Cooks Corner

Michelin-starred Italian chefs to cook for charity in Miami

Tartufo Nero e Tiramisu, as plated by Italian chef Luigi Taglienti.
Tartufo Nero e Tiramisu, as plated by Italian chef Luigi Taglienti.

Three rising-star Italian chefs — Luigi Taglienti, Alberto Buratti and Claudio Francesco Ceriotti — jet into Miami from Milan next week to cook with chefs from Salumeria 104 and Midtown Oyster Bar for the second annual Flying with the Stars.

The event includes two dinners, Nov. 11 and 12, at 93 Palm, the former Al Capone mansion. Proceeds from a silent auction will benefit the Miami Children’s Health Foundation.

Buratti was on the kitchen team that earned chef Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana three Michelin stars in 2013, and now he works with Ceriotti at Koiné Restaurant. Taglienti was named Young Chef of the Year and in 2013 earned a Michelin star at Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala in Milan.

One of the dishes Taglienti will be preparing here is his take on two Italian desserts, using truffles. Traditional tiramisu ingredients are wrapped in a glaze that is fragrant with “the earthy aroma of the forest,” he says, due to the unusual addition of dried mushrooms, and are a bow to another popular Italian dessert, Tartufo Nero.

A limited number of tickets, $250 a person, are available for purchase at eventbrite.com.

Reader requests

Q. I hope you can help. My son, who is in the Army overseas and won’t be home for Thanksgiving, was joking and said he wished I could send him some of my pumpkin pie. He does love pumpkin pie!

I know I can’t send him the pie, but am hoping you have a suggestion for something pumpkin-y I could send that would hold up for the two-week shipping time to get to him.

Meredith James, Homestead

Q. Just tasted pumpkin pie fudge for the first time and was crazy about it. I bought a pound at a fudge shop and ended up eating most of it myself. I saw your column about pumpkin shortages coming so went out and bought a couple of cans. I’m hoping you’ll come up with a fudge recipe for me.

L. McNab

A. Two requests that yield one answer: This pumpkin fudge, tweaked from one on the Nestle website, is a little tedious to make — lots of stirring to build up the arm muscles — but worth the effort.

It certainly will stand up to shipping, unless it runs into extended extreme heat, and would make a grand holiday gift as well.

Linda Cicero: LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com, @TasteMemories. Write to Cook’s Corner at Food, Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.

Tartufo Nero e Tiramisu

Recipe by chef Luigi Taglienti. Though the chef insists cocoa butter is crucial, it can be hard to find. You can substitute vegetable shortening, which will give the glaze a sheen and help it set back up. You can find mushroom powder in specialty markets and large supermarkets, or make your own by pulverizing dried mushrooms.

For the coffee semifreddo

1/2 cup white sugar, divided

6 egg yolks

2 tablespoons water

3 to 4 tablespoons, to taste, instant coffee such as Nescafé

2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, softly whipped

For the glaze

4 ounces caramel flavor milk chocolate bar

1 teaspoon cocoa butter or vegetable shortening

For the dusting

1/2 cup chocolate cake crumbs

2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried mushroom powder, such as porcini

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt flakes, such as Maldon

1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Beat the eggs together with 1/2 cup of sugar (minus 2 tablespoons) until thick. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to the water in a heavy saucepan and whisk over medium-high heat until the sugar is melted and the liquid is a syrup (250 degrees). Mix the syrup very gradually into the egg mixture. Add the coffee powder, then the mascarpone and beat until smooth. Fold in the semi-whipped cream.

Use a non-stick 9-inch square pan, or line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper. Spread the coffee semifreddo into the prepared pan and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.

Finishing and presentation: Take a scoop and shape the mixture into truffles. Return to freezer. Make a glaze by melting the chocolate bar with cocoa butter. Allow to cool slightly while preparing the dust: Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse into a powder. Glaze the frozen truffles with the melted chocolate, then dip in the ground mixture.

Per serving: 604 calories (76 percent from fat), 52.8 g fat (28.8 g saturated, 8.8 g monounsaturated), 275 mg cholesterol, 8.7 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 512 mg sodium

Yield: 8 large truffles

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Adapted from a Nestle recipe.

2 cups sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine

2/3 cup evaporated milk or half and half

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 (12-ounce) package butterscotch chips

1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow whip

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Line a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with foil. Butter the foil, or coat with vegetable oil spray.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the white and brown sugars, butter, evaporated milk, pumpkin, and spice. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, you should reach 235 degrees (soft-ball stage).

Quickly stir in morsels. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until morsels are melted. Stir in marshmallow, nuts and vanilla extract just to blend well. Immediately pour into prepared pan. Let stand on wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate tightly covered. To cut, lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Per serving: 52 calories (42 percent from fat), 2.5 g fat (1.4 g saturated, 0.6 g monounsaturated), 3.1 mg cholesterol, 0.3 g protein, 7.3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 14 mg sodium

Yield: About 3 pounds, or 132 pieces

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