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Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles…Happy Thanksgiving!

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Since I moved to the United States, Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite Holiday because I love the idea to take a moment to say thank you and to count my blessings. Today I want to say thank you to you all by sharing my uber-delicious chocolate pumpkin truffles recipe. I made these truffles with Pan Di Stelle, the chocolate and hazelnut Italian cookies topped with iced sugar stars. You can easily find them on Amazon or at any Italian markets. You can definitely substitute the canned pumpkin puree for fresh pureed pumpkin with the ratio 1:1. I used ground cinnamon but you can use pumpkin spice blend instead.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones from A Queen In The Kitchen!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

 

INGREDIENTS

40 Pan Di Stelle cookies

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

unsweetened cocoa powder, to coat

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

 

DIRECTIONS

Pulverize the cookies in a blender or place them in a sturdy plastic bag and roll into fine crumbs.

In a medium bowl, place pulverized cookies, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Shape into 1-inch balls and place them over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Roll them in cocoa powder or dip them in melted chocolate chips.

Keep refrigerated until serving.

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A Queen In The Kitchen : Eataly Los Angeles Grand Opening

Guess what? Eataly Los Angeles finally opened up its doors to the public on November 3rd at the Westfield Century City mall. Los Angeles foodies have been waiting for years and now they can satisfy their Italian food cravings at the fullest.

Italy Grand Opening has been included, as well as my Cooking DOP & IGP cooking class at The Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, in the Second World Week of Italian Cuisine, coordinated by the  The Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles. #italiantaste

If you missed the biggest food event of the year, this is what happened inside and outside Eataly on the Grand Opening day.

Buon Appetito!

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Ale Gambini (Host, Chef, Author)
Maurizio OTTO De Togni (Executive Producer, Music, Film, Photo)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams and SuperOttO Publishing
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Spider Web Chocolate Cake…Happy Halloween!!!

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Time to put the costume on and celebrate the most colorful and playful time of the year…HALLOWEEN! Since I’ll dress up as a spider web, I will match my costume with a decadent spider web chocolate cake. I’ve decorated my favorite Italian chocolate cake, TENERINA CAKE, with melted chocolate to create the spider web and M & M’s candies to make spiders. A very simple and delicious idea for your Halloween party, heaven for chocolate lovers. For a gluten-free version, just omit the flour.

Happy Halloween from your Queen In The Kitchen and family!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – Maurizio “OttO”De Togni – A Queen In The Kitchen

 

INGREDIENTS

7 ounces dark chocolate

8 tbsp unsalted butter, diced

2 eggs, separated

1 pinch of salt

6 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons whole milk

powdered sugar, to sprinkle

melted dark chocolate and M & M’s candy peanut, to decorate

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 325 F degrees. Grease a 9 inch cake pan with baking spray, than cover bottom and sides of the cake with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper too, set aside. Melt completely the dark chocolate at bain-marie or in a microwave. Allow to cool slightly. Place the diced butter into the melted chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. With a hand or stand mixer, beat the sugar and the egg yolks until yellow and foamy. Add the chocolate mixture, the flour and the milk and continue to beat until creamy and smooth. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold gently the whipped egg whites into the cake batter. Place the cake batter into the cake pan and bake for 25/30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in its pan. Unmold carefully the cake on a serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Melt couple of ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, fill a disposable piping bag with melted chocolate, cut the the tip and pipe out over the cake to create a spiderweb, For the spiders, place M & M’s on the spider web as you prefer and pipe out chocolate as spider legs.

Cooking DOP & IGP Cooking Class

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On the occasion of the Second Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, I’m excited to host a very special cooking class at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, focused on cooking with Italian DOP and IGP products.

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What’s DOP and IGP

DOP and IGP are two designations provided by the European Parliament defining quality criteria for food and agricultural products that ensure their origin and top quality.
DOP (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta) or Protected Designation of Origin, is a really strict certification given to those food specialties whose have unique features of the territory on which they are produced. This certification ensures that products are locally grown and packaged and impossible to imitate outside of their designated area of production.
IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) or Protected Geografical Information is a certification less strict than DOP, given to those products for which their quality and  peculiar characteristics depend on a specific geographical area of preparation and/or production.
Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, Prosciutto Crudo di Parma are among all the most popular Italian DOP products worldwide.
How to recognize an IGP or DOP products? Check for the seal on the packaging of the product.

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Join me Saturday, November 04, 2017 – 10.30am to 1.00pm at the IIC Los Angeles as I’ll have the pleasure to have my attendees taste :

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena Acetaia Museo Boni

Parmigiano Reggiano Bertozzi America

Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva La Maolina  Antica Locanda di Sesto

Prosciutto Crudo Di Parma Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma 

…and cook :

Cialda di Parmigiano con Spuma di Mortadella
Medaglioni di Polenta Concia
Lasagne Zucca Speck Taleggio
Ciambellone Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva e Limone

To register call – (310) 824-7408

#aqueeninthekitchen #iicla #DOP #IGP #italiantaste

Photo credits: Mirko Miracle Urania

Taste Of Italy

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Taste of Italy is back this Saturday, October 14th, in Downtown Los Angeles. I’m delighted to announce that A Queen In The Kitchen and I Love Italian Food will attend L.A.’s premiere Italian food & wine event that features over 35 fine restaurants, 100 wines, chef demonstrations and live entertainment to benefit the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles IAMLA.

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Taste of Italy brings the diversity of Italian cuisine to Los Angeles, showcasing the region’s top restaurants, and award-winning wineries, as well as live entertainment, chef demonstrations, and celebrity guests.

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Participants will include: Drago Centro, Angelini Osteria, Il Fornaio, Di Stefano Cheese, Valentino, Prova Pizzeria, Celestino, Grom, Il Fornaio, Urbani Truffles, Nerano, Prosciutto di Parma, and Black Market Gelato, the U.S. finalist of the Gelato World Tour.

 

For tickets and info please visit  www.italianhall.org/TOI 

….and remember to use the special coupon codes:
ILOVE5 – $5 OFF General Admission *NO DISCOUNT AT THE DOOR
ILOVE20 – $20 OFF Premiere Admission  *NO DISCOUNT AT THE DOOR

About the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles and the Historic Italian Hall Foundation

The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles documents the history and continuing contributions of Italian Americans and Italians to Southern California and the nation. Featuring interactive exhibits and educational programming, the Italian American Museum provides visitors of all ages and origins a meaningful understanding of the complex, multi-cultural fabric of the United States. The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. The Historic Italian Hall Foundation is a 501 (c)3 charitable organization dedicated to supporting the Museum and the continued preservation efforts of the building in which it is located, the Italian Hall, the oldest remaining structure from the city’s historic little Italy, built in 1908.

Photo and content courtesy of IAMLA

How To Make Frittelle Di Zucca (Pumpkin Fritters)

Follow this episode of my cooking web series Baking Bread Plus and learn how to prepare a delicious and healthy dessert : Frittelle di Zucca (Pumpkin Fritters).

Did you know that pumpkin flesh is full of Vitamin A, the vitamin that promote sight, heart and lungs? In Italy, pumpkin is the symbol of the city of Mantua (Lombardy region) and the main ingredient  for preparing traditional Mantuan dishes such as pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin gnocchi.

Welcome Fall!

#aqueeninthekitchen #bakingbreadplus #italianfood

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Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

 

INGREDIENTS

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 pinch of salt

7gr active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

2 cups pumpkin puree

5.3 ounces (1 container) plain greek yogurt

1 orange juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/3 cup whole milk

canola oil, for frying

1 cup granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder blended together, for dusting

 

DIRECTIONS

In a mixing bowl combine together flour and salt.

Make a well in the center then add the yeast previously proofed with 1/4 cup of lukewarm. Blend briefly.

Add pumpkin puree, greek yogurt, orange juice, lemon and orange zest, one egg, one egg yolk, sugar. Mix together slowly incorporating the milk.

Mix thoroughly until very smooth.

Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 2 hours.

In a large fraying pan, pour abundant canola oil and heat until it reaches the right temperature for frying.

Dip a stainless steel teaspoon into a glass of cold water than spoon a teaspoon of batter and drop it into the frying pan.

Repeat until all the batter is gone. (Remember to NOT overcrowd the pan while frying).

Let the fritters float into the oil until puff and golden.

Drain with a slotted spoon and place over a plate covered with paper towel.

Enjoy warm, copiously dusted with sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Credits:
Ale Gambini (Host Chef – Founder – Video Maker)
Maurizio OTTO De Togni (Music)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Torta Zucca E Cioccolato (Chocolate Pumpkin Cake)

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Welcome Fall 2017! I’m celebrating this beautiful and colorful season by baking a Torta Zucca & Cioccolato (Chocolate Pumpkin Cake). This cake has a super moist texture and a sweet, chocolatey and nutty flavor. It can be prepared by using fresh or canned pumpkin and any kind of nuts. Enjoy the first day of Fall with a hot tea and a slice of chocolate pumpkin cake.

Buon Autunno!

Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

Servings : 6-8

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 45 min.

Cook Time : 35 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

15 oz. pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup + 3 tbsp all purpose flour

4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup milk

1 sachet vanilla baking powder (1/2 oz or 16g)

1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chocolate chips

powdered sugar, to dust

 

DIRECTIONS

If using a fresh 2 pound pumpkin : halve the pumpkin. Remove seeds and stringy pulp. Peel, cut into chunks and boil in lightly salted water for 25 minutes or until tender. Purée in a blender or food mill.

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Grease with baking spray or butter and breadcrumbs a 9 inch cake pan. Set aside.

In a big bowl, beat eggs and sugar, then add pumpkin puree and flour and mix thoroughly.

Add cocoa powder, butter, milk and blend together.

Gently fold in the vanilla baking powder until well incorporated.

Stir in chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Pour the cake batter into the greased pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool in its pan.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.