Panna Cotta Brain…Happy Halloween!


Tomorrow’s HALLOWEEN and that’s my treat for you all, a delicious brain-shaped Panna Cotta, drizzled with strawberry syrup and served along with mini marshmallows. This recipe is very simple, you’ll only need a brain gelatin mold and lot of heavy whipping cream. To make it tastier and creepier, I’ve inserted in the Panna Cotta a syringe filled with strawberry syrup.

Keep it always simple, scary and delicious.

Happy Halloween from your Queen In The Kitchen and family!

Version 2

Photo Credits: Ale Gambini – Maurizio “Otto” De Togni


6 tbsp cold water

6 tsp powdered gelatin

4 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

strawberry syrup, to drizzle

mini marshmallows, to garnish


Bloom the gelatin in cold water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy whipping cream and sugar and heat until bubbles forms around the rim. Add the vanilla extract and gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the brain mold. Allow to cool off then place in the refrigerator overnight.

Unmold the panna Cotta it into a plate, drizzle with strawberry syrup and garnish with mini marshmallows.

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.

Happy Halloween Pumpkin Pie


Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween with a simple and delicious spooky pumpkin pie. Have tons of fun with family and friends!!!





1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 can ( 15 oz ) pumpkin puree

1 can ( 14 oz ) sweetened condensed milk

1 Graham pie crust

1/2 cup white chocolate chips


1 ghost stencil

wax paper


1 baking sheet



Preheat ove at 400 F degrees.

In a small bowl, blend all the spices together.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs then add the pumpkin puree, the spice mix, the sweetened condensed milk and mix until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes, than reduce the heat at 350 F degrees and bake for other 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, let cool completely on a wire rack.

Place the ghost stencil on a baking sheet, cover with wax paper, then tape it to the baking sheet so it won’t move.

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave, then with a piping bag with a small round tip, pipe out the chocolate over the stencil. Place in the fridge to harden.

Decorate the pumpkin pie with the chocolate ghost (make eyes and mouth with black piping gel or mini chocolate chips). Put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.


Baking Bread Plus: Episode #15 : Pumpkin Fritters 🇮🇹

Looking for a delicious idea for Halloween or Thanksgiving? Check the new episode of Baking Bread Plus: Episode #15 : Pumpkin Fritters, now available on Vimeo and You Tube.

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), the main ingredient in order to prepare traditional Mantuan dishes such as pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin gnocchi. These fritters are a simple and healthy treat to enjoy with the whole family during the Fall season.


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

Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Torta Di Zucca E Cioccolato (Chocolate Pumpkin Cake)

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To tell the truth I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin. Only when I moved to the US I revalued this beautiful, orange squash. Lombardy, the northern Italian region where I came from, has a long and strong tradition of pumpkin recipes and the Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is one of them. Despite of its look, this cake is healthier then other cakes because it’s made mostly of pumpkin puree. The Chocolate Pumpkin Cake has a super moist texture and a sweet, chocolatey and nutty taste. I personally love this cake and I will absolutely bake it again for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

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Photo by Ale Gambini –

Servings : 6-8

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 45 min.

Cook Time : 35 min.


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


– 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.

Creepy Crawly Double Chocolate Halloween Cake


Are you ready for trick or treat???

Here is the cake me and my sous-chef Angelica delivered for the Halloween Party at the preschool.

The Creepy Crawly Double Chocolate Cake is simple and delicious, only the finest quality of cocoa and dark chocolate, fresh ingredients, candy corn and sour gummy worm.

Happy Halloween

Photo by Maurizio Otto de Togni


3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup water

3 oz dark chocolate 70%

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups organic granulated sugar

5 eggs

1 cup whole milk

For the frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, double sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup whole milk

food coloring for the orange color ( mix yellow and red drops)

For the decorations

candy corn

sour gummy worms


Grease the bottom and sides of two 9 inch round cake pan with baking spray. Set aside.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In a small bowl stir together cocoa powder and water until it turns into a paste, set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl , cut the dark chocolate into pieces and melt (in 30 seconds increments) until smooth. Let cool.

In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

With a hand or stand mixer beat at medium speed the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs (one at the time). Add the cocoa paste and then the melted chocolate, mix thoroughly.
Reduce the speed at low, add half the sifted flour , then half of the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.

Divide the cake batter between the two pans, using a spatula to spread the batter well.

Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes into their pans, then move on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Prepare the vanilla frosting, beating together softened butter and sifted confectioners’ sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla extract and the milk. Pour some drops of yellow and red food color to obtain your favorite range of orange.

Frost one of the two cakes just on top. Crumble the other cakes with your hand and place the preferred amour of crumbled cake over the frosting to obtain the dirt -like effect. Place some sour worms on the “dirt”. Finish the cake putting corn candies all around the cake.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds….Let The Madness Begin!!!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds....Let The Madness Begin!!!

Finally we carved our Pumpkins for Halloween 2013.
Angelica helped Daddy to clean the Pumpkins from the pulp and seeds, she collected hundreds of them and I roasted , for the first time, Pumpkin Seeds.

Photo by Maurizio Otto De Togni.


1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used sunflower seeds oil)


preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Wash the seeds and pat dry between paper towel.
In a medium bowl mix seeds, salt and vegetable oil.
Spread the seeds onto a cooking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for other 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool, then enjoy.