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Panettone Zuccotto Recipe

Panettone Zuccotto Recipe

  Zuccotto is an Italian dessert with origins in Florence, believed to have been inspired by the city’s famous “Duomo” (cathedral dome). Regardless of its origins, it is a dessert made throughout all of Italy, with each area adding its own regional touch, via citrus fruits, local nuts, chocolate, liqueurs and even the cake used to form the dome, resulting in vary flexible and delicious dessert.       Do not be deceived by the look of the zuccotto – it is not the prettiest dessert you’ll see around.  The elegance and creativity of this dessert is shown in how it is filled and the skill required to “turn it out” onto a serving platter, the final decorative touches and flavour …. all things you will want to show off to your guests as they will not believe you have made the dessert yourself without breaking a sweat. As mentioned above, the variations of this dessert are many and once you’ve learnt the basic steps you really can make it your own.  My version uses panettone and quality ingredients.  The decision in what to use in the filling is really the hardest part of this recipe.   Ingredients 1kg ricotta 200g whipped cream 140g caster sugar 70g candied fruit, diced 50g dark chocolate, chopped 600g panettone, cut into 2 round discs and the rest lengthways, approximately 2.5 cm thick 200g pistachio kernels 200-300ml strong black coffee, sweetened with sugar cocoa powder, for dusting icing sugar, for dusting   Instructions 1. Line a deep bowl, approximately 15cm in diameter, with clingwrap ensuring all parts are covered and allowing excess over the sides. 2. Place the ricotta into …

winter wine night

winter wine night

Cold nights and red wine go hand in hand like Italy and fashion. A couple of weekends ago we hosted a Winter Wine Night at Restaurant Marca. It was a night of buon mangiare, buon vino, & brava gente (Good food, good wine & good friends). There were many beautiful Italian wines to accompany a delicious four course meal. Starting with Mario’s sangria the customers progressed through a variety of Italian red wines including my personal favourite, 10 Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG, Toscana, Italy. The beauty of this night was having the wine paired for the customers by Mario and the team at Restaurant Marca. I think all who came would agree that everyone did a great job putting the night together. The Moreton Bay Bug entree was very well received! Frank – our MC and delightful entertainer for the night. The main was a delicious chicken roulade. Dessert was very reminiscent of a European winter, featuring cinnamon doughnuts and chestnuts to crack and share at the table! Have you been to an official Italian wine night before? I’m sure many of you have been to unofficial Italian wine nights!

pizza pizzazz

pizza pizzazz

  This is a brief post.  Not on desserts or anything sweet but on another Italian staple, pizza.  So for years I’ve been hearing about “the best pizza ever” that cost a bomb but was worth every cent.   Every time the conversation of pizza comes up, all I hear from Mario is “the best pizza I ever had was in Harrods, London.  Cost a fortuuuune.  But it was good.  And this is a compliment because when I was young I used to eat two pizzas EVERY NIGHT.  And I worked with my friend in the pizzeria, had my own pizzeria and have eaten pizza in every region in Italy“.   And as much as he stresses the two pizzas EVERY NIGHT, I need to stress I hear this same conversation EVERY TIME we talk about pizza.  Got the message Mario.  And I have to say that even though Mario makes a pretty good pizza, I still had my doubts.  I mean, Italians invented the pizza so surely the best pizza in the world must be in Italy, right?   But today I got this message from my boyfriend, a trained pizza chef, who’s doing some travels at the moment.  “This was goood pizza, definitely lived up to the hype.  Everything about it was perfect“.  And here’s the photo to prove. it.       So I ask – would you pay $40 for ‘the best pizza in the world‘?   After two pizza experts and a pizza aficionado professed the same message, then I guess they must be right.  And now I can’t wait to go back to London to try myself some pizza at Harrods.   …

yuletide bake off

yuletide bake off

  Just when we thought we couldn’t possible eat any more on Christmas day, the dessert challenge was laid down  ….     T and J, face to face, ready to unveil their bake off masterpieces.         Very impressive desserts indeed!  But what they didn’t factor in was that nonna D, with decades of experience in the kitchen had made a little something of her own.  This little something has been a feature at Locale, much to the delight of our patrons, from time to time.     Whilst the French mastery of J’s vanilla and pearl sugar croquembouche and the modern take on T’s classics, aptly named the tiramitrifle (or was it trifle-mi-su?) were worthy of academy award accolades, it was the humble and unassuming strawberry pavlova roulade that stunned the crowds.  Cheers and praise were handed out to all and from the bottom of my heart, I thank all involved for those extra kgs that were gained whilst taste testing my way through the dessert buffet (someone had to be judge of course!).   So it seems my friends, that we have a couple of new Angels in the kitchen this year.  And whilst it isn’t a competition, they certainly raised the bar quite a few levels.  Not that we’re complaining, it means this little Angel & her hubby got to have a bake-free Christmas for a change.   What was the highlight of your Christmas table this year?   Love, your Angel,     Laura    

one new year’s resolution I will keep

one new year's resolution I will keep

  I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions.  Mainly because I know deep down that I won’t follow through with them.  Like for example the time that I said that I would vow to get up a half our earlier each day to either go for a walk or do yoga.  Well the next morning I slept in because the night before was a late night.  And the morning after that I put my neck out so couldn’t possibly do any yoga.  And the morning after that it rained.  So that was it, resolution over.   And then another year I vowed to go off sweets for the month of January.  Well that was kind of a dumb resolution because I have a lot of birthdays to celebrate in January, including my own!   But I don’t think I’m alone on this?   Because I also have a friend, let’s call her Nancy, who announced her resolution was to not be ‘catty’ anymore.  I think she was scared of karma at the time.  Well Nancy, who is in fact a REALLY LOVELY PERSON and who I adore, let that resolution slide within minutes of telling me what it was.  But then, the girl who pushed in front of us in the cab queue that night deserved it.   So anyway, the point of it all is that a new year is dawning upon us and I’m not making any new year’s resolutions.  I am however committing to doing one thing – something that involves some of my favourit gals (including Nancy) and that is sure to involve laughter, getting our hands dirty and yummy food. …