Monday, July 18, 2011

Black and white chocolate berry tart

When it comes to grilling, every country in the world has its traditions. In the US a BBQ just isn't a BBQ without hamburgers and hot dogs. In Italy, grilling or la grigliata is all about our friend the pig. The preferred meat is undoubtedly pork. A hamburger is a very rare (no pun intended) find, but there will be no lack of sausage in all shapes and sizes on an Italian grill and even pork ribs, chicken and lamb will often make an appearance.

And then, the one thing you will find at pretty much every BBQ in Italy, the spiedino.
It looks pretty much the same (and tastes pretty much the same if you ask me) wherever you go, north or south, east or west, at a town fair or in your back yard. It is a brochette with alternated pieces of pork in various forms (sausage, pancetta, pork loin), red or green peppers for a dash of color, and onions and frankfurters if you get lucky.

Perhaps you have to be an Italian to really appreciate it and I will not argue the importance of its presence on la griglia as long as you don't start questioning that delicious, juicy burger on my grill. But I love pretty much everything else a grigliata has to offer: summer, friends, ripe red tomatoes, flowing local wine, cold beer, salami made by the farmer next door, wonderful grilled and marinated vegetables picked in the morning from the garden, lamb chops and sausage, beautiful landscapes and if you get really lucky, the ancestor of the modern BBQ, a grill over an authentic wood fire.

The kids made perfume: note the fig and green tomato for fruitiness

And to top it off a summery tart that is quick to make, not too sweet and cleanses your palate after all that oink oink.

What do you barbecue where you come from?

Ingredients (for 12 servings)

For crust
250 gr (1 box) Digestives (or graham crackers)
130gr butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp conferctioner's sugar

For filling (adapted from a recipe in Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess)
75gr white chocolate, melted (plus a little for decoration)
200gr mascarpone cheese
150gr cream

1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries

In a food processor or by hand, crumble the cookies and then mix in the butter, sugar and cocoa. Grease an 11 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom and press the cookie mixture into the bottom and along the sides. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Start making your filling by melting the white chocoalte. While it is cooling, beat together the mascarpone cheese and the cream and then gently fold in the white chocolate. Fill the crust and decorate with the raspberries and blueberries, or another berry of your choice, and sprinkle with some grated white chocolate. Serve cold.


  1. Ohhh ok... that tart is great! I love white chocolate! I will have to try it! I am not a fan of spiedino either... but I love sausage... better if Sicilian (with fennel seeds in it). E quel salame mi ha messo una fame (it's almost midnight here!!!!). How cute is that perfume??? :-))))

  2. That tart looks incredible. Actually, I kind of take that back, only to add that everything in this post looks incredible.

    To answer your question: Where I come from (i.e. the Northeastern U.S.) "barbecue" means "anything cooked on a grill out in the backyard, preferably handled by someone wearing a 'Kiss the Cook' apron."

    My husband, an Okie by birth and a BBQ lover, of course tries to gently correct me by saying, "Honey, that's not barbecue -- that's grilling." Whatever, as long as it's delicious, I'll eat it!

  3. What wonderful food! I'd love to own such a beautiful oven.

    Your tart looks splendid and droolworthy!



  4. For me a bbq isn't a bbq without some sort of large piece of cow on it, not minced, hamburgers and hotdogs and the rest fall under the grillin' category!

  5. Manu - love salsiccia siciliana! That murky rose water is not sitting in our bag in a plastic bag, hehe
    Meister & Moomser - so what I get from your response, is that us Northeasterners call anything made on a grill a BBQ and you guys from the south (Oklahoma and Texas) need a large slab of cow to call it a BBQ. Interesting, never really thought of the difference, but it makes sense.
    Rosa - hi Rosa, thank you. Yeah, oven wasn't ours, but pretty cool huh?

  6. I love carne alla griglia (although sometimes I have some digestive problems with it), especially chicken wings, sausages, bistecca alla fiorentina (this one, especially)!
    And I definitely love this cake! I'll make it for sure! Quick, easy and delicious! :)

  7. Before I comment on La Griglia - I will say I LOVE this tart with mascarpone filling and berries on top! Oooh both favorites! And we used to make the trip north from Milan just to eat at a fabulous restaurant (my husband will remember the name of both the mountaintop town and the restaurant) - an old converted convent. In the summer the tables were placed in the courtyard next to a huge grill. The only thing they served were huge platters of a selection of grilled meats, creamy polenta (perfect), fries and... wine. Fabulous and we still talk about it fondly. Thanks for the memories!

  8. You guys definitely know how to barbecue! Everything looks great. For us, as long as there are people, food, and beer - it should be a good barbecue!

  9. My dear friend...this does look beautiful! I wish I could join you for a barbecue. You know how to do it! Thank you so much for sharing your culinary creations...and for leaving such kind words on my blog. I know it can take me awhile to respond sometimes, but I truly appreciate your sweet comments. I hope you have a beautiful Tuesday!

  10. Your tart looks spectacular! Your BBQ is right up my alley!

  11. I love that colourful tart-just gorgeous! And we bbq steaks and seafood a lot. Of course there is the saying about throwing a shrimp on the BBQ but we call them prawns here :P

  12. Can I have a slice? I think that tart looks fabulous :D.
    Mr P bought us a lovely barbeque, but we haven't used it :( its such a shame. He's either not home or its raining, or we just forget that we have it. I'd love to barbecue up some steak.
    My dad always barbecues some eggplant whenever he makes a BBQ and it makes the most excellent smoky babaganoush.
    *kisses* HH

  13. Qualcuno potrebbe pensare che ci mettiamo d'accordo per fare post simili!! :D
    Bellissime crostatine, perfette per il 4th July ma anche per l'anniversario della presa della Bastiglia, passato pochi giorni fa. Colori adorabili!
    Un abbraccio

  14. That tart looks out of this world! White chocolate and mascarpone??? What a delicious combination!! I pretty much love anything on the grill. Lamb and pork probably on the top of the list though. Wouldn't touch a hot dog with a ten foot fork, very unAmerican of me, I know!!

  15. I would BBQ just about anything, that sear, the taste, that BBQ taste is just so alluring. The sausages look so delicious!

  16. Giulietta - love chicken wings! And fiorentina falls in a whole new category! Let me know how the cake turns out.
    Jamie - I know exactly the place you mean, I've been there!! It is near Bergamo and yes, those platters of meat and polenta, oh my. And cured meats and cheese.
    Peggy - totally agree: people and beer.
    Monet - Anytime you come this way, let me know. Or perhaps a Texan BBQ? I would love that. You write such beautiful posts, your words really make me think.
    Andrea - I fondly remember so many BBQs in Westport with my Nana.
    Lorraine - I love grilled seafood, although it is not something we do that often.
    HH - I'm sure you will start one day and then it will be hard to stop. I love the idea of grilled eggplant and the babaganoush that is made from it. It is one of my favorite dips.
    Jasmine - davvero! L'ho pensato anch'io, che sarebbe stata una torta perfetta da fare in quelle year!
    Nicole - the white chocolate is very subtle, just enough to lend a little sweetness, but not too much. Grilled lamb is my favorite but I do like a hot dog now and then. It is something I never buy, but when I am in the States I cannot resist, it is such a childhood memory.
    myFudo - so true, anything tastes better on a grill!

  17. I agree with you on spiedini: the Italian version is quite pointless, with not much flavour and always a bit dry. I like them when I marinate them - a friend taught me a Californian marinade with pineapple juice that works great with chicken spiedini, but I'm not sure how it goes with pork.

    I like grilled mushrooms and cheese, and I also like pollo alla diavola - a flattened out chicken grilled whole. It takes ages to cook, but with a good quality chicken it is totally delicious!

  18. LaCR - I love pollo alla diavola! And hey, pork and pineapple is supposed to be the perfect combination, so you must post your marinade!


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