The array of Italian Christmas desserts is astounding. While the panettone of Milan with raisins and candied citrus finds its place at every Italian table, regional sweets and recipes are coveted. In Siena, Tuscany cavallucci (little horses), hard white cookies filled with spices and walnuts are enjoyed while Romans delight in cassola, a cheesecake that finds its roots with the Jewish community, and mostaccioli, spiced nut pastries. In the region of Campania, the line up of dolci include mostaccioli napoletani, diamond-shaped soft spiced cookies covered in chocolate and roccocò, wreath shaped cookies studded with almonds but the center stage is held by struffoli. The honey-glazed fried dough balls are piled in pyramids and decorated with colorful sugar decorations and candied fruit.
As with many Neapolitan dishes, struffoli has similarities with Greek and Spanish desserts like Greek Loukoumades - bite-sized fried honey balls that date back to Magna Grecia - and Spanish Piñonate - candied pine nuts with grated lemon rind, ground almonds, and honey.
In our hands-on cooking seminar, we’ll prepare struffoli. Led by food historian, sommelier, and home cook Gina Tringali, this interactive lesson will have you making struffoli like an expert. Designed to deliver a taste of Naples to your kitchen, participants will come away with an understanding of how to make this beloved Neapolitan Christmas dessert.
We're not giving away the secret recipe* just yet, but here are some things that you will need for the cooking class:
Ingredients for the dough:
- 50 g sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder(optional)
- 400 g flour‘00’ or AP
- Zest from 1 orange
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- Sunflower seed, peanut, or vegetable oil of your choice for frying
Ingredients for glacé and decorating:
- 175g honey (millefiori)
- 30 g candied orange peel, cubed
- Colored sugar sprinkles/strands to taste
- Candied cherries to taste
- 30 g candied lemon, citrus peel, or silver sugar balls
*Participants will be provided with a full ingredient list prior to the class.
Gina is a food historian, coffee connoisseur and cook. Born into an Italian-American family, Gina spent countless hours in the kitchens of her mom and her Neapolitan and Sicilian grandmothers – watching, cooking, tasting – dreaming of living in Italy. In 2007 she relocated to Rome where she earned a Master's degree in Italian Gastronomic Culture from the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, and became a certified sommelier and member of AIS. She also holds an MBA from NYU. Before relocating to Rome, she worked for Tom Colicchio's Craft family of restaurants in NYC in business development and marketing and she spent some time in the kitchen. Her writing appears on numerous food and travel publications.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.