“Cuochi d’artificio”: Sweet Pesto Snails / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Lumachine al “pesto dolce”

lumachine al pesto dolce copia

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 chutney and 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.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Annunci

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Polenta dorata, Lemon, Thyme and Polenta biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti al limone, timo e polenta dorata

biscotti polenta timo 1

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 sablés and 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.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

A piadina that believed itself to be ravioli, sweet version / La piadina che si credeva raviolo, versione dolce

la piadina che si credeva raviolo 1

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.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

“Cuochi d’artificio”, creativity and a piadina that believed itself to be ravioli / “Cuochi d’artificio”, la creatività e delle piadine che si credevano ravioli

piadina that believed itself to be ravioli - piadine che si credevano ravioli 1

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 video where it is explained step by step, and here you 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!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Pistachios, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini / Arancini ai pistacchi, acciughe e mozzarella di bufala

Pistachios, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini - Arancini ai pistacchi, acciughe e mozzarella di bufala

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 croissants and 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.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Multi grain, Fennel Seeds, Lemon Zest and Black Pepper Crunchy Donuts / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciambelline croccanti ai quattro cereali, semi di finocchio, scorza di limone e pepe nero

ciambelline finocchio, pepe, limone 2And here we are with the usual appointment with Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. This time I delight you with a recipe for some very nice crunchy appetizers, to offer to your friends with a good cocktail or simply to munch in front of a good movie. I made them a few weeks ago, to thank a couple of friends who invited me over to theirs for fantastic persian dinner. Of course I indulged with various baked goods (I hate going over to friend empty handed!) including some toasted flour and black sesame seeds naan and my legendary chocolate and cinnamon cake which my friend Laura calls “the most delicious chocolate cake in the world”. The crunchy donuts were received with much enthusiasm and frantic chewing, an unmistakable signs of success! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge February: Bread, Anise and Lemon Zest Baci / MTChallenge di Febbraio: Baci al pane, anice e scorza di limone

baci 1

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…

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

tortine riso 1 copia

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…

Sourdough Bolos de Ferradura / Bolos de Ferradura al lievito madre

Bolos de Ferradura 1

What a lovely discovery the Bolos de Ferradura. When I started my research on Portuguese breads recipes the list of options was quite long, but as soon as I read the ingredients of this traditional breads in the shape of a horseshoe my heart was set on it. Anise and lemon zest how could I possibly resist? Bolo de Ferradura is a traditional festive bread (Nelson told me that he used to eat it as a child during country fairs) usually served as a wedding gift to guests by the bride, to bring good luck and prosperity. Bolo de Ferradura stands out for its compact crumb, almost similar to a biscuit. Dunk it in milk for a breakfast or an indulging snack. Join me and enjoy this sweet break! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

My bread featured on Essen Magazine: “Fashion Food” Editorial + Recipes / Il mio pane su Essen Magazine: Editoriale per la rubrica “Fashion Food” + Ricette

IMG_9712

Life is strange, it’s not much in my style to make certain statements but sometimes it seems to me that wishes can come true without too much effort and this is exactly what happened with this adventure with Essen – A Taste Magazine I’m about to tell you. I well remember that Sunday morning in August. My friend Chiara and I were in my kitchen, hands wrapped around our cups of black tea, fragrant freshly baked ciabatta and assorted jams for breakfast. We talked about possible collaborations, ideas of projects involving food and fashion (she works as a stylist in Milan). Chiara suddenly came up with an idea, why not propose an Autumn/Winter fashion editorial for Essen Magazine’s column Fashion Food, featuring my bread creations too? We started writing down ideas, but then as you well know the notes ended up in the middle of a thousand other paperwork scribbled with ideas, projects and recipes to try out. Until I got a phone call from Chiara, telling me that out of the blue she had been given by her boss a job for a fashion editorial for Essen Magazine! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…