Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Happy Easter Everyone!
Can you believe that Easter is this Sunday? I can hardly believe it! Where does time go? What do all of you have planned to celebrate this very special day? Do you have family traditions that are carried out from one year to the next? The idea of spring always brings to mind butterflies, sunnier days, that have a slight chill to the air, dew on the ground, seeing deer in the lawn, early spring foliaige and leaves attempting to peek out in promise of a tree that looks full and will eventually provide shade with a promise for a better, brighter day! I have always loved spring and the dawning of new young life and plants coming back and wildlife coming awake! It was always a happy time for me as a child. I remember the Easter bonnets and going to church and the little fancy new dresses that were waiting for my sister and myself! The idea that school would soon be out and helping teachers repack books and supplies for the following school year. For some reason I always enjoyed that! No wonder I would later go to college to get my degree as an elementary school teacher!LOL
The easter basket was always a pure treat with all the sweets that would create a glimmer in your eye, staying up the night before waiting to catch a glimpse of the Easter bunny working his way to the house, to catch his foot print hidden in the mud somewhere outside house, or those endless hours looking for Easter eggs that were never eaten ...just admired! That was a time in my life I will never forget! Yes indeed ...Easter for a child is a magical time!
With Easter comes the feeling of spring is upon us also. I used to love hearing the birds chirping in the morning hours and watching the wildlife go about their business with collecting their food for their young. The world seemed to be waking up from a lengthy nap and were all out for us to enjoy watching them go about their everyday life! I love to go for long walks as the days are beginning to shed of its cold days and become milder. There is nothing better than walking in an uninhabited area where it is just you and nature! No tvs, no phones, no cars, just you and the trail you are traveling. People who never get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life would never know how relaxing it can be!
Life goes by so quickly and it is a shame we don't all take time to "smell the roses" a little more often, enjoy the important things in life, and enjoy the people who are so important to us! This is what spring means to me and Easter is one of these holidays that kicks off this awakening! I hope that each one of you have a lovely Easter holiday...no matter how you spend it and take the time to enjoy this special time!
I would like to share with you something that is my very favorite in recipes that you may share with your love ones during your celebrations. It is one of my family's favorites and I hope it becomes one of yours too! (It does have a small amount of alcohol content so be aware if you have children around.) Happy holiday and remember to keep smiling!
ZUCCOTTO (Italian brandy-laced pound cake)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 (12oz. )loaf pound cake
1/4 cup brandy
6 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chopped
2 cups chilled whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Spray a 1 1/2 quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bowl with wax paper.
2. Cut the pound cake crosswise into the 1/3" thick slices (diagonally and then in half forming 2 triangles)
3. Line the bottom and the side bowl with the cake triangles like a puzzle attempting to fill in as many open spots as possible. Brush the brandy over the pieces lining the bowl and reserve the extra triangles.
4. Stir the chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of water until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly
5. Use mixer and beat 1 cup of cream in another large bowl until it is thick. Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted, cooled chocolate. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate. Line the cake pieces with and thin layer of this chocolate mixture which will harden.
6. In another clean large bowl add the remaining 1 cup of cream and add the almond extract. Using and electric mixer beat on medium and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold in almond pieces.
7. Spoon the whipped cream -almond mixture into the well of the chocolate lined cake pieces.
8. Brush the remaining cake slices with brandy and arrange them over the filling of the cake arranging them like a puzzle so the whole bottom will be covered and pieced together.
9. Cover the cake with wax paper and chill up to one day.
10. Invert the cake onto a platter and remove the bowl and paper.
11. Lightly cocoa powder the top and serve!
I hope that you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Thank you for coming today and until next time.......