Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Gin Bisbino Babà / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Babà al Gin Bisbino

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Today for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I propose you my own interpretation of a great classic of Neapolitan pastry. The babà! Three years ago I baked babà for the first time thanks to the MTChallenge and I then promised to myself to try out other combinations sooner or later. I just had to wait until Alessandro wrote to me one day asking me if I had some original ideas to promote a new brand of gin, 100% local, produced by friends of his. I had already heard about Gin Bisbino and already had the opportunity to taste it but in fact I had never thought of using it in a recipe. Gin Bisbino really impressed me for its delicate flavour. A real pleasure to taste Gin Bisbino goes perfectly well with the fresh flavours of rosemary and grapefruit I chose to flavour the pastries with. To balance the bitter note of the grapefruit I added a little rose water that comes very delicately as an aftertaste, especially when the cream is eaten on its own. I decided to brush the babàs with rhubarb jelly which is slightly sweeter albeit maintaining the sourness of the other ingredients. And if you do not want to get your hands dirty, you can always try the recipe of Gin Bisbino to make an excellent Gin Tonic!
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MTC Challenge: Indian Style Fried Chicken / MTC Challenge: Pollo fritto all’indiana

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Another month, another MTChallenge. Last challenge, the macaron, literally brought me to my knees and made me regret having a willpower which is close zero. Friendships, relationships…working hard on myself I learned the salutary principle of “Letting go” and understand that everything, EVERYTHING, in this brief life simply comes to an end. Not with the MTChallenge, I simply can’t let go. Like in the most cliché relationships which are ruled by a strong, and constant, imbalance between love and hate it’s impossible for me to desist. Kathy Bates in “Misery” you name her…MTChallenge is far worse than her smashing Paul Sheldon’s legs, I simply can’t get out of it! Last challenge’s winner was Silvia, not a surprise if you go taking a look at the recipe with which she won. It was virtually impossible for her to lose. I immediately said to myself: “She will bash us, she will”. Indeed, a massive bash arrived. Silvia’s fried chicken! So you think that frying is easy don’t you? You couldn’t be more wrong. Being quite experienced with frying (I think my closest friends have heard me billion times instructing them on double frying) I took courage and decided to use an ingredient I’ve never used for frying before. Almonds. Scared about its humidity content and surely quite fearful of burning them I never, EVER, used nuts to coat anything that needed a good old frying session. Of course it took an MTChallenge to throw myself into the boiling cauldron and overcome anxiety. The inspiration for the recipe came from India, as soon as I read Valentina’s original recipe. Blame it on the marinade (spices and spicy!), or the idea of accompanying the chicken with a sauce (firstly my mind went to a yogurt based dip and then moved on to an inevitable chutney, which I decided to mix with yogurt :D), but for certain if chicken is involved, at least where I come from, you have to venture into indian cuisine.

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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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cream, Almond and Pistachio Grissini / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Grissini alla panna, mandorle e pistacchi

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Sometimes the best recipes for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook are born this way…recovering ingredients that have been languishing in the fridge for too long and next to their expiration date. Full cream, I can’t ever recall for which recipe I had bought it. Was it to make a batch of fleur sel caramel or rather to bake some cookies to nibble on at tea time? No clue at all! Then I came up with this bizarre idea. What about trying to bake sweet full cream infused grissini, would they taste any good? The answer came with the verdict from my faithful guinea pigs, these grissini are simply AMAZING. And highly addictive to…Flavia knows something about it, having said at least three times “This is the last one, I swear” before sealing the bag and leaving the few survivors on her studiomate Micha’s desk. These grissini can be underbaked, maintaining an internal softness which makes them very pleasant and accentuates the creamy quality of its dough. Alternatively, you can bake a little longer and let them dry in the oven to make them crispy. However you decide to bake them they are perfect as a snack for tea time or to munch on in front of a good movie. The sugar and pistachio breading can be replaced with other kinds of chopped nuts. What are you waiting for, roll up your sleeves and knead!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cinnamon, Almonds, Orange and Dark Chocolate Sablés / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Sablés alla cannella, arancia e cioccolato fondente

Cinnamon, Almonds, Orange and Dark Chocolate Sablés : Sablés alla cannella, arancia e cioccolato fondente 1

Biscuits, biscuits..give me biscuits! I have no clue what is going on with me, but maybe the macrobiotic experience (which I interrupted nearly three months ago) has shocked me to the point that I really needed to walk a bit on the dark side of baked goods and indulge in all those recipes that require a lot butter and a good dose of sugar. I’m pretty confident I will overcome this phase, especially because I don’t think my hips can take so much fat for very much longer. No, I don’t think so. So enjoy these sablés until I feel like posting sweet recipes. And I want to share this with you and all of Maroggia’s Mills friends. When my friend Flavia (a very talented photographer, go and check her work here) invited me over for tea I baked a good batch which was thoroughly enjoyed. In fact they didn’t last long, I can tell by the way my pants feel a bit too thighs! Needless to say, these biscuits melt in your mouth with delicate bursts of cinnamon and orange flavour which blend very well with each other as well as with dark chocolate. The addition of crunchy almonds and chopped dark chocolate add an extra thing to the whole sensory experience you have while biting in. Diet can start tomorrow (you can always go and check my macrobiotic blog…since it’s still online!)!
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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Turmeric Bread Casket and it’s jewels / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Scrigno di pane alla curcuma e i suoi gioielli

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“All that glitters is not gold” has been the theme of the last episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I took part to. My main inspiration came from Iran, a place I’ve never visited but whose cuisine I know enough to declare my love for. I imagined a chests, made of breadand filled with “precious jewels”. What about these precious jewels?
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cinnamon and Almond Croissants / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Croissants alla cannella e mandorle

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As previously mentioned in the post about madeleines for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I haven’t been posting sweet recipes anymore, given my macrobiotic diet. Here I indulge with another sweet recipe which calls for a lot of butter too. We’re not born to suffer, are we? Croissants is one difficult recipe I finally managed to bake properly last year, but as you know one never stops learning or experimenting. This time I tried substituting cow’s milk with oat milk and used margarine in the dough instead of butte, just for a change. The result is very good, although I’ll never stop experimenting until I will achieve the perfect layers! I added cinnamon to both the dough and filling but nothing prevents you to experiment and create your own personal recipe, even a savoury version. I recommend you take your time and above all be patient. Read throughout the tips below and watch the videos i linked, especially the one by Envie de bien manger. They will help you get good results. 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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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…

Macro dumplings for MTC Challenge / Canederli macro per l’MTC Challenge

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New year, new challenges. It seems only yesterday that Francesca challenged us with a her literary inspired muffin, but it has been two months now. Enough to relax and forget how the MTC Challenge can put my brain and creativity under enormous pressure. Couple this with my macro lifestyle adventure and you can just imagine how difficult it will be for me from now on…but stubborn as I am the goal this year will be to be able to participate to all of MTC’s challenges by inventing all sorts of macro alternatives to the recipes and ingredients we will be given. Honestly these dumplings were a walk in the park if I consider the risk of running into a dessert recipe, or worse a brioche dough rich in eggs, butter and sugar. But challenges are vital in my life and for my blog(s) too and I am ready to face any recipe, even though I fear many tears will be shed being failure and disappointment just around the corner with macro cooking!
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