This magical time comes every year and it always brings fresh sensations to savour.
Full of sparkling lights and hectic days racing by one after another, Christmas encapsulates hope and joy. For me, it’s summed up by the smell of freshly baked cakes, the zest of citrus fruit and cinnamon.
It’s the fragrance of Christmas and it only takes a moment for it to grab hold of you, bring memories of your childhood flooding back and set you on the path to making new ones. It fills you with the urge to snuggle up and treat yourself to something delightfully warm and comforting, like a cup of tea.
I chose Profumi Alpini herbal tea and right away I relished the fragrance of hibiscus and rose hips, followed by liquorice and camomile. It instantly conjures up a magical, enchanting atmosphere and wraps you up in it.
Sipping a cup of herbal tea has always been a relaxing experience for adults and children of all ages and it does everyone the world of good.
There’s nothing quite like reading, playing a few games or having a nice chat over a china cup filled with fragrant leaves brewing in hot water.
During my afternoon break, I enjoyed a steaming hot cup of Profumi Alpini herbal tea with a spiced ring cake containing apples alongside cloves, cinnamon and ginger. The spices in the recipe all immediately call to mind the spellbinding Christmas season and they marvellously complement the aromatic qualities of the herbal tea.
Having a fragrant cup of herbal tea and a tasty slice of cake is a quick, easy and wonderful way to spend a little time with your friends or children that really helps you to unwind and never fails to put a smile on everybody’s face.
For a tin with a 22-24 cm diameter
350 g of white wheat flour (or a mixture of spelt flour and white wheat flour)
250 ml of apple juice
60 ml of extra virgin olive oil
100 ml of milk
110 g of butter at room temperature
230 g of natural cane sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1½ teaspoons of baking powder
½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ a teaspoon of ground ginger
10 ground cloves
A pinch of salt
40 g of butter
40 g of granulated sugar
½ a teaspoon of cinnamon
Peel the apple, grate it and put it in a small saucepan with the apple juice. Bring it to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the apple is nice and soft and the juice is more concentrated.
Mash the apple with a fork if necessary, then let the mixture cool.
Add the olive oil and milk to the apple purée.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a bowl and add all of the spices.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and cane sugar together until you have a light, fluffy mixture. Now add the eggs one at a time. Wait until each egg has been mixed in properly before adding the next one.
Add the flour and spices to the bowl, then the apple, milk and olive oil, and mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly.
Grease a ring cake tin thoroughly with butter and pour in the mixture, level it off and bake it in a preheated conventional oven at 180°C for 45-50 minutes. Stick a toothpick into the middle of the cake to see if it’s ready: the toothpick should come out clean but slightly moist.
Take the tin out of the oven, leave the cake to settle for around 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a cooling rack and leave it to cool completely.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it turns a hazelnut colour, then brush it onto the cake. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, then use it to give the cake a thorough dusting.
Decorate the cake and serve it with a steaming hot cup of Profumi Alpini herbal tea.
(By Elisa Di Rienzo | ilfiordicappero.com)
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