Category Archives: Desserts

Happy Birthday & Happy International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2018 …Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter Angelica and Happy International Women’s Day too. So much to celebrate and to be happy for!!! Here is the cake I baked for the birthday girl, a delicious 8-shaped pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake) frosted with white chocolate buttercream and garnished with fresh flowers, raspberry macarons, fresh strawberries, chocolate kisses and rainbow candies.




Chiacchiere (Carnival Fried Pastries)


“A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale” (Anything goes at Carnival time).

Carnevale (Italian Carnival or Mardi Gras) is celebrated 40 days before Easter and is the last chance to party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent. In Italy we celebrates Carnevale with masquerade balls, goliardic parties and parades showcasing gigantic floats. Children, dressed up in costumes, throw coriandoli (confetti) and stelle filanti (party streamers) at each other and blow party horns and blowouts. The traditional Carnival treats are chiacchiere (fried pastries) and tortelli (fritters). Chiacchiere are sweet crisp pastries, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and are known by different names depending on the regions in which they are prepared :

Lombardy : chiacchiere

Bologna : sfrappole

Tuscany : cenci

Rome : frappe

Tentino Alto Adige & Friuli Venezia Giulia : crostoli 

Liguria & Piedmont : bugie

Sardinia : meraviglias

No matter how we call them, Chiacchiere are simply delicious.

Buon Carnevale!!!

…another recipe homemade, simple and delicious included in my cookbook “A Queen In the Kitchen“.


Available on:

buy4 (US)CA, Amazon Europe: (ITFRESDE) and UK.

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen IN The Kitchen

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. to rest

Cook Time : 2 min.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1 shot of Grappa

vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar, to dust



In a large bowl place the flour, make a well then add sugar, butter, eggs, salt and Grappa.

Kneed by hand until the dough becomes soft and pliable. (You can also knead with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

Cover with plastic paper an allow to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

Divide the dough in 4 equal parts.

With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough with a pastry wheel or serrated knife into rectangles 2×4 inch , make 1 or 2 incisions in the middle of each rectangle.

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot then fry the chiacchiere in small batches until both sides are golden brown.

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

Dust with abundant powdered sugar while warm.

Pandoro Christmas Tree With Chantilly Cream


The most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Let’s celebrate Christmas with a delicious Pandoro Christmas Tree filled with Crema Chantilly (Chantilly cream).

Pandoro (literally golden bread), is a traditional Christmas sweet bread from Verona that gets the name from its golden color. Pandoro is baked  in a special star-shaped mold and doesn’t contain contain any dried fruits or nuts, unlike panettone.

I made this scrumptious Pandoro with all the attendees at my cooking class BUON NATALE! THE FESTIVE TABLE at the Italian Institute Of Culture Los Angeles. We shaped our Pandoro into a Christmas tree and filled it with delicious Chantilly cream. We also added some hazelnut spread between some layers for a nutty twist. My students and I  decorated the Pandoro with wild cherries in syrup as ornaments, dusted with lots of powdered sugar.


With this traditional Italian sweet treat, A Queen In  The Kitchen wishes you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!!!





Photo credits: Maurizio “OttO” De Togni


1 Pandoro (traditional sweet bread of Verona)

For the Chantilly Cream
16 ounces heavy whipping cream, cold
5 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

wild cherries in syrup, to garnish

powdered sugar, to dust



Slice the Pandoro horizontally in 6 slices (1 inch thick). Prepare the Chantilly cream by whipping the cold whipping cream with a hand or stand mixer. When the cream is almost whipped, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a star tip or plain round tip. Build the Pandoro tree by adding layers of cream between the slices and stacking the slices in order to reproduce a Christmas tree. Pipe more cream on the star points and add wild cherries as ornaments. Dust with powdered sugar.

Fabbri 1905 Giveaway + Millefoglie Amarena Cream And Chocolate Sauce


I’m thrilled to announce this Holiday Season giveaway, courtesy of Fabbri USA.

Fabbri 1905 is a family-owned company that was founded over a hundred years ago in Bologna (Italy). Today Fabbri 1905 is run by the fourth generation of the Fabbri family and prides itself of the best ingredients for pastries, gelato, semi-finished goods for the food and beverage industry. Fabbri’s world famous Amarena Fabbri is the sour cherry in syrup, known for turning your baked goods and desserts into masterpieces.

Amarena Fabbri close up

I’ll be giving away a delicious Fabbri 1905 Gift Box containing :

  • 1 Fabbri Amarena Opaline Jar
  • 1 Fabbri Strawberry Opaline Jar
  • 1 Fabbri Amarena USA Jar
  • 1 Fabbri Baba in Rhum Jar
  • 1 Fabbri Amaretto Syrup Bottle (for coffee and desserts)
  • 1 Fabbri Caramello Syrup Bottle (for coffee and desserts)
  • 1 Fabbri Elderflower Syrup
  • 1 Fabbri Hazelnut Syrup (for coffee and desserts)
  • 1 Fabbri Vanilla Syrup (for coffee and desserts)



To enter this giveaway simply:

FOLLOW us on Instagram : @alegambinidt @fabbriusa

LIKE  us on Facebook : aqueeninthekitchen fabbri1905usa

Let me know which is your favorite Festive Holiday Dessert in the comment below.

Winner will be randomly selected and announced on December 8, 2017.

Winner will be notified via email.

Prize will be shipped only in the United States (Alaska and Hawaii not included).

You must be 21 years old to qualify for this prize.

Giveaway courtesy of Fabbri USA


Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen


1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

1.5 cups whole milk

6 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons Amarena Fabbri syrup

10 Amarena Fabbri, chopped

powdered sugar, to dust

Fabbri Top Chocolate sauce, to garnish


In a medium saucepan, warm the milk until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour and mix. Pour over 4 tablespoons of warm milk and whisk until well combined.

Pour the sugar mixture into the saucepan containing the remaining warm milk an whisk until well blended. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook at low heat, stirring constanly with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to thicken. Move the cream into a bowl and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, blend in the Amarena syrup. Place it in the fridge to chill.

Prepare the pastry by dividing the puff pastry sheet into 3 equal pieces. Prick all over the surface with a fork then bake in a preheated oven at 400ºF until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Layer the puff pastry with the Amarena cream and chopped Amarena between each sheet.

Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with Fabbri Top Chocolate sauce.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles…Happy Thanksgiving!


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!




Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen



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



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.

Spider Web Chocolate Cake…Happy Halloween!!!


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!


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



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



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.

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




Frittelle di Zucca_BLAD blog - 36

Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen



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



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.

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