Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Tortelli di San Giuseppe / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Tortelli di San Giuseppe

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And its Carnival time again at Maroggia’s Mill! Last year for this occasion for the Cookbook I prepared some tortelli who believed themselves to be chiacchiere, while today I present the classic recipe for round tortelli di San Giuseppe, which are made with a batter reminiscent of pâte a choux that is used to make cream puffs and éclair. A quick and easy recipe to celebrate Carnival in sweetness.
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MTChallenge n° 61: Hunger for tiramisu / MTChallenge n° 61: Miriam mangia il tiramisu a mezzanotte

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Here I am, after oh so many tribulations, ready once more to participate to this month’s MTChallenge.This month’s recipe is only apparently an easy one to whip up: tiramisu. Susy literally threw at us a proper hand grenade…one able to shatter nerves and make our clothes explode under the pressure of fat and calories! Who would have imagined that making tiramisu would be so difficult? I’ll spare you all details of the various problems, errors and frustration I encountered all through my tiramisu journey on order to come up with a recipe that if only I had the skills would be a scream. No pastry skills, no party. What I managed to come up with is rather a tiramimoscio (an italian word I invented to describe my flaccid tiramisu). But I can assure you that if you do have the pastry skill necessary in order to make a proper tiramisu this recipe is truly remarkable. You can either choose to have it as tiramimoscio or a tiramifreddo (another invented word for the frozen version of this dessert). In fact those two version can be easily interpreted as the sweet incarnations of the two female characters from the film from which I drew inspiration: “The Hunger”.
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MTChallenge April: Chestnut flour, Toasted Hazelnuts, Orange Peel and Pepper biscuits / MTChallenge Aprile: Frolla montata alla farina di castagne, nocciole tostate, scorza d’arancia e pepe

Frolla montata alla farina di castagne nocciole tostate scorza d'arancia e pepe 1

MTChallenge, mon amour! Unfortunately last month, due to an overload of work, I had to skip the challenge around the theme broth. To have to give up a challenge is never nice. I don’t deny that skipping an MTChallenge often fills me with guilt. With such a compact community, where everyone does its best a lot in terms of effort in developing new recipes as in providing support and help throughout all the challenge feeling guilty at not taking part comes easily. I scroll the Facebook page, look at that wonderful recipes posted daily…and I’m there sitting on the bench with my hands tied. Fortunately some of the work I’ve been doing last month allows me to take part to April’s challenge, set by Dani and Juri of Acqua e Menta blog. The challenge is not an easy one, don’t be fooled by what seems to be an easy peasy topic. Biscuits are far from easy without foolproof recipes, especially the fearsome “frolla montata”, a kind of biscuit that until now I have never, and I mean NEVER EVER, managed to bake with success. I lost track of the amount of frolla montata biscuits I baked in the past exuding butter, which crumbled miserably at the first touch or worse, that were dramatically chewy and greasy on the palate. Thanks to the generous post by Dani and Juri I finally managed to come up with some noteworthy biscuits. In short, MTC strikes again in teaching me something new.

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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?

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Tortelli who believed themselves to be chiacchiere / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: I tortelli che si credevano chiacchiere

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Carnival could be easily renamed “Feast of fried stuff”. The most common recipes in Italy and Ticino are chiacchiere, frappe, tortelli and frittelle. Needless to say frying makes everything better, crisp and irresistible! A quick dusting with icing sugar and tortelli are ready to taste, hot and straight out of their brown paper cone, while parading between bright coloured masks and multicoloured confetti. Each region has its own specialties, and it is not hard to confuse them between one another. And what if tortelli believed themselves to be chiacchiere?
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A piadina that believed itself to be ravioli, sweet version / La piadina che si credeva raviolo, versione dolce

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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.

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An Easter treat: Colomba / È quasi Pasqua! Colomba Giorilli dei Fables de Sucre

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It’s almost April, the time to test your baking skills with difficult doughs, the time for Colomba! I tried this recipe last year and I am very sad not to be able to replicate it this year too, due to a lack of time. This Colomba, the original recipe is by Giorilli and this it the re viewed by Fables de Sucre, is simply perfect. A fragrant cloud with a compact, soft, buttery and well developed dough. Scent of vanilla and citrus, perfectly balanced, blend very nicely with the buttery texture. My guinea pigs loved it! As with all very rich doughs, such as panettone, there are some basic rules. 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…

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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Chocolate and Cinnamon Cake / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Torta al cioccolato e cannella

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Holidays are indeed over, and Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook is back as well, and back with a sweet tooth. This cake was born from the need to recycle egg whites that I had to freeze last Easter, after some proper Colombe baking (here is the link to the original recipe I used, my post has yet to be put online!). Having had enough of meringues and macarons I needed to find a new recipe to use up all those whites! Upon returning from vacation I realized that my freezer exploded with different vegetables, sauces, meat, and egg whites. A recipe for Sacher Torte taken from an old issue of A Tavola, which I baked several times during my university years, came up to my mind. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…