Maroggia’s Mill Cookboo: Sumac Ladyfingers / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Savoiardi al sumac

 

And we are baking sweets treats all over again at Maroggia’s Mill. For today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe I propose a classic of Italian pastry…slightly modified. Ladyfingers. Who hasn’t got memories of ladyfingers being stocked, packet loads of them, in the pantry? They were always there, ready for mummy to whip up a good old trifle or a tiramisu. I loved to steal a couple while she was busy preparing the chosen dessert. I loved their soft and yielding consistency and slightly spongy inside. Dipped in tea, but very quickly in order not to run the risk of turning the liquid into a cloudy porridge, they reached the peak of gustative enjoyment. Here is a whole new version flavoured with sumac, a spice commonly used in the Middle East which tastes a bit like lemon. I really like it and I find that it lends itself well to both sweet and savoury dishes. These biscuits are ideal for an alternative and light tiramisu, with yogurt and red fruits or for a fresh and summery trifle.

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ZZAFF!: Amaretti ticinesi

 

For this month’s ZZAFF! Episode we offer you a recipe for a sweet ticinese treat which often accompanies coffee at the end of a meal. I’m talking about amaretti, slightly bitter biscuits, crumbly on the outside and soft on the inside, which were born from the need to use egg white left over from the preparation of recipes based on yolk, such as panettone or cream custard. Amaretti are very popular all over Italy, where different types of this biscuit can be found. In fact, those from Ticino are different from the best-known Italian amaretti biscuits, which are round and soft (amaretti di Sassello) or crispy (amaretti di Saronno). The term amaretti comes from the bitter taste given by armelline (bitter almonds) which are added in small quantities, but for convenience I used sweet almonds only adding a few drops of bitter almond flavour.
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Seadas / Il ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Seadas

Once you start with fried foods, well…it’s over! Frying makes almost anything irresistible so for today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe I present you a typical sardinian dessert: seadas. Also called Sebadas, they are amongst the most famous Sardinian desserts. Usually made with semolina flour and filled with pecorino cheese and lemon zest, seadas are enjoyed with honey to sweeten them naturally. But let’s find out more about these irresistible fried treats!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Vegan Rye flour, Almond and Dark Chocolate Cookies / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti Vegani alla farina di segale, mandorle e cioccolato fondente

Has been quite a long time since the last time I baked cookies for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Taking a look at the past recipes I realized that all of the cookies baked so far contain butter, eggs, milk or cream. Not even one vegan recipe. Surprising, as these vegan cookies have been a staple of my famous brunches! I adapted the original recipe to the use of Maroggia’s Mill rye flour, but you can always replace with any other kind of flour. These cookies are chewy, a word I tried to translate into Italian with not much success. If, just like me you love chewy cookies this recipe is the one you are looking for!

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ZZAFF! Spampezie

For this month’s installment of ZZAFF! I chose a traditional Christmas recipe. Spampezie biscuits are a typical Christmas treat filled with a mixture of nuts, grated bread, spices, grappa, sugar and honey which are only produced in some Leventina villages. They keep for very long periods and it is said that the families used to send them overseas to their emigrated children. Spampezie are produced only in Faido, Prato, Dalpe, Osco, Chiggiogna or in other municipalities of the lower valley such as Bodio, Personico and Pollegio. Some say that Osco is the homeland of spampezie.
Typically the cookies are pressed into wood shapes that have different shapes. Carved figures recall festivities or represent the coat of arms of a family. The basic preparation method has remained virtually untouched until today: however, everyone has his personal recipe, which is unlikely to be revealed.
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye Flour and Ginger Biscuits / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti alla farina di segale e zenzero

This is not the first time that I talk about Maroggia’s Mill rye flour which is sold by Migros Ticino among the Nostrani selection. I used it before to cook pillowy soft blinis and a spiced Babka. An aromatic flour which can be used in sweet preparations (but I will soon develop recipes for pasta and savoury bread). This time around I decided to bake biscuits which are the perfect accompaniment for a moment of pause and chatter while sipping a damn good coffee.

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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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Pistachio and Candied Orange Peel Ciabatta / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciabatte al pistacchio e scorza d’arancia candita

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Ciabatta mon amour. As you well know, I have tried out and made several ciabatta recipes as its such a versatile dough that I never get tired of experimenting. This time around I wanted to make a version for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook that lends itself beautifully to whip up a quick and delicious bread and chocolate, strictly extra dark, snack. Don’t you agree that pistachios and orange peel are the perfect match to enrich this simple dough? What are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Gin Bisbino Babà / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Babà al Gin Bisbino

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Today for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I propose you my own interpretation of a great classic of Neapolitan pastry. The babà! Three years ago I baked babà for the first time thanks to the MTChallenge and I then promised to myself to try out other combinations sooner or later. I just had to wait until Alessandro wrote to me one day asking me if I had some original ideas to promote a new brand of gin, 100% local, produced by friends of his. I had already heard about Gin Bisbino and already had the opportunity to taste it but in fact I had never thought of using it in a recipe. Gin Bisbino really impressed me for its delicate flavour. A real pleasure to taste Gin Bisbino goes perfectly well with the fresh flavours of rosemary and grapefruit I chose to flavour the pastries with. To balance the bitter note of the grapefruit I added a little rose water that comes very delicately as an aftertaste, especially when the cream is eaten on its own. I decided to brush the babàs with rhubarb jelly which is slightly sweeter albeit maintaining the sourness of the other ingredients. And if you do not want to get your hands dirty, you can always try the recipe of Gin Bisbino to make an excellent Gin Tonic!
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Rice flour, Matcha and Lemon Cookies / Biscotti di farina di riso, matcha e limone

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Tea time with a friend. Rice flour which has been sitting in the pantry for too long, as well as a jar of matcha powder which might as well be a find from an archaeological site. Consider lemons are never missing in my fridge. Put all of that above together and what you are left with is a batch of sensational cookies. And here’s the recipe!

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