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Gina DePalma is the pastry chef at Manhattan's Babbo, home of Mario Batali's most acclaimed Italian fare. In Dolce Italiano, DePalma offers 90-plus doable recipes for a wide range of traditional and signature Italian sweets, such as Chocolate and Walnut Torte from Capri, Venetian Apple Cake, and Sesame and White Corn Biscotti. DePalma also provides illuminating asides on techniques and ingredients, including information on such "indispensable" items as honey, ricotta, mascarpone and grappa. Particularly notable chapters explore fried and festival sweets.
DePalma writes passionately about "dolce," revealing at one point her obsessive attempt to track down the best ricotta cheesecake. Most readers will share her attraction to the Italian dessert repertoire, which, though it lacks the richness and invention of, say, its French equivalent, appeals through simple good taste. Readers seeking a thorough introduction to Italian dessert making, presented in the context of its bounteous history and the authors devotion to her subject, can do no better than to explore Dolce Italiano. --Arthur Boehm
Starred Review. DePalma, pastry chef at upscale Italian restaurant Babbo in New York City (owner Mario Batali contributes a foreword), approaches Italian-American desserts from three directions: traditional Italian (Polenta Cookies from the Veneto); Italian-American, learned at the elbow of her Calabrese grandmother (in a charming introduction, DePalma recalls how her grandmother used to visit her family in Virginia, stepping off the plane from New York bearing hunks of cheese, cans of olive oil and DePalma's favorite taralli); and what are best described as American-Italian. The latter are true hybrid desserts, such as a crustless Yogurt Cheesecake with Pine Nut Brittle, which combines mascarpone and the Greek-style yogurt now widely available in U.S. grocery stores. This concoction has probably never appeared on any menu in Italy, but it successfully marries ingredients and techniques from both places, without losing sight of the genuine quality that is the hallmark of Italian food. DePalma's tone is genuine, too, whether she's recalling how she woke up in the middle of the night in her Brooklyn apartment to obsess over a lemon tart or patiently explaining why real balsamic vinegar is costly, but worth it. (Oct.)
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A wish list gift, that seems to have satisfied the person I gifted it to.Published 7 months ago by debz
Results are terrific. Have enjoyed everything that we have tried. Unusual recipes which are easy to prepare. Pictures are quite attractive as well.Published 20 months ago by Bridgeexpert
My problem with this book is that I just don't believe the recipes were tested enough - or, these are not her actual recipes from Babbo. Read morePublished 20 months ago by murphyslaw
I stumbled across Gina's recipe for pastiera (an Italian Easter dessert pie made with ricotta, orange peel and grain) some years ago online. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by Amazon Customer
My #1 grandson wants to be a chef...not an ordinary chef, but a sweet table chef. Butter and sugar required!Published on January 10, 2013 by Joyce Stacy Proce
This is the 2nd copy of this wonderful book I purchased(the 1st one I gave away because I liked it so much and had a great baker in mind, and it was greatly , deeply, appreciated). Read morePublished on May 4, 2012 by Jemma C. Gabriel
I am so glad to have found this wonderful treasure! Studying it has become my new hobby. Along with her own entertaining memories & comments, the author has chosen delicious... Read morePublished on October 16, 2011 by AnnaS