Here we are with a new recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As some of you might know the past year I often travelled to one of the most beautiful cities in Italy: Naples. Falling in love with a proud Neapolitan I did not miss out on the opportunity to visit the city, admiring its culture, beauty but especially enjoying its gastronomic specialties. Specialties of which time by time I have written down the names, usually using my cellphone transferring all manually on post-its when back in Chiasso. Too often these notes are then forgotten, buried by piles of books that gradually accumulate while I research for other recipes during my work of testing and programming for the baking workshops I teach at Maroggia’s Mill. Usually I and end up finding the precious notes while I clear up the mess, which I must admit happens quite infrequently, peeking out from a notebook inviting me with their phosphorescent colors to undertake a new challenge in the kitchen. So it happened with the migliaccio, a typical dessert of the Campania tradition. Hold on, before unleashing horrified comments and anathemas. This recipe has nothing to do with the traditional recipe, if not as an inspiration for this cake that I renamed semolina cheesecake. Why a cheesecake? Well this cake has a crust and the filling as the traditional dessert too requires ricotta, which makes it in itself a sweet cheesecake. Did I convince you? Well I hope so. First of all I decided to use a very fine soft wheat semolina flour, which is great for making gnocchi alla romana too, and compared to the original recipes found online I added a much lower amount of sugar. The dough, made with 00 flour, is also slightly sweetened so if you want you can add ten grams of sugar if you prefer sweeter flavors. Raisins can be soaked in rum to give the sweet an edge and nothing prevents you from adding other ingredients in the semolina filling, may it be candied fruit, nuts, chocolate or fruit it’s up to your preferences. The dessert is fresh and light and if you want to make a simpler version you can skip on lining the cake tin with pastry, but remember to grease well the mold and sprinkle it with plenty of semolina!
For the last episode of this season of ZZAFF! I chose a simple but very scrumptious recipe. The base consists in cavollatt, an egg cream that was once consumed as an energy drink because of the amount of sugar and fat contained in it. The cream, alternated with ladyfinger biscuits, results in an excellent dessert that is perfect for the summer season. Cavollatt montato has to rest in the refrigerator and is to be eaten cold. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
A classical British dessert for today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe. I used a flour available at Maroggia’s Mill which is not directly produced by them. I was intrigued since I used Kamut flour very seldom. I took a look online and found out that Kamut flour is more easily digestible, has a lower glycemic index and is very rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals compared to wheat flour. Seen all these qualities why not use it to bake a sweet? The crumble turned out beautifully, soft and heavenly melting in the mouth when warm, crunchy when eaten cold. The basic recipe for the crumble can be used with any kind of seasonal fruit, spices and even chocolate chips!
It is with pleasure that I announce to you a new collaboration with some friends of a local radio station, Radio Gwendalyn. From now on I will be collaborating with some recipes for their new interregional podcasts, ZZAFF!, a program in collaboration with the Geneva-based Radio Vostok radio. Once a month we will meet in the “Svizzeria” to discover the wonders of the artistic and cultural Swiss scene. This program was especially thought to promote our linguistic region to the French-speaking friends. We will be recording one hour program in the language of Voltaire, while our friends from radio Vostock will record an all-Italian podcast. Interesting isn’t it? Alan, Chief Editor of Radio Gwen, asked me to take care of the regional cuisine column. And how not to start with a classic of Ticino cuisine? la torta di pan, or bread cake, Ça va sans dire!
Cantucci(or biscotti, as they are called in the States and UK), can’t tell you how many of those I ate when I lived in Tuscany. Actually it was one of my favourite dessert when I went at the restaurant. A nice glass of Vin Santo, the relaxed dipping of the cantucci in the golden boozy liquid. The most perfect way to end a dinner. Before Christmas I was unable to bake panettone so I indulged with backing plenty of cantucci and pandolce (a Genoese version of panettone) that I gave as a gift to family and friends. Searching for the best recipes I came across this one which is just perfect. I found it on a very reliable blog which I already known for years, Anice e Cannella. The only two changes I made have been replacing orange zest with lemon zest, which I much more prefer, and not brushing the cantucci with the egg (more out of laziness than anything else). A gift which my guinea pigs welcomed and appreciated very much. You can store them in nice tin boxes and bring them as a gift to friends who invite you over for dinner, maybe with a good bottle of Vin Santo!
Here I am, after oh so many tribulations, ready once more to participate to this month’s MTChallenge.This month’s recipe is only apparently an easy one to whip up: tiramisu. Susy literally threw at us a proper hand grenade…one able to shatter nerves and make our clothes explode under the pressure of fat and calories! Who would have imagined that making tiramisu would be so difficult? I’ll spare you all details of the various problems, errors and frustration I encountered all through my tiramisu journey on order to come up with a recipe that if only I had the skills would be a scream. No pastry skills, no party. What I managed to come up with is rather a tiramimoscio (an italian word I invented to describe my flaccid tiramisu). But I can assure you that if you do have the pastry skill necessary in order to make a proper tiramisu this recipe is truly remarkable. You can either choose to have it as tiramimoscio or a tiramifreddo (another invented word for the frozen version of this dessert). In fact those two version can be easily interpreted as the sweet incarnations of the two female characters from the film from which I drew inspiration: “The Hunger”. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
Desserts at my house are quite forbidden. Or I’d rather say that you will hardly find in my pantry packets of biscuits, chocolate bars, candy and all food alike. The main issue is self-control, the other “no sweet stuff factor” is because I’d rather choose ingredients myself since too often store bought sweets contain too much sugar for my palate. This recipe for Maroggia’ Mill Cookbook was born from the desire for something sweet…but not too much. Flavours to pamper your tastebuds with and sweeten a gloomy day and why not, to scent your house with. I simply love it when the perfume of a sweet dessert spreads from the kitchen and permeates all the flat, it always puts me in a good mood. I decided to make small tart, a simple trick not to have too many sweets at home and because I find the little tart or cake format nicer to be photographed. For a 24-25 cm cake of about it is sufficient to multiply the quantities of the two ingredients and to bake the tart for 45′-50′.
A recipe is a stratification, sweet or salty, bitter, spicy or sweet and sour, of the manifestations of one’s love. I do firmly believe in this statement. May it be a gesture of affection, a manifestation of esteem and friendship, or love expressed as an overwhelming passion if you proceed to remove layers of flavours and gestures to distill its essence what you will obtain is one of the deepest and most sincere of all human feelings. A thought waiting to take shape, the choice of ingredients and the process of turning them into something familiar, desired, which has the power of warming the heart, or an unusual pairing of flavours, a surprise, love at first sight. The long wait, that feeling so similar to the eager stare at the window when waiting for a lover who has been away for a long time. What will be next? A perfectly risen cake, eyes bursting with desire or a collapsed soufflé and a quick peek on the cheek, a glacial politeness falling heavy like a gravestone on a long time exhausted relationship? Food speaks, or allows us to speak to others when words fail or are simply useless. I have seen more manifestations of love on a rich and well prepared table that in readymade Valentine gifts and in badly chosen birthday gifts.
Antinea is a special person. We’ve known each other for little over a year but it is as if it were a life time that we have been friends. It was a mutual friend who introduced her to me. With the impending 35th birthday I thought it would be good for me to start some kind of physical activity to keep fit. Amongst the various options the most popular for women in their thirties seemed to be pilates and talking to Marko it came out that her friend Antinea is pilates instructor. There was a nice vibe from the start and despite my stiffness and the struggle to assimilate her teachings I decided to trust her, committing to exercising and trying to overcome my limits. And so it was. I’m sure that without her there would have been no “Cuochi d’artificio”and I am convinced that pilates has greatly contributed to my physical and psychological well-being, giving me not only a new body but also a new mindset. Perhaps at my age I have finally reached a state of equilibrium and for that I must thank Antinea too.
Sometimes it does not take much of an effort to have a brilliant idea. One of the easiest ways is to proceed by mental association. What I wanted was to develop a recipe that would be easy and quick to bake but still quite stunning, even its simplicity. Something with bread. Mmmmmh, soup served in loaf…but what if I turned it into a sweet recipe? No, nothing like my beet and mango gazpacho, what I wanted was something more unusual and original. A cake! Well…a cake encased in bread might be a bit too dense. The answer was just around the corner…a cheesecake! Rolls are perfect to serve this cake as a single portion, the crust is crispy on the sides and is not too heavy unlike some cheesecake crusts which are quite dense and heavy. And imagine the reaction of your guests while bringing them to the table humble sandwiches for dessert? There are endless possibilities to flavour the cheesecake cream as well as the pairing of fruits that you can use to decorate these little delicious treasures. Making them takes very few minutes, a little more than half an hour. Ready to make a great impression on your guests?