On my recent trip to Italy back in October, Marmo and I had the opportunity to take a cooking class with Velia at her cooking school in Orvieto (for the full report, see my previous post here). Velia has a partner at this school Maurizio di Mario who is a pastry chef and very knowledgeable in all things CHOCOLATE. I wanted to share a few pictures of his cooking and also give you two holiday dessert recipes straight from Italy (from Velia and Maurizio): Chocolate Soufflé and Apple Clafoutis.
But first, let’s talk dessert! Maurizio has a “pasticceria” (bakery) called Pasticceria Adriano that he owns in Orvieto. The wonderful thing about the pasticceria (aside from all the fabulous baked goods, of course) is that it is located on top of medieval underground caves. And you can even take a tour. For a bakery, you have to admit, that is pretty badass.
Aside from supplying Orvieto with copious amounts of “i dolci,” Maurizio and Velia collaborate at Compagnia dei Buongustai – a school where professionals and amateurs alike can learn cooking techniques alongside Italian chefs – and at Velia’s cooking school, where in addition to giving classes, they also do instructional TV shows. You can check out the classroom and Maurizio working his magic below:
What You Need:
2 egg – separated
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup of chocolate (melted in a double boiler)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp of baking powder
What To Do:
Melt chocolate and butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, gradually adding the melted chocolate and butter and then the flour and baking powder.
A clafoutis is a French batter cake, traditionally made with cherries, but other fruits often work quite well, especially when cherries are not in season. Apples makes this a perfect fall/winter dessert.
For the apples:
1 cup milk
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
What To Do:
Peel the apples and cut them very finely.
Combine all the ingredients (except the apples) and mix very well.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the 4 Tbsp butter and add the apples and sugar. Cook until just warm – about 5 minutes.
Grease a baking dish with butter and dust it with flour. Add 1/2 the clafoutis batter. Then arrange the apples over the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the apples. Dust with cinnamon and a little sugar.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350° F