“Cuochi d’artificio”: Alice in Wonderland / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie

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Last year she turned 150, and I can say I was there celebrating her birthday having participated to the gorgeous Dinner in Wonderland organized by my dear friend Antonella. It’s Alice Liddell, the famous protagonist of “Alice in Wonderland”, one of the most famous children book ever written and the theme chosen for this episode of “Cuochi d’artificio”.
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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Soft, sweet…Asia! / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Soffice, dolce…Oriente!

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For this episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I was given a very specific theme: steam. Not an easy one, especially since I was given the task of developing one or more idea for the long recipe part of the program. My first thought went to Chinese steamed bread, baozi, which I had been thinking of for a long time and planned to develop a sweet recipe soon.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: White Chocolate Sachertorte, or Gio’s cake / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Torta Sacher al cioccolato bianco, o anche detta torta della Gio’

White Chocolate Sachertorte - Torta Sacher al cioccolato bianco

It has been quite a while now since I last posted a cake recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As you know by now my diet unfortunately does not allow me to eat sweets, although on rare occasions I happen to cheat (better not mention the Christmas festivities, which have been a disaster as far as diet is concerned). But this cake is simply divine and I could not keep myself from posting the recipes. It’s a reinterpretation of the most famous Sachertorte, the original recipe I have worked on comes from a recipe which I have been baking for nearly 20 years ripped from an old issue of a magazine which I cannot tell anymore whether it was “A Tavola” rather than “Italian Cooking”. However, the recipe of the original Sacher is superb but this white version is not far behind. I used Maroggia’s Mill Nostrana flour and the result is soft and spongy to perfection, very moist and sweet without being sickening (to avoid it being to sweet I decided not to cover it with a white chocolate glaze, which is to my taste a bit too sugary). A bite leads to another bite, melting quickly in the mouth. The first person to test the recipe was my friend Gio’, which I found out loves white chocolate both reasons why I decided to rename this recipe “Gio’s cake”. I also tried to make a bigger cake using a classic 20 cm diameter mould ring and it was met with great enthusiasm, but keep in mind a bigger cake requires different temperatures and times for baking. What are you waiting for, why don’t you try it too?

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A piadina that believed itself to be ravioli, sweet version / La piadina che si credeva raviolo, versione dolce

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In this post I propose the original recipe for the piadina that believed itself to be ravioli. Oh yes, the recipe was originally conceived as a sweet and only later I was asked to change it into a savoury version. In fact, the first recipe’s name should have been “Piadina that believed itself to be ravioli… but also a bit cannoli”because of its sweet filling made with goat cheese and candied fruit, like the traditional cannolo. Since no recipe goes to waste and blog posting optimization has become vital to me I propose the recipe with a slight modification in the dough too, with a mix of fine semolina and AP white flour which is reminiscent of fresh pasta. I recommend using goat cheese because it is much more delicate on the palate and less creamy (too much creaminess is likely to cover the flavours of the other ingredients). I added lemon zest and fennel powder to give some freshness to the filling which would be otherwise a little too bland. Sometimes it takes very little to make a recipe special and I am very happy to say this one passed the guinea pigs test with no problem, despite the presence of candied peel which are not always to the taste of everyone. If you are among those who do not like candied peel you can always replace this ingredient with chocolate chips or other ingredients you like the most.

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Oops I did it again! Almond, Candied Orange Peel and Aniseed Sweet Rice Cakes! / Oops I did it again! Tortine di riso alle mandorle, arancia candita e anice

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Oops I did it again (didn’t I say I would no longer post sweet recipes?)! Well this is an old recipe, part of a menu I made up a few months ago for a project that never came to life. I kept those recipes aside for any emergency, a Plan B to keep the blog post flow constant. It was a smart choice. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Ceci n’est pas un macaron: Black Tea “Macarons” / Ceci n’est pas un macaron: “Macarons” al thé nero

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Yes I know, I promised myself I wouldn’t be baking sweet treats anymore…but this recipe had been waiting for more than a year to be published only waiting for me to improve my macaronage and piping skills. Since many egg whites have been stored in my freezer since December I thought it might be the right time to give it another shot. And I gave it, actually three shots (two of which turned out ok, one of which turned out too runny to even bake the batch). The result is okay but not quite the thing. As you well know proper macarons look like this. Flat top, nicely raised foot. Mine look like the Swiss famous Luxemburgerli sort of a sweet mini hamburger. But my guinea pigs assured me, they taste good and have the right chewiness to them, so I decided to post the recipe and share it with you. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

For a special friend: Flavia Ingalls’ Custard Pie / Per un’amica speciale: Torta alla crema di Flavia Ingalls

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This recipe is dedicated to a good friend and amazing photographer, Flavia. I have known her for almost a year now, having had the chance to team up with her for many of our works for Migros’ weekly paper, Azione, and get on very well. When we can we have dinners and movie projections at the studio she shares with some other very talented guys. On the 28th of August she celebrates her birthday and knowing of her unconditional love for “Little house on the prairie” I looked up many website in search of a themed present. Until we stumbled upon a book of Vivian Maier’s works while visiting an exhibition and suddenly changed plans. But something “Little prairie” themed had to be there for her birthday! So I looked on the web for a recipe instead and picked this custard pie. Why I am posting it so late? Well I admit that along the months I had to tweak a little the recipe until coming up with this one, which is simply perfect. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

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…

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…

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.

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