Chocolate, that’s why it should never be missing. Let’s celebrate the chocolate festival with the tasty Mud cake recipe

Let’s talk about chocolate, have you already enjoyed in your mouth?

Perhaps you will think of the film with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche where they  fell in love in a French town between one praline and another. Or the last chocolate cake you gave up for its high caloric intake. I’m sure nobody has thought about the benefits that chocolate gives to body and mind, just knowing how to choose the right one.


The chocolate landed in Europe in 1502 and became a medical remedy, it was thought in fact, that it was a drug for digestion, the proper functioning of the organism and that it even healed from depression. So it was beliefs, that cocoa paste has superlative properties, today we have the security.

A basic requirement for a quality product is cocoa paste as the first ingredient, therefore attentive to labels. Bad news for lovers of the white and milk variants, the ally of our health is the flux, which should contain at least 70% cocoa; the higher the percentage, the better it is.

The cocoa, in fact, contains the flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that we also find in berries, in red wine and citrus fruits. But why are they so important for our health

  • They prevent cardiovascular diseases
  • They protect the arteries
  • They improve memory
  • Antivirals
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antiallergeni
  • They fight obesity
  • They help the immune system

The positive effects are many and worth taking into consideration, however we must not forget the fact that chocolate is a very caloric food, 100 grams of product bring about 500 kcal, but if introduced into a healthy and balanced diet, some small picture is it will be able to taste without guilt.

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
An unmissable event for chocolate lovers, this year Perugia will host the Eurochocolate, at its twenty-fifth edition. From October 19th to 28th the Umbrian capital will be invaded by thousands of gluttons. For the occasion, three “tourist” packages have been created, which will allow participants to take part in the most prestigious chocolate festival on the peninsula. Below you will find descriptions of the travel offers and their prices:

 

 

Day trip, return journey by bus + day to Eurochocolate 49 euros
Weekend travel, return journey by bus + 2 days to Eurochocolate + one night in hotel (half board) + guided tour of Assisi 129 euro
Deluxe travel, return journey by bus + 2 days to the Eurochocolate + 2 nights at the hotel (half board) + guided tour of Assisi 219 euros
And if you are a lover of art, you can not miss the open-air gallery that offers Eurochocolate every year; the most admired are the sculptors, who succeed in modeling huge blocks of chocolate, creating works worthy of a museum.

RECIPE MUD CAKE
We could not finish an article on chocolate without giving you a recipe, we present the Mud Cake, or as it is called in its country of origin “Mississippi Mud Cake”. Literally means mud cake but do not be fooled, it has been named for its soft and creamy texture, which reminds the banks of the Mississippi River. In the United States this sweet is present in the recipes of all families. Absolute protagonist, it can only be him, the CioccoRe, which makes this cake very substantial and therefore unsuitable for frequent consumption. For special occasions, it is a pity of throat that can be granted. A delight for the palate that will bring your taste buds on an entrancing journey.

INGREDIENTS:

250 grams of butter
250 grams of extra dark chocolate (70% minimum)
250 grams of sugar
130 grams of milk
4 eggs
1 sachet of vanillin
1 cup of coffee (optional)
50 grams of cocoa powder
200 grams of flour
1 sachet of baking powder
150 grams of extra dark chocolate
60 grams of fresh cream
grains of hazelnuts and pistachios

METHOD:

The first thing to do is to melt the chocolate in a bain-marie with the butter and sugar, mix all the ingredients and add the milk and the cup of coffee, continuing to mix over medium-low heat.

In a separate bowl, add the dry ingredients, then the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and vanilla sachet. Mix the ingredients and gently add the mixture previously dissolved in a bain-marie.

Take another container, break the eggs and after adding a pinch of salt, use the whisk or electric mixer for a few minutes at medium speed, until they are light and fluffy.

Add them to the mixture and mix with a spatula from bottom to top, this step is very important to avoid disassembling the mixture.

The game is done; take a 22 cm diameter cake tin, with butter  and flour and then pour the mixture.

Static oven at 150 degrees for an hour and a half.

Now comes the easy and fun part, the preparation of the chocolate ganache; Once again melt the remaining chocolate (150 gr) with the bain-marie liquid cream, stirring occasionally. When it has reached a smooth and shiny consistency and the kitchen will be flooded with the dense scent of chocolate, you can pour it on the mud cake. To decorate, add the grains of hazelnuts and pistachios or alternatively a small pile of red fruits in the center. Enjoy your meal!

 

“There is not so much metaphysics on earth as in a chocolate”
(Fernando Pessoa)

How to protect your health at work in a restaurant

Being healthy, either physically or mentally, is a difficult and demanding task for restaurant employees. For this reason it is always necessary to make healthy choices, adopting the right lifestyle.

Making healthy choices is convenient for everyone, especially for those who do heavy work such as chefs cooking in restaurants or other industry activities.

Often , overeating, insomnia, the abuse of especially chemical substances, and simply destructive life choices are all too commoni in  a topic in kitchens. Addressing this problem is crucial early , especially with today’s millennial generation that has been growned by receiving electrical and typically passive stimuli.

Our advice is simple: make the right choices. You can take two opposite directions in this area, which leads to extremely different results.


Let’s start with food: we often see young employees who bring along a large pack of energy drinks, thinking that those ones  can help them forget the whole working day. As athletes know well, however, this is certainly not the type of boost that helps you survive from a  busy day of physical activity as is the work inside a restaurant kitchen. By drinking lots of water and making the right healthy choices, the results will be seen.

Another problem concern is  the use of alcohol. Often, the temptation to have a drink or two, with their colleagues, after a difficult night. This is especially true for younger employees, who are trying to integrate themselves into the group. Rather, after spending the last 16 hours discussing and perhaps arguing with their colleagues, it is better to turn back  the invitation and to go for something constructive to get distracted, and to come back after a while.

 

Like any other life commitment, it is necessary to start with small steps. It is not necessary to spend the half of the day in a kitchen and the other half to climb mountains or run a marathon. Better to enroll in Pilates or relaxing yoga classes; go to the gym and run on the treadmill or lost  some weight. All this to balance an otherwise too hectic life. In fact, even small healthy choices are enough, such as parking away from the entrance and then be able to walk to the place of work, or take the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Over time, these types of decisions will be completely repaid, creating the basis for being able to take more demanding ones.

Of course, diet is also a choice to take  consciously. A study was done a couple of years ago, during which some chefs were followed inside the kitchen, checking everything they tasted. The study found that cooks consume 3,500 to 4,000 calories every day only during the tasting work. This is a necessary part of the profession of cook, so there is no way to avoid it, but when it comes time to choose your daily meals, it is always good to remember. There is a real danger of accumulating pounds on the body .

Habits are formed in the initial phase of one’s life, and tend to be followed for the rest of the it. This includes sleeping, so some chefs tend to rely on different medications to overcome insomnia and other stress. Once this spiral begins, it is difficult to go back. Making the right healthy choices outside the kitchen can ensure that these problems will never start.

Food and health: ice cream and sorbet the healthiest desserts

Ice cream and sorbet are the perfect culinary alternatives of  desserts and also have numerous nutritional benefits.

Ice cream and sorbet are very popular in Europe and those are growing at a fast pace throughout North America; these delicious dessert of Italian origin are no longer considered a “temptation”, but rather a preferred dish, eliminating the frustration and monotony of some low calorie diets. With less fat than “ice cream” and infused with spices, herbs and flowers or many other fashionable ingredients, ice cream and sorbet combine healthy properties with artisan flavors.

For  all  the desserts, presentation is the key. These frozen flavour can be dug, placed in layers of a cake, served soft or even savored on a stick. It is made in the traditional way, with fresh and genuine ingredients, such as whole milk and cream (ice cream), fruit and fruit juices (sorbet), these products also leave room for personalization and adaptation on  various diets. Without milk, sugar-free, low-calorie, vegan or following the parameters Kosher, or even gluten-free, can be created for all tastes and needs.

Creamy or refreshing, ice cream and sorbet were a very strong trend in 2015. They can be found at a street vendors such as ice cream sandwiches (an on-the-go solution), in restaurants such as drowned (a combination of coffee and ice cream) or as a frosted dessert. In coffee, they can be served mixed in a smoothie or milkshake, while they can be served soft on the classic cones, even in specialized ice cream parlors. With a growing number of flavors available is  increasingly intriguing – from amaretto to mango – children and adults can always throw on semifreddi … without even see before!

How to serve alcohol responsibly on events!

Many guests spend their holidays with family and friends, and alcohol is often part of the celebrations. When people get caught up in the exciting moment, they can consume too much alcohol.

 

Because of this, you need to be particularly vigilant and  responsibly to serve alcohol  during the holidays. We share and give you some expert suggestions, to serve alcoholic beverages and spirits:

Take some time to talk with your guests. This will help you determine the purpose of their visit as well as their levels of intoxication. If guests are determined to become intoxicated or “shine” you will surely know it. Above all, keep talking to each guest during ther visit.

Look carefully at the changes. You can learn a lot about the different levels of intoxication of your guests, simply by observing the physical and behavioral changes. Examples include:

Being  friendly, unhelpful, depressed or silent

Use a bad language or raise your voice

Drink faster or switch to stronger drinks or more and more

Talk or move slowly

Stagger, stumble or hit objects

To count. Some guests may not show any physical or behavioral sign of intoxication, so counting how many glasses they drink can help keep track of their consumption. One drink contains about the same amount of alcohol and should be counted as a drink:

1 consumption = 5 ounces of wine; 12 ounces of beer; 1½ ounces of 80 ° liqueur; 1oz of 100 ° liqueur

 

Avoid pouring too much. Pouring too much liquor at a time makes it difficult for guests to accurately control their consumption. Follow the procedures for administering each drink perfectly, to ensure that each drink contains the expected amount of alcohol. If your room allows free deposit, check the accuracy periodically using a payment test.

 

Offer some food. This is one of the most important things you can do to serve alcohol responsibly and prevent intoxication. The food helps to keep the alcohol in the stomach, slowing the absorption rate of alcohol, and preventing it from reaching the small intensity, in which most of it is absorbed into the bloodstream. The best foods to get,  are those ones , rich in fat and / or protein. These elements are not easily digested, which slows the movement of alcohol into the small intestine.

 

Offer water. Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration, making guests thirsty and potentially obligates  to consume more alcohol than they normally would. Rehydration can be done by offering water along with drinks and often filling glasses with water. This will help to keep the the body hydrated and can reduce the consumption of alcohol.

How to create a children’s menu: 5 tips.

To be a good restaurant owner, it is necessary to have food that can satisfy all those who pass through the entrance door of the restaurant. The children’s menu is usually the last thing you think of when you’re designing a restaurant menu, but it should not be.


You have to think that children are your future customers – and we do not think that you want their only memory of your restaurant to be a legume soup? The time has come to start looking over the standard children’s menu and start offering healthy and at the same time delicious choices for children who come to your restaurant. Most parents are very concerned about the health of their children; if you do not offer good choices for children, health-conscious parents will skip your restaurant. Children like healthy food, but they like a tasteful food like everyone else. Here are five tips for a great kids menu:

Offer a gluten-free option in the children’s menu

Offering gluten-free food is much more than a trend – parents of children with gluten allergies are constantly looking for new options for their children. Offering a gluten-free item on the menu, you can appeal to a new audience. It is also easy to find gluten substitutes: quinoa or rice flour can be used for preparing pasta; coconut flour or brown rice flour; and if you’re trying to add some crunchiness, the brown rice crumbs are ideal.

Do not fry small fish

If there is also a fried item on the children’s menu, the children will be irremediably attracted to it. By removing the fried options, your restaurant will also please the health-conscious parents. Food cooked in the oven, grilled or even in a pan is much healthier and is also very tasty.

Do not forget the young connoisseur

The “foodie” trend is on the rise. If there are small gourmets in your restaurant and you have nothing interesting to offer them, they will not come back. Offer an article that tickles your palate and make you excited to come to your restaurant.

 

The secret is all in the name

Giving children’s menu items funny names can make the difference. For example, if you offered a banana-pumpkin-free gluten-free cake and called it that name, no one would ever want to try it. On the other hand, if you call it “super banana cake” the children will get excited because the name sounds funny. So, try to do the same for the voices of your children’s menu, to appeal to your small audience.

 

Hide the vegetables

The healthy component for your children’s menu will be a huge purchase reason for parents, but not for children. A simple way to incorporate vegetables without being so visible is to make sure things like onion and garlic are finely chopped, as well as cabbage, spinach and other full-bodied vegetables. You can also add vegetable purees in sauces and soups that will add flavor and nutrients without altering the consistency.

How to adapt the menu to the law on allergens

On December 13, 2014 the new law on allergens came into force.

The law on allergens provides that the consumer of any food product is aware of the ingredients contained in foods, including allergens. This not only applies to “label” foods,  packaged products, but also to restaurant menus.

What is an allergen?

It is a substance generally harmless for the  most consumers, but dangerous at various levels for allergy sufferers. It can produce in fact  allergic crises of various severities, such as asthma, rashes and more.

According to the new law, their presence must be indicated among the ingredients and highlighted (through the use of bold or of a different character, for example), in the labels of pre-packaged foods. For restaurants, however, it’s a bit different.

 

How to adapt the menu to the allergen law?

First of all, the ingredients and the  allergens should be reported product by product. For example, the single billboard that brings together in a single word all the basic ingredients of ice-creams in an ice-cream parlor or in bars; rather, they must be listed one by one and in a complete and individual manner. And, speaking of bars or restaurants, the law requires everything to be done in writing: it is not enough for the restaurant owner or barista to give information “verbally” about the products.

 

How to adapt the menu to the new provisions? No drastic changes!

Completed documentation must be prepared with the ingredients that make up each single dish. This can be attached to the menu or delivered to consumers upon request. Important: it is however mandatory to clearly indicate on the menu on  the presence of this documentation. Or again, reiterate it on the register or on a special sign.

 

What are the products that contain allergens?

Unfortunately for those who suffer, they are more common than you can imagine: about a hundred. Avoiding dangers, however, is simple, and the list of main allergic reactions is restricted to fourteen. These are those ones that require mandatory reporting.

 

Remember to check the ingredients of the goods you buy for your premises and report any presence of allergens (eg: it may contain traces of nuts) in your documents. Here is a list to begin to become familiar with the law on allergens and the foods involved.

 

  1. Cereals containing gluten: wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelled, kamut or their hybridized strains and derived products. The following are excluded: wheat-based glucose syrups, including dextrose; wheat-based maltodextrins; glucose syrups based on barley; cereals used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates;
  2. Crustaceans and products based on crustaceans.
  3. Eggs and egg products.
  4. Fish and fish products. The following are excluded: fish gelatine is  used as a support for vitamin or carotenoid preparations; gelatin or isinglass used as fining agent in beer and wine.
  5. Peanuts and peanut-based products.
  6. Soya and soy products, except: refined soybean oil and fat; natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, soy-based natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate; vegetable oils derived from soybean phytosterols and phytosterols; vegetable stanol ester produced from soybean vegetable oil sterols.
  7. Milk and milk products (including lactose), except: (a) which are used for the manufacture of alcoholic spirits, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin; b) milk.
  8. Nuts and their products, except for nuts used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
  9. Celery and celery products.
  10. Mustard and mustard-based products.
  11. Sesame seeds and products based on sesame seeds.
  12. Sulfur dioxide and sulphites in concentrations of more than 10 mg / kg or 10 mg / liter in terms of total SO2  need to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or reconstituted in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
  13. Lupins and products based on lupins.
  14. Molluscs and products based on molluscs.

 

 

How to clean the pizza oven correctly

Cleaning the pizza oven properly allows you to have better and healthier pizzas.

If you do not want your pizzas and trousers to have a newspaper flavor of the day before, or an oven that consumes too much, you should use the right precautions to clean the pizza oven.

 

What you need to do the cleaning:

Gloves
Apron
Polishing agent for non-toxic stainless steel
Brush / spatula for cleaning the pizza oven
Towels
Hand brush and dustpan


Cleaning a Pizza Oven

As all pizza chefs know, you need to clean the pizza oven every day. This task is quite simple: just remove any residues or debris under the oven doors with a small broom or a brush.

But you should also perform a complete weekly cleaning, especially for stone countertops. In this way your pizzas will not have any unwanted taste and the performance of your oven will be good.

 

Method:

1.First of all, you will have to leave the oven to  be cooled. Never attempt to use our cleaning solutions on a hot surface. This prevents severe burns.
2.Wear gloves and apron.
3.To clean the outside part  of the oven, take a rag and dab on it a little ‘stainless steel detergent. This cleaner will help remove any heat or fading halo. To give the oven a great shine, put some polish for steel or, if you want to use a solution based on organic olive oil on a cloth and rub a bit ‘on those opaque spots of your oven.
4.Use the scraper on ashes, soot and other debris on your cooking stones and use the wire brush on the opposite side to remove any stubborn residues. When you have finished this operation, collect the debris with the brush and dustpan.
5.It is important to never use water or other liquids to clean the surface of the stone. If the stone cooktop absorbs the liquid, it could also break when exposed to the high heat of the oven.

Cleaning an Oven with Conveyor Belt

The ovens offer a great efficiency. However, cleaning them can involve some routine work. As a pizza oven, you will surely want to ensure that your oven is as clean as possible, to preserve the quality of your pizzas. Tape ovens have a lot of components, which means there are more places for crumbs, melted cheese and other pizza debris to get lost.

Method:

1.Disconnect the oven. This work is hard enough without the threat of getting a shock.
2.Remove the conveyor belt. We recommend that you consult the operating manual of your oven to understand how to do it correctly. When the tape has been removed, spray nontoxic cleaner for ovens on the tape and let it stand for twenty minutes.
3.While the cleaning product acts on the surface of the belt, open the doors of the wood oven and remove the large rectangular pieces of metal that are above and below the conveyor belt. Usually you will only have to focus on cleaning the lower pliers as they usually become the dirtiest due to the cheese drains, crumbs and pizza ingredients. We recommend cleaning the first tongs once or twice a year.
4.When all the pliers are removed, always spray them with some oven cleaning product and allow them to take effect for twenty minutes.
5.While the product acts on the conveyor belt and the pliers, go ahead and vacuum up the remaining debris present inside the oven.
6.Once the inside is clean, you can act on the outside of the oven with the enamel for stainless steel or olive oil. Also, do not forget to clean the windows and doors of your oven as they also attract a lot of pizza material.
7.Take your wire brush and clean the conveyor belt and pliers, once the twenty minutes have been expired. When they reach the desired cleaning, rinse them thoroughly and leave them out to dry, then re-install inside the pliers , in their place inside the oven.
8.Now that the oven has been put back together, be sure to clean the control box grille with a wire brush. Never use a liquid detergent; You certainly do not want to short-circuit the electrical components of the pizza oven.

Clean the pizza oven with emptying drawer

There are the counter ovens. If you have one, you can clean it in the same way as their older brothers, but on a much smaller scale. Many of these ovens have removable crumb trays that make the  cleaning  of the pizza oven even easier.

 

Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of pizza ovens. Although it may seem like a horrible chore, taking your time to clean the pizza oven every week and every day will prevent you from having  shell out a new oven on an annual basis. Moreover, it will give your pizzas a great taste, even after multiple uses.

 

Why eat Indian food: 3 good reasons

We have seen through an interesting article in the Washington Post this week, entitled – “Scientists have understood what makes Indian food so delicious” which speaks of the Indian subcontinent which is home to over 1 billion people who have a rich culinary tradition that relies heavily on the use of spices and strong flavors.


Western dishes often use less ingredients than Indian dishes. In many cases, the ingredients used in a dish share the same aromatic compounds. As a result, many Indian dishes make it feel like there’s a party going on in the mouth. Although this can create a sensory overload for some people.

There are several advantages to incorporate Indian cuisine into your kitchen:

1 – Indian food is really good. Even if you do not like spicy food, in many cases it is possible to request the less spicy versions of a dish in a restaurant.

2 – Indian cuisine is generally healthy. There is a great emphasis on plant ingredients, which make it a paradise for vegans and vegetarians. For example, have a lentil instead of a veggie burger. The use of spices drastically reduces the need for salt in fact many of the spices have health benefits.

3 – Ingredients for Indian food are cheap. A pound of lentils costs a fraction of the price of a pound of red meat.


While preparing Indian dishes at home may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hand of it, it’s pretty quick. Most curries can be made in advance for a week before and leave in the fridge.