Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Semolina cheesecake/ Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Cheesecake al semolino

 

Here we are with a new recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. As some of you might know the past year I often travelled to one of the most beautiful cities in Italy: Naples. Falling in love with a proud Neapolitan I did not miss out on the opportunity to visit the city, admiring its culture, beauty but especially enjoying its gastronomic specialties. Specialties of which time by time I have written down the names, usually using my cellphone transferring all manually on post-its when back in Chiasso. Too often these notes are then forgotten, buried by piles of books that gradually accumulate while I research for other recipes during my work of testing and programming for the baking workshops I teach at Maroggia’s Mill. Usually I and end up finding the precious notes while I clear up the mess, which I must admit happens quite infrequently, peeking out from a notebook inviting me with their phosphorescent colors to undertake a new challenge in the kitchen. So it happened with the migliaccio, a typical dessert of the Campania tradition. Hold on, before unleashing horrified comments and anathemas. This recipe has nothing to do with the traditional recipe, if not as an inspiration for this cake that I renamed semolina cheesecake. Why a cheesecake? Well this cake has a crust and the filling as the traditional dessert too requires ricotta, which makes it in itself a sweet cheesecake. Did I convince you? Well I hope so. First of all I decided to use a very fine soft wheat semolina flour, which is great for making gnocchi alla romana too, and compared to the original recipes found online I added a much lower amount of sugar. The dough, made with 00 flour, is also slightly sweetened so if you want you can add ten grams of sugar if you prefer sweeter flavors. Raisins can be soaked in rum to give the sweet an edge and nothing prevents you from adding other ingredients in the semolina filling, may it be candied fruit, nuts, chocolate or fruit it’s up to your preferences. The dessert is fresh and light and if you want to make a simpler version you can skip on lining the cake tin with pastry, but remember to grease well the mold and sprinkle it with plenty of semolina!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye flour, Thymian and Orange Cake / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Cake alla farina di segale, timo e arancia

Orange is one of the most versatile fruits that we can find in the kitchen. Whether it is sliced, juiced or peeled, orange is found in countless recipes. Both sweet and savoury. Habit, at least for what concerns me, often leads to combine it with the same ingredients, especially when it comes to sweets and cakes. Cinnamon and dark chocolate, a classics. In this recipe I developed for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I decided to combine orange with an aromatic herb that I love very much, thyme. The result is fresh and very fragrant. Especially given the contrast with the more rustic flavour of Maroggia’s Mill rye flour. A true discovery! This cake is excellent with a good cup of tea, I’m sure it will bring a bit of sun in these chilly days. Are you ready? Then roll up your sleeves!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Hazelnut and Liquorice cake / Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Torta di nocciole e liquirizia

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Some time has passed since the last cake recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. One of those simple cakes, easy and quick to bake and offer to friends who come over for a tea or a coffee, or as the perfect finishing touch to a casual dinner. This recipe lends itself well to be customized using other nut-based flours such as almond flour, pistachio flour, or walnut flour. This cake (which I baked in a 15×8 cm mould with 1/3 of the amount of ingredients shown in the recipe written for this post, which requires the use of a ring mould of approximately 23 cm diameter) marries the warm and enveloping taste of hazelnut with the slightly bitter sweetness of licorice. What a perfect match!
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Pistachio, Lemon and Fennel infused Cake / Torta di pistacchi, limone e infuso di finocchio

Torta di pistacchi limone e infuso di finocchio 2

A recipe is a stratification, sweet or salty, bitter, spicy or sweet and sour, of the manifestations of one’s love. I do firmly believe in this statement. May it be a gesture of affection, a manifestation of esteem and friendship, or love expressed as an overwhelming passion if you proceed to remove layers of flavours and gestures to distill its essence what you will obtain is one of the deepest and most sincere of all human feelings. A thought waiting to take shape, the choice of ingredients and the process of turning them into something familiar, desired, which has the power of warming the heart, or an unusual pairing of flavours, a surprise, love at first sight. The long wait, that feeling so similar to the eager stare at the window when waiting for a lover who has been away for a long time. What will be next? A perfectly risen cake, eyes bursting with desire or a collapsed soufflé and a quick peek on the cheek, a glacial politeness falling heavy like a gravestone on a long time exhausted relationship? Food speaks, or allows us to speak to others when words fail or are simply useless. I have seen more manifestations of love on a rich and well prepared table that in readymade Valentine gifts and in badly chosen birthday gifts.

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

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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.

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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: 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…

Daring Bakers: Sachertorte

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The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.

It has been a while since I last took part to a Daring Bakers challenge, but this month I could not miss on the appointment, not with this cake, the Sachertorte. Korena challenged us with the cake I baked the most during my university years (as I already told you in my post of the chocolate and cinnamon cake). And I realised I hadn’t been baking it since then. A good opportunity to test my skills (oh the glaze, what a nightmare!) and taste, after so many years, one of the most balanced and soft dough in the world of cakes to my humble opinion.

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

torta cioccolato cannella 1

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…

Daring Bakers the Surpirse of “failed” Muffins / Daring Bakers, la sorpresa sta nel cannare i muffins!

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For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds!

As many of you well know the 27th of each month a group of enthusiast home bakers challenge themselves on the net through the huge Daring Bakers event, which connects many food bloggers from all around the blogosphere. Is an occasion I really enjoy taking part to, but the past months have been so busy with other projects I have been missing out two challenges already. This month Ruth from the blog The Crafts of Mommyhood threw her gauntlet to us with a very nice and funny theme: Surprise Cakes! I can’t describe the excitment felt when reading July’s instructions, as I can’t describe the feeling of total failure and disappointment that
followed my total failure. So much for trying out a new recipe/technique just on time to post. But I am putting this up anyway, in hope it will help other people to do better than me and, why not, just so you can have a good laugh. After all I am not one of those who hides her failures, am I? Not at all! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…