did you experienced any summer out there in your country? Unfortunately, we are still waiting here in Sweden for warmer temperatures. So far, we have a lame 15-16˚C. I think we got closer to 20˚C a couple of times…I think.
Anyway, as I come from the northern part of Italy and precisely from Milan, I definitely should mention that starting from the 1st of May there is EXPO, the World Exhibition. This is a very big event and opportunity that no one should miss. Let’s try to briefly explain what EXPO is and provide some useful links. If you are just interested in the cake or you are drooling from your mouth, scroll down to the recipe.
EXPO Theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy of Life. In particular the 145 participating countries will try to show ideas and technologies to provide a sustainable future for everyone in terms of nutrition. Personally I find really exciting the pavilion that provide ideas about what we will eat in one hundred years.
EXPO official website: http://www.expo2015.org/en
If you want additional information, you can read Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expo_2015
If you plan to stay in Italy more than 1 day visiting also something else than EXPO, you can browse http://verybello.it/ to understand if there is an event you would like to attend all over Italy (Music, Concerts, Opera, Dance, Cinema and so on).
This is a difficult question because there are more than 140 participants and each of them have their own pavilion with different exhibitions. However, to try to give you an idea about the Exhibition, I collected websites that try to evaluate the top 10 things to do and see with a description of the different pavilions:
- Top 10 things to do
- Best pavilions with a lot of nice photos!
- Pretty detailed descriptions of the pavilions with photos
When: 1st May – 31th October 2015
Where: Milan, Rho-Fiera metro stop on the Red line. You can take this metro line directly from the Milano Duomo and it will take about 25-30 minutes to reach EXPO. If You are coming from a big train station like Milano Centrale or Milano Porta Garibaldi, go first to the red line metro and then head towards Milano Rho-Fiera. There are also buses that go there but I think the metro is the most straightforward way.
Opening hours: h10 – h23, every day
Tickets: there are different kind of tickets valid for 1 or more days. Eventually, one could buy a seasonal pass. If you are going only for 1 day, you can buy a ticket valid for a precise day or you can decide when to go. Anyway, for the second solution, it is recommended to book the visit. Indeed, once the Exhibition will reach the maximum number of visitors for the day, no one else can enter. The price starts from 34 Euro for the fixed day and 39 Euro if you want to choose the day to go.
Where to stay?
Ideally one would like to book as soon as he/she could. Milan is expecting 20 million visitors, so there should not be very many places left in the city. If you do not find any place that suites you, visit AirBnB to find a solution in a private house.
Where to eat?
Well, EXPO itself is a the World Exhibition that deals with food and there are plenty of different solutions inside the Exhibition. Further, Milan and the surroundings are full of extremely nice restaurants. Otherwise, you could visit VizEat if you want to eat in private houses and try authentic Italian food.
So what are you waiting for? If you are a curious person that loves food, come to Milan, visit EXPO and experience my beautiful country that, I am sure, has so many things to offer in terms of food, art, cities, fun, fashion and sport.
Now we need a cake! What do you say? This week we would like to suggest a moist “Cardamom and Blueberry Cake”. It is a very appealing layered cake, pretty high with a small diameter. I love this kind of cakes with several layers, maybe with different filling and a luscious frosting. The different cake layers are flavoured with cardamom, while the blueberry is in the filling and frosting. However, the filling is fruitier than the frosting as it contains more blueberries.
Cardamom and Blueberry Cake has four cardamom layers and three blueberry filling; I think this is a perfect proportion but if you like it creamier, you may eventually add an additional layer of blueberry filling. I would recommend to eat it not more than one day after the baking otherwise the layers may become a bit dry.
Maria baked it for my birthday. I loved this cake as soon as I saw it: I was expecting something white or brown, chocolatish but the violet frosting pleasantly surprised me and made me eager to taste it. Lovely! By the way, the filling is named Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. I find those names kind of sexy! Cardamom and Blueberry Cake is easy to cut despite it is quite high, the slices are firm and do not fall apart. Also, the filling is not absorbed by the cake layers, which thing I like very much. I love when the different parts of the cake are well defined and do not fuse together, otherwise the taste and the texture of the cake will be completely ruined.
The cake is crowned with fresh blueberries surrounded by little meringues. You can buy ready-made meringues or bake them using KokiDoo recipe. The final touch for this gorgeous cake is to decorate it with flowers all around the bottom.
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/3 dl (1 cup) sugar
- 1 1/6 dl (1/2 cup) flour
- 1 1/6 dl (1/2 cup) potato starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cardemom
- 400 g blueberries
- 2 tbsp water
- 5 egg whites
- 3 dl (1 1/4 cup) sugar
- 325 g (1 1/2 cup) butter (at room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- mini meringues
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F).
- Grease and line a 10 cm (4 inches) baking pan with parchment paper.
- Cream eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Sift together flour, potato starch, baking powder, and cardemom.
- Using a spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out dry.
- Place blueberries and water in a saucepan, heat until it boils and then let it boil for about ten minutes.
- Let it cool completely.
- Combine egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl and place it over a pot of boiling water.
- Whisk constantly by hand until the temperature reaches 65 degrees C (150 degrees F) or the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Beat in an electric standing mixer with the whisk attachment, starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, until the meringue is thick, glossy, forms stiff peaks and the bowl is no longer hot to the touch. This takes about 10 minutes or so.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and put the mixer on slow-medium speed.
- Add the butter, a small piece at a time and mix well after each addition. Continue beating until the buttercream has a silky smooth texture.
- Add half of the blueberry puree and whip until it is smooth again (can take some minutes).
- Divide the buttercream in two (one part to frost the cake and one part to fill the cake).
- Add the rest of the blueberry puree to one of the parts and keep beating until smooth again (this will be the buttercream for the filling).
- Cut the cardemom cake even and divide it in four layers.
- Place one layer on a cake plate, spread the blueberry buttercream for the filling on top and repeat until you come to the last cake layer.
- Place the last cake layer bottom up.
- Cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting and chill for about half an hour.
- Cover the cake with frosting again but this time with a thicker layer of frosting.
- Decorate with blueberries, mini meringues and daisies.
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream must be served at room temperature in order to experience its velvety smoothness.
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