A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di Riso

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di Riso

Named after its principal ingredient for the filling, the Budino di riso is a typical Tuscan pastry, specifically coming from Siena.

This little pastry, eaten mostly during breakfast and accompanied by a cup of cappuccino, makes everyone droll not only for its cute appearance but also for its flavour. If you are travelling in Italy, you will surely encounter this dessert all over Florence, so come and try it!

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di riso

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di riso

There is a good news! It’s easy to bake! Here’s below its recipe.

Ingredients:

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 200gr superfine flour
  • 100gr butter
  • 100gr sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated lemon peel

For the filling:

  • 1/2 lt milk
  • 150gr rice
  • 4 spoons sugar
  • 4gr baking powder
  • aroma (lemon or vanilla)
  • powdered sugar
Budino di Riso

Budino di Riso

Procedure:

Suggestions before the start: the shortcrust pastry must rest for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator and the boiled rice must cool down. Calculate the needed time for the preparation of this dessert.

  1. Shortcrust pastry: Knead the cold butter with the flour. Add the other ingredients kneading all together quickly. When you obtain a compact mass, roll it up with the plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator.
  2. Filling: In a pot pour the milk. When it boils add the rice and the aroma (as you prefer grated lemon peel or vanilla). Mix continuously until the rice is totally cooked and there is no trace of milk. After obtaining a mass, add two spoons of sugar and let it cool down. Attention: If you don’t mix the rice, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and it has a burned flavour.
  3. Cream: Whip the egg white until stiff. Add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, two spoons of sugar, baking powder and the stiff egg white into the mass of rice. Mix all together lightly.
  4. Roll the shortcrust pastry and form little circles using a cake tin. Put them in muffin stamps. Pour the mixture of rice and put the stamps into the oven at 170°C for about 30 minutes.
  5. When the little budino di riso are cooked, take them out of the oven and sprinkle the powdered sugar on the top!

Has this little pastry taken your attention? Are you an Italian food lover? Are you coming to Florence? Join our Florence Food Walking Tour and prepare your palate to a journey into the authentic and typical savours of Tuscany!

Carnival: Frittele time in Italy!

Carnival desserts in Italy: frittelle di carnevale

 

Hola foodies out there!

It is Carnival time in Italy! Everyone is busy finding the right costume for a party or a special dinner with friends. The ones who are lucky enough to live in Venice are probably busy strolling around its canals admiring the typical masques and the beautiful dresses. If you come to Italy at this time of the year, you are likely to find a tradition wherever you go! Our guides will tell you more during one of your food tours in Italy!

But well well, Carnival is also about children, who usually love this time of the year: they can dress up as their favourite heroes, throw colourful confetti at each other and eat all the delicious typical Carnival desserts. Every region has different traditions but they are all really yummy traditions!

Frittelle Carnival Italy

If you want to bring a little bit of Carnival in your home, just throw some confetti here and there and then start cooking one of the easiest dessert: frittelle! Involve your kids in the process, they’ll love it! (If you don’t have kids just borrow them from relatives, friends, neighbours).

Ingredients

1 and ½ cup of flour

2 eggs

⅓ cup of butter

Lemon grated zest

1 tsb vanilla extract

½ tsb baking powder

Pinch of salt

Powdered sugar

Vegetable oil

Start with mixing the flour with the eggs and the sugar a large bowl,. Add the butter in soft, room temperature, small pieces. Add also the lemon zest, the vanilla extract, the baking powder and the pinch of salt. Mix the flour until you get a nice compact and smooth dough. You can use your hands, it is the easiest thing. Let the children do it! It is going to be a nightmare to clean but lots of fun!

Meanwhile heat some sunflower oil in a saucepan or deep fryer (don’t let the children do it!).

frittelle carnival italy

Now let’s make some small balls out of the dough. This is how you can do it: first, Divide it in chunks and then roll them into long sticks. At this point cut the sticks in small 1 inch pieces and roll them with your hands until you get small balls! At this point the oil will be at the right temperature to fry (to be sure about it, just try with a small piece of dough. It should start frying right away when you put it in the pan. Deep-fry until crispy and golden. Prepare a dish with some kitchen paper where you can put the frittelle once they are ready and let them dry a bit. When completely dried, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

frittelle carnival italy

Serve them with tea or juices for children, sparkling or a sweet wine will do for audults. It is Carnival afterall ;).

If you are curious about Italian traditions and a food-lover, book a Food walking tour in Florence with us! You won’t be disappointed!

Truffles: yet another diamond of Italian cuisine

Italian cuisine is surprising. When you think you know everything about spaghetti, then you find out about risotto, when you mastered your art of cooking melanzane, you find about the great power of basil. Truffles are just another diamond of Italian cuisine: one of the most precious.

You might have heard about it, you might have tasted it in some fancy restaurant, you might have smelled while walking in the streets during your last visit to Italy.

Italian truffle

If you haven’t, well this will be an important discovery for you, I am talking of another diamond of Italian cuisine: truffles! Small and yet tasty tubers belonging to the family of fungus which are found in Mediterranean soil, they are called tartufo in Italian and a sprinkle of it is enough to make any dish special! Useless to say that the best ones come from Central and Northern Italy! That’s why they can’t be left out from our Florence Food Tour!

tagliata tartufoTruffle’s taste is hard to define. The most peculiar thing is that it involves the scent of it as well: you can recognize the smell of tartufo from few meters. If a trattoria has tartufo in the menu, you will smell it in the air. If you do, please do not miss it and try a tartufo dish of the house. Truffle goes great with meat (tagliata con tartufo), tagliolini (tagliolini al tartufo), risotto, eggs and you may find also very tasty tartufo sauces for your crostini. If what you are being served doesn’t have much taste than you know that you did not get a good truffle.

Usually truffle dishes are quite costly, since this fungus is really hard to find. It grows close to trees’ roots between 5 and 30 cm below the ground. The only way to harvest it is to train hogs and dogs and to dig the earth when they find the right spot. Truffles usually grow close to poplars, oaks, hornbeams, pine trees and beeches. In Italy, the truffle hunters are treated with respect and they are admired by local communities.

italian trufflesTruffles come in different shapes and colors, from dark to light brown, wrinkled or more smooth. There are many different types but if you are not  an expert the taste will be very similar. If you come to Florence, don’t miss our Food Tour experience! You’ll get the chance to taste the famous Tuscan truffle, and this will give you just another reason to be back!