Venetian Cherry Compote 

Serves 4

1lbcherries ( (500 g) ripe but firm cherries )
3T almonds ((22 g) sliced almonds)
1c(185 g) sugar
1cinnamon stick
2c red wine ( (500 ml) valpolicella or other dry red wine)
1c cream ((125 ml) heavy (double) cream)
2T amaretto liqueur
2T (30 g) mascarpone

1. Pit the cherries and set them aside. Place the almonds in a heavy skillet and toast over medium heat until they are lightly browned. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar, cinnamon stick, and wine in saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook about 5 minutes. Add the cherries and cook about 15 minutes longer. Transfer the cherries and their sauce to a bowl and refrigerate 1 hour or longer. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
3. Fold in the amaretto and whip a few seconds longer. Fold in the mascarpone. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon the cherries and their sauce into each of 4 goblets and top with the cream. If desired, the cherries and cream can be layered. Top with the almonds and serve.

Panna Cotta

250gs Whipped cream
50gs Sugar
2 Egg whites
1 Vanilla beanpod (or other flavors of your choice)

1. Boil the whipped cream in a casserole along with the selected flavoring. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and let it cool for 3 minutes. Mix the egg whites and the sugar in a bowl, and add them to the whipped cream.
2. Mix well, pass the mixture through a metallic strainer, and pour the panna cotta into 4 aluminum bowls - one portion each. Then put them in a baking pan 3 fingers deep of hot water, and cook them "bagnomaria" - a waterbath, in the oven, at 100 degrees, for 1 hour. Chill the panna cotta in the refrigerator and unmold it on a site plate.
Version with Caramel
3. Before putting the panna cotta in the bowls, prepare a caramel with 50gs of sugar, then dilute it with 3-4 spoons of water and pour it onto the bowl's bottom. Pour the remaining caramel on the panna cotta and proceed with the cooking them in a waterbath.

Version with fruit
Beat 250gs of strawberries with 20gs of sugar and pour the sauce around the panna cotta, already cooled and unmolded.

Easter Grain Pie

5 cups water
1/2 cup whole wheat berries
6 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package mixed candied fruit
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon shortening
1 teaspoon salt
2 pastries for 9-inch lattice-top pies
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Pour in wheat and allow to boil 40 minutes. As wheat is cooking, beat eggs in a large bowl while gradually adding 1 cup sugar to eggs. Mix in fruit, ricotta, vanilla extract, cinnamon, lemon rind, and orange rind.
2. When wheat is ready, drain in a colander and rinse with warm water. Place 3/4 cup of cooked wheat in a small bowl, and mix in shortening and salt. Stir until shortening is melted, then stir wheat mixture into ricotta mixture along with the rest of the cooked wheat berries.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. Line two 9 inch pie pans with pastry. Cut remaining pastry into strips for tops of pies. Spoon half of filling into each pan. Cover with pastry strips to form lattice tops. Crimp edges.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle each pie with 1 tablespoon sugar and allow to cool at room temperature. Chill overnight before serving. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. 


1 (18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/4 cup coffee
1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur

1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans.
2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.
4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
6. To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar. 

Anisette Toast

1/2 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoon salt
4 cup softened butter
 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons anise extract

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Grease 2 baking sheets.
2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in one egg until completely incorporated, then another. Beat in the last egg along with the anise extract. Mix in the flour until just incorporated. Divide the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Form each portion into a 12-inch long log, 1/2-inch thick.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool 5 minutes. Cut into 3/4-inch thick slices using a serrated knife, and place cut-side-down onto the baking sheets. Return to the oven, and bake 5 to 10 minutes until the bottoms turn golden brown. Turn the cookies over, and continue baking until golden brown on the other side, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool completely on a wire r


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 pinch salt
2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups honey
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar

1. Sift flour. Make a well in center, and break eggs into it. Add salt, and knead until smooth.
2. Roll dough out on lightly floured board until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1/2 inch strips, and cut strips into tiny pieces 1/2 inch long.
3. With the palm of hands, shape these tiny pieces into balls the size of a filbert nut.
4. Heat oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
5. Drop balls into oil 3 at a time. Fry until lightly browned, turning them constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove balls and drain them.
6. Combine honey and sugar in saucepan and boil over low flame about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add fried dough balls, 1 cup at a time, and cook in honey syrup, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove and put strufoli on flat plate to cool. Sprinkle with pine nuts and confectioners' sugar as soon as they are cool enough to handle, and mold about 5 together in a cluster. Enough for 8, or so. Strufoli will stay fresh for weeks if they are kept in a cool place.

Cone Coxions

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons ground California Almonds
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for buttering pizzelle maker
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup diced California Almonds

1. Stir together flour, sugar, almonds and salt. Stir in milk, egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter and vanilla. Chill batter, covered and refrigerated, for 1 - 24 hours.
2. Heat pizzelle maker and lightly brush top and bottom of pizzelle molds with remaining melted butter. Pour 1 tablespoon batter into bottom of each pizzelle mold. Close cover and cook batter until golden, about 2 minutes.
3. Work quickly to peel off 1 pizzelle and wrap around cone mold, overlapping ends, and pinching tip closed. Hold cone in place until it hardens, about 5 seconds, then slip off mold and repeat with remaining pizzelle. Repeat until 20 cones are ready.
4. Melt chocolate in a microwave or over a double-boiler. Work quickly to paint a thick layer of chocolate inside each pizzelle and sprinkle with almonds. Let cool and shake off any excess almonds when the chocolate has hardened.

Coffee granita

Makes 2 servings

2 cups lukewarm espresso or strong black coffee
2 cup sugar
tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest

1. Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar melts. Pour mixture into 9 by 13-inch metal pan and place on level shelf in freezer for half an hour. (Mixture should only come about 1/4-inch up the side of the pan.) Remove and use a dinner fork to scrape any ice crystals that have formed on the side or bottom of the pan.
2. Return to freezer and repeat scraping every 20 to 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours. Once mixture is thoroughly frozen, fluff with a fork and allow flakes to "dry" in freezer another half hour before serving. When served, the granita should look like a fluffy pile of dry brown crystals.
3. Scoop into goblets and top with barely sweetened whipped cream, add additional citrus zest if desired.