gelatine


…and stir. Let cool to 90°F, and then take cake from freezer and place on a baking rack set on a sheet pan. Carefully pour the glaze over the cake, covering it slowly and evenly to insure it is completely glazed.


Garnish with chocolate shavings, and return to the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.