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Suggest an Italian dessert


MGLloyd
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I will be attending a potluck with an Italian theme, and I signed up to bring a dessert. I don't want to make the usual tiramisu, cheesecake or zabaglione. It has to be something that I make in advance and can be easily self-served on a buffet line, so this rules out individual servings of something in a martini glass, for example. Any ideas or pointers to recipes? Thanks for any suggestions.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Torta mimosa ?A sponge cake ( pan di spagna ) that usually is filled with crema pasticcera chantilly ( pastry cream and chantilly ), chocolates chunck or fresh fruits, usually I used strawberries or raspberries.To soak the cake I used a mizture of Strega liquor and milk, but you can use whatever you like.

It s a very tipical bakery cakes , that we usually buy on sundays to bring to families lunches or birthdays etc.You can do a diplomatic as well with the same criteria , sponge cake and puff pastry chocolate pastry cream and vanilla one.

A nice Pastiera? I am sure you can fine the recipes on the italian forum or recipes file.Something like this

http://www.mangiabenepasta.com/easter9.html

Edited by Desiderio (log)

Vanessa

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Bigne di Ricotta (Cream puffs filled with ricotta)

These can be made as small cream puffs that are easy to pick up and eat out of hand. The sweetened ricotta filling can also be flavored with vanilla, anisette, candied orange peel and finely chopped chocolate.

Depending on how far you have to travel it may be best to fill them at the pot luck but that could be quick work if the puffs are cut ahead of time and using a pastry bag to fill them.

Dust with powdered sugar.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Carnevale is not yet there but there is something that I make every year and it's super to bring to parties.

Chiacchiere and sanguinaccio.

Chiacchiere are strips of a slightly sweet dough rolled thin with the pasta machine, they are cut with a pasta wheel in rectangles, sometimes are knotted. They are deep fried and, when cold, sprinkle with powdered sugar. They are cruncky, light and addictive. You can prepare the day before and keep covered, not refrigerated. They last for quite a few days.

In Naples they use to serve chiacchiere with sanguinaccio. As the name suggestes, sanguinaccio was one time made with blood. Nowadays it's no more possible. Sanguinaccio is a very thick chocolate cream.

Last year I served sanguinaccio in liquor glasses along with a tray of chiacchiere. Highly reccomanded. If you need the recipe I'll post it.

Edited by Franci (log)
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Torta della Nonna is great ( with pinenuts), or maybe Cannoncini? They are easy to make and transport. Panforte to go with coffee? Panna Cotta could be an idea as a tray of individual ones would also be simple to transport.

Even a sliceable semi-freddo if you can store it in your hosts freezer/refrigerator.

Softly whipped cream folded through some Zabaglione is wonderful over some liqueured berries or other fruit.

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Zuppa Inglese gets my vote.

Recipes abound. An Italian friend of mine who took me for my first one in Italy and was a great home cook told me to use layers of Lady Fingers, soak the layers in (or brush them with) different flavors of liquer, spread them with complementary flavored jams, and top them with a thin layer of vanilla pudding or custard, and keep building. Refrigerate for a few hours to "cure".

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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You could make an anacapri tart. The crust has fresh rosemary in it and it is filled with an orange marscapone filling. It is quite delicious.

Or you could make:

Ricotta turnovers

Crostada (apple, cherry, ricotta or custard filled)

Zuccotto ( I really like a chestnut one)

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sliced strawberries w/ balsamic vinegar

Nice idea and simple too, but I would wait for springtime and strawberries... :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I was given some five-spices sugar for christmas. They come from a French company called Quai Sud. You could perhaps do some simple little frangipane tarts with something like this spiced sugar. If you can't find it online, the ingredients listed on here are simply; Cane sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves & nutmeg.

Something like that would be nice, with a little marscapone.

Please take a quick look at my stuff.

Flickr foods

Blood Sugar

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Franci - I would love to see your recipe for Chiacchiere.  Thanks!

Nizza, I loaded the two recipes

Chiacchiere

Sanguinaccio

As soon as I'll make chiacchiere this year I will load a picture, meanwhile here is a link to show how they look like for who is not familiar with them. These were not sprinkled with sugar yet.

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Who doesn't like cannoli? Buy the shells, they are not worth it to make. Make the ricotta cream with fresh raw sheep's milk ricotta from an Italian specialty store. If you can swing it, angelica bits in the cream. Chopped high quality bittersweet chocolate. People will follow you home.

Not a traditional recipe per se, but hazelnut cake tastes Italian to me all the time, and Nick Malgieri's Browned Butter Hazelnut Financier is one of my absolutely favorite cakes. No frosting required.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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The cannoli is not a bad idea, and has the advantage of being easily served and eaten as a discrete unit. The only problem is trying to find pre-made cannoli shells north of Seattle. I can probably find them if I go downtown to DeLaurenti's. I am going to have to look into this.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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The cannoli is not a bad idea, and has the advantage of being easily served and eaten as a discrete unit.  The only problem is trying to find pre-made cannoli shells north of Seattle.  I can probably find them if I go downtown to DeLaurenti's.  I am going to have to look into this.

I haven't dipped my hands into making cannoli shells yet although I do have the molds! I also haven't looked around for a good source of empty shells. My "compromise" so far when I've wanted the cannoli taste at home is to make the ricotta-filled Italian cream puffs I mentioned above. Good luck scouting out the shells and perhaps consider the cream puffs if that appeals. :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I have an Italian desserts cookbook at home that has a recipe that I use very often (and love) that is a molded semolina cake. It has rum soaked raisins in it, citron, and pistachios. I bake it in a heart-shaped Le Creuset pot, and it is very pretty and really good. It can be made well in advance, and is very portable. It is baked, but it is more the consistency of a baked pudding than a cake. It's similar to (although not exactly like) this:

Lemon Semolina Cake

or this

Budino di Semolino

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