Liquorice and Beetroot Babka / Babka alla barbabietola e liquirizia

For those who know me well this recipe does not come as a surprise… you know ho much I love beetroot and licorice don’t you? I tried this babka for breakfast and it is simply delicious, pillowy soft and just slightly sweet, want a slice? Well, roll up your sleeves and get started baking!
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Butternut Squash and Licorice Muffins / Muffins alla zucca butternut e liquirizia

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Butternut squash mon amour. I started appreciating pumpkin and butternut squash quite late into my twenties, but since my father grows these vegetables in his garden I now cannot wait for the arrival of the cold season in order to taste sweet and savoury dishes cooked with this versatile ingredient. Its natural sweetness makes it an excellent ingredient for cakes and muffins so why not do a little experiment and combine it with one of my favourite ingredients ever? And here it is…the omnipresent liquorice! Needless to say the pairing is superb, these muffin are soft and sweet (but not too much). You can’t get any better than this!
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MTChallenge: Licorice, Beetroot, Eggplant, Burrata cheese and Anchovies Pizza / MTChallenge: Pizza alla liquirizia con crema di barbabietole e pomodoro concentrato, melanzane grigliate, burrata e acciughe

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Pizza in a pan logbook. When Antonietta proposed her recipe for this month’s MTChallenge I could not believe it…finally my favourite, pizza! Anyone who knows me personally is well aware of the efforts I have undertaken years ago in the search for the perfect traditional pizza. What they probably don’t know is that pizza pan is a true mystery to me. Even though I am a proud owner of Gabriele Bonci’s book “Pizza”, which was given to me as a gift by my sister, all my attempts so far (very few I must admit) have ended in a big failure. Being totally honest with you I am not a huge fan of pizza in a pan. But a challenge is a challenge, and for this occasion I decided to overcome my limitations and my fears and bake Antonietta’s pizza in a pan. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Liquorice Bagel / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Bagel alla liquirizia

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Bagels. If I’m not mistaken this is the second recipe I tried after discovering my passion for bread baking. The first one was the Cottage Loaf, a bread which has been the staple of my baking when sixteen. Around that time my father used to travel a lot to the United States, something which I guess summed up with my passion for american tv series and MTV played a role into feeding my interest for this bread. I then did a 10 day holiday in N.Y. where I religiously followed my plan to eat a typical american breakfast every single morning, with the rule of changing both menu and place every single day. Amongst the breakfast I had there where bagels too, of course. I would opt for a classic philadelpia cheese and smoked salmon bagel, straight from the oven and still warm. No doubt one of my favourite breakfasts during my american holiday. I haven’t been baking bagels since, for no reason really. This time a pretty weird idea to use Maroggia’s Mill flour came to my mind. Liquorice flavoured bagels! Take a look into Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook with me and let’s see how these beauties can be baked at home.

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MTChallenge June: Horse Meat Hamburger with Eggplant, Beetroot crisps, pepper ketchup in a liquorice bun / MTChallenge Giugno: Hamburger di cavallo con melanzana, barbabietola e ketchup di peperoni in panino alla liquirizia

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Here I am a little sleepy and with half closed eyes as I sit here, typing at my computer. What an adventure for this month’s MTChallenge! Diabolical Arianna saparunda.blogspot.ch, who won the contest last month, launched a pretty complex challenge inviting us to cook our own version of the world famous American Hamburger. I can’t deny it, as all the staff of the challenge is very understanding when allergies and special diets ar involved I first contemplated the option of participating with a macrobiotic hamburger. That thought lasted about thirty seconds, then I realized that it had no sense at all, at least from my personl point of view on this dish. Let’s face it hamburgers must be rich, fat and rewarding. It didn’t feel quite right to stick a vegetable burger into a wholemeal bun with a tahini and umeboshi sauce. Hey, hold on a second…now that I came up with this I must admit it does sound quite appealing. Maybe I’ll give it a try soon. But anyway back to my burger. Blame it on the diet restrictions or just my own view on burgers (burger = meat), but I decided to focus on a juicy and tasty version of the American fast food par excellence. And I don’t regret it. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge May: Giant Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Licorice and Orange Toast Crumbles / MTChallenge Maggio: Penne giganti al sugo di pomodorini, liquirizia e pane tostato all’arancia

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Another month, another challenge. This month’s MTChallenge Paola Sabino from the blog Fairies’ Kitchen challenged us with a “simple” tomato sauce pasta. Nothing more difficult than an “easy” dish. The challenge lies in being able to enhance the dish in all its components, first of all of course the tomato that should not be overwhelmed by other flavours and blend well with the pasta with its creamy texture. Another considerable detail is the degree of doneness of the pasta (it is known that overcooked pasta in addition to being sticky and unpleasant to taste is difficult to digest) for which Paola specifically requested a photograph that proves the perfect “al dente” cooking. Paola also called for a brief cooking of the sauce, even though not of its individual ingredients, and forbid us the use of onion. She tied our hands a little, something I particularly like when confronted with a challenge. More limitations and more the challenge gets interesting! For my dish I chose to stick to simplicity, but with the eccentric touch which distinguishes my cooking. To enhance the natural sweetness of tomatoes I used licorice powder and orange as pairings and added a bit of crunchiness with toasted bread. The result is very fresh, with notes of orange paving the way first to the tomato, blending with the licorice at the end of the bite. To make my life easier for the photograph of the doneness of the pasta I chose giant penne, although I personally recommend to pair this sauce with linguine.

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Liquorice Torrone and Christmas Wishes / Torrone alla liquirizia e Auguri di Buon Natale

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This is my last recipe before Christmas, I don’t know yet if there will be more confectionery/sweets recipes next year as sugars and dairy product are the biggest no no in my new diet, and I would like to avoid falling into easy temptations even by having a little taste. But change is inevitable, the whole evolving as the days go by. I really wanted to post this recipe to show how sometimes the simple addition of a single ingredient can change a product, making it more special. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge: Licorice Lasagna with Chicken Liver and Leeks / MTChallenge: Lasagna alla liquirizia, fegatini di pollo e porri

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Another month and yet another MTChallenge. A tough one. Yes, because this month Sabrina, from Les Madeleines Proust blog, challenged us with a traditional Italian recipe. One of those one might think would be fairly easy to make, after all what’s so difficult about rolling some dough? I bet you already guessed what I am talking about: Lasagna! And we’re talking about the real deal. The sheet of pasta, as instructed by Sabrina, had to be rolled by hand. Yeah, rrrright! May it be my proverbial insecurity, my total inexperience, my well known impatience, or the fact that after 30′ resting the dough was slightly sticky but my lasagna certainly will make history. For its thickness. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Crunchy Licorice Snails / Chioccioline croccanti alla liquirizia

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It has been a while that I’ve been entertaining the idea of experimenting a little with basic grissini dough and some time ago, a morning before going off to work, I baked my first batch of grissini snails. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Madeleines with licorice and orange zest / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Madeleines alla liquirizia e scorza d’arancia

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I’m back with the bimonthly appointment with Maroggia‘s Mill Cookbook and with my licorice fixation as well. Yes, not only I am so looking forward to my dear friend Michela’s – aka Menta e Rosmarino – visit over to Switzerland as amongst other things she already announced me she will bring a bag of licorice powder, but I can’t stop thinking about recipes that contain this amazing ingredient. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…