Authentic Italian Dessert Recipes




My selection of authentic Italian dessert recipes from regional and local traditions.


Torta Barozzi with mascarpone cream


An amazing chocolate coffee cake invented in Vignola more than a century ago... eaten with mascarpone cream. An absolute specialty!





Strawberries with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

This is another very simple yet incredible combination: strawberries with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. You’ll see just how irresistible they are.

No Modenese family which produces their own balsamic vinegar, perhaps in a long-established vinegar loft, can possibly resist the temptation of bringing out their best aged vinegar to enjoy it on strawberries.

Try strawberries with balsamic vinegar, you’ll see just how irresistible they are.

Of course you need to use only Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.


Standard balsamic vinegar will make them too acidic and inedible.


Ingredients and Preparation:

Wash and place the strawberries with balsamic vinegar (one tablespoon of (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar) in a serving bowl, sprinkle with a little sugar.

To allow them to adsorb the flavours without bruising them, do not mix with a spoon but simply swirl the bowl with circular movement and then cover with cling film, leaving the strawberries to rest in a cool place.

To savour them at their very best, serve them at the table in individual bowls, laced with a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.


Pannacotta

Pannacotta literally means 'cooked cream', and is a traditional dessert from Piedmont.

It is not known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts.


Ingredients for 8:

750 ml. of single cream

200 ml. of full-fat milk

250 g. of caster sugar

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Few drops of vacilla extract

2 tablespoons of peach liqueur or dark rum

3 gelatine leaves


Preparation:

Put everything except the gelatine in a pan and very slowly bring to the boil.

Soften the gelatine leaves in a little warm water.

Lift out, squeeze out excess water and add to the hot cream misture just bifore it come sto the boil. Stir with a wooden spoon until the gelatine has dissolved, then pour 8 remekins or mariole moulds.

Allow to cool, then refrigerate until set. To unmould, dip the base of each mould into warm water for a few seconds, then turn out onto small serving plates.

You might like to serve this dessert with fresh berries sauce, crystallised fruit or any fruit sauce; it is also consumed with some caramel poured on top.


Ice cream with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Good quality ice cream and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. A simple recipe but a real speciality.

The richness in flavour and aromas of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar make this Italian gelato an absolute delite and a true surprise for your guests. Particularly if they never tasted true balsamic vinegar before... and it will be fun to explain them that they're not eating the best ever caramel sauce but just some vinegar.


Ingredients and Preparation:

Buy some good quality dairy ice cream, either plain or better still hazelnut, and serve it drizzled with a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. It truly is a wonderful dessert.

It may strike you as a peculiar and basic recipe, but it is a real speciality.


Spiced fruit and nut cake (Panforte)

Panforte is a delicious spiced fruit and nut cake and one of the oldest sweets in Italy. This panforte recipe will take you back in time.


Sweet chocolate and walnut salami

This chocolate walnut cake from Molise is shaped like a salami! A delicious and creative recipe.


Sweet ravioli with pecorino cheese and honey

On the many Sardinian sweet specialities, these sweet ravioli (also know as seadas) are something out of the ordinary.

They bring together two typical and excellent regional products, fresh pecorino cheese and orange blossom honey.

A good glass of Monica di Sardegna is the perfect complement.


Ingredients for 4:

4 round fresh pecorino cheese, 10 cm in diameter, 5 mm thick

Olive oil for deep-frying

120 g. orange blossom honey, warmed


Sweet pasta dough:

150 g Italian “00” plain flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of caster sugar


Preparation:

To make the pasta dough, pile the flour into a mound on a surface and make a large well in the centre.

Put the egg, egg yolk, salt and sugar in the well and beat lightly with a fork. With your hands, gradually mix in the flour.

When the mixture has formed a dough, knead it well with the palms of your hands for about 10 minutes, until it is very smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out the pasta dough on a lightly floured surface to a 2 mm thickness and cut out 8 rounds, each 15 cm in diameter.

Put a cheese round on each of 4 pasta rounds, brush the pasta edges with a little water, then top with the other pasta rounds. Press the edges together to seal.

Heat the olive oil in a suitable pan and deep-fry the ravioli until golden, about 7-8 minutes.

Remove and drain well on kitchen paper. Serve hot, drizzled with honey.


Tiramisu'


The Italian word literally means “lift me up”, and this recipe for Tiramisu based on rich egg and coffee dessert does just that!


Ingredients for 6-8:

500 g. of mascarpone cheese

5 eggs, separated, at room temperature

100 g. of caster sugar

Pinch of salt

Savoyard of sponge biscuits, to line dish(es)

100 ml. strong espresso coffee

60 ml. of brandy or rum (optional)

Unsweetened coca powder, to sprinkle


Preparation:

Beat the mascarpone in a small bowl until soft. In a separate bowl beat the eggs yolks with the sugar (reserving 1 tablespoon) until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Gradually beat in the softened mascarpone.

Using an electrical beater or wire whisk beat the egg whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Line one large or several individual serving dishes with the biscuits. Add the reserved sugar to the coffee, and stir in the liqueur, if using.

Sprinkle some of the coffee over the biscuits. They should be moist but not saturated. Cover with half of the egg mixture. Make another layer of biscuits moistened with coffee, and cover with the remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and preferably more, before serving.


Italian custard (Zabaione)

This airy egg Italian custard fortified with sweet wine is usually eaten warm with cookies or fruit.

In Italy we call it zabaione.


Ingredients for 3-4:

3 egg yolk

45 ml. caster sugar

75 ml. of Marsala or white dessert wine

Pinch of grated orange zest


Preparation:

In the top half of a double boiler, or in a bowl, away from the heat, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. Beat in the Marsala or wine.

Place the pan or bowl over a pan of simmering water, and continue whisking until the custard is a frothy, light mass and evenly coats the back of a spoon, 6-8 minutes.

Do not let the upper container touch the hot water, or the zabaione may curdle.

Stir the orange zest. Serve immediately.

A small teaspoon of ground cinnamon may be added.


Italian granita

A granita is a cross between a frozen drink and a flavoured ice. In Italy, the best granite are made in Sicily.

You can make any granita at your house with the help of a food processor. Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a fresh fruit granita!


COFFEE GRANITA RECIPE

Ingredients 4-5:

500 ml/16 fl oz/2 cups water

115 g/4 oz/ ½ cup granulated sugar

250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup very strong espresso coffee, cooled

Whipped cream, to garnish (optional)


Preparation:

Heat the water and sugar together over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Combine the coffee with the sugar syrup. Place in a shallow container or freezer tray, and freeze until solid. Plunge the bottom of the frozen container or tray in very hot water for a few seconds. Turn the frozen mixture out, and chop it into large chunks.

Place the mixture in a food processor fitted with metal blades, and process until it forms small crystals. Spoon into the serving glasses and top with whipped cream, if desired.

If you do not want to serve the granite immediately, pour the processed mixture back into a shallow container or ice tray and freeze until serving time. Allow to thaw for a few minutes before serving, or process again. Enjoy!


LEMON GRANITA RECIPE

Ingredients 4-5:

500 ml/16 fl oz/2 cups water

115 g/4 oz/ ½ cup granulated sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon, scrubbed before grating

Juice of 2 large lemons


Preparation:

Heat the water and sugar together over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.

Combine the lemon zest and juice with the sugar syrup. Place in a shallow container or freezer tray, and freeze until solid.

Plunge the bottom of the frozen container or tray in very hot water for a few seconds. Turn the frozen mixture out, and chop it into chunks.

Place the mixture in a food processor fitted with metal blades, and process until it forms small crystals. Spoon into serving glasses and enjoy!





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