You might have already noticed from my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but hey, I’m back! and I am bursting with new energy and ideas, I am a little bit more conscious of who I am and where I want to go. You must be patient, though, because I will fill you with details of my trips in the next post. And yes, I promise I will slightly get back to a more steady rhythm, but today I want to start with a new project that makes me so unspeakably happy. I’m now in the kitchen to develop recipes for Mukki, la Centrale del Latte di Firenze, Pistoia e Livorno. In other words Mukki is the milk brand that made me who I am.
When I told mum that I was going to work with Mukki – I was visibly excited – she exclaimed: oh dear! do you know I raised you with Mukki milk? This explains how perfectly perceptible is the bond of affection and respect that exists between Mukki and the families in Tuscany, especially in Florence. Perhaps it is an affection due to a familiarity with a brand that has grown many young Tuscan, to their activities for children in schools or to the great attention given to the milk produced by cows here in Tuscany. Mukki is perceived as our milk brand, a brand which is part of our lives in every moment of the day.
The best way to start a project and the day is breakfast, isn’t it? So June will be dedicated to breakfast recipes, to begin the day with Mukki and a smile, the same smile that beams on your face when you are woken up by a text with just a word, buongiorno, the same smile you had when your mum woke you up with a kiss and a whisper: rise and shine, there’s a ciambellone for breakfast.
I’m talking about routine, or, better said, morning rituals. I’m talking about repeated reassuring actions which greet you when you wake up and simplify a part of your day. Just imagine how much more relaxing and satisfying is to unveil your ciambellone, removing the napkin that covers it during the night with a flourish, rather than rummaging into the kitchen shelves to find something edible.
This applies to mothers, who can have the breakfast ready for the kids, they just need to wrap it carefully anticipating the moment when the cake will be unwrapped in a frenzy at school, with small little fingers picking each and every crumb. This is true for young couples who can lengthen the pleasure of a Sunday spent together with small breakfasts made with love, a slice of ciambellone and a cup of cappuccino: the foam will leave a mustache on his face, making you laugh lightheartedly. This applies to anyone who has to run to work grabbing a slice of cake while drinking a coffee standing up, leaning against the window and watching the sun that rises lazily, in his five minutes of peace before being sucked into the frenzy of the day.
This is true for people like me who work from home and are constantly looking for a morning ritual to bring order into the day, to feel a bit special every day.
A marbled ciambellone – the classic Italian bundt cake – is the perfect start: traditional, homemade, reassuring. You can slice it thinly and spread it with a generous layer of homemade jam or rather, and this is my preferred option, cut it into thick slices and soak it in milk, hot, warm or cold, in a caffellatte or cappuccino, black or green tea. Pick your favorite ritual, mess it up introducing a hint of something new every day and start the day with a smile.
A marbled ciambellone
- 6 free range eggs
- 400 g of caster sugar
- 350 g all purpose flour
- 150 g of potato starch
- 16 g of baking powder
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- 1 pinch of salt
- 250 ml of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- Beat the sugar with the eggs until are light and foamy.
- Sift flour, potato starch, baking powder and salt and then fold them with the grated zest of the lemon into the batter.
- Add gradually the milk, whisking it thoroughly.
- Butter and flour a 28 cm wide bundt cake mould and scrape in 3/4 of the batter.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa into the remaining batter, mix it well and then scrape it into the mold, drawing some doodle on the surface.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes, do the test with a toothpick to see if it is dry inside.
- Let cool and then remove it from the mould.