My first Daring Bakers hosting: Paris-Brest! / Il mio primo Daring Bakers come “ospite”: Paris Brest!

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The November Daring Baker’s challenge took us for a ride! Luisa from Rise of the Sourdough Preacher challenged us to make Paris-Brest, a beautiful pastry celebrating the Paris-Brest bicycle race.

Almost one year ago I got an email from Jenni, from The Gingered Whisk blog, asking me whether I was up for a Daring Bakers Challenge hosting. I pinched myself once, twice, took a deep breath and said yes without hesitation but already worrying about what to come up to. I have been admiring DB’s challenges since many years…I remember still being in Genoa so we are talking about eight years ago, when Daring Bakers was born. After a lot of thinking my choice fell on a French pastry classic since my favorite challenges are those involving pastry skills, and oh boy a range of skills are needed indeed to pull off a perfect Paris-Brest! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTC Challenge: Of Mice and Men, a muffin dreamed by labourers / MTC Challenge: Uomini e topi, il muffin sognato dai braccianti

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And so we are approaching the end of the month, and as usual I am posting just a few days before the end of this month’s MTC challenge. Last month, Francesca from the Blog Burro e Zucchero won and for this last challenge before the end of the year she decided to set a higher bar. This time not only a basic recipe to take inspiration from, but the obligation to take inspiration from written work, may it be a book, a poem, a story or a song, justifying the use of ingredients in relation to it. After a first enthusiastic reaction I got into panic. What to choose? What writer, poet, singer-songwriter? What inspiration to follow, which ingredients to choose? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Persian Bread: Lavash / Pane persiano: Lavash

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Of my great love for Persian cuisine and its language (which unfortunately I do not understand but never fails to move my heart, like a sweet melody, every time I hear my aunt talking in farsi) I already wrote in this post about Persian sweets. There I mentioned Mandana, a longtime friend of my aunt with whom a nice relationship of complicity and confidence was born after I met her at my cousin’s wedding. We often write to each other on facebook and often share some recipes too. She usually asks me for bread and pizza recipes, my requests are mainly for Persian recipes. On one of these occasions I asked her if she had a recipe for lavash, since it has been quite a while that with a friend who is in a relationship with and Iranian boy we are thinking about having an all Persian dinner and I do not want to show up at their place empty handed. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Autumn warmest colours and flavours: Polenta gnocchi with mushrooms and chestnuts sauce / I caldi colori e sapori dell’Autunno: Gnocchi di polenta con funghi e castagne

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In my culinary imagination polenta has always been linked to more or less special occasions. You might think this is strange, as polenta is amongst the basic ingredients of my region’s cookery and its presence on our table during the cold season would be taken for granted. Being my mother English the most common dishes cooked during autumn and winter time are Shepherd’s pie, Lancashire hot pot and a range of stews. Polenta has always been eaten at my aunt’s place. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Walnuts, Aniseed Caramel and Pear Tarts/ Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tartellette alle noci, caramello all’anice e pera

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Autumn has set in and I realised it has been a while since I last posted a good sweet recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. What better occasion than a bag full of walnuts coming straight from my dad’s garden? The process of nut cracking is long and boring, but there is absolutely no comparison with store bought nuts and the whole process can be done on a cold night in front of a good movie, as I actually did. My sister suggested trying out a Tuorta da Nusch (a walnut and caramel tart typical of Engadina region in Switzerland) which is one of my – many I admit – favourite dessert tarts, but I wanted to do something different. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Sourdough Braided Butter Bread / Treccine al lievito madre

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About my family’s traditional Sunday breakfast with braided butter bread I already wrote in this post. That recipe, however, required instant yeast, and finally I decided to elaborate a sourdough friendly version of this swiss bread, and my expectations have not been disappointed. Soft, fragrant, a bread to be eaten sliced or slowly “unravelled” (yes, my usual habit of “unraveling” food!) these braids are perfect for people who, like me, live alone. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Living On My Own, The Ultimate Comfort Food: Fried Polenta bites and Butternut Squash / Living On My Own, il cibo coccola per eccellenza: Cubetti di polenta fritta e zucca butternut

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Autumn is finally here, with its warm colors and scent of damp earth, burnt wood and hot soups. Even though it is my favourite season I can’t deny its characteristic cold weather and leaden skies can have a melanchonic effect on the mood. Today’s recipe is mostly a remedy against autumnal melancholy, the ultimate comfort food for singles. Something you might want to eat on one of those lonely nights when you feel a bit down after a bad day at work, when its cold all around and inside your heart too. As a single woman sometimes I speculate about relationships, especially on those cold and lonely nights, envying a bit my friends who have a partner waiting for them at home. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

My bread featured on Essen Magazine: “Fashion Food” Editorial + Recipes / Il mio pane su Essen Magazine: Editoriale per la rubrica “Fashion Food” + Ricette

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Life is strange, it’s not much in my style to make certain statements but sometimes it seems to me that wishes can come true without too much effort and this is exactly what happened with this adventure with Essen – A Taste Magazine I’m about to tell you. I well remember that Sunday morning in August. My friend Chiara and I were in my kitchen, hands wrapped around our cups of black tea, fragrant freshly baked ciabatta and assorted jams for breakfast. We talked about possible collaborations, ideas of projects involving food and fashion (she works as a stylist in Milan). Chiara suddenly came up with an idea, why not propose an Autumn/Winter fashion editorial for Essen Magazine’s column Fashion Food, featuring my bread creations too? We started writing down ideas, but then as you well know the notes ended up in the middle of a thousand other paperwork scribbled with ideas, projects and recipes to try out. Until I got a phone call from Chiara, telling me that out of the blue she had been given by her boss a job for a fashion editorial for Essen Magazine! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Trofie with Chestnut and pumpkin sauce / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Trofie alla salsa di castagne e zucca butternut

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It has been quite a while since the last time I posted a fresh pasta recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. My choice fell on a classic of Genoese cuisine, trofie, which are accompanied with two typical ticinese ingredient, pumpkin/butternut squash and chestnuts. There’s nothing more autumnal than this, and considered the cold weather nothing better than a good seasonal dish to warm our hearts and bodies isn’t it? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Daring Bakers: Sachertorte

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The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.

It has been a while since I last took part to a Daring Bakers challenge, but this month I could not miss on the appointment, not with this cake, the Sachertorte. Korena challenged us with the cake I baked the most during my university years (as I already told you in my post of the chocolate and cinnamon cake). And I realised I hadn’t been baking it since then. A good opportunity to test my skills (oh the glaze, what a nightmare!) and taste, after so many years, one of the most balanced and soft dough in the world of cakes to my humble opinion.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…