Sweet and Rich: Three Decadent Italian Desserts

cantucciniThe first things we typically think of when someone mentions Italian food are hearty pasta and mouth-watering sauces. However, entrees aren’t the only must-have Italian treats. Italian cooking is stuffed full of desserts you can’t make just once. From the familiar to the unfamiliar, these treats warrant a little research into how to make them with the expertise of a real Italian. Check out a few tips of the trade to help your desserts achieve the decadence they deserve.

Tiramisu Gateau

Tiramisu Gateau is a cake-like take on the traditional Italian tiramisu. There’s no shortage of tiramisu recipes in the world, and the gateau version is fairly quick and simple. More than anything, tiramisu is about assembling more than cooking, so be ready for plenty of hands-on experience. To save time or break the process up, make the cake and store covered in the fridge for up to four days. This cake is also excellent to store in the freezer for several months if wrapped or covered tightly. Hide it in the back and cut yourself a slice after the kids have gone to bed. Enjoy.

Strawberry Macaroons

Despite popular opinion, not all macaroons are French. The Italian method for making macaroons uses hot sugar syrup for the meringue, which is said to be much sweeter and more stable than French macaroons. Macaroons can be a challenging dessert to make, but they are oh-so worth it. Even seasoned bakers can have trouble, so hopefully these tips will help them bake perfectly every time. A large part of macaroons is presentation, so it may take some tries to get them perfectly.

The most important and most difficult part is achieving an appropriate texture for the macaroon shell. The two most important components are how the egg whites are folded into the dry mixture and the accuracy of your oven’s temperature. When folding the egg whites into the dry mixture, use a flexible spatula and scrape around the edges of the bowl toward the middle. Only do this fifty times – do not overmix.


We know it better as biscotti, and this delicious, popular Italian treat isn’t just reserved for coffee shops – it’s even better homemade. The dough is sticky, so try wetting your hands when you’re forming the loaves. After you bake the loaves, they should be firm and lightly browned but not hard.