Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Leftover Cake Muffins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Muffins con resti di torta

Leftover Cake Muffins 1

What remains of the cake…what to do with it? Sometimes, even though not very often, a bit of cake may remain uneaten, waiting to be finished and eventually ends drying up. Or in the worst cases, as it happened to me with Antinea’s birthday cake, a part of a layered cake might break effectively becoming unusable. And what about the tops, cut to level perfectly the cake layers? Too much cake to eat, at least for me! I then asked myself what I could do with those poor cake crumbles, but also with the double Gruyère cream I had bought in excess (rather than running out an ingredient I have a tendency of buying too much) and the ridiculous amount of eggs I was given by my aunt, who has now taken the habit of delivering about a dozen every week…high cholesterol anyone? Adverse and hostile as I am to cake pops, an option which seems amongst the most popular when it’s up to use leftover, I thought of using the leftovers to flavour a batch of muffins, a sweet recipe which has been missing for quite a while in my column for the Maroggia’s Mill. In fact my last sweet muffins recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook has been the one for Beetroot, Orange and White Chocolate Muffins.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Furesta Nera Cake (or my version of Black Forest Cake) / Furesta nera (o anche la Foresta nera a modo mio)

 furesta nera 1

Antinea is a special person. We’ve known each other for little over a year but it is as if it were a life time that we have been friends. It was a mutual friend who introduced her to me. With the impending 35th birthday I thought it would be good for me to start some kind of physical activity to keep fit. Amongst the various options the most popular for women in their thirties seemed to be pilates and talking to Marko it came out that her friend Antinea is pilates instructor. There was a nice vibe from the start and despite my stiffness and the struggle to assimilate her teachings I decided to trust her, committing to exercising and trying to overcome my limits. And so it was. I’m sure that without her there would have been no “Cuochi d’artificio” and I am convinced that pilates has greatly contributed to my physical and psychological well-being, giving me not only a new body but also a new mindset. Perhaps at my age I have finally reached a state of equilibrium and for that I must thank Antinea too.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge: Cheesecake in a bun! / MTChallenge: Cheesecake a sorpresa…nel panino!

Cheesecake in a bun : Cheesecake a sorpresa...nel panino!1

Sometimes it does not take much of an effort to have a brilliant idea. One of the easiest ways is to proceed by mental association. What I wanted was to develop a recipe that would be easy and quick to bake but still quite stunning, even its simplicity. Something with bread. Mmmmmh, soup served in loaf…but what if I turned it into a sweet recipe? No, nothing like my beet and mango gazpacho, what I wanted was something more unusual and original. A cake! Well…a cake encased in bread might be a bit too dense. The answer was just around the corner…a cheesecake! Rolls are perfect to serve this cake as a single portion, the crust is crispy on the sides and is not too heavy unlike some cheesecake crusts which are quite dense and heavy. And imagine the reaction of your guests while bringing them to the table humble sandwiches for dessert? There are endless possibilities to flavour the cheesecake cream as well as the pairing of fruits that you can use to decorate these little delicious treasures. Making them takes very few minutes, a little more than half an hour. Ready to make a great impression on your guests?

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Parmesan and Chive Polenta Muffins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Muffins alla polenta, parmigiano e erba cipollina

muffin polenta 1

Polenta. For centuries it has been the staple of our grandparents and great-grandparents diet, accompanied by meat, cheese, or more commonly by milk (even though I’m aware it is a quite childish on it’s my favourite combination). Corn is a tenacious plant with a very good yield, two features which make of this plant the most commonly cultivated and the staple of many peoples diet all around the world. It can also be toasted and reduced to a fine powder to produce farina bona, a special flour which is typical of the Valle Onsernone, a Valley in Ticino. Corn flour can be used in many different ways, as coating meat or bread sticks instead of using breadcrumbs, and can also be used in sweet preparations such as cakes (like amor polenta) and biscuits. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

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

la resta 1

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.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: White Chocolate Sachertorte, or Gio’s cake / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Torta Sacher al cioccolato bianco, o anche detta torta della Gio’

White Chocolate Sachertorte - Torta Sacher al cioccolato bianco

It has been quite a while now since I last posted a cake recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As you know by now my diet unfortunately does not allow me to eat sweets, although on rare occasions I happen to cheat (better not mention the Christmas festivities, which have been a disaster as far as diet is concerned). But this cake is simply divine and I could not keep myself from posting the recipes. It’s a reinterpretation of the most famous Sachertorte, the original recipe I have worked on comes from a recipe which I have been baking for nearly 20 years ripped from an old issue of a magazine which I cannot tell anymore whether it was “A Tavola” rather than “Italian Cooking”. However, the recipe of the original Sacher is superb but this white version is not far behind. I used Maroggia’s Mill Nostrana flour and the result is soft and spongy to perfection, very moist and sweet without being sickening (to avoid it being to sweet I decided not to cover it with a white chocolate glaze, which is to my taste a bit too sugary). A bite leads to another bite, melting quickly in the mouth. The first person to test the recipe was my friend Gio’, which I found out loves white chocolate both reasons why I decided to rename this recipe “Gio’s cake”. I also tried to make a bigger cake using a classic 20 cm diameter mould ring and it was met with great enthusiasm, but keep in mind a bigger cake requires different temperatures and times for baking. What are you waiting for, why don’t you try it too?

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Ricotta and Butter Panini Buns / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Panini alla ricotta e burro

Maroggia's Mill Cookbook- Ricotta and Butter Panini Buns - Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia- Panini alla ricotta e burro 1

Nothing makes me happy as inviting friends over to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. To prepare a lavish feast with all of the best foods, and pick the favourites according to my friend’s taste, to embellish the table with red mats and placing a nice bowl of fresh fruit on the table. To knead and wait patiently, to shape the dough and wait for another while, the nose stuck to the oven glass in contemplation of the soft dough rising, glossy, giving off an amazing scent throughout the house. I especially love breakfasts. Sweet, savoury…nothing is missing from my table (well, nothing missed…now with macro dieting I cut out all dairy and goodbye to my beloved cheese and yogurt). Usually I bake ciabattas and baguettes, but a little leftover of ricotta inspired me to bake these sandwiches. I never imagined they would turn out so perfect on the first try…but yes they truly are perfect. A well-leavened, soft and light dough. Another recipe which is ideal for a snack and for breakfast, or even for a sandwich to have on the fly on a lunch break. This is my gift to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook and to all of you. Enjoy!
Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

“Cuochi d’artificio”: Focaccia Pudding

Focaccia pudding 2

For this episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I did no kneading, at least not in the tv studio’s kitchen (of course I could not stop myself from baking the focaccia I used for this recipe) but found myself using my beloved focaccia as the main ingredient for the dish. Too little time and too many steps to bake a well honeycombed and fragrant focaccia, not to mention the structure of the dough which is very wet and difficult to handle and this might put off some viewers. But who knows, maybe I will have the opportunity to present my own recipe for focaccia on tv sooner or later. But no more talk. Pudding is a great way to recycle old bread and focaccia leftovers (even though it never occurred to me to have focaccia leftovers) and in this case instead of the usual sweet pudding dessert I decided to make a savoury version. To flavour it I used formaggella ticinese, a very fat cheese, anchovies and the right dose of one of my favourite ingredients…licorice! Are you curious? Then click here to access to the episode with the recipe and here for all the ingredients you need and the steps to follow to bake the recipe. Bon appétit!

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Black Sesame Seeds, Lemon and Black Pepper Madeleines / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Madeleines al sesamo nero, limone e pepe nero

madeleines sesamo nero limone e pepe, black sesame seeds lemon and pepper madeleines 1

From the beginning of the year, ie since I started following more or less religiously a macrobiotic diet, I was forced to cut out on all that is sweet or contains sugars and most of the sweeteners on the market. I had to adapt, and started juggling myself between bread sticks, buns, loaves and pizzas recipes to add to Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook trying to keep up both quality and variety. Detox, health, balance of body and mind. All of this is fair, but sometimes a little indulgence is necessary, isn’t it? So I looked back to a recipe for madeleines which I posted long time ago for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As I child I remember my mother buying those sweet treats from time to time, a very much appreciated concession for our mid day snack. She would buy the classic lemon scented ones which I ate usually in a series of three (I’ve always had a soft spot for odd numbers), religiously dunking them in a large cup of cold milk until they were next to falling apart. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

MTChallenge June: Horse Meat Hamburger with Eggplant, Beetroot crisps, pepper ketchup in a liquorice bun / MTChallenge Giugno: Hamburger di cavallo con melanzana, barbabietola e ketchup di peperoni in panino alla liquirizia

hamburger mtc 1

Here I am a little sleepy and with half closed eyes as I sit here, typing at my computer. What an adventure for this month’s MTChallenge! Diabolical Arianna saparunda.blogspot.ch, who won the contest last month, launched a pretty complex challenge inviting us to cook our own version of the world famous American Hamburger. I can’t deny it, as all the staff of the challenge is very understanding when allergies and special diets ar involved I first contemplated the option of participating with a macrobiotic hamburger. That thought lasted about thirty seconds, then I realized that it had no sense at all, at least from my personl point of view on this dish. Let’s face it hamburgers must be rich, fat and rewarding. It didn’t feel quite right to stick a vegetable burger into a wholemeal bun with a tahini and umeboshi sauce. Hey, hold on a second…now that I came up with this I must admit it does sound quite appealing. Maybe I’ll give it a try soon. But anyway back to my burger. Blame it on the diet restrictions or just my own view on burgers (burger = meat), but I decided to focus on a juicy and tasty version of the American fast food par excellence. And I don’t regret it. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…