Cranberry Amaretto Clafoutis

cranberry amaretto clafoutis The holidays are upon us and I have just the dessert to impress your guests, a Cranberry Amaretto Clafoutis.

A clafoutis has all the makings of a very elegant dessert yet it can be very rustic also. What’s a clafoutis? It’s a French dessert that’s custard and flan like, it can be filled with a variety of different fresh fruit and when baked the sweet batter gets nice and puffy all around the fruit tasting very light and pudding like.

cranberry amaretto clafoutis ingredients It may look decadent but it’s a fooler because it’s neither heavy or overly sweet and that’s what I love about it, and to top it off,  it’s super easy to make!

cranberry amaretto clafoutis Slivered almonds embed themselves into the sweet and puffy batter that’s flavored with sweet almond liqueur that pairs so well with the slightly tart cranberries, this is screaming put on the coffee guests are stopping by!

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Scoop some out and serve it alongside fresh whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or as is, either way you’re going to love it, holiday cooking has officially begun!

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Cranberry Amaretto Clafoutis
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh whole cranberries
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups, whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons, melted butter and a little extra for buttering pan
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of amaretto or 1 teaspoon of almond extract, or 1 Tablespoon amaretto and ½ teaspoon of almond extract combined.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 F. then butter your baking dish or ovenproof skillet.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, eggs, melted butter, baking powder, salt, milk, vanilla, amaretto or almond extract and half a cup of the sugar. Beat on high speed with a hand mixer until well combined. Set aside and let it rest.
  3. Take remaining quarter cup of sugar and coat it all over the cranberries, toss it into the buttered skillet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  4. Give the batter one more whirl on high with the hand mixer after its been resting then pour it onto the cooked cranberries.
  5. Sprinkle with almonds then return to oven and bake another 35 minutes.
  6. It will be puffy when taken out of the oven but in a few minutes it will settle down then dust it with the powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream on the side.

 

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Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake with Amaretto and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

pandoro Christmas tree I’m excited to share this festive cake with you and you don’t even have to do any baking, it has a beautiful presentation because it resembles a snowy Christmas tree, it comes together in no time and it will certainly impress your guests!

Do you want to know what it is?

pandoro at Eataly Chicago It’s called Pandoro, or golden cake and it’s something you buy, it’s sold almost everywhere during the holidays. You can find it along with Panettone at most supermarkets, pastry shops and Italian markets, I’ve even seen it in T.J. Maxx and Marshals this time of year. I went to Eataly Chicago last weekend and they were displayed everywhere.

Pandoro is a traditional sweet bread from Verona, golden in color because of the large amount of egg yolks used, there are no nuts or dried fruit like in Panettone and it’s baked in a star shaped mold. Trust me, it’s heaven in a pretty box!

pandoro You can buy  the large size as well as the smaller, more individual ones, pretty much the same way they sell Panettone.

I have to be honest, I’ve never made this Christmas tree cake before so I opted for the smaller version just to see how it would turn out, I’ve seen it done on different blogs and websites in the past and always loved the look of it, such a festive dessert and the taste is decadent!

I’m here to say this is a wonderful addition to your holiday table, I know now by making the smaller version, that the larger one will be on my table.

sliced pandoro  Horizontally cut the Pandoro gives you beautiful star shaped slices that you can now layer with whipped cream, mascarpone or a custard, you can also flavor it with Amaretto, Limoncello, Rum,  chocolate, whatever you so desire.

sliced pandoro I used Amaretto to brush on my slices and to flavor my cream mixture, it was divine! You can embellish it anyway you want even using fresh fruits and nuts.

pandoro christmas tree The layers build upon each other to form the look of a Christmas tree, the perfect addition to your sweet table this holiday season!

Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake with Amaretto and Mascarpone Whipped Cream
 
Ingredients
  • This recipe is for a 3.5 oz. Pandoro, you can double everything for the larger size.
  • 1 cup, heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup of mascarpone, room temp
  • 1 heaping tablespoon, powdered sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons of Amaretto to flavor the cream mixture,plis additional for brushing layers
  • toasted sliced almonds for garnish and between layers,
  • white sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Cream Mixture
  2. In a mixing bowl add the mascarpone and the heaping powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Add in the heavy cream and the 2 teaspoons of Amaretto and beat mixture into stiff peaks.
  4. Slice the Pandoro horizontally, being careful not to break the points of the star shape. Place the largest slice on a serving dish then brush with Amaretto, then spread cream mixture on top with some toasted almonds.
  5. Place the next largest slice on top placing it on an angle so the points of the stars are staggered alternate layers.
  6. Repeat with the Amaretto and cream mixture on every slice and continuing to stagger the layers until you reach the top.
  7. Place cream mixture on the very top, sprinkle with almonds and other garnishments.
  8. Dust all over with powdered sugar.
  9. This can be made a few hours ahead of time and kept in a cool place.

 

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D O L C I !!!…(On the lighter side)

STRAWBERRIES WITH LIMONCELLO RICOTTA CREAM!

Although I’ve made many desserts with ricotta, I’ve never once thought of putting it in my blender, until I saw Bobby do it on the Food Network. Something magical happens when you do that, the texture comes out smooth, creamy and rich tasting. You have to sweeten it up a bit, with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, then the sky’s the limit for flavoring! Amaretto, white chocolate liqueur, I think Bobby used Grand Marnier, but my favorite is Limoncello, I used about 2 tablespoons per 1lb. of ricotta. Throw everything in the blender, and make it the consistency you want, I made mine thicker than Bobby’s, just make sure it all smooths out! No one will ever know this is low fat!!

RUM SOAKED PINEAPPLE WITH MASCAPONE!

This is a favorite of mine which I make in the summer and winter.

Melt a little butter in a saute pan, add some brown sugar, when it all melts down and blends together, add some dark rum. Place your pineapple in the pan and cook it low and slow, turning each piece till everything soaks in and creates a slightly thick sauce.

Place it all in a pretty glass and dollop with a nice portion of Mascapone that has been sitting out at room temperature!

It’s warm, creamy, and the rum takes it over the top!!

Both of these desserts are quick to make, and taste’s oh so decadent!!

Enjoy!!!

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PANETTONE STUFFED WITH PISTACHIO CREAM!!!

Years ago, I mean YEARS ago, somewhere in a magazine I saw a picture of a store bought Panettone that was stuffed with pistachio cream, I have always keep that in my memory bank for something I wanted to try, since Hubby loves Panettone.

Well today, friends called and I invited them to stop by later for coffee. Of course it’s never just coffee! I had to have something to go with it. So I went into my pantry and there sat a box of Panettone, and I instantly recalled the stuffed one I had seen in an Italian magazine years ago. I even had some shelled pistachios! So I got on my computer and googled pistachio pudding, found something that sounded good ,so I quickly whipped it up, because it had to cool down for a couple of hours. When it finally cooled I folded in some freshly whipped cream!! Oh so sinful!!!
I even got adventurous and spun a little sugar on top, as that is what was in the picture. Never having done that before, it really didn’t turn out, I wanted it to be like thin strands, but mine turned out like thick brittle!!! Oh well, I kept it on for the pictures anyway!

I sliced the Panettone in 5 sections, and lightly brushed some Amaretto on the layers for some added flavor.

It did take a little longer because of the pistachio cream, maybe Cannoli cream would be good with it??? All in all it turned out pretty good!!

Have a great weekend!!!!!

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