Butternut Squash and Licorice Muffins / Muffins alla zucca butternut e liquirizia

muffin-zucca-e-liquirizia-1

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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Chestnuts Flour and Walnut Bread / Pane alla farina di castagne e noci

Chestnuts Flour and Walnut Bread - Pane alla farina di castagne e noci 1

How I love the cold season. Vendors at every turn of a corner, the thick smoke coming from the roasting racks. Paper cones filled with roasted chestnuts keep my hands warm. Autumn and winter are my favourite season for their distinctive perfumes and flavours. Chestnuts come in the first place of my cold season food top ten. Sweet and fragrant, once amongst the staple food of our ancestors here in Ticino it has now become quite an expensive ingredient to buy in stores. Definitely not an every day ingredient if not for those who have the chance of being able to go in the woods and pick some. Every now and then I treat myself with a bag of chestnut flour and bake kolache. Lately I have been experimenting a bit and came up for this recipe for a bread I took to a dinner with friends. It’s flavour is intense and lends itself well to accompany a vegetable soup which is so seasonal. Chestnuts, walnuts and polenta are all products which are typical of my region and blend perfectly. This bread is one with a strong personality, it is rich and dense and keeps fresh for several days…a bit like bread did in the old days.

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Spiced Baumkuchen, a layered cake for Daring Bakers / Torta albero speziata per i Daring Bakers

baumkuchen doppia

The January 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij“. She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

I admit it, when reading Baumkuchen on this month’s Daring Bakers pdf’s document for just a slight moment I had the illusion we had to bake the Polish version (Secakz)
of this cake common in Northern Europe regions such as Germany, Austria, Hungary and funnily quite popular in Japan too. Scrolling down to read more, excited and quite scared, I won’t deny my relief discovering that Francijn choice’s had fallen on the German version of this sweet loaf. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTC Challenge’s Chestnuts: Chestnut flour Ravioli, stuffed with walnuts and bread, topped with melted cheese / Le Castagne dell’MTC Challenge: Ravioli alla farina di castagne ripieni di noci e pane, con fonduta di formaggella ticinese

ravioli castagne cotti

And here I am, out of breath, red faced and perpetually late. Kind of funny, because this is not my usual self. Indeed, more than often I am the one standing at the meeting point staring nervously at the clock ten minutes in advance (In fact I was almost one hour in advance at the Migros contest!). But with the blog things work differently and last minute posts are the rule. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Autumn Kolache with Chestnut flour and Persimmon Jam / Kolache con farina di castagne e marmellata di cachi per Sourdough Surprises

kolache

It’s Sourdough Surprises time again! This month’s theme, kolache, was initially a bad surprise but in the end provided me with an excuse to brainstorm and come over with a new and original recipe. What happened? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Chestnut flour, potato and walnuts bread rolls / Panini di farina di castagne, patate e noci

castagneintroweb

I already admitted it. I’m a recipe hoarder. The problem is the web has too many interesting recipes to offer and frankly, how can one resist? To bookmark a recipe is far too easy, as any recipe saved is easily forgotten if not directly printed. That’s what happens to me 90% of the time, not to mention the chaos which reigns in my bookmarking folders. But some recipes are special and not only get a bookmark but need to be made as soon as possible and eventually get printed to be hanged on my magnetic board. This is one of those recipes. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…