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Monte Bianco.. a Literary Experience..a Dessert..a long lost ’ schiacciapatate’

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, desserts, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, and Uncategorized

copyright 2014 Maria Liberati/Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc

(photo from

…beginning to look forward to Spring… but some  winter experiences still to be had……



The things that are expected of winter, in the mountains of Italy, are of course snow and lots of skiing, but also a dessert that commemorates the famous settimana bianca (white week) the ‘infamous’ week spent skiing on whatever snow capped mountain you desire, surrounded by  a snow covered mountain….and one of the most romantic mountains to spend your settimana bianca .. is Monte Bianco in the Italian Alps- a winter without seeing Monte Bianco is just not winter…one of the most written about mountains by the likes of Victor Hugo and Shelly….But  if you are not able to visit Monte Bianco you can always experience it as a delicious dessert..( something that splendiferous had to be honored with its’ own luscious  dessert)…. and this one is actually good for you..made with chestnuts, dark chocolate and only a small amount of sugar…

So now I can say that my January is definitely complete..(unfortunately not a visit to) but my annual making of the Monte Bianco….before the chestnuts were all gone… but after I found the chestnuts I had to find a ‘schiacciapatate’ (potato ricer). I love to mash the chestnuts by hand in my schiacciapatate…not many make this dessert at home and even less make it by hand… but for some reason mine was nowhere to be found…so I went from ‘door to door’ asking friends and relatives if they had a schiacciapatate’ to borrow..and luck struck me at the last door…finally a schiacciapatate that was not wanted but in great condition! So, I willingly adopted it and gave it a place in my kitchen..


Do you have a schiacciapatate in your kitchen? you use it or is it just kept as a nostalgic piece??



I would love to hear… send your comments here..

Also look for next email for my webinar on first webinar will be making a montebianco

It is Recipe 16 of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style..but here’s the recipe..

Monte Bianco


(photo credits


Monte Bianco

1lb of chestnuts

4 tablespoons of sugar

1 cup of milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

8 ounces dark chocolate (minimum 80%)

1 cup whipped cream

Boil chestnuts in water for approximately 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, peel. Place in saucepan, cover with milk, add in vanilla and sugar. Boil until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Place boiled chestnuts while hot in potato ricer and mash into bowl. Melt chocolate in double boiler and place into mashed chestnuts. Blend together. Place mashed chestnuts and chocolate mixture into potato ricer and let the mixture fall onto a plate as you rice the mixture, forming a mountain shape. Cover with whipped cream. Place in fridge for 15 minutes and serve.


For more recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Cooking:DaVinci Style


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