Today’s pastry chefs have a global pantry at their disposal,and their work has never been easier to publicize. Less ideal than it might seem at first glance, this situation is the source of a dilemma: the twin imperatives to continually embrace the new and self-promote leave less time for reflection and research and the hegemony of social media accelerates the pace. When every new creation or aesthetic flourish is quickly churned by the system, how can the professional pastry chef distinguish his work?
Riccardo Magni has responded by taking a hard look at his raw materials, reassessing fine Italian ingredients hiding in plain sight. In eight thematic chapters, he presents recipes that focus on cereals, dairy products, wines and spirits, oil and vinegar, fresh fruit, candied and preserved fruit, herbs, spices and aromas, and chocolate and nuts.
This focus, articulated in 52 recipes, led him to explore the concept of terroir, so often cited by cooks, but rarely by pastry chefs. Transforming hazelnuts, pistachios, citrus fruit, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mascarpone, ricotta, farro, buckwheat, basil, saffron, wine, panettone, torrone and more into innovative desserts became a way to highlight a distinctly Italian approach to pastry making. An invitation to use Italian ingredients with an Italian eye, this collection offers a fresh look at the familiar through the eyes of a seasoned professional.