Italian Desserts

Italy offers a vast variety of scrumptiously elegant desserts...many of which can be enjoyed right here in restaurants across the United States. And this month, when the temperatures start getting cooler and you feel like baking as if you ran your own pasticceria, we are sharing Bertolli® recipes featuring a Bertolli product for your baked goods that may surprise you but that you won’t want to miss: olive oil. 

Popular Italian Desserts 

Biscotti are slender and oval shaped, and though they are typically thought of as a cookies, they are actually slices of twice-baked cake. Fantastic when dunked in milk, coffee or hot chocolate. If you want to try your hand at biscotti, look no further than these Hazelnut Biscotti, also from Bertolli®

Panna cotta in Italian means “cooked cream” and is delightfully smooth. It is a velvety cooked custard featuring just four ingredients (cream, milk, sugar and gelatin) and then any additional flavor you like. Pairs well with fruit, or with biscotti on the side. 

Tiramisu marries the classic flavors of espresso, cocoa, cream, and spongy ladyfingers, and layers them that each bite is infused with all the flavors. Fresh ingredients are key in tiramisu: If you’re making it yourself, homemade ladyfingers put this treat over the top.  

Cannoli are the quintessential Italian desserts. Originally from Sicily, they feature pastry that has been fried in the shape of a tube and then filled with sweetened ricotta cheese. Note that your life’s best cannolo will be one made with a fresh shell. 

Semifreddo is akin to ice cream in that it is frozen (as is gelato Italian ice cream that is made from full-fat milk and not cream). Semifreddo is lighter, however, because gelato is combined with whipped cream before the mixture is frozen. The whipped cream makes each bite mouthwatering. 

Baking With Bertolli® Olive Oil 
Tasty baked goods are all but missing from the diets of people who are allergic to eggs, have high cholesterol, or choose to avoid dairy. For those times when nothing but a slice of birthday cake will do, olive oil makes an exemplary substitute for butter, eggs, and other oils in a batter that renders moist, flavorful cake. 

Even timid bakers should feel confident in substituting olive oil for butter or margarine; slightly less is used, however, because butter is typically a solid when it is incorporated into a batter. A visit to your favorite cooking website can help you with ratios and will also help you find eggless recipes if that is what you need. 

If you want to experiment, choose a mild, light-colored oil like, Bertolli’s® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil. Need a recipe to get you going? Bertolli’s® Chocolate Torta is a treat (and, if chocolate is not your favorite, try this version, which features honey and zesty orange

And For A Truly Traditional Dessert… 
On a busy weeknight, a girls’ night or a date night, eat as the Italians do most nights of the year by finishing your meal with a bowl of crunchy nuts, a few glasses of wine, and any of these fruit-and-cheese suggestions:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano and wedges of ripe pears and crisp apples
  • Fontina and dark rye crisps or bread, honey and figs
  • Creamy ricotta or rich burrata for spooning on crackers, topped with a berry jam or marmalade