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

Chocolate festival. 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.

Chocolate festival


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.

Chocolate festival

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
Chocolate festival

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:

Chocolate festival

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.

Chocolate festival

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.

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

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.

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

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)

Read also: How to prepare a good cake with honey

Flours for pizza: choose the one for you.

How to choose the best pizza flours.

Flours for pizza. All those who, by trade or simple passion, intend to prepare the classic pizza, will have to know the best flours for pizza on the market to be used in order to better create their product. Through this sort of guide we will list all the best flours that can be used for the dough of the most popular dish in the world: pizza.

Knowing the flour that you use will be essential for the preparation and the final success of the product, often due to failures and complaints. Buying the first flour on the shelf of a supermarket is not enough, but the same goes for professional pizza makers.

Flours for pizza

Each flour has different properties and qualities, as we are reminded on the Esaustivo.it website. They are married to certain determined, to be completely unsuitable for others. To be sure of buying the right flour you will have to evaluate a whole series of characteristics such as wheat types, strength and protein content.

Flours for pizza
Flours for pizza

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FLOURS

Flours for pizza

FLOUR TYPE 0: the flour type “0” is rich in gluten and very suitable for the dough of traditional bread. It is coarser and less fine than the “00” flour.

FLOUR TYPE 00: it is the most common flour in the kitchen, as well as the most sold. Its fine granulation derives from the processing to which the innermost parts of the soft wheat seeds are subjected. During this process, however, a whole series of nutrients are eliminated such as mineral salts, fibers and vitamins contained in the grain. The result is a flour that, despite the simplicity of use, is devoid of essential nutrients. This means that it is richer in sugar and less digestible than other types of flour.

FLOUR TYPE 1: this type of flour has a high concentration of wheat germ and bran, useful for the body. Its consistency goes perfectly with the preparation of pizzas, baked desserts and bread.

Flours for pizza

FLOUR TYPE 2: this type of flour makes it a semi-integral product due to a coarser grinding, with a high fiber content. Compared to totally wholemeal flour its consistency allows a simpler processing, but the leavening of the dough will take place much slower than a traditional flour of type 00 and 0. The flour of type 2 is commonly used in the preparation of pizza, bread and baked sweets.

INTEGRAL FLOUR: the processing of this flour is more difficult than the other types analyzed so far, but its content of essential nutrients remains the highest thanks to the whole grain milling. Its consistency to the touch is grainy, while its processing requires an expert hand, but it is possible to buy the stone-ground product, to allow more homemade dough processing, also ideal for the preparation of pizzas.

STRENGTH OF FLOURS

The flours are classified according to the strength, calculated in “W”. The “W” is a unit of measurement that indicates the ability to:

1.absorb liquids during the dough processing process

2.retain carbon dioxide useful for leavening. This capacity depends on the presence of gluten in the flour itself.

The different flours are then divided into strong and weak, from the strongest to a value reported on the label of 500 W, the weakest by 130 W.

FLOUR FLOURS: they reach 170 W and absorb about 50% of the liquids during the dough process. They are especially indicated for the preparation of biscuits.

MEDIUM FLOURS: these types of flour reach 180 W up to 260 W, absorbing 65% of the liquids during the dough, associated with the preparation of sandwiches.

STRONG FLOURS: they reach a capacity between 270 and 350 W, absorbing on average 70% of the liquids during the dough process. They are therefore ideal for the preparation of pizzas, especially the Manitoba flour, which with its capacity to absorb liquids by 90% compensates for the weakest flours.

VERY STRONG FLOURS: these flours exceed 350 W, absorbing 90% of the liquids during the dough processing process. They are mainly used in confectionery for sweets such as panettone and pandori.

MEASURING OF THE FLOUR ASH: every flour has its own mineral content intact after the grinding process. The ashes represent the unit of measure of the refining of the same flour, the more their contribution will result lower the greater the refining suffered. In the same way the values ​​of the proteins of the different flours, corresponding to Gliadin and glutenin, will also be reported on the label.

Read also: The profession of pizza maker: interview with Roberto Gallo

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?

law on allergens

Law on allergens

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.

Law on allergens

Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction.
A substance can be identified as an allergen if it leads to unpleasant symptoms or damage in people with no previous history with this particular element and causes them physical discomfort when they come into contact with its pollen, mold spores (mild)dust mites, etc., causing sneezing among other problems such allergies manifest themselves differently depending on the type of protein was triggered, but for example: – hay fever could mean a runny nose, while eczema will leave angry red skin from irritation.

How to adapt the menu to the allergen law?

Law on allergens

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!

Law on allergens

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?

Law on 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Nuts and their products, except for nuts used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
  4. Celery and celery products.
  5. Mustard and mustard-based products.
  6. Sesame seeds and products based on sesame seeds.
  7. 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.
  8. Lupins and products based on lupins.
  9. Molluscs and products based on molluscs.

Read also: How to contain the costs of the menu: 3 solutions.

What is shallot: characteristics of a must of Chinese cuisine.

What is shallot. Shallot together with fresh ginger and garlic, is part of what chef Martin Yan called “the holy trinity of Chinese cuisine.” The shallot (called “green onions” in the United States) and are indispensable in Chinese cuisine.

Their delicate, flavor is used in marinades, poultry, and in cooked dishes, particularly fried. In Cantonese cuisine, the shallot is often paired with ginger in fish dishes, and the two aromatics are used in a heated oil dressing served with white onion and chopped chicken.

What is shallot



Shallots are also used as a garnish: both scallop brushes including branches are cut to form an attractive fringe.

In addition there is also something magical that happens when you combine these flavors together: the shallot turns into its sweetest form while maintaining the power as an ingredient in the midst of two others (ginger) that emit strong odors after being cooked – restoring to balance its place on our tables next to spices such as chili flakes or green onions.



Oriental cooks have a tradition of using scallions in their kitchen to add sweetness and sourness.

What is shallot

Oriental cuisine is all about using the freshest and most delicious ingredients to create new taste sensations. One of these ingredients provides both sweetness and sourness with their special touch of spiciness in dishes such as fried rice, where other countries would use sugar as an alternative to this spice called “shallot”.

They are used just like onions, but must be cooked until golden brown before being added to get the best results when preparing dishes such as ginger soup or fried rice with chicken wings!
The holy trinity – garlic and ginger paste together with whole cloves fresh of the bright galangal root – are part of what chef Martin Yan called “the essence” who must never miss on his list if he wants your bait food well prepared from Chinese cuisine at home… or any other place really!

Shallots (called “green onions” in the United States) are indispensable in Chinese cuisine.

What is shallot

what is shallot
What is shallot



One of the most important ingredients of Chinese cuisine, shallot packs a powerful and sweet flavor with just one bite. They are often called “green onions” here in America, but their overseas counterparts prefer to refer to them simply as “onions” since they do not have such an interesting story!

Their delicate flavor is used in marinades, poultry, and in cooked dishes, particularly frying. In Cantonese cuisine, shallots are often paired with ginger in fish dishes. The two are used together in a seasoning of heated oil served with white poached onion and chopped chicken.

What is shallot

What is the difference between a white onion and a scallion? The answer may surprise you.
Crushed or raw, both types of onions are members of the umbelliferous family; however, they belong to two different genera. The white onions come from Allium cepa while the bulbs/types such as garlic cloves are part of the Lycocarpous species which include among others the Leek Lotos (Aglaoceia proceriformis) For this reason it is easy to understand why these bulbs have been used for centuries in many cultures of the world – especially in China!

Taxonomy

What is shallot

Shallot is a member of the garlic family which also includes onions and leeks.

The taxonomic name for shallots is Allium fistulosum (the name of the species means tubular or empty). An onion is grouped and grows into tufts, but the shallots are identifiable by their cords, dark green leaves and the fine and black stems.

From China, the Allium fistulosum spread to Japan, Asia and Europe, reaching England in the early 1600s, where it was called “Welsh onion”. Today, shallots are grown all over the world.

What is shallot

How to choose a shallots shop

The shallots are sold in bunches in the products section of most supermarkets. When choosing a shallot it is always best to look for those with company, curly and smooth leaves, and with the immaculate white of the stems.

What is shallot

Avoid any bunches with leaves and withered stems that have begun to turn yellow. To clean and preserve the shallots, remove the rubber band, rinse thoroughly with cold running water and dry with absorbent paper. Wrap the shallots in a slightly damp paper towel and keep in a resealable plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.

The importance in the kitchen
As mentioned, shallots are a very interesting ingredient. It can make a unique flavor and an extra taste to any type of preparation. All you have to do is use it to the best of its taste trying to balance with that of the other ingredients used in each recipe.

It is advisable to accompany meat or vegetable dishes with this particular ingredient; but in case you want to opt for a fusion experience you could opt for a particular cooking of the same ingredient. For example, caramelized shallots!

Read also: Italian cuisine abroad: get ready to shiver!

Happy hour: how to organize a good aperitif ?

Happy hour is an excellent initiative to increase the profits of your business.

A moment of those who earn more together with breakfast and lunch. Happy hour, however, requires a different type of service as, unlike breakfast and lunch, the customer wants to give himself a moment of pleasure. It is an aperitif to stay with friends, socialize and have fun. Drinking becomes a simple outline.

Making the happy hour profitable therefore becomes particularly decisive.

The passion for hospitality knows no limits. With the same technical preparation both in the kitchen and in the dining room, it’s not just about having an authentic touch but also knowing how to relate positively to customers – which also requires patience, since work can be hard at times, especially when you are dealing with stressful situations or crazy life rhythms in your restaurant. Last but certainly not least, you need to have good organizational skills and creativity so that people come back again because they are happy despite everything may seem at the last minute.

Promote your happy hour

To promote your happy hour you have to take into account some things. Unlike coffee, which the customer tastes hastily and for which he chooses the nearest place, the customer will carefully choose the location at the time of the aperitif. Furthermore, he will have no problems traveling more miles if he thinks it may be worth it.

The atmosphere is fundamental and must be communicated in a very clear way also and above all through the new social platforms including facebook, or review sites like Trip Advisor, or the social photo sharing, Instagram. Having a good performance or good reviews on these platforms can only help.

However, let’s not forget PR. Boys, often very young, who, having a strong following, can attract many more customers to the restaurant.

However, in order not to have bad surprises, it is possible to have specific companies in the sector that operate in an organized manner and allow for guaranteed success. It should be noted, however, that their rates are much higher and think about how to invest your money.

The history

The name “happy hour” is an English marketing term that indicates a time during which restaurants or bars offer discounts on alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and cocktails. Given its premises, it is understandable that the word “happy” has been translated to mean just that: happy hour!
The concept of sales promotion came from Britain – where pubs are often places where people go after work (or even before) because they are cheaper than dinner elsewhere – to try to attract customers to enter by offering drinks at discounted prices for one or two evenings in the late afternoon/evening; usually when you order the first drink becomes free with any purchase of food made within certain limits.

The buffet

The patrons will surely be attracted by the most particular and appetizing buffets but above all abundant.

For this purpose, all products such as:

  • Pasta and omelettes, crushed
  • Pizza and puccie
  • Barley, spelled, rice
  • Frying
  • Focaccine, focaccine, sandwiches, croutons, bruschetta


Remember to organize food well and napkins, plates, forks in order to distribute them evenly at different points of the table.

If you will have imagination and you will make your courses interesting but organizing everything in the right timing so as not to find yourself with water in your throat and zero ideas.

Happy hour: craft beers and cocktails

The new trends have changed the world of aperitifs, expanding the customer’s choice:

  • Cocktail
  • Ready to drink
  • soft drinks
  • Wines
  • Beers

But what are the most popular and requested aperitifs in the bar?

  • spritzer
  • Mojito
  • Caipirinha
  • Long island ice tea
  • Moscow mule
  • Martini
  • Manhattan
  • Bloody Mary
  • Margarita


However, imagination is important and customers always want to be amazed. A good bartender must be able to experiment with new and interesting combinations.

When the bar opens at 5:00, happy hour begins. During this time, customers may be entitled to special promotions such as a penny beer night or a theme party where cocktails are offered at discounted prices! The point to have these times is to attract professionals who are looking forward to relax after work with food served for free during the drinks ordered; both the increase in owner’s income because the business typically tends to slow down during “slow” periods, while the discount of goods will encourage more people coming through their doors than ever before.

Happy hour is the perfect time to attract professionals and shift workers looking for a comfortable place. This could be your target audience! Not only will you make yourself happy with an increase in business, but you will also provide discounted food that will bring them back again – just what every bar owner wants his loyal customers to do on weekdays after business hours…

Read also: How to manage a restaurant with bar.