Orange is one of the most versatile fruits that we can find in the kitchen. Whether it is sliced, juiced or peeled, orange is found in countless recipes. Both sweet and savoury. Habit, at least for what concerns me, often leads to combine it with the same ingredients, especially when it comes to sweets and cakes. Cinnamon and dark chocolate, a classics. In this recipe I developed for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I decided to combine orange with an aromatic herb that I love very much, thyme. The result is fresh and very fragrant. Especially given the contrast with the more rustic flavour of Maroggia’s Mill rye flour. A true discovery! This cake is excellent with a good cup of tea, I’m sure it will bring a bit of sun in these chilly days. Are you ready? Then roll up your sleeves!
What could possibly happen when a friend offers you mealworms to taste? This is what happened two me a couple of weeks ago. I went over to the Mill for my usual flour collecting trip and found Alessandro holding a box of dried mealworms and a big grin on his face. Taste, he said. And taste I did indeed. Of course he commissioned me a recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. How cool is it to work with him???? That’s how my Tenebrownies were born. But if dried worms make you feel queasy you can bake these delicious brownies with any kind of nut or ingredient that please your palate. They are simply divine. Crunchy on the outside and extremely chewy inside. You definitely have to try them! And what about the mealworms, what do they taste like? Well, I must say I was amazed…they have a distinctive aftertaste of hazelnut!!!! In this case the flavour is very attenuated by the high content of chocolate and cocoa in the brownies but the larvae give a very special crunchiness that I have never felt in any other food, which I really liked. The proof is in the pudding!
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.