Our annual Italian issue is always a real treat – and thanks to Jamie’s gorgeous dessert recipes, this year’s is more irresistible than ever.
There’s so much more to Italian food than pizza and pasta. Italians know better than most how to romance a sweet tooth, and it’s worth thinking outside the realms of the traditional when it comes to their brilliant ‘dolce’ (literally ‘sweet’).
This idea was at the forefront for Jamie when creating the beautiful recipes for this month’s Jamie magazine. “When it comes to Italian desserts”, he says, “It’s all too easy to get hypnotised by flamboyantly flavoured ice creams and, of course, tiramisu, but for this issue, I wanted to focus on the wonderful array of sweet delights that reflect different aspects of the Italian kitchen”.
Although simplicity is king in Italian cooking, desserts are always a bit of an opportunity to show off, as Jamie’s bold creations prove. He explains that, “certainly most Italian desserts are all about simple, sweet flavours, but when Italians go big, they really know how to have fun, and that’s what I want you to do with these recipes”. The epic vin santo-drenched pear and chocolate tart with a fragrant hazelnut pastry is a total crowd-pleaser, whilst a velvety pannacotta is taken to the next level with a drizzle of coffee syrup – like the best affogato ever!
Using Italian ingredients in place of the typical fats and flours seen in classically French patisserie is also a really interesting way of adding an extra dimension to your desserts. As Jamie explains, recipes can be elevated by, “adding wine or olive oil to pastries, sweetening cheeses, such as ricotta, and using them for delicious fillings, or exchanging bog-standard flour for polenta, rice or chestnut flours”.
This incredible orange and polenta cake has a beautifully moist, dense texture that works a treat with fragrant oranges, rosewater and cardamom that flavour the sponge – and it’s great for a gluten-free diet, too.
Mixing influence from classic Italian puds with brand new ideas also means the resulting creations are extra special. For example, all the flavours of a classic Sicilian cassata sponge cake – ricotta, candied fruits and citrus – are combined in the form of a glorious frozen semifreddo for a seriously show-stopping result.
So, next time you’re planning an Italian feast, be sure to let the desserts take centre stage – with Jamie’s recipes in the latest Italian issue of Jamie magazine, you can truly live la dolce vita!
Hungry now? Have a look for more incredible Italian recipes right here.