That said, I do like Italian culture in the traditional sense - especially their penchant for homemade, from scratch ingredients and meals. I love making my own tomato sauce, bread, ricotta and pasta, especially over the summer when I have the time - and while we do grow our own grapes here, our homemade wine is more like rubbing alcohol than a fine sipper, so it stays out of the glass, out of the pot and (for the most part) down the drain. Instead, I take advantage of the world of wines available at our local liquor store, some of which (like the Italian variety I used in today's recipe) were gifted to me by parents at my school.
In the spirit of this week's #SundaySupper "Italian" theme, I went all-in to create a treat that encompassed some of my favourite Italian flavours and ingredients. My homemade ricotta combined with rich red wine, cocoa and just a hint of almond flavour to make a thick and moist cradle for a single Hershey's Kiss. While sweet and rich, they're definitely still "muffin" territory, and I would shy away from trying to gild these with frosting - if anything, a smear of almond butter would be the furthest I would go. The intense moisture and tenderness of the crumb (almost too soft to work with muffin liners) will make you forget they're over half whole wheat and egg free!
Enjoying our family around the dinner table is what #SundaySupper is all about, making this week’s Italian event a perfect pairing. From Antipasto to Zabaglione and everything in between, we're gathering to enjoy a feast of (Roman) empirical proportions! Our host this week is Manuela of Manu’s Menu.
Here's what we're serving up this week:
- Cacio e Uova Meatless Recipe from She Loves Biscotti
- Gnocchi alla Romana from Tramplingrose
- Italian Rice Balls from My World Simplified
- Rosemary Focaccia from Curious Cuisiniere
- Tomato Caprese with Burrata from Casa de Crews
- Asparagus and lemon risotto from Un Assaggio of Food, Wine & Marriage
- Braised Italian-Style Beef Short Ribs from Hardly A Goddess
- Bruschetta Chicken from Meal Planning Magic
- Bucatini with Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce from The TipToe Fairy
- Orechietti with Broccoli Rabe and Shrimp from Delaware Girl Eats
- Cheesy Gnocchi and Sausage Bake from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Classic Vodka Sauce from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Eggplant Parmesan from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Fast Faux-Baked Ziti from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Florentine Pizza from A Mind Full Mom
- Gluten Free Meatballs with Homemade Sauce from Gluten Free Crumbley
- Green and Yellow Artichoke Tortellini with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Spring Peas with White Wine Reduction from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini from Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Mushroom Bolognese Pasta Recipe from Life Tastes Good
- Parma Rosa Baked Ziti from Palatable Pastime
- Pasta Con Sarde a Mare – Pasta with Sardines at Sea from Caroline’s Cooking
- Pasta e Fagioli from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Penne with Sausage in Creamy Boursin Cheese Recipe from Feeding Big and more
- Pesce all’Aqua Pazza from Monica’s Table
- Polenta-Crusted Italian Sausage Pies from Wholistic Woman
- Pumpkin Agnolotti from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Shrimp Fra Diavolo from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Slow Cooker Lasagna from Food Lust People Love
- Stuffed Ravioli in Alfredo Sauce from The Freshman Cook
- Tuscan Kale Pesto Risotto from Cooking Chat
- Tuscan Porterhouse with Balsamic-Rosemary Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio from The Texan New Yorker
- Tuscan Style Chicken Breasts from Simple and Savory
- Zuppa Toscana from Momma’s Meals
- Italian Berries, Mascarpone and Marsala Budini from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Berry Tiramisu from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cannoli Poke Cake from Moore or Less Cooking
- Cherry Walnut Biscotti from Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Tiramisu from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Fiordilatte Gelato from Manu’s Menu
- Italian Cream Cheesecake from The Crumby Cupcake
- Lemoncello Tiramisu from The Redhead Baker
- Limoncello Cookies from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Orange and Almond Ricotta Cheesecake from Pine Needles In My Salad
- Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries from The Chef Next Door
- Salame al Cioccolato (Chocolate Salami) from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Strawberry Panna Cotta from From Gate to Plate
- Tiramisu Semifreddo from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Wine and Cheese Chocolate Muffins from What Smells So Good?
- Zabaglione Gelato from Magnolia Days
- Bicerin (Italian Coffee) from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Limoncello from Our Good Life
- Liquore all’Alloro from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Sgroppino (Frothy Italian Sorbetto Cocktail) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement
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Wine and Cheese Chocolate Muffins
Adapted from Eggless Cooking
1 cup extra-smooth (or pureed regular) whole milk ricotta cheese
5 oz (by weight) whole milk (about 9 tbsp)
1/4 tsp almond extract
½ cup dry red wine (I used Doppio Passo Botter Primitivo Salento IGT)
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp Cabernet Salt (or sea salt)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup canola oil
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet Aero hot chocolate mix (or your favourite hot chocolate mix)
¾ cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
12 Hershey’s Kisses (original or dark), unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the cheese, milk, extract, wine, sugar, salt, vanilla and oil.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix until well combined.
- Add the flours and baking powder, mixing until just combined.
- Fill muffin cups ½ way full (about 1 ½ tbsp) and place a Kiss in the middle of each. Top with remaining batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the muffins spring back to the touch - the toothpick test won’t work for these!
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 12.7 mg
Sodium: 35.5 mg
Total Carbs: 32.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 5.7 g