Holidays

Waste not want not, leftovers from an Italian Christmas

Though the quickly ending year is leaving quite a bit to be desired behind, all in all I can say that there were nothing but upsides this past December 25th. They are:

Christmas morning
Christmas morning
  • Spending Christmas morning in bed with the amore piccolo and the amore grande watching "The Interview"
  • Finding Christmas joy in cooking and hosting a meal for 30, and managing to sit them all
  • Knowing at least 30 people who understand that the first item on this list completely justifies delaying festivities by 3 hours
  • Discovering that the 12 days of Christmas START rather than end on Christmas Day (did everyone know that? If so, shouldn't someone have told me on by Day 2 or 3 of my Italian holiday table series??)
  • Having enough leftovers to continue the series for several days
Christmas dinner 2014
Christmas dinner 2014

First up: repurposing that lone octopus tentacle swimming in its own perfect broth. This one accounted for 2 meals, one of spaghetti-below and one of risotto-coming soon...


Spaghetti al sugo di polpo piccante

Spaghetti with spicy octopus sauce

 

for 6 people

lone octopus tentacle from recipe described here

1 garlic clove

1 handful basil leaves

2 tablespoon tomato concentrate

1 cup octopus stock olive oil

red pepper flakes to taste

splash dry white wine

salt to taste

 

Cut the octopus tentacles in very small morsels. Smash and peel the garlic clove.

Stack the basil leaves, roll them longitudinally and slice them in very thin ribbons.

Heat the octopus stock and dilute the tomato concentrate in it.

Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic clove and half the basil in a sautè pan. Gently heat everything until the fragrance of the garlic wafts to your nostrils.

Discard the garlic clove and add the cut octopus. Warm for a couple of minutes and deglaze with the wine.

Wait until the wine smells caressing rather than acrid then add the octopus stock with the tomato concentrate.

While it is gently simmering to slightly reduce, cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water.

Using a handheld strainer transfer the spaghetti into the sautè pan about 4 minutes before the suggested cooking time printed on the package.

Finish cooking by gradually adding small amounts of the water in which the spaghetti cooked. Be mindful to add the liquid in small amounts so that the pasta has a chance to absorb it. If too much liquid is added, one is bound to end with with either overcooked or soupy pasta.

When the spaghetti have reached the consistency most palatable to you, finish with a short stream of olive oil and serve immediately in a warm platter after garnishing with the remainder of the basil.

NOTES

  • You might have noticed that I omit the salt from this recipe except for what goes in the water for the pasta. That is by design in that the octopus stock is more often than not salty enough to carry it on to the rest of the dish, however, I do suggest that you try the sauce to make sure it is agreeable to your preferred level of saltiness

The 12 days of Natale, recipes for the Italian holiday table. Day 9: polpo

Today is fish day. No it will not be 7 fishes, rather just one veeeery long cooking octopus. Below are pictures of what is happening in my kitchen as I write.

Merry Christmas!

 


Polpo alla Luciana

Braised octopus

 

for 6 to 8 people

3 to 4 pounds octopus

salt to taste

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 handful parsley

1 ripe large tomato-if in season

OR 2 or 3 canned tomatoes

OR 2 tablespoon tomato concentrate

2 garlic cloves

pepper to taste

 

Lightly sprinkle salt on the octopus and place it in a Dutch oven. Add the olive oil and wine.

Rinse and add the parsley, stems off.

Chunk the fresh tomato or smash the canned one with your hands. Smash and peel the garlic. Add them to the rest of the ingredients-or add the tomato concentrate.

Season with pepper-or red pepper flakes if you want to give it a kick.

Seal the pot with a layer of parchment paper and tie it around its circumference with kitchen twine. Cover tightly with the lid and place over the lowest heat your stovetop can dispense.

Cook slowly and lovingly for 3 to 4 hours, or more if you have a big octopus, without ever opening and unsealing the pot.

Bask in the fragrance until you deem it ready.

Open and drain the octopus from its water. You can serve it as is, cool it and make a salad with it, mince it for a pasta sauce.

Whatever you do, keep the stock it has produced so we can use it for our days of leftover fun.

NOTES

  • This is an old Italian classic, there are versions that use onion and/or celery for a richer stock
  • I have made this also without wine, or using basil in the summer
  • A pinch of oregano adds a delightful dimension
  • The stock will be rather intense so do not add salt or reduce, otherwise you will not be able to use it
  • Lastly: a picture of my child and some of his cousins after having eaten spaghetti with a sauce from the recipe above last summer in Tuscany
Topini che mangiano il polpo della zia Viola
Topini che mangiano il polpo della zia Viola

The 12 days of Natale, recipes for the Italian holiday table. Day 8: pici al tartufo nero

My mom and dad loved a good party and New Year's Eve was, needless to say, the perfect occasion. The crowds were large and while the adults played baccarat and roulette in the upstairs salon (yes, Italians like a friendly gamble during the holiday season), we children ran around unchecked across the garden, in a storage room that had cleaned and heated for the night. Somewhere in the early 70's, I remember standing by a ping pong table outfitted to buffet, my senses glued by an enormous bowl of pici-a rustic, handmade spaghetti-graced by month old olive oil and little brown specks of what I knew to be black truffle.

tartufi
tartufi

That first encounter with a seminal holiday food remains a brick in the foundation of my house of food. I have since recreated and taught this dish in my classes and last night, after having ascertained of it kosherness, I made it for a 7th day of Hanukkah celebration at the home of dear friends.


Pici al tartufo nero

Handmade spaghetti with black truffle

for the pici

1/3 pound semolina flour

3/4 pound all purpose

pinch of salt

1 egg

warm water

 

for the sauce

2 garlic cloves

olive oil-preferably olio nuovo, the kind that has been pressed the previous November

salt and pepper to taste

1 handful parsley

1 black winter truffle

grated pecorino (optional)

 

In a bowl, mix the flours and salt. Add the egg, olive oil and start working the ingredients while adding a thin stream of water.

Work in just enough water to bring everything together into a shaggy looking, somewhat crumbly ball. At this stage the mixture should be moist and a little soft but not wet or tacky.

Once you have a satisfactory shaggy ball, that has gathered as close to all of the ingredients as possible, is soft enough to knead but with some resistance, is not too wet and giving, but not so hard that it can barely be pressed together, start kneading.

Grabbing the top third of the ball with your fingertips and pull it up and away from the center. Now use the heel of your hand to press the top third into the middle third. Lastly, still using the heel of your hand, vigorously fold everything into the bottom third.

Turn the dough a quarter hour and repeat the pulling/pressing/folding motion until the dough is smooth and elastic and springs back quickly when poked with a finger.

The pulling/folding/pressing motion will slowly turn the dough inside out and outward in, ensuring that all of it is kneaded, rather than just some parts.

The process will take 10 to 15 minutes at the end of which the dough should be cool and slightly moist to the touch but not tacky. It should also spring back into place quickly when poked.

You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment, just place the ingredients and mix on medium until everything comes together nicely and the dough looks homogeneous and elastic.

Wrap tightly and let the dough relax for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce.

Clean the truffle: loosen dirt by brushing vigorously with a clean nail brush, then rinse under running cold water while still brushing until you've removed all the dirt. Dry well with a clean paper towel.

Roll the dough to sheets about 12” long and 1/4” thick. Cut each sheet into long strips about 1/2” wide.

Take the first strip and separate it from the rest. Grab one end, fold it and pinch it shut between your thumb and index finger.

Hold up the pinched end and roll the strip of dough back and forth between the palm of your free hand and a wooden surface. Exert light pressure otherwise you will not be able to roll.

Keep rolling toward the opposite end of the strip while gently tugging the pinched side to stretch the spaghetto.

You will yield a long, thick, uneven noodle that can be dipped in semolina then placed on a sheet pan to slightly dry.

Repeat the operation until you have finished all the dough.

Drop the pici in boiling salted water.

While the pasta is cooking, pour about half a cup of the olive oil into a warm serving bowl, add 4 to 5 spoonfuls of the water in which the pasta is cooking and whisk into an emulsion. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

The pic will take about 10 to 15 minutes. When done, strain from the water using a handheld strainer or tongs and transfer it into the bowl. Toss to coat evenly.

Using a microplane zester, grate the truffle over the pici. Toss well, adding some more olive oil and pasta cooking water if it appears too dry.

Serve immediately with the grated pecorino on the side.

The 12 days of Natale, recipes for the Italian holiday table. Day 6 & 7: baccalà

Apologies for skipping yesterday, I'm hoping to be pardoned by offering 2 versions of the same delicious ingredient: baccalà.

Baccalà is codfish preserved in salt and a staple on the Italian tables on Christmas Eve. There are infinite ways of preparing baccalà, these 2, both from the Roman tradition that informed much of my adored mother's cooking, are the ones that speak to me of home the most.

The first is perfect to be eating while held in hand and sipping prosecco, maybe around the tree while watching the frenzy of children tearing packages open. The second is a dish that gets better with a little aging, generally with too unusual a taste to be appreciated by children, thus better savored while the children have collapsed exhausted from that gift ripping frenzy.


Filetti di baccalà

Battered and fried salt cod fillets

 

for 4 to 5 filetti

1 pound skinless and boneless salt cod fillets

1 teaspoon fresh OR a generous 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons lukewarm milk (if using fresh yeast)

OR pinch sugar (if using dry yeast)

1/2 pound all purpose flour

salt

fizzy water

frying oil

Rinse off the excess salt from the cod and soak it in cold water for 3 days changing the water 4 times a day. Strain from the soaking water and dry well. Cut in fillets 1” wide and 4” long and dry them well.

If using fresh yeast, dilute it in the milk and mix into a paste. If using dry active yeast, place it in a small bowl with a tablespoon of room temperature water and a tiny pinch of sugar. It will grow into a bubbly blob. Stir the blob into a paste.

Season the flour with salt in a bowl and mix in the yeast. Whisk in the water in a steady stream until you reach a thickish and smooth consistency.

To test the batter, perform this test: lift the whisk, thread the batter over the bowl. The threads of batter should “write”: think of the batter in the bowl as a sheet and the whisk as a pen: the pen leaves a trace and the sheet stays flat, it does not part to swallow that trace, rather the trace just kind of disappears after a couple of seconds.

If no trace is left, the batter is too liquid and needs some flour. If the sheet parts to swallow the writing, the batter is too thick and can be fixed with a bit of water.

Once you are satisfied with the batter, cover it and set it aside to rest at room temperature to let the yeast can work its magic.

In a shallow, wide saucepan heat a generous amount of oil to approximately 330˚F. Dredge the cod pieces in the batter until they are completely coated.

Carefully drop in the heated oil to deep fry. Keep turning them over and sploshing oil over them. Watch the coating of batter puff and cook until it has no wet spots.

Turn up the heat to impart crunchiness and a lovely golden color to the fillets. Drain over paper towels and serve while still warm.

 


Baccalà alla romana in agrodolce

Sweet and sour Roman style salted codfish

for 6 people

1.5 pounds salted codfish

1 bunch Swiss chard

1 yellow onion

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

salt

1/4 cup currants or raisins

1/4 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup olive oil

3 bay leaves

1 large can peeled tomatoes

pepper to taste

flour

frying oil

1/2 cup pine nuts

sugar and vinegar to taste

 

Soak the codfish in water for 2 days, occasionally changing the water.

Divide the chard stalks from the leaves. Finely chop the onion, carrots, celery and chard stalks. Stack the chard leaves, roll them and cut them in very thin ribbons.

Soak the currants and prunes in warm water.

In a shallow pot heat the olive and the onion, carrots, celery and Swiss chard stalks and bay leaves with a generous pinch of salt. Soften them completely until they start caramelizing, stirring often to prevent them from burning.

Add the peeled tomatoes and a can full of water. Smash the tomatoes while they are coming to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the sauce down to a rather thick consistency, for about an hour, adding a bit of water if necessary.

In the meantime, drain and dry the salted cod, eliminate bones and skin and cut in pieces of about 2” x 3”. Dredge each piece lightly through flour and shake to remove the excess flour and ensure even coating.

Bring a panful of frying oil to 320˚F and deep fry the pieces of cod until they appear golden and crispy. Fry in batches as not to overcrowd the pan and lower the oil temperature. Set aside on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

When the sauce is about 10 minutes from done, drain the prunes and raisins. Add them and the pine nuts to the sauce. Add a small amount of sugar and vinegar and keep adjusting the balance until you find it pleasant to your taste, then give the the sauce a final 10 to 15 minutes on the heat to bring all the flavors together.

Transfer the sauce to a baking dish and arrange the pieces of cod in it in a layer. When ready to serve, heat in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

The 12 days of Natale, recipes for the Italian holiday table. Day 5: cappone bollito con 2 salse

I am a little off with my countdown, I just realized. If my limited math skills serve me correctly, 12-5=7 but 25-20=5. Instead of cramming 7 recipes in 5 days, we will continue our journey past Christmas to make the best out of leftovers. And nothing produces better leftovers than the capon my mother unfailingly poached every Christmas. In case you are wondering, a capon is a chicken whose renounces his manhood-possibly not willfully-tobecome larger, fattier, tenderer, juicier and much more flavorful.

I am lucky enough that in San Francisco, I actually get to pick which butcher will do me the honor of purveying the ingredient without which Christmas just isn't Christmas for me, elsewhere in the US capons might not be terribly common, so order it in advance from your specialty butcher.

 


Cappone bollito con 2 salse

Poached capon with 2 sauces

 

for the bird

1 onion

6 cloves garlic

2 celery stalks

3 carrots

2 leeks

1 lemon

2 to 3 bay leaves

6 to 8 peppercorns

1/2 cup white wine

1 handful coarse salt

1 capon

 

for the salsa verde

1 tablespoon capers in salt

1 clove garlic

1 bunch parsley

1 lemon

3 to 4 anchovies fillets

thick slice stale country bread

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

splash of vinegar

 

for the salsa gialla

1 pinch saffron

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons butter

1 pint capon stock

1 egg yolk

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

 

Peel the onion and spike it with the cloves. Peel the celery and carrots. Remove the green leaves from the leeks. Score them along the middle and remove the dirt under cold running water. Cut 2 slices from the lemon.

Fill a pot with water big enough to hold the capon fully submerged. Add the spiked onion, celery, carrots, leeks, lemon slices, bay leaves, peppercorns, wine and salt and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat to a simmer and lower the capon into the water. It will need to poach gently until very tender, for about 1 hour.

While the capon is cooking, make the sauces.

For the salsa verde: rinse the capers off the salt and soak them in hot water.

Pick and wash the parsley leaves, dry them well.

Smash and peel the garlic.

Grate the zest of the lemon and juice it. Drain the anchovy fillets from the oil.

Remove and discard the crust off the bread slice. Tear the remaining soft part in chunks.

Place the parsley, garlic, zest, juice, anchovies and bread chunks in the food processor bowl.

Drain the capers and add them to the food processor.

Lock and start processing while adding oil in a thick stream. Keep the motor running until you have a homogeneous paste.

Transfer to a bowl adjust the balance of salt, vinegar and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The salsa gialla will need to wait until the capon is almost done as you are using the stock in which it is poaching.

Ladle a pint of capon stock out of the poaching pot and filter through a paper towel.

Crumble the saffron threads in between your thumb and index finger into a small sauce pot and toast it gently for 2 to 2 minutes.

Add the flour and very lightly toast for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking it around constantly.

Add the butter, It will melt with the flour and saffron into a deliciously fragrant, golden roux to which you will add the hot stock in a thin stream, whisking continuously.

Keep whisking until the sauce thickens and emulsifies well.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the yolk and lemon juice.

Adjust salt and pepper and transfer to a cool container right away to avoid curdling the yolk.

When the capon is ready, drain from the stock and cut as you would a chicken.

Arrange in a shallow bowl with a few ladlefuls of the stock on the bottom to keep warm.

Place the capon in the middle of the table with the 2 sauces alongside it.

NOTES

  • A capon can easily serve 10 to 12 people, for a smaller party, you can use a chicken
  • The stock is like a chicken's to the Nth power, you will have a lot since the capon is quite large, keep it for a myriad other uses
  • Keep the vegetables in the stock, we will use them in our Christmas leftover project

March 19: saints, fathers and oxtails

Papà L'Unità anni 70
Papà L'Unità anni 70

 

The day I turned legal for a scooter I pleaded with him for one. He stalled. I rounded my most doe-like eyes and asked "Don't you trust me, daddy?" knowingly straddling that line between sweet and indignant which I knew would tug at his heart and mind, both of which, I also knew, had to be in concord for him to cave.

"I'll always trust you - he answered - I just do not trust others." I was more tenacious than he was mistrustful, and eventually I got my scooter.  The other promise, the one to always trust me, he always kept without question.

The last time he visited New York's Memorial Hospital in 2004 for his cancer treatments, he asked for my company. I flew in from San Francisco, glowing and round with 7-months of baby in my belly. I asked him what he wanted. He said he had been jonesing to cook coda alla vaccinara - Roman style oxtail stew and that he wanted to do so in a clay pot.

My belly and I taxied all over Manhattan, chasing what we needed. Each tool finally found, each ingredient successfully purveyed seemed to keep the fast approaching end of my father's life at bay. Somewhere in there, I found the time to acquire the perfect dress for an oxtail-eating pregnant woman: a form-fitting, tobacco brown stretchy sheath with a big and bright red dot positioned to showcase my round stomach.

After I returned, victorious, to the apartment father was renting just a block away from Sloan Kettering, we made a round of overseas phone calls to various expert sources: mothers, aunts, sisters, cooks trained by grandmothers. I organized the information and sat in prenatal yoga pose with a book, aware that my father did not feel kindly toward interferences while cooking. He asked me, instead, to make the coda, an unusual show of trust for anyone who knew my father, and yet for me one more link in the chain of the unspoken emotional and intellectual chemistry which had always gathered the two of us.

My father and I in NYC, 1986
My father and I in NYC, 1986

The dish turned out exquisite, as love is always a surefire ingredient for the success of anything in the kitchen, I say. We sat and ate and chatted, forgetting why we were where we were. I spilled a forkful of coda right on the red dot of my oxtail eating dress while we were laughing, for reasons I now forget. The stain never came off, but I kept wearing the dress all the way through labor pains and delivery, as if that dot in my dot rooted the future into the world of love I was reared in.

March 19 is Fathers' Day in Italy, aptly celebrated the same day as St.Joseph's, who, for Italians, defines the no-matter-whatness of fatherly love. Sweet fritters and beignets of all sorts and flavors are made all over the country. But for me, coda alla vaccinara will always be the dish to which I celebrate the extraordinary luck of being born my father's daughter.

Coda alla VaccinaraOxtail in celery and tomato sauce

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.45.52 PM
Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.45.52 PM

for 6 people 2 small onions 4 cloves 2 carrots 1 head celery 2 bay leaves 3 peppercorns salt 1 oxtail 1 beef cheek black pepper 2 tablespoons fatback 1 garlic clove 1 handful parsley 2 tablespoons lard 2/3 cup red wine 1 cup tomato puree

Peel one onion and spike it with the cloves. Peel and chunk one carrot and one celery stalk. Place the vegetables in a pot with the bay leaves, peppercorns and a small handful of salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, chunk the oxtail and cheek and rinse them. Mince the remaining onion, carrot, garlic clove, parsley and fatback together.

Place the meat chunks in the boiling water and when the water comes back to the boil, fish them out. Pat dry them and generously season them with salt and pepper.

Melt the lard in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the oxtail and cheek and brown gently to a golden color.

Remove the meat chunks and add the minced ingredients with a generous pinch of salt. Saute until soft and lightly caramelized.

Put the oxtail back in the saucepan and deglaze everything with the red wine.

Dilute the tomato puree in a pint of warm water and pour over the tail. Cover and braise very gently and slowly for 4 hours.

In the meantime, tear off the outer fibrous celery stalks until you are left with the inner heart, the stalks of which are thinner, tenderer and a greenish to yellowish white in color.

Cut each tender stalk in half lengthwise then cut each half stalk in 2" sticks. Boil the celery sticks in the same boiling water where used to blanch the meat. Drain and set aside.

Four hours into the braising, add the cooked celery and put back on the low, gentle heat for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Transfer the meat chunks to a warm serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Let the sauce rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then skim the fat that floats to the surface. The sauce should be dense, dark and VERY flavorful sauce. If it seems too thick, dilute it slightly with 1 or 2 tablespoons of the blanching water.

Pour the warm sauce over the meant and serve. Note that leftovers can be picked off the bones shredded and served as a sauce to rigatoni topped by grated pecorino.

NOTES:

  • You can save the outer stalks of the celery for uses in soups, stocks, gratins, salads, etc. If you can find it, Chinese celery (known as sedano fino in Italy) is ideal for this dish. It is tenderer than its regular big brother and has a smell more similar to celery seeds and celery root. It is sometimes available in farmers’ market or local ethnic markets.
  • Coda alla vaccinara is a peasant dish made with what the tables of rich families disdained. Discovered by the aristocracy, it saw the addition of some rarefied ingredients.
  • There are later versions that include one or all cocoa powder, pine nuts and raisins. Purists scoff at those, though in my opinion and experience, they can be perfectly delicious. I listen to my mood when I cook: if it feels chocolaty and nutty and raisiny, then I yield to it. When in a more somber disposition, I stick to the basic recipe.
  • If you add cocoa powder (2 tbsps for the above proportions) mix it with a few tablespoons of the blanching water and stir into the hot cooking sauce before it drapes the meat on the platter. Raisins and/or pine nuts can be added in a quantity that suits your taste for them at the same time as the boiled celery sticks.

Food to make one happy: brownies with Baci

Forgive me for patting myself on the back, but my heartfelt pasta work did get a mention in 7x7 magazine a while back, at the reliable hands of TableHopper Marcia Gagliardi. If you don't know her work, do visit her site, it's strong, happy and robust, all adjectives that coincidentally define the meaning of her Italian last name. Anyway, all pasta aside, we are here today to address my other favorite food topic: chocolate. Do you remember me speaking of a budding synergy with Perugina Chocolates and my visit to their Casa del Cioccolato in Perugia this past summer? Those buds are flowering now, as we get closer to the winter holidays, also known as the time of the year where chocolate becomes a staple in my diet.

These past few months I have re-discovered Perugina Baci, as the bliss inducing candy in a bowl prominently in the middle of my new designer table, as the peace offering I hand my husband after we've uselessly gotten on each other about something neither of us remembers, as the memory of my mother when my own child hands me the bottom half after eating the whole hazelnut off the top. But, most of all, I have come to love Baci as the shining jar in my pantry filled with an ingredient to lift the limits of my baking repertoire to new heights.

I will be incorporating Baci based desserts in my classes and also teach those who want to learn how to produce a home made version of this candy. I will list those classes in my calendar, including the one I am planning for Valentine's Day at the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco. Until then, let me share this OMG version of brownies featuring Baci, which I reworked from a brownie recipe Jodi Liano of SF Cooking School was generous enough to share with me.

Just an alert: if calorie counting is your thing, this is NOT the recipe for you, but if you are into blissful eating with moderation, then this easy to make treats will dance on your taste buds.

Brownies al Bacio Baci browniesBrownies al Bacio I

for a 7x7” square mold: 15 Baci 3/4 cup flour 1 cup cocoa powder pinch of salt 3 sticks butter 3 eggs 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract powdered sugar

Unwrap the Baci and finely chop them in a food processor-making sure to read every single love note!

Sift the flour and cocoa together and add the salt.

Cut the butter in tablespoon size pieces and divide it in 2 ceramic bowls. Melt half the butter in the microwave and pour it over the other half. Stir to melt everything. Aim for a creamy looking butter, with a few white specks and at room temperature.

Combine the eggs and sugar and fluff on high in the mixer with a paddle attachment until they are pale yellow and have thickened considerably. Stir in the vanilla.

Change the speed to low and alternately add a bit of melted butter and some flour and cocoa mixture until it is all worked in. It should take about 3 to 4 goes. Mix in the chopped Baci.

Preheat the oven at 350˚F. Line the mold with parchment paper, leaving a bit overhanging so that you can easily extract the brownies.

Bake for 30 minutes and let slightly cool in the pan. Pull out by the edges of the parchment paper and finish cooling on a rack.

When ready to serve, cut in squares and dust with powdered sugar.

NOTES:

  • The brownies will feel barely settled at 30 minutes, but they will be ready, do not be fooled in cooking them longer or they will become too dry.