Text copyright 2017 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati
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..
(photo by en.wikipedia.org)
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.
You can also find this recipe in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:DaVinci Style
You can get it at Amazon.com or Kindle ..filled with recipes and stories of DaVinci’s life in Italy.