I wanted to end my Piemonte-themed wine and food evenings with a nice dessert. The first thing I thought of was bounet, but I had already made that before for a similar evening so I asked my friend Resi (who is from Piemonte and helps me with my blog in Italian) for suggestions. She suggested a walnut cake with chocolate pastry cream as typical dessert from Piemonte. That sounded great and like a good combination for the barolo chinato I had made.
The resulting cake was absolutely delicious. It has a very full walnut flavor and it’s not surprise that the chocolate pastry cream was nice as well. If you like dark chocolate, you can add cocoa powder to the chocolate cream to give it a more hefty chocolate flavor. The resulting cake will pair better with the barolo chinato.
I started the Piemonte evenings by serving a zero dosage sparkling wine from Piemonte, which is made just like champagne and from the same grapes, but in Piemonte and without adding any sugar (hence the zero). As antipasto we had bagna càuda with a white erbaluce and a red dolcetto.
The first primo was agnolotti with barbera, followed by the second primo of risotto with barolo, paired with Roero on the first night and Barbaresco on the second. For a secondo brasato al barolo with fennel gratin as the contorno and Barolo as matched wine. And finally this cake as dolce.
300 grams (3 1/2 cups) walnut kernels
250 grams (1 1/2 cup) pastry flour
250 grams (2 sticks + 2 Tbsp) butter
175 grams (7/8 cup) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
60 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
10 grams (1 Tbsp) flour
10 grams (1 Tbsp) corn starch
60 grams egg yolks (about 4 yolks)
60 grams (1/3 cup) dark chocolate chips
60 grams (1/4 cup) cocoa powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preparation of the chocolate pastry cream
Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan.
Preparation of the cake
The cake pairs well with Barolo Chinato if you add cocoa powder to the pastry cream. If you don’t, then I would recommend a passito. We stayed in Piemonte for this as well, and enjoyed the cake with a very nice Erbaluce di Caluso Passito.
Two years ago, on 4 December 2011, I explained how to make fresh pasta from scratch. This is still how I make it, except that I have started using my stand mixer to knead the dough instead of doing that by hand. Homemade fresh pasta made from scratch is amazing, especially if you stuff it yourself to make ravioli and the like.