domenica 25 dicembre 2011

divine chocolate cake with coffee cream

I could not think of any either title for this post: the image of the tempered chocolate dripping from the bowl on the sponge cake, is one of those images that well represent the deepest and ancestral desire, which binds us to the chocolate as a substance that releases endorphines and produces multiple visions like in a dream. Just like here.

Divine sounds perfect. None not even the most recalcitrant to the sweet can remain indifferent to this heavenly vision, chocolaty, liquid but consistent, scented like a dream; delicate as the snow that melt on our tongue and permeates everything. From the taste buds to amygdala the step is short, because chocolate is emotion.

Here is the recipe!

venerdì 9 dicembre 2011

creamy cappuccino cheesecake

Going forward with the experiments of the recipes of the book Divine Chocolate by Linda Collister...this is a really particular cheesecake, has a taste of cappuccino and an aftertaste of coffee and hazelnut together; infact I don't like cheese in the "cheesecakes" so I use goat cheese and yogurt. A good compromise even for children: for them it's like licking an icecream!


domenica 4 dicembre 2011

tart with chestnut flour and quince jam

For those who like the rustic and ancient flavors, which pervade the mouth without leaving a too sweet trace, permitting the taste to re-learn something of the past, that does not belong to the affectation of the small coloured and too sweet pies, but instead evokes the natural colours of the woods, where the taste memory , after battling against a flavour that is not instantly familiar, abandons itself completely to it, recognizing something bound to some old aunt or grandmother, who lived in an uncontaminated nature...only then...this tart is for you.

martedì 29 novembre 2011

pastry school

It is now a very healthy habit, the one to meet my friends and make together cakes and pies like a sort of pastry school! We try to do even those things we think are impossible to realize. Looking at the unbelievable and satisfied faces in front of the pate de choux, controling the cooking in oven of the little pie, thinking about Giovanni who learns not to break the eggs to find out the code 0, looking at Susanna very precise and concentrated during tempering chocolate, has no price! Valentina always tastes everything, and then learns about pastry cooking... she is very diligent in this. I can't wish for better companions! Great great fun! 

giovedì 24 novembre 2011

salt cod mousse on polentine and Parmisan coupelles

The challenge of this month is the cod fish, a typical recipe of Livorno, a beautiful town in Italy.  The two requied ingredients were cod fish and tomato, so I decided to assemble them for a very fresh mousse to soften the strong taste of cod fish boiling it in milk and mixing then to ricotta cheese, with the addition of typical little tomatoes called "datterino", similar in the shape to a light bulb. So these are the result: fresh appetizers fit also for the forthcoming Christmas holidays.

mercoledì 16 novembre 2011

salty cake

Today I propose a recipe, that had great success in the last issue of  Open Kitchen Magazine, the salty cake, very simple and quick. 
Serve in slices or chunks accompanied by cheeses, salads, cold cuts.

lunedì 14 novembre 2011

ready for Christmas? La Torta Italiana by Linda Collister

In a moment in which I strongly desired cookbooks, I bought the one  by Linda Collister Divine Chocolate Cookbook, MY book. It's all brown and gold as the chocolate and nuts: utmost union of love between two of the most libidinous ingredients in the sweets as well generally in food. My attention has been immediately kept by a simple cake, a version of the classic Italian chocolate and nut dessert. A rich dessert wonderful to have ready in the fridge at Christmas time, for our even unexpected order to keep their mouths busy!

domenica 30 ottobre 2011

the bread in one bite

With the approach of the cold season, the fun of cooking is enhanced by a renewed pleasure and we start to receive and pamper our guests with new delicacies. A sure way to surprise them is to welcome them with the unique smell of homemade bread.

giovedì 27 ottobre 2011

profiteroles with chocolate, butter cream and dulce de leche

Mtc! Health! Here we go again...each month from the 1st to the 26th  I repeat to myself  "no, no I won't do that this time, not at all, ...the profiteroles, la pate de choux as it is said in Paris in the upper floors, but we're crazy!?!   
Oh well however... it's raining and raining I can't go out in the park, so perhaps I can try, at least it's a recipe of  my guru, idol, mentor Luca Montersino I can not do mistakes with his own recipe. No, no it's absurd, I do not have the time to do it, but they decide that you do a race, one blogger decides we have to use 1 egg, 1 egg have you heard? what can I do with 1 egg, one omlette? But however at last I could do it: because I've got the egg, even the flour, the cream no, but I invent something for the filling, chocolate yes, always in great quantity from Ecuador, so I think that yes I go ahead I try...and yes I've got it! I've succeded in making pate de choux ...great Montersino, great satisfaction.

Ingredients for about 70 puffs:
I have exactly devided in 3 the original doses indicated by Montersino. 

  • 360g eggs (weighted shelled)
  • 245g water
  • 222g butter
  • 35g whole fresh milk
  • 233g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
  • Dulce de Leche
  • butter cream: 150g butter  130g icing sugar e 1 tbs vanilla liqueur
For the chocolate frosting:
  • 400gr dark chocolate (57%)
For the caramel:
  • 150gr sugar
  • 4 tbs water


1. In a heavy bottomed pot pour the water with the cold butter cut into small pieces with a pinch of salt. Melt over low heat and wait until boils well; then pour all in one the sifted flour; mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the walls. 
2. Pour the mixture into the pot of the food-processor (DOESN'T NEED TO BE COOLED) Montersino docet and has always reason. At moderate speed knead the dough and pour in the milk, that will lower the temperature; then pour 2 eggs at a time and wait until they are well incorporated before adding the others. 
3. The mixture must have the aspect of a smooth cream, and if it's needed, add another egg or an half. Brush melted butter on the baking trays and dab the excess with paper towels. No parchment paper is needed, because ... (see it on youtube in the video of Montersino). Put the mixture in a sac a poche and make many puffs distanced one from another. Bake at 220° for about 10 minutes (it took me 15').

For the butter cream mount all the ingredients until fluffy and pour it in a pastry bag.
For chocolate frosting, see here the method for tempering chocolate.
With the pastry bag fill the puffs with buttercream and others with the dulce de leche (soften a few seconds in microwave). Then dip in the tempered chocolate only the surface and make the classic pyramid. In the interstices decorate with the buttercream made down friom the pastry bag.

Decorate as desired with threads of caramel.


domenica 23 ottobre 2011

pistachios plumcake and the sea at Colosseum

Last week there was a storm in Rome and I was at the Coloseum to get to work. Under the Coloseum there was a sea, yes you read well a sea, real waves of water like those at the sea.

giovedì 20 ottobre 2011

divine brownies by linda collister

The title anticipates its qualities: soft and moist inside, crunchy outside, in a word, divine. 
I got  here the recipe. Here is her description:
"No Nuts, no coffee, nothing added to these brownies to distract from the main attraction – dark chocolate and cocoa. Take care not to overcook, brownies are meant to be gooey in the middle – it’s what makes them so gorgeous to eat."

venerdì 14 ottobre 2011

mercoledì 12 ottobre 2011

rocher plates with dried fruit by paul.a.young

This is a recipe I wanted to do from the first day I received as gift the book "Adventures with Chocolate" by paul.a.young; but as many recipes in the list of the things to do even this one always slipped to another day, until I saw it inthe blog of Stefania and finally decided to do it for a Sunday lunch.
 For about 12 large pieces
(in brackets the doses that I used to make 1/5 more)
  • 250g dried fruit of your choice, coarsely chopped  (350)
  • 100g raisins or other dehydrated fruit (140)
  • 300g dark chocolate (420) Ecuador 57% (or at your choice) tempered*

Put the dried fruit on a baking tray in cold oven and bring the temperature to 180°. When the oven is hot, cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to obtain an homogeneous roasting. Let cool completely. Mix 200g (250) of dried fruit with dehydrated fruit with the tempered chocolate stirring as quickly as the chocolate allows in this phase. Spread the mixture on a pan lined with a parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Flatten with a rolling pin until you obtain the desired thickness. Let cool the chocolate but before it completely hardens lift the top sheet and sprinkle the rest of dried fruit and cut into squares or in the shape and size you prefer. 
It keeps up  to 2 months...but it does not last even 2 days.

* In his book paul.a.young also explains the ways of manually tempering chocolate, here I report the one that for method and time is faster and easier (you should not pour the chocolate on the working plan). You have to stir solid chocolate into molten chocolate to "inoculate" in it crystals. Take 2/3 of the total chocolate, melt it in a double boiler or microwave until it reaches the temperature of 55° (this is the correct temperature to melt the fats, the sugars and the crystals crystals contained in the chocolate). If you melt chocolate on a double boiler, the bowl should not touch the water but must be suspended  and the water should never boil. If you melt the chocolate in a microwave put it at the highest temperature for 25-30 seconds, stir it gently and put it again in the microwave so as to control the temperature each time. When the chocolate is at 55° pour the remaining chocolate and stir vigorously until it will be completely melted and wait until the temperature  reaches. 27°-28°. The chocolate must be then gently warmed to working temperature, 31°-32°.  

giovedì 6 ottobre 2011

rustic tart with chestnut cream

Experiment shortbread nr. 100....In my path made of butter-egg-flour, the adjustments and attempts to create new balances of flavours really abound over the years. This is another very successful for me and the tasters for the rustic texture and quite sweet base. The sugary scent is perceived through the fruits and the chestnut cream used on the bottom of tart; while  the pastry makes balance with a dry flavour that tastes like vanilla and adjusts the sizzle of the taste buds. The flavours of late summer and early autumn met to pass the baton. 

Ingredients for a cake tin of 28cm.
  • 200g flour 00
  • 400g yellow corn flour foil
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Bourbon Vanilla Bean
  • 2gr salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon 
    To decorate:

    • grapes
    • pears
    • chestnut cream (I used the one of Trappiste)
    • 4gr gelatin sheets
    • grated coconut

    Sift the flours and make a fountain in the middle of a work table. Open the berries lengthwise, draw out the seeds and put them in the two sugars. Break the eggs in the center of the fountain, add the sugar and vanilla and mix as a batter, add salt, lemon rind and the melted butter, mix well without taking the flour in the sides. When the mixture is homogeneous start to take the flour and knead briefly, form a ball, flatten between two sheets of baking paper and store in the refrigerator for 30'.

    Roll out the pastry into the  greased tin. Pour 3/4 of the chestnut cream and bake for 45' at about 190°. While the tart cools, you can peel the fruits and make the slices and cut the grapes in half. Arrange the fruit slices in circle. Prepare a jelly: soften the gelatin sheets in cold water for few minutes, melt them on low heat with two tbs of jam and brush it thoroughly over the tart and fruits. Sprinkle the grated coconut (if you like). 

    I participate in the contest of Matteo

    domenica 2 ottobre 2011

    tuttifrutti in a caramel basket

    Here we are again with Mt Challenge, a seemingly simple challenge, (a fruit salad, nothing more simple!)  but   in fact it was not so: the contest required a fruit salad and the recipe in the blog of  Ale e Dani is far more similar to the Arcimboldo's paintings than to a simple fruit salad... so mumble mumble

    venerdì 23 settembre 2011

    giovedì 22 settembre 2011

    the last strawberries...delicious cups with strawberries, yogurt and pistachios

    Given the high temperatures (which I love!) the strawberries do not disappear ...and before we begin the quarantine of 7 winter months (sigh!) pear-apple-banana-apple-pear, treat yourself to savor the last sweet strawberries. Here you find a recipe of Luca Montersino, changed and simplified, you can also read in the Magazine  Open Kitchen.

    sabato 17 settembre 2011

    This Summer to the Ma....

    La Pentolaccia
    ...rche! You thought the Maldives?!? Nooooo, Well Dustin Hoffmann, excellent sponsor of this region, was right! I admit I wasn't ever been there, I admit it took me five hours to arrive from Rome to Civitanova Marche, because taking the old road in the inland instead of the highway, we came across beautiful countryside and villages; we met exquisite people,

    lunedì 12 settembre 2011

    pumpkin risotto

    Ingredients for 4/5 people:
    • 4 etti rice Carnaroli
    • 200g pumpkin
    • 1/2 onion of Tropea
    • 1/2 purple eggplant
    • 50 gr. caciotta of Siena (cheese)
    • 50 gr. bacon cut into cubes
    • 5/6 small tomatoes
    • chili powder  (to me Garofalo)
    • 1 lt. vegetable stock (I used an organic stock cube)
    • parsely


    Chop the onion and put it with the bacon to fry in a wok with 4-5 tbs of virgin oil. When they are golden brown, add the pumpkin and eggplant both cut into cubes, the small tomatoes and a few grains of coarse salt, cook for 10 minutes with 2 tablespoons of hot water with the lid. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon for a few seconds until it has absorbed well the seasonings; start adding a ladle of broth, stir and wait until the rice absorbs it before adding another one, proceed this way until the rice is cooked: it will take about 18 minutes. When it's ready turn off the heat, add the cheese cut into cubes, the chili pepper and chopped parsley. Turn out on individual plates with a coppapasta.    

    Bon appetit!

    venerdì 9 settembre 2011

    comfort food .... or biscuits!

    You cannot ever deny friendship to a cookie, it's a sweet with a few claims, requires no saucer nor fork, does not dirty and you should not be hungry to eat; like when you were a child and took in your little hands your first cookie and chewed it slowly more to pamper you than to taste its flavor; and more than any other sweet has the power to bring you back in a nano-second into the perfumes and flavors of your childhood. And, as it's said now, it's the ultimate comfort food for me, it's perfect after dinner, for breakfast, as a snack food like no other, except maybe the chocolate when you need it, it cannot be replaced with no other. These biscuits are the result of a surplus of short pastry I made for the tart I prepared for my Friend Diana.

    domenica 4 settembre 2011

    the French "quatre-quarts" with blueberries, grapes and chocolate pastilles

    Quatre-quarts, ie in the French pastry the same weight of the 4 key ingredients to make a cake: egg-flour-butter-sugar (180 grams). This cake is suitable to be filled in with fruit, jam, chocolate, whatever we like. In the book "sweet and savory cakes" Ilona Chovancova gives a lighter version, which I filled with...what I had: grapes, blueberries and chocolate pastilles from Ecuador. It's a delight to be savored in small bites, because like all the French pastries, it's superb, but it should be granted sparingly. My motto is: less but good!

    mercoledì 31 agosto 2011

    mousse cake with grape and prune jelly

    Why mousse-cake? Because instead of the cheese (cheese-cake), I used yogurt, because my prefer much more, oh I count among them my dad who also has adored it. So successful experiment.

    lunedì 29 agosto 2011

    focaccia...for all uses


    First, given the topic, what better time of this post to thank  Gianni of the Blog La mia Cucina, who sent me an award for having participated and won a section of his contest, it is very much appreciated, because, knowing my passion for baking bread, as he is a friend and a collegue of Open Kitchen, has had the attention of a gift ad hoc with a lot of congratulation. Thanks Gianni.

    venerdì 26 agosto 2011

    Lemon and coconut tarte

    Lemon and coconut tarte

    The idea came to me reading Alessandra,  I thought to try her tarte, she had read in turn in Marie Claire Kitchen. As I get this magazine I read it in the original one. I must admit that the little changes made by Alessandra were right to me; I find that this magazine has beautiful and very cool photos, but the recipes in it are disappointing, at least that's my experience. So starting from the method applied by Alessandra, I made my own small changes, concerning the pastry (the one by Montersino) and the use of Boubon Vanilla Liqueur.

    mercoledì 10 agosto 2011

    Open Kitchen: The Magazine, when ideas take shapes...

    Today no recipes! Today I dedicate this post to ideas and to people, who allow carrying them out.  
    Thinking about it now, that it's all done and published almost scares: not even a month ago, when 33 foodbloggers have met on Facebook (this time I have to say thank mr. Zuckerberg!) have launched an idea "why not making a magazine on our own?" that in itself it's absurd, there are hundreds of magazines, but even more absurd is the answer of all: yes sure, let's do it! As if it was the most natural thing in the world, rather like the only thing that each of us had done every day of his life until then. And 
    discussing about recipes, photos, articles only on this social network, without meeting the group in person, we gave us rules, divided tasks, shared concerns, but uncertainty never attacked us, none of us who has never even mentioned just to say "but what the hell are we doing?" We were driven by the same passion equal only to the grandeur of the project, impossible to stop; when I think about it I see now very clearly how all incessantly everyday we have proposed, cooked, photographed also worked at night as in a dance well-orchestrated and without intervals (a brain-storming no I don't like it, it sounds too much about business, better perhaps heart-storming even if it doesn't exist.) I'm sorry for the digression, but this was a rare opportunity to meet valid people throughout Italy, with so different histories, those who live in London those who live in Tokio for half of the year; each with a totally different background and this is definitely the huge enrichment, the added value of this magazine. Is it understandable enough that I'm very proud to have been part of this group? Thanks to all......

    Read it here it's free...and after you can't be waiting to read the next issue!
    P.s.: if you want to send your recipe and see it published here, at the end of the magazine there are ways to participate! Happy reading!

    sabato 6 agosto 2011

    spaghetti alla chitarra with truffle and garlic bread

    The amazing experience of People of Fud I'm doing-I did-I will continue to do, I hope for a long time, has the enormous value inherent in itself to approach and discover flavours and fragrances, you didn't know or worse you hated for a lifetime. Yes, I must admit, I'm one of the 0.00001% of people who do (did) not eat truffles; if entering a restaurant I felt the smell, I had to choose a table away from whoever was eating them, or sometimes even go out. The mixture of scent of garlic, herbs, spices, mushrooms struck me directly by the throat without going through the nose, leaving me breathless. 

    martedì 2 agosto 2011

    fruit tart for a glutenfree birthday!

    This pie has the doses of Sir Montersino (if I were Queen Elizabeth II, I would give him the title of pastry baronet) infact after having tried his pastry it's hard to go back. The only difference that I made is related to the flour, that I have substituted with almond-flour, pistachios and rice flour, because it was a glutenfree birthday!  The result is a pleasure beyond description, though I should not say, but the dried fruit gives the pastry an unparalleled quid; this demonstrate the fact, that even glutenfree food can be excellent, furthermore it's a good reason to explore an approach that otherwise, at least I, would have not dared.

    mercoledì 27 luglio 2011

    iced soufflé with peaches and yogurt with berries

    Dear bloggers and friends first of all thank you for the greetings and displays of affections, which I received from you yesterday  for my birthday.

    giovedì 14 luglio 2011


    I could also write in the title supreme of zucchini and eggplant with balsamic vinegar and mozzarella di bufala DOP (like it is) the manner of great chefs, an effect that one thinks waw what will never be in there?!?!... but  I prefer the way of my mother.
    The Parmigiana. Point.

    My mother's Parmigiana done with Alino, my little gnome. 

    lunedì 11 luglio 2011

    birthday cake for the fortieth anniversary of a friend!

    I was a little absent in this last period and I'm sorry, but the reason was important : my holidays after a year of work! I'll try to remedy with this beautiful cake  (yes I'm very proud of it) prepared for a very special anniversary: 40 years of a friend, an event that should celebrate with a beautiful creation because it is such a golden opportunity also the ideal place to experimetn and test skills! So happy birthday Paola and gooooo the fun now really begins!