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Recipe for an Italian-style Mother’s Day Brunch

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Maria-Capdevielle_square-300x300Recipes for an Italian-style Mother’s Day brunch, along with the completed meal, will be shared by Chef Maria Capdevielle in a May 13 demo at the Sonoma Community Center.

Students will learn the secrets to making a homemade brunch for mom with recipes including artichoke and goat cheese strata, arugula salad with strawberries, ricotta salata and walnuts, and Italian beignes, which are Italian pastries with cinnamon and sugar. (Recipe below).

Capdevielle, who began her career as a pastry intern at Chez Panisse, is a popular teacher who offers cooking classes throughout the Bay Area. She is the owner of Maria Teresa’s Kitchen, which offers monthly, regional Italian cooking classes in Berkeley.

She has prepared pastries for well-known restaurants including the Townhouse Restaurant in Emeryville, The Waterfront Café & Restaurant, and Rose Pistola, both in San Francisco.

The class will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Rotary Community Kitchen.

The fee is $85, or $76 for Community Center members. Class includes hands-on learning and a meal at the conclusion of the lesson. Further details on the class can be found online at To register, contact 938-4626 x1. Sonoma Community Center is located at 276 East Napa Street in Sonoma.

Italian Beignes

2/3 cup All-Purpose flour

5 tablespoon Melted butter

2 teaspoon sugar

3 eggs

¼ Teaspoon salt

Grated zest of 1 orange

2/3 Cup hot water

Oil For Deep Frying

Topping: 1/2 cup of sugar granulated sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

In a medium sized pot, place the water, salt and butter, and heat until boiling. Add the flour all at ounce, and mix well over the heat for few minutes, or until the mixture dries and begins to pull away from the pan. This may take anywhere from two to five minutes. Remove from the heat, and pour the paste into a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at the time. Beat in the sugar and orange zest. Heat the oil to 350F. Dip a tablespoon first in the hot oil, then scoop out a spoonful of dough and drop it into the oil. Fry the zeppole until golden brown. Place on a plate covered with paper towels, and lightly dust with cinnamon sugar.

Hints for Success with Fried Pastries

  • Use fat with high smoke point. Olive oil with a mild flavor is a good choice. Also, canola and safflower oil have a high smoking point, so that it is possible to continue frying with them for a relative long period of time before the oils begin to degenerate and foam.
  • Make sure the dough to be fried is not covered totally by flour, because the excess of flour will burn, accumulate in the pan and cause frying medium to degenerate.
  • Prepare a slotted spoon and a pan covered with paper towels close to you, when you are frying pastries.
  • Use a large pan and fill only halfway.
  • Use a low-to-medium heat for heating frying fat, and have a thermometer to check the temperature (350F).

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