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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 for popular Italian treats that mix flavors and textures, each one a luxurious Italian experience. Plus: one recipe featuring a Bertolli® product 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 cookies, they are actually slices of twice-baked cake. Fantastic when dunked in milk, coffee or hot chocolate, biscotti can also be enjoyed alone. If you want to try your hand at biscotti, look no further than these Hazelnut Biscotti 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 biscotti.
Tiramisu marries the classic flavors of espresso, cocoa, cream and spongy ladyfingers and layers them so that each bite is infused with every flavor. 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 cannoli will be 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; it's made by adding whipped cream into a gelato base and then freezing the mixture. The result is a smooth, mouthwatering dessert.

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 who choose to avoid dairy. For those times when only 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 or can provide specific eggless recipes.
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:
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  • Parmigiano Reggiano and wedges of ripe pears and crisp apples
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  • Fontina, dark rye crisps, honey and figs
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  • Creamy ricotta spooned on crackers, topped with a berry jam or marmalade