Authentic Italian Desserts: 75 Traditional Favorites Made Easy, written by Rosemary Molloy, features a variety of delicious Italian desserts for every occasion. Highlights include Crostata alle Mandorle (Almond Pie), Semifreddo alla Pesca (Peach Semifreddo), Torta al Latte Calda (Hot Milk Cake), Ciambelline al Vino (Wine Cookies), and Plumcake con Mele e Cannella (Apple and Cinnamon Sweet Bread). I will also be sharing her recipe for Ciambella del Mattino (Morning Bundt Cake) following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
She was born in Toronto, Canada, but moved to Rome over 25 years ago following her marriage to an Italian artist. She now spends time between the two cities. This is her first book.
Authentic Italian Desserts
After moving to Italy with her husband and learning about cucina casareccia (Italian home cooking) firsthand, Rosemary developed a passion for the cuisine and it shines through the pages.
I especially love the variety she included in Authentic Italian Desserts and how there is something for every occasion, from breakfast to entertaining and everything in-between.
The chapters are divided based on type of dessert: Dolci del Mattino (Breakfast Sweets), Torte (Cakes), Biscotti (Cookies), Crostate (Pies and Tarts), Plumcake e Brioche (Sweet Breads), Pasticcini (Pastries), Le Freschezze (Chilled), Di Stagione (Seasonal), and Regioni (Regional). The contents also have a list of the recipes with page numbers for easy reference.
Rosemary also provided the photography. Every recipe is paired with a full-page, beautifully styled photo of the finished dish. Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric.
Titles are written in Italian and English. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, personal stories, serving size, and tips.
Ciambella del Mattino (Morning Bundt Cake)
For every cookbook review, I usually let the kids pick one or two recipes to try. This time, Claire didn’t even make it past the first one! I read out Ciambella del Mattino (Morning Bundt Cake) and she immediately said yes.
She now thinks having cake for breakfast is the best thing ever, most notably when paired with whipped cream and strawberries. It is especially perfect alongside coffee (or a Nutella Latte).
Another plus is that this cake comes together fairly easily, but still has a nice presentation. After pouring most of the batter into the pan, a little cocoa powder is mixed into the remainder and swirled into the top for a bit of contrast.
To add a little something extra, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar right before serving.
Make sure to grease the pan well, especially if you are using one with lots of detailing like mine (I used this Bavarian Bundt Pan).
I also made the Pan Goccioli (Chocolate Chip Buns), Biscotti al Caffè (Coffee Cookies), Saccottini alla Crema di Cioccolato alla Nocciola (Chocolate-Hazelnut Packets), and Liquore alla Crema alla Caffè (Coffee Cream Liqueur).
The Pan Goccioli (Chocolate Chip Buns) were Evan’s pick. These basic yeast buns are studded with chocolate chips for a comforting and delicious treat.
The Biscotti al Caffè (Coffee Cookies) are the perfect way to use up a couple of tablespoons of your morning coffee or espresso. These little cookies have a nice texture with the chopped walnuts or hazelnuts and are rolled in sugar before baking.
The Saccottini alla Crema di Cioccolato alla Nocciola (Chocolate-Hazelnut Packets) are sweet rolls filled with a chocolate hazelnut spread. This was definitely a fun one to make with the kids.
This Liquore alla Crema alla Caffè (Coffee Cream Liqueur) is one of Rosemary’s favorite liqueurs and now it is one of mine! Milk and cream are heated, then combined with sugar and coffee. This mixture is chilled, strained, mixed with vodka, and refrigerated for at least 24 hours before serving straight-up or over ice. She has also included a recipe for homemade Crema di Limoncello (Lemon Cream Liqueur).
Authentic Italian Desserts is a great pick for those interested in Italian baking and desserts. Recipes range from quick cookies to yeast breads and layered cakes. There are even a couple of chapters devoted to seasonal and regional cooking.
Most of the ingredients are readily available in the average American grocery store.
Ciambella del Mattino (Morning Bundt Cake) Recipe
Excerpt from Authentic Italian Desserts
Ciambella del Mattino (Morning Bundt Cake)
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (218 grams) all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups (256 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 milliliters) milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (11 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (177˚C), then grease and flour a 9-inch (23-centimeter) Bundt pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and granulated sugar for approximately 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Slowly add the vegetable oil and vanilla, beating to combine. Then, add the flour mixture a little at a time, beating between additions. Add the milk and beat to combine.
- Pour two-thirds of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining one-third of the batter and stir until well combined.
- Spoon the cocoa batter on top of the plain batter and swirl lightly with the tip of a knife. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely and dust it with powdered sugar (if using) before serving.