Kitchen envy and bowl-licking goodness!
Sometimes wonderful food can be found in the most unusual of places. When I was invited to Stefano De Blasio Kitchens to celebrate the kitchen showroom’s 25th anniversary, I was told that there would be a chef there doing a demo of Italian food. What I wasn’t told is that she’d make the best tiramisu I’d ever tried!
Antonia is a private chef in her home town of Rome and was over in Cheshire to help Stefano celebrate in style. What a lady. Her first dish, spaghetti all’ Amatriciana introduced me to guanciale- cured pork cheek. I thought pancetta was tasty but oh my goodness this was something else. And proof, were it needed, that a simple dish can be the tastiest if you use the best ingredients. I am now on the look out for a chunk of guanciale; it is very fatty but much of that melted into the pan and simply added to the flavour. This is my new meat goal! If anyone knows where I can buy some in the North West please let me know.
After the spaghetti we were promised killer tiramisu and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I love tiramisu but weirdly have never made it myself. Antonia made it look very easy and her artisan Savoyard fingers (lady fingers to you and me) which she brought over from Italy looked so much more impressive than the tiny pale things we have in the shops over here.
I can’t describe how good this was. The mascarpone was velvety smooth, the coffee was strong but not over powering because the fingers weren’t soaked to ruination in it. The cocoa cut through that creaminess. The elements all came together in one perfect bowlful. Even thinking about it now, I am not embarrassed by the fact I scraped my bowl clean!
I am inspired to give it a go myself. The next time we have friends over for food, this is on the menu (I can’t risk making it when there are just us two in as I may eat it all and end up in a pudding coma!). I am also searching for some of these authentic Savoyard fingers as I don’t know if I can use tiny supermarket ones after seeing the real deal!
Stefano De Blasio and Antonia kindly supplied the recipe so we can recreate it at home, and generously also gave us an authentic Moka pot to make the espresso needed for the recipe.
The key is to be patient and let it set for at least a few hours, if not overnight. Trust me, it is hard but oh so worth it!
Fancy giving it a go yourself? Here’s how Antonia makes her tiramisu. It says feeds 8-10, but I just see that as a challenge!
Congratulations Stefano on reaching such an amazing anniversary – 120,000 projects and counting! And thank you to Stefano and Gino for the invite, and Antonia for the amazing food- please come and cook for me any time you want!
Stefano De Blasio Kitchens and Interiors
Unit 3 Waverton Business Park, Waverton, Chester. CH3 7DP