The Little Black Book: Zia Milina

“My recipe was written in a small black notebook: the recipes’ book of my aunt Melina” 

Olga Stinga shares her memories of her aunt and the wonderful treats she baked.

I hope to feature Olga’s shared recipes each month.

Please comment if you know these Italian treats and would like to learn more recipes from
Zia Melina
Pizza di crema
In the past cakes were few and not so many the opportunities to eat them.
For Valentine’s Day, when we celebrate St. Anthony in Sorrento, the feast of the patron saint of the city, zia Melina  prepared the pizza cream.
The “Pizza di crema” is the cake that the majority of ladies and housewives were used to prapare on the Sant’Antonino day (14th February )

-For the Pastry: 400g flour OO – 200 g sugar – 200g suet or butter- 2 eggs plus one yolk
a pinch of salt – a pinch of cream of tartar.
-For the white cream: 1/2 liter of milk – four yolks – 80g of flour – 160g of sugar -1 grated lemon (sorrento) and a tablespoon of limoncello.
-For the chocolate cream: 1/2 liter of milk -two yolks – 125g of sugar – 50g of cocoa – 2 heaping tablespoons of flour –
a snifter Witch and rum – vanilla – a tablespoon of butter.
          Sour cherries (here we grow them at home. I  always  add  homemade sour cherries)       
     four  or five biscuits. 
Preparation: mix the flour with the butter, make a fountain in the center and put the eggs and all other ingredients, mix and let it rest in the fridge
Prepare the two creams and cool them.
Spread a layer of pastry, place it in the pan, crumble cookies.  The cookies prevent the pastry from becoming  moist.
Pour a layer of white cream cherries and then the chocolate cream.
Cover with another layer of pastry – Bake at 170/180 degrees for about 40 minutes.

“My recipe was written in a small black notebook: the recipes’ book of my aunt Melina” 

The Italian Version

Olga shared this from Sorrento, Italy
I Roccocò:  an Italian Christmas Treat
 Olga Stinga shared a treat her aunt made every year and the history of the Roccoco

“”My aunt was used to make them on the 14th of December (here we celebrate Sant’Agnello, the saint patron of the village named Sant’Agnello) , 10 days prior to the Christmas Eve.”

‘These cakes typical of the Neapolitan Christmas tradition (whose origin dates back to 1320, through the work of the nuns of the Convent of the Real Mary Magdalene) take their name from the French word “rocaille”, because of their shape and baroque round.

In Caserta and other areas of Campania Region, the Roccocò have an S shape, with a curl at each end that recalls the typical decorations of Rococo style. In Sorrento, instead, we make them with the shape of donuts crushed the average size of 10 cm.

I share the recipe for My Aunt Melina, my favorite aunt, who instilled me with the passion for cakes.’

The preparation of Roccocò is not difficult: they have a base of almonds, flour, sugar and Pisto, that ‘their smell and the color characteristic. The Pisto is a mix of spices, made up of cinnamon, cloves, coriander, star anise and nutmeg, which serves to help the soaring Roccocò. It can be found in pharmacies, shops for sweets and, in Naples, even in supermarkets.
Ingredients:    500 g flour
                       500 g sugar
                       300 g almonds
                        2 gr Ammonia cake
                        12 grams of Pisto (spice)
                        150 g of water
                           50 gr Candied
                           1orange peel
                           1 lemon peel
                           1 egg for brushing (the tops)

How to prepare Roccocò

Mix sugar, the peel of 1 lemon and the peel of 1 orange
Add all the ingredients, except the egg (because it only serves the purpose for brushing) and mix them with the mixer
Add the almonds and, if necessary, a little water and candied fruit.
Cut the dough and put them on the table.
With the knife divide the dough into pieces and form the Roccocò shaped donut.
Brush the Roccocò with the egg, put them on a baking sheet and bake 180 ° 20-30 min. 
My tips
If you can not find the Pisto, you can prepare a dose blending together 12 cloves, chopped half a nutmeg, grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon, half a stick of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
Typically Roccocò are eaten quite hard, in fact, make a typical noise “scrocchiarello” when you bite into. For those who prefer softer, just cook them a few minutes less.
Finally, I suggest you try these cookies by spraying in Champagne, in Chocolate Liqueur, in the Cream of Limoncello, in Marsala or liquor you prefer;-) 

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

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