Need an Easy Italian Dessert

We’re going to a dinner party next weekend, and I’ve been asked to bring the dessert. It’s an Italian-themed dinner, and since I’m not Italian, I don’t have a wealth of Italian dessert ideas at my fingertips. I’ve done some web searching for recipes, but they all seem fairly complicated (once I reach the stage where I’m making layers of cake and cream, I’m out).

So, all you cooking/baking Dopers with all the great recipes, got any ideas for an impressive Italian dessert for someone with some fair cooking skills, but no real interest in spending hours fiddling with a finicky recipe? Oh yeah, the one flavour we’re really not into is coffee, so tiramisu is out.

I’ve got one for you:

Ricotta cheesecake (Torta di Ricotta):

3 1/2 cups of fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese.
1/2 cup of raisins
3 Tbs dark rum.
Some butter for greasing.
1/4 cup of fine, dry bread crumbs
5 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pine nuts

Drain the ricotta using a colander and some cheese cloth over night in the fridge.

Soak the raisins in the rum for a few hours.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease an 8 inch springform pan and coat with the bread crumbs (shake off the excess).

Beat the egg yolks, sugar, salt until pale yellow.

Add drained ricotta to mixture and all the zest. BEat until blended uniformly.

Add heavy cream, rum and raisins, and pine nuts and mix well.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer until peaks form.

fold in the egg whites, pour into pan and bake for around an houir or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool, then Chill before serving.

An easy and authentic Italian dessert would be fresh fruits and cheeses with a nice Italian sweet wine. An assortment of apples and pears (slice them at the table) along with an assortment of sliced Italian cheeses accompanied by a good sweet wine. It is easy, it is delicious and it is healthy.

Find a recipe for English trifle, and Italianize it. Standard spongecake[orange-flavored if possible], sliced or slivered toasted almonds, cherries preserved in brandy[from a gourmet foods shop] whipped cream/mascarpone cheese combination, finely chopped candied citron,apricot jam,dustings of ground cinnamon, shavings of bittersweet chocolate,use a sweet marsala, Frangelico[TM] or the liqueur called maraschino to provide moisture. The Italians DO have a version of an English trifle called “Zuppa Inglese”[English Soup] Mangia!

Make a granita di caffe (sp?)

It’s like a water ice (sometimes known in the US as Italian Ices) but made of coffee.

Make some fairly strong dark coffee. Sweeten with sugar (sweeter than you’d take your coffee, remember this is going to be a sort of ice cream) and lighten with cream.

Freeze in a shallow layer in a baking pan, stirring every 1/2 hour to break up the ice into smaller and smaller crystals. Eventually it will be a grainy ice coffee-flavored sorbet. Serve with whipped cream.

This probably isn’t what you’re looking for, but my father’s favorite dessert after spaghetti or lasagna is simply orange floats. That’s right, vanilla ice cream with orange soda poured over it. It sounds odd, but it tastes wonderful. It’s a Bodoni tradition going back at least 40 years.

The ricotta cheesecake would probably seem more Italian, and it’s considerably less work than canolli, which require special forms for the pastry. But here is a link to a canolli recipe: . Have fun.

Yeah, that oughta do it. :slight_smile:

Here’s a link to dessert recipes from a show called “Everyday Italian” on the Food Network. You may find something there that sounds good.

Thanks, all. Everything looks good (except the coffee ice ;)). Off to get some ingredients and do a test run.