05/17/11 Chocolate Mousse Cake with Hazelnuts

"Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro." (He who finds a friend, finds a treasure.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Soft Polenta
  -Lobster Pasta with Herb Cream Sauce
  -Chocolate Mousse Cake with Hazelnuts

Thank you for finding precious time for us! I look forward to connecting further in the coming days. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sesame Seed Cookies

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 Recipe: Soft Polenta

Soft Polenta
Polenta Morbida


6 cups water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cups quick-cooking polenta (precooked coarse cornmeal)


Bring 6 cups water, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan.

Gradually whisk in polenta.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Stir constantly until polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lobster Pasta with Herb Cream Sauce

Lobster Pasta with Herb Cream Sauce
Pasta con Astice in Crema di Erbe


Three 1 and 3/4-pound live lobsters
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs fresh tarragon sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
2 cups whipping cream
1 and 1/2 pounds fettuccine or linguine


Bring very large pot of salted water to boil.

Add lobsters.

Boil until cooked through, about 12 minutes (or cook in batches, if necessary).

Using tongs, transfer lobsters to large rimmed baking sheet.

Remove meat from tail and claws; place meat in medium bowl.

Remove any roe from bodies and place in small bowl.

Cover and chill meat and roe (if any).

Remove tomalley (green matter) from bodies and discard.

Reserve bodies and shells.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over high heat.

Add reserved lobster bodies and shells.

Saute 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to low.

Add tomato paste; stir 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, wine, vinegar, garlic, tarragon, thyme, and parsley.

Add cream; boil 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Simmer just until lobster flavor infuses cream, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Strain sauce into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Discard contents of strainer.

Transfer sauce to heavy large saucepan.

Cut lobster meat into bite-size pieces; coarsely crumble roe, if using.

Add to sauce.

Gently rewarm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, stirring occasionally.

Drain; return pasta to pot.

Add sauce; toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to large shallow bowl and serve. Serves 10.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chocolate Mousse Cake with Hazelnuts

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Hazelnuts
Mousse al Cioccolato con Nocciole


For the Cake:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sifted all purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
1/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted, then measured)
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar

For the Hazelnut Crunch:
5 ounces imported Gianduia bars (hazelnut-flavored milk chocolate, such as Callebaut), chopped
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, finely chopped

For the Mousse:
10 ounces imported Gianduia bars (hazelnut-flavored milk chocolate, such as Callebaut), chopped
1 and 1/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon (scant) salt
3 tablespoons water

Tuaca (sweet citrus-flavored liqueur) or Frangelico (hazelnut-flavored liqueur)
Additional unsweetened cocoa powder
Powdered sugar


For the Cake:
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350F.

Line bottom of 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2-inch high sides with parchment paper.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Remove from heat.

Spoon off foam from top of butter and discard.

Spoon clear yellow butter into small metal bowl, leaving water and milk solids in bottom of pan.

Add vanilla to butter in bowl; set clarified butter aside.

Sift flour and cocoa powder together 3 times into medium bowl.

Whisk eggs and sugar in large metal bowl to blend.

Place bowl with egg mixture in large skillet of barely simmering water; whisk constantly until egg mixture is lukewarm (105F), about 2 minutes.

Remove bowl from water.

Place bowl with clarified butter in hot water in same skillet over low heat to keep warm.

Using electric mixer, beat egg mixture until cool and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.

Sift 1/3 of flour-cocoa mixture over egg mixture and gently fold in with rubber spatula.

Fold in remaining flour-cocoa mixture in 2 more additions.

Fold 1 cup of cake batter into warm clarified butter until incorporated.

Using rubber spatula, gently fold butter-cake batter mixture into remaining cake batter.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean and top springs back slightly when gently pressed, about 30 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on rack.

Run knife between pan sides and cake to loosen.

Invert cake onto rack; remove parchment.

Using long serrated knife, trim top of cake horizontally, forming 3/4-inch high cake layer.

Using bottom of 8-inch diameter springform pan as guide, trim around sides of cake to form 8-inch round cake.

Set cake aside.

For the Hazelnut Crunch:
Scatter nuts on rimmed baking sheet and toast at 350F until skins darken, 12 to 15 minutes.

Wrap warm hazelnuts in kitchen towel and rub together to remove skins.

Line bottom of 8-inch diameter springform pan with parchment paper.

Pour enough water into large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch; bring to simmer.

Remove skillet from heat.

Place Gianduia in medium metal bowl; set bowl in hot water in skillet.

Stir until Gianduia is melted and smooth.

Stir in cereal and nuts.

Spread crunch evenly over parchment in pan.

Place cake atop crunch layer, pressing to adhere.

Chill until crunch is firm, about 1 hour.

For the Mousse:
Place Gianduia in metal bowl.

Pour enough water into large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch; bring to simmer.

Remove from heat; place bowl with Gianduia in hot water in skillet.

Stir until Gianduia is smooth.

Remove bowl from water; cool Gianduia to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat cream and salt in another bowl until very soft peaks form (when bowl is tilted, cream should be fluffy but still pourable and flow to one side).

Mix 3 tablespoons water into melted Gianduia.

Pour whipped cream over and fold into Gianduia just until incorporated (mousse will be very soft).

Brush top of chilled cake with liqueur.

Spread mousse over cake in pan.

Cover and chill overnight.

Run knife between cake and pan sides to loosen.

Soak kitchen towel in hot water; wring out water.

Wrap hot wet towel around pan sides and hold 30 seconds.

Carefully remove pan sides from cake; smooth mousse with knife if necessary.

Place cake on pan bottom on rack set over baking sheet.

Sift cocoa powder lightly over top of cake.

Using stencils such as snowflakes or stars, sift powdered sugar over top of cake.

Transfer to platter and serve. Makes 12 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure:

One In Ten Italians Humiliated At Work

Rome - September 15, 2010 - Almost one in ten Italians have suffered some form of humiliation during their working lives, ISTAT said Wednesday in a survey for the Equal Opportunities Ministry.

ISTAT said some 2.63 million people, or more than 9% of the working population, had been the target of harassment or had been demoted or stripped of key tasks.

- No no, Fabrizio! "Che minchia fai?" Don't handle the leather jackets so roughly. We're not in Calabria and we're not skinning varmints!

- Weh, Giuseppe! For the last time I'm not giving you a raise. It's just pizza! "Cazzo", wake up! There is no future, no tomorrow! This is it! You're caught in the Twilight Zone! You know, why don't you put an ad in the classifieds if you're so resourceful? Here's your ad:

"Fat, spoiled, unqualified Italian."
"High wages required, no skills necessary!"
"I'll sit here, you call me."

- You have to go home early, Marta? "Mah, che roba!" Why? Your chicken needs a bath?

- "Porca di quella vacca", Marilena, there is no need to photocopy every damn document that circulates in your office. I don't need documented proof that you exist! Is it your dream to show up on Judgement Day with a huge pile of documents and state your case one sheet at a time?

- "Minchia", don't take it personally, Massimo. You have one of those hairpieces that I can use to wash my car. And a lot of your employees are thinking, "how can he run this department if he can't run his own head?"

What a newscast! Sexual harassment and humiliation at work, and a politician who favors women who use their bodies to get a head start in their careers...have a nice evening. CIAO!

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and you'll discover why the last improvements to Italy were made by Julius Caesar and why it's been downhill ever since!  Click Here to Subscribe!

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