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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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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: La resta, Easter sweet bread from Como / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: La Resta di Como

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Easter is around the corner and this year instead of the traditional colomba I decided to venture into new shores and try a recipe of which my friend Rita told me so much about last year. Rita has been a good friend for many years and over the time I also had the chance to meet all of her family. Back in the days they used to run the most famous pastry shop in Chiasso. Her father often told me about the pastries that they sold and also lent me several books (although pastry is not really my field, even though I always promise myself to sooner or later and bake some of the delicacies illustrated in these magnificent volumes). In short, they know their pastries. So, last year speaking of colomba and various Easter cakes and breads Rita asked me whether I knew this sweet bread which is traditionally baked and eaten in Como, la resta. Characteristic of this sweet loaf is the insertion of a branch of olive tree in its centre. I was immediately fascinated by this traditional bread and promised myself to try this recipe sooner or later. Luckily this year Easter falls shortly after my column of recipes for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook.

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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…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Walnuts, Aniseed Caramel and Pear Tarts/ Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tartellette alle noci, caramello all’anice e pera

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Autumn has set in and I realised it has been a while since I last posted a good sweet recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. What better occasion than a bag full of walnuts coming straight from my dad’s garden? The process of nut cracking is long and boring, but there is absolutely no comparison with store bought nuts and the whole process can be done on a cold night in front of a good movie, as I actually did. My sister suggested trying out a Tuorta da Nusch (a walnut and caramel tart typical of Engadina region in Switzerland) which is one of my – many I admit – favourite dessert tarts, but I wanted to do something different. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

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…

What a Daring Challenge! Sfogliatelle ricce / Che sfida ardita, le Sfogliatelle ricce per Daring Bakers!

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Sandie of the lovely blog, Crumbs of Love, was our November hostess. Sandie challenged us to make a traditional Italian dessert, along with its American version – Sfogliatelle (or better known in the US – lobster tails!) The flakey, 1000 layers of super thin dough, shaped into a horn and filled with a scrumptious filling. Così buono!

Sfogliatelle ricce has always been one of my favourite sweet treats. Anything made out of layers, especially food, fascinates me. Like a surgeon I dissect mozzarella layer by layer, and do the same thing with Msemen, a moroccan bread a friend taught me to bake recently that will be surely included in the blog. Savouring sfogliatelle I’m used to gently pull one end to see at which extent the spiral will unravel before breaking. It’s a childish but irresistible way of savouring food. 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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Millefeuille, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? / La Millefoglie e la luce in fondo al tunnel

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A tunnel? Yes indeed, a dark tunnel, from which I will emerge only with the perfect recipe, victorious. Or else I will be condemned to wander in obscurity, maddened by the thought that somewhere out there someone is baking the perfect millefeuille. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…