Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dinner with Nick Malgieri and his new book BAKE!

As a member of the Charm City Cook Book Club I have enjoyed many perks. We are in this months Baltimore Magazine and recently we were invited with a great group of other bloggers to have a pot luck dinner with the James Beard award winning cook book author Nick Malgieri.

Nick Malgieri, former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World, is a 1996 inductee into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. In 1998 and 1999, he was voted one of the ten best pastry chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he apprenticed in Switzerland and was subsequently employed at the Hotel de Paris and the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo and at the Reserve de Beaulieu in France. In New York he was Assistant Pastry Chef at the Waldorf Astoria; Executive Chef at Paine Webber, Inc.; and Pastry Chef at the Board Room, a private club.

Bake!, Nick's newest cook book just came out and he is traveling the country to promote it.
The event was put together by Dara Bunjon and was organized as a pot luck. We each brought a dish to share and were able to spend time talking with Nick and trying some of his newest recipes.

The book is beautiful and is a great addition to my collection. I do not own many baking books so this one will get a lot of use. I plan to make the Beef Empanadas tonight. At the dinner Nick made two deserts for us, Tozzetti: Roman Anise, Almond, and Hazelnut Biscotti, and Chocolate Bourbon Cake. Both were wonderful. Please try the recipes below and I encourage you try the book. I plan to cook my way through it.


Unlike most biscotti that are formed into narrow loaves before baking, tozzetti are spread in a pan. After the initial baking, they are cut into narrow strips and dried in the oven until shatteringly crisp.

Makes about 80 thin biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted

1 cup whole blanched hazelnuts, lightly toasted

3 large eggs

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons Sambuca liqueur

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon aniseed, crushed

One 9 x 13- x 2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered foil

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

  1. Stir the flour and baking powder together, then stir in the almonds and hazelnuts and set aside.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, continuing to whisk for a minute until somewhat lightened. Whisk in the liqueur, vanilla, and aniseed. Use a large rubber spatula to stir in the flour and nut mixture.

  1. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until just firm, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.

  1. When completely cool, slide the slab of baked dough to a cutting board. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut into three 3-inch wide bars, then cut across them to make 1/2-inch thick biscotti. Arrange the cut biscotti on 2 paper-lined pans.

  1. Dry the biscotti until very crisp but still light in color at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and store in a tin.


The sweet, mellow flavor of Bourbon has a great affinity for chocolate. Serve this unadorned cake with a little unsweetened whipped cream.

Makes one 8-inch cake, 8 to 10 servings

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)

Pinch of salt

5 large eggs

3 tablespoons best-quality Bourbon

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

One 8-inch round 2-inch deep pan, buttered, bottom lined with a disk of buttered parchment

1. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, allowing it to sizzle and get really hot. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk smooth.

3. In a bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, flour, and salt together; add all the eggs and Bourbon. Whisk together smoothly.

4. Stir the brown sugar into the butter and chocolate mixture and stir into the batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake until the center is still soft, but no longer liquid, 25 to 35 minutes.

6. Cool the cake on a rack.

7. To serve the cake, invert to a platter and remove the pan and paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.

Copyright © Nick Malgieri 2011, All Rights Reserve


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