Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Paprika Puff Pastry Crescents / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Cornetti di pasta sfoglia alla paprika

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Here we are with our usual appointment with Maroggia’s Mill and its Cookbook. Today’s recipe is homemade puff pastry, a recipe I spent several days working on many years ago in order to find the perfect recipe as you can well see my numerous posts on millefeuille. I re-tested the recipe a few months ago using only Maroggia’s Mill flour and, needless to say, the result was excellent. On this occasion I tweaked the basic recipe with savoury pies and croissants in mind and decided to add sweet paprika powder to the flour. This puff pastry is ideal for small pies and finger food to nibble on before dinner. I shaped them into crescent shape, a form that lends itself very well to various fillings (but I haven’t filled them…I am on a diet!).
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MTChallenge: Macarons / Dell’MTChallenge e dei Macarons gemelli diversi: il macaron gnocco e il macaron cesso

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I’m quitting. This is the last one, I swear. I have been repeating the same thing for quite a while now. Too much stress, brainstorming, tetris-like scheduling strategies. What about the anxiety, the overwhelming sense of inferiority I feel every time I check out the other contestants’ recipes, every time a picture gets posted onto the group’s facebook page. And then a new month comes along with a new challenge. I can’t help but participate, I can’t resist to the call of the MTChallenge. Even though I felt a shiver down my spine when I read the theme for this month’s challenge. Our dear Ilaria chose one of the most fearsome recipes…the macaron! A few years back I did experiment a bit and produced dragon eggs for a first attempt and got only close to proper macarons with these Luxemburgerli-like sweets (a swiss version of macarons but of a smaller size) on my second attempt. Fear and Loathing in Chiasso. And on top of it all the tap in the kitchen has been out of order for almost a month and I was forced to wash dishes, bowls and kitchen accessories in the bathtub. You can just imagine my state of mind. And what about the firm conviction that both the shells of the macarons had to be flavored, which led me to test and photograph them a second time because the first one I had forgotten to spice up the shells of one of the two recipes I baked for the challenge. The first macarons batch turned out to be perfect (I have pictures to prove it!!!) but I decided not to fill them in order not to waste time and ingredients. And of course the second time around something went wrong with the cardamom macarons. Virtually they came out in the shape of tits. I think the problem lies in the fact that the mix was very thick and maybe I should have work it a little harder in order to break the air bubbles. Or maybe it just needed a little more egg white having added the cardamom powder and poppy seeds. However having no time nor desire to whip up a third batch I decided to participate in any case, with both macarons: the beautiful and the ugly.
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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…

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…

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…

Paris Brest

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The Paris-Brest, a jump into the void. Yes I admit, not without shame, that I never had one before trying the recipe at home. No romantic breakfasts with a view on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, no foodie raids at Hermé’s. My last trip to Paris probably dates back more than twenty years ago. Just a child, fascinated by Loire’s Castles and Diane de Poitiers. So what got me into experimenting with this classic gem of French pastry? Definitely my passion for beauty, the challenge of being able to obtain a product not only palatable but also aesthetically appealing (do you remember the ordeal I had gone through to make “simple” éclairs?) and an innate curiosity.

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Chocolate Éclairs / Éclairs al cioccolato

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This is a story about obsession, bitter disappointments, tossed dough and tears. Six times I have rolled up my sleeves and got my sac à poche from my cakes and pastries drawer. Five times the depressing results have flown directly from the baking tray to the garbage bin, not without a sense of frustration for not finding an answer to my question: What am I doing wrong? Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Madeleines with licorice and orange zest / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Madeleines alla liquirizia e scorza d’arancia

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I’m back with the bimonthly appointment with Maroggia‘s Mill Cookbook and with my licorice fixation as well. Yes, not only I am so looking forward to my dear friend Michela’s – aka Menta e Rosmarino – visit over to Switzerland as amongst other things she already announced me she will bring a bag of licorice powder, but I can’t stop thinking about recipes that contain this amazing ingredient. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Millefeuilles Seventh Heaven / Millefoglie al settimo cielo

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“Thousand tests to tame it, a thousand experiments to find it,
A Millefeuilles to bring them all and in the Paradise of saturated fat bind them.”

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