There is an Italian bakery in Bridgeport, CT called Del Prete, and they make these great mini biscotti. They are the perfect size for dunking in an espresso or a glass of vin santo. I usually get the chocolate and the almond from Del Prete, but have been making butterscotch biscotti off and on for a few years, and thought I would try making them smaller like those from Del Prete. I also wanted to try making chocolate.
Stracciatella Gelato is kind of like American chocolate chip ice cream, except completely different. Instead of the chips and sometimes chunks you find in American product, Stracciattella has fine bits of chocolate throughout, which results in a great texture with just the slightest crunch in every bite. This is achieved by drizzling in a thin stream of melted chocolate during the final stages of churning, which hardens on contact and gets broken up as it churns.
We had a bit of a heat wave here in Connecticut last week. I figured what better way to fight the heat than to try out a new flavor of gelato. Since I was sticking with Sicilian style gelato, I decided to go with a very popular flavor in Sicily, pistachio.
The two main differences between Italian gelato and American ice cream are that gelato contains less butterfat and less air than it?s American counterpart. This recipe is for Sicilian style gelato, which is even further away from American ice cream than the gelato served in the north of Italy. Sicilian gelato contains neither cream nor egg; it uses as its base what is called a crema rinforzata, made from milk, sugar and cornstarch. The result is a gelato that is lighter and at the same time more intensely flavored than American ice cream or northern Italian gelato.
Granita di Limone
One of the things I miss most about Sicily is having a lemon flavored granita with brioche for breakfast. Granita also makes a nice refreshing dessert or snack during the summer. The method I describe here uses an ice cream machine and produces excellent results, if you are going to serve all of the granita immediately. However it doesn’t lend itself to storing in the freezer for later consumption. If you want to make a batch to keep in the freezer for when you are in the mood, do the following after steps 1 and 2. Place the container of granita in the freezer over night. Remove from freezer and using a hand blender chop and mix the granita until it slushy.
This classic Sicilian dessert should be filled as close to serving time as possible. If filled too far ahead of time the shell will become soggy and nobody likes a soggy cannoli.
We have had many requests for this classic Italian dessert which literally translates to “pick me up.” I’m sure my mother’s recipe which is presented here will pick up anybody who tries it.