Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cocoa and Orange Marmalade Tarts / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Crostatine al cacao e marmellata di arance amare

 Crostatine al cacao e marmellata di arance amare 1

Desserts at my house are quite forbidden. Or I’d rather say that you will hardly find in my pantry packets of biscuits, chocolate bars, candy and all food alike. The main issue is self-control, the other “no sweet stuff factor” is because I’d rather choose ingredients myself since too often store bought sweets contain too much sugar for my palate. This recipe for Maroggia’ Mill Cookbook was born from the desire for something sweet…but not too much. Flavours to pamper your tastebuds with and sweeten a gloomy day and why not, to scent your house with. I simply love it when the perfume of a sweet dessert spreads from the kitchen and permeates all the flat, it always puts me in a good mood. I decided to make small tart, a simple trick not to have too many sweets at home and because I find the little tart or cake format nicer to be photographed. For a 24-25 cm cake of about it is sufficient to multiply the quantities of the two ingredients and to bake the tart for 45′-50′.

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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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A Spring Menu nr 4 / Un menù primavera nr 4

gnocchi ortiche primavera

This is the last appointment with my spring menus (you can check the first, the second and the third menu by clicking directly on them). Here are the four courses of my forth spring menu:

Kidney Bruschetta on Rocket and Hazelnut Spread
Gnocchi with nettles, butter and mint
Fried Lamb Chops with Mustard and Apple Compote
Frothy Custard with Saffron, Cardamom and Rose Water

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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.
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Liquorice Torrone and Christmas Wishes / Torrone alla liquirizia e Auguri di Buon Natale

Torroni 1

This is my last recipe before Christmas, I don’t know yet if there will be more confectionery/sweets recipes next year as sugars and dairy product are the biggest no no in my new diet, and I would like to avoid falling into easy temptations even by having a little taste. But change is inevitable, the whole evolving as the days go by. I really wanted to post this recipe to show how sometimes the simple addition of a single ingredient can change a product, making it more special. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

My first Daring Bakers hosting: Paris-Brest! / Il mio primo Daring Bakers come “ospite”: Paris Brest!

paris brest db 2

The November Daring Baker’s challenge took us for a ride! Luisa from Rise of the Sourdough Preacher challenged us to make Paris-Brest, a beautiful pastry celebrating the Paris-Brest bicycle race.

Almost one year ago I got an email from Jenni, from The Gingered Whisk blog, asking me whether I was up for a Daring Bakers Challenge hosting. I pinched myself once, twice, took a deep breath and said yes without hesitation but already worrying about what to come up to. I have been admiring DB’s challenges since many years…I remember still being in Genoa so we are talking about eight years ago, when Daring Bakers was born. After a lot of thinking my choice fell on a French pastry classic since my favorite challenges are those involving pastry skills, and oh boy a range of skills are needed indeed to pull off a perfect Paris-Brest! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Paris Brest

Paris Brest 1

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: Dark Chocolate and Hazelnuts Milk Rolls / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Panini al latte con gocce di cioccolato fondente e nocciole delle Langhe

panini nocciole ciocc 2

It’s Maroggia’s Mill Friday again, and I am back with a sweet bread recipe. For too long these Piedmontese hazelnut have sat in my pantry. Yet another gift from my friend Michela, there are no words to describe these creamy and fragrant fruits from the generous woods of Piemonte. I knew they were very special from the moment I opened the crinkled plastic bag, crackling like a crystalline laughter of joy, and their scent enveloped me evoking other ingredients, other pairings. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Pici with Luganega sausage, Hazelnuts and Coffee Sauce / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Pici con salsa alla luganega, nocciole e caffé

pici doppia

And here we are, back to the Mill’s cookbook. Having already experimented with baked goods such as grissini, ciabatte and muffins this month I decided to turn my attention to a pasta recipe. With an incredible timing I came across a recipe for pici, a tuscan pasta, by Margherita/La petite casserole, and loved so much its rustic simplicity I just had to do it straight away. And rustic is the sauce I pulled together for this dish. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Sourdough Surprises: Monkey Bread drove us bananas! / Sourdough Suprises: Monkey bread, il pane delle scimmie che ci ha fatto perdere la testa

monkey bread 1

It’s the 20th and Sourdough Surprises is back. As always I am delighted to discover a new bread kind, and what bread! I must admit this has been a great hit among my new official recipe testers: Flavia (go and take a look at her work here, she’s an amazing photographer and graphic designer) and her studio buddies Daniela, Micha and Alessandro not to mention Antonio, Flavia’s boyfriend, who devoured 3 and a half out of 4 monkey bread balls she had taken home. I must admit I was quite skeptic, not being a huge fan of overly sweet things, and was a bit scared only looking at the shape and fierce fatness of this very special bread. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…