Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Hazelnut and Liquorice cake / Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Torta di nocciole e liquirizia

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Some time has passed since the last cake recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. One of those simple cakes, easy and quick to bake and offer to friends who come over for a tea or a coffee, or as the perfect finishing touch to a casual dinner. This recipe lends itself well to be customized using other nut-based flours such as almond flour, pistachio flour, or walnut flour. This cake (which I baked in a 15×8 cm mould with 1/3 of the amount of ingredients shown in the recipe written for this post, which requires the use of a ring mould of approximately 23 cm diameter) marries the warm and enveloping taste of hazelnut with the slightly bitter sweetness of licorice. What a perfect match!
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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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Cantucci di Prato

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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!

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Stale Bread and Fennel Seeds Brittle Biscuits / Biscotti al croccante di pane raffermo e semi di finocchio

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A couple of months ago I was interviewed by a young local journalist, Ivan Campari, for a series of articles he is publishing on the newspaper LaRegione featuring young people from the Mendrisiotto area. For this I have to thank my friend Alan Alpenfelt, the mind behind the independent Radio Gwen and the acting company V XX Zweetz who was interviewed too and gave my name amongst others. To greet both the photographer and the journalist I decided to bake a batch of biscuits, which proved providential as the only good picture of me is one I am transferring them from the baking tray to the rack! I am such a terrible photography subject as I always feel very embarrassed and pull faces and eventually end up throw evil glances at the camera.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Bread in a can / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pane in lattina

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Today for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I want to present you with a very practical and entertaining recipe, as well as delicious of course! Bread in a can is the perfect example of how man can use anything as a cooking tool. Really, there is no point in owning multiple moulds and bread tins when you can re-use tin cans. Besides the result is so nice and the rounded slices of bread are perfect for making appetizers!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Savoury Semolina Flour Pancakes / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pancakes salati con farina per pasta e pizza

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Breakfast, you already know how much I love this moment of the day and I won’t go on stressing how important it is for me to start the day with a rich meal. I have already experimented with a bread recipe using Maroggia’s Mill pasta and pizza flour (which is a mixture of wheat flour and very finely ground semolina flour) and I was pleasantly surprised. The result was very good, with an aromatic flavour and a good texture regarding the crumb.

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Tortelli who believed themselves to be chiacchiere / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: I tortelli che si credevano chiacchiere

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Carnival could be easily renamed “Feast of fried stuff”. The most common recipes in Italy and Ticino are chiacchiere, frappe, tortelli and frittelle. Needless to say frying makes everything better, crisp and irresistible! A quick dusting with icing sugar and tortelli are ready to taste, hot and straight out of their brown paper cone, while parading between bright coloured masks and multicoloured confetti. Each region has its own specialties, and it is not hard to confuse them between one another. And what if tortelli believed themselves to be chiacchiere?
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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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Black Sesame Seeds, Lemon and Black Pepper Madeleines / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Madeleines al sesamo nero, limone e pepe nero

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From the beginning of the year, ie since I started following more or less religiously a macrobiotic diet, I was forced to cut out on all that is sweet or contains sugars and most of the sweeteners on the market. I had to adapt, and started juggling myself between bread sticks, buns, loaves and pizzas recipes to add to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook trying to keep up both quality and variety. Detox, health, balance of body and mind. All of this is fair, but sometimes a little indulgence is necessary, isn’t it? So I looked back to a recipe for madeleines which I posted long time ago for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As I child I remember my mother buying those sweet treats from time to time, a very much appreciated concession for our mid day snack. She would buy the classic lemon scented ones which I ate usually in a series of three (I’ve always had a soft spot for odd numbers), religiously dunking them in a large cup of cold milk until they were next to falling apart. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

A Spring Menu nr 2 / Un menù di primavera nr 2

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Here we are with the second appointment with my spring menus. Aren’t you curious to read what’s up for this week? Here are the four courses of the second menu:
Savoury Short Pastry Nests with Cheese Cream, Chicory and Black Olives
Rosemary and Candied Lemon Peel Risotto
Rabbit with Beer, Honey and Herbs Glaze with Roasted Potatoes
Almonds and Orange

Is your mouth watering yet?

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