This summer I was so lucky to hang out for a morning with the fabulous Neapolitan pastry chef, Serena De Filippis.
These two recipes Sanguinaccio (chocolate sauce) and Frappe or Chiacchiere (Italian pastries) are an utter delight to make all-be-it slightly challenging ... but more importantly totally scrummy to eat!
Sanguinaccio is a chocolate sauce which you dip the Frappe into. Many years ago, when Serena's grandmother made the sauce, it was created using pigs blood. (This is now thankfully illegal). Serena remains loyal to her Italian roots and traditions and has shared her aunt's recipe with us all.
Frappe are small pastry delights. This recipe came from Serena's sister, Ilaria. Her best-friend's father used to cook for them all when she lived in Rome. The story goes that a batch lasted less than 5 minutes and so Illaria made sure she 'acquired' the recipe when she moved on.
So to the the recipes below ... they serve 6 unless you are feeling a tad over-indulgent in which case they will serve less.
500ml Milk (cold)
200g Caster sugar
100g Dark Chocolate
70g Cocoa powder
40g Corn flour
30g Butter (soft)
Sieve all the dry ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder and corn flour) into a large bowl.
Pour in the cold milk. Stir with a whisk whilst adding the milk to avoid any lumps.
Transfer the mixture into a pan and cook it on low heat. Stir until it thickens. It will take about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, coarsely chop the dark chocolate and when the cream is thickened add it to the pan. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has completely melted.
Finally add the butter and stir gently until the mixture has a shiny appearance. Remove the heat.
Pour the sanguinaccio into a low and wide baking dish. Allow to cool at room temperature and then cover with cling film or foil.
Then transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Store in the fridge, covered with cling film and use within 5-6 days.
FRAPPE or CHIACCHIERE
500ml Groundnut oil
25g Butter (soft)
25ml White wine
2 Eggs (1 whole - 1 egg yolk)
1 Lemon (zest grated)
Vanilla extract (to taste)
Salt (a pinch)
Icing sugar (to decorate)
Place the flour on the working surface and make a well.
Add the softened butter into the centre of the well with the sugar, beaten eggs, cognac/grappa, white wine, grated lemon peel, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
Knead the mixture with your hands. Work the dough for a long time. Once the dough is smooth and elastic stop kneading.
Form a ball, cover it with a cloth and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes in a cool and dry place.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, put a lot of flour on the table so that the dough does not stick to the table and make a very thin sheet, as thin as you can (so once fried it remains crispy and crunchy).
Cut with a pastry wheel crimper into rectangles or strips of dough, according to the preferred shape. The size is up to you. A good size is 9cm x 5cm. It needs to be small enough to dip into the Sanguinaccio and for a couple of mouthfuls.
Heat the groundnut oil in a saucepan until it reaches 170C-180C. No higher. If the oil is a higher temperature it will burn and darken the pastries.
Dip each pastry into the hot oil. Remembering to be careful when placing them to avoid your hands and any spitting.
While frying, turn the frappe once or twice. Remove them using a metal slotted spoon as they soon as they become golden brown.
Place the hot frappe onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat.
Allow to cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar.
Keep them in a tight container and use within 2-3 days.
If you require any fantastic patisserie from Serena do contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.