Once you crunch you can’t stop, don’t you agree with me? Usually I’m more of a crackers and grissini fan, but won’t say no to a crumbly sweet biscuit. And that’s what I propose for today’s Homebaker‘s Cookbook. What’s the secret to achieve such a result? Well with a calculated mixture of durum wheat semolina and cornstarch. In order to have healthier cookies I used olive oil instead of butter, so I suppose they will be lighter on your conscience as well as on your thighs compared to a common cookie! Flavouring is the most classic vanilla and lemon zest combo but I have no doubt that this recipe can be customized with the most disparate additions, from chopped walnuts, to chocolate chips, and spices like cinnamon, cardamom or saffron as well. I can’t wait to do other experiments myself…what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and bake these delicious biscuits, it’s easy peasy! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…
A classical British dessert for today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe. I used a flour available at Maroggia’s Mill which is not directly produced by them. I was intrigued since I used Kamut flour very seldom. I took a look online and found out that Kamut flour is more easily digestible, has a lower glycemic index and is very rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals compared to wheat flour. Seen all these qualities why not use it to bake a sweet? The crumble turned out beautifully, soft and heavenly melting in the mouth when warm, crunchy when eaten cold. The basic recipe for the crumble can be used with any kind of seasonal fruit, spices and even chocolate chips!
Today for Maroggia’s MillCookbooka festive recipe. For once not a Christmas one but one dedicated to Epiphany instead, so you still have plenty of time to study it and find the time to bake it. For once I decided to cross cultural boundaries, flying to Spain. Roscón de Reyes is a doughnut shaped bread, made with a dough similar to panettone, which is decorated with candied fruit. This bread is prepared on the occasion of the coming of the Three Kings, on January 6th. In short, the Iberian version of the Swiss Three King Cake Bread! The dough I created is not the simplest to handle. For those who are not familiar with very rich and soft doughs I would recommend using a dough mixer. For reasons balance in the photographs but also to redistribute the Roscon to my various guinea pigs I decided to make mini portions, I think that for a larger donut 20 minutes of further baking lowering to 160 ° C will be surely necessary to bake the bread thoroughly. Try it…I bet you won’t find a softer dough!
And here we are, time flies doesn’t it? This is my last episode on this season of “Cuochi d’artificio” as the program is taking a well deserved summer break. A challenging adventure which made me grow so much and discover the fascinating world of tv production, one experience I hope to have the honour and privilege to repeat next year. This episode has for a theme snails. Well, nothing more suitable for bread, as dough is often shaped in this guise, and bread snail can be found in bakeries filled with all kind of ingredients, both sweet and savoury. In the past I have used this shaping to make my Crunchy Licorice Snails, Rye and fennel seeds snails with blood oranges and red onion chutneyand Poppy seed snails. This time around I thought it could be fun to bake snails that at first glance might seem stuffed with basil pesto…while instead they are flavoured with a fresh mix of minced mint, pine nuts, white chocolate and a touch of grated lemon zest. The dough is 100% vegan. The use of cocoa butter makes it particularly soft, the best vegan bread I have developed so far…it’s really light as a feather and very similar to brioche dough. You can change the filling omitting white chocolate and put another 100% vegan ingredient. Unfortunately my knowledge in this area is limited and my attempt to produce a vegan vanilla custard failed miserably.
Here is a list of the required ingredients and step by step instructions to bake the bread and to make the filling. Here you can see the episode where I explain all the steps to bake these cute snails at home.
We’re back with Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook and I present you with my the second recipe with polenta flour.
This time around with a sweet recipe for cookies which are perfect to be dunked in tea. I took inspiration from my recipe for sablésand adapted it to the use of corn meal, combined with dried thyme and lemon zest. This blend make these cookies particularly fresh and tasty, but already I am thinking how gorgeous they would be with the addition of dark chocolate chips and toffee cubes. A basic dough with which you can play and have fun inventing new flavours! Polenta flour and raw cane sugar add a nice rough texture to these cookies, which were very much appreciated by my guinea pigs.
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.
What is creativity? An impulsive motion triggered by sudden illumination which moves the pen, the brush, the fingers on the keys of a computer or a piano? Or rather is it an education to see, to hear, to reinterpret things that surround us? As Bruno Munari well says in his book “Fantasia”it is both. A reading I much enjoyed during my university study and which I’ve picked up lately to help me coming out with new ideas for the theme of the second episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I have been cooking for. Obstacles are often an instrument for the development of new projects so I started from the assumption that the recipe should be prepared in a limited time and shouldn’t pose too many practical problems as long proofing times or handling a messy dough. The simplicity of a flat bread, modest, versatile, provides with a thousand possibilities of interpretation. And what if this piadina wanted to be something else? Maybe it would like to be turned into cannoli…or ravioli! To be able to come up with new ideas we need to subvert all preconceptions we have. Piadina is a staple of Rimini’s street food, stuffed with sweet or savoury filling. Is this recipe untouchable or can play with it to transform it to our liking? I decided to play with it, transforming it in a bite sized treat. One bite and the hand is already reaching out to the next “ravioli piadina”. Soft ricotta whipped with just the right amount of grana padano hits the tastebuds. Enough to salt and not cover the flavour of pistachios, which now creak under the teeth, and the one of chives, refreshed by a touch of lemon zest, an ingredient which is always able to bring back the dead. Blessed zest, blessed citrus flavours that make our palate sing! The hand is reaches out, but the plate is now empty.
This is the recipe told in words. Here you can find the videowhere it is explained step by step, and hereyou will find all the ingredients and quantities needed to make your taste buds dance. If you not so much into some of ingredients just be creative, customize the recipe, play with it, have fun. Use your imagination!
Summer is over. Fortunately the days of sweltering heat wave are only a distant memory. I do not know about you but this summer’s heat was reall unbearable to me. I stopped counting on the sleepless nights spent gasping for fresh air. Oh what a relief when the first rains came, finally, in late August. Finally the right climate to bake and experiment with doughs. July and August were particularly intense, with a lot of hard work to come up with a good recipe for croissantsand different projects and works that popped out of the blue to both my surprise and delight. This year is ending definitely better than it started and I hope that 2016 will see a new chapter of my life unfold, hopefully one of many stimulating collaborations.
What is love? This month Mtchallenge challenges us with baci, Perugina’s world famous chocolate confection and with the daunting task of opening our hearts. Difficult task, tempering chocolate as exploring the darkest recesses of our hearts. Looking back I can see how my view on love has changed, through relationships and heartbreaks. Different shades of the same colour, or so it seems. Have I yet understood what love really is or will my perspective change once again? One thing is clear, however, falling in love is to love as bran to wheat and only in trust, freedom, respect and above all sharing one can find true love. I consider myself lucky having had such a love in my love, even though it’s over now. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…