This Savoury biscuits with Parma Ham mousse  is my second recipe dedicated to the project Parma Accoglie that I presented in the recipe dedicated to Parmigiano.

Why Food Valley?

Have you ever wondered why Parmigiano Reggiano and Parma Ham come from the same area? This is certainly no coincidence and the link between them should make us reflect on the sustainability of the supply chain. In fact, the whey left over after making Parmigiano cheese (thus a product that would be processing waste) is one of the main foodstuffs in the diet of the Po Valley Heavy Pig intended for the production of ham and the rich range of deli meats that take their name from the villages in the province of Parma where they are made, a veritable map of specialities (Culatello from Zibello, Salame from Felino, Spalla from San Secondo).

Parma ham, especially with the lengthy maturation as in this recipe, is extraordinary as it is, and the best advice may be to handle it as little as possible in the kitchen. For this reason, I thought I would propose a recipe in which the ham is not cooked, but on the contrary is kept cold because that does not alter its aroma and flavour.

An unusual use of Parma Ham

It may seem like a waste to put a 24-month Parma ham in the freezer, but beware: thanks to the presence of salt and the scarcity of water, the ham will not freeze, it will merely become cold and harder. This way, we can blend it to obtain what I like to call ‘grated ham’, without it heating up and changing its smell and taste (see how to use it in other recipes).

As the ham returns to room temperature and you serve the Savoury biscuit with Parma ham mousse, the ham releases all its wonderfully sweet aromas. I adore the combination of those with the notes of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar produced a few kilometres further east.

If you want to discover the secrets of how Parma Ham is madein addition to enjoying it in local trattorias and restaurants during your visit, you can come back during the Prosciutto Festival held every year in early September in the town of Langhirano towards the Apennines (unfortunately not in 2020) or organise a visit to one of the 200 ham factories. I assure you that after seeing the level of care and detail put in its production, it will taste even better!

And to find out what to do in and around Parma, explore some suggestions on the blog posted by my friend Aura.

I biscotti salati con mousse di Prosciutto di Parma e gocce di Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale

Savoury biscuits with Parma ham mousse and drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Parma Accoglie and my recipe for Savoury biscuits with Parma ham mousse

43.45g carbohydrates per 100g of savoury biscuits

2.6g carbohydrate per 100g mousse

 Ingredients for the savoury sablé dough (you will need half)

  • 200g flour for bread and yeast BiAglut** (or wheat flour for those who can have it)
  • 130g butter
  • 60g almonds
  • 1 egg white (approx. 40g)
  • 30g wholemeal teff flour*
  • 30g corn starch
  • 7g salt

Ingredients for the ham mousse (15 single portions)

  • 220g real or vegetable cream
  • 80g Parma ham matured for 24 months in a single slice and placed in the freezer
  • 5g gelatine sheets*
  • Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or Reggio Emilia
  • parsley leaves for decoration

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)


  1. Prepare the mousse, which needs to rest for at least 1 hour in the freezer. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water. Place the ‘frozen’ Parma ham in the  food processor and blend it finely, but without it heating up. Add 100g of cream to the grated ham.
  2. Pour 20g of cream into a saucepan and heat it; add the soaked gelatine so that it melts completely, then pour it into the container with the ham.
  3. Whip the remaining cream and fold it in the ham mixture with a spatula. Fill the chosen moulds with the mousse (I chose these), determine the size according to the sablé biscuit you will be making. I chose a 5cm diameter) and place in the freezer until the mousse is hard enough to be taken out of the moulds without difficulty.
  4. Prepare the sablé dough for the biscuits that will serve as the base for your mousse. This dose is about twice as much as you will need, but, unless you use pasteurised egg whites, it cannot be divided. So take advantage of this to make extra savoury biscuits that you can combine with dips and soft cheeses for your aperitifs. Mix the flour with the butter to form crumbs, then add all the other ingredients to form a smooth, compact mixture.
  5. Take two sheets of baking paper and place the sablé in between; with the help of a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 4mm and, leaving it on the paper and placing it on a tray, put it in the refrigerator to rest for at least 20 minutes. When the sablé is firm, cut small disks with a 5cm diameter biscuit cutter and place the disks on a perforated silicone mat. This way you will be able to knead and cut the dough very well.
  6. Bake the biscuits in a static oven preheated to 160°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Remove the mousses from the moulds. If you are going to serve them soon, keep them at room temperature for about 30 minutes before finishing them or store them in the fridge until you need them: they will last perfectly for 2 days.
  8. Take a biscuit, place the mousse on it and top with a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or Reggio Emilia. Decorate with a parsley leaf.
Il biscotto e la mousse: perfetti finger food

Biscuits and mousse: a perfect finger food

Version with gluten of Savoury biscuit with Parma ham  mousse

Simply replace the 200g of gluten-free flour for the savoury sablé biscuit with an equal amount of wheat flour.


When something good happens you cannot keep it to yourself, you have to share it and rejoice in it all together. And the project ‘Parma Accoglie‘ is really something beautiful. It is a simple, yet extraordinary way to say thank you to the people who made themselves available to the community during the Covid emergency.

What does the ‘Parma Accoglie’ initiative consist of? Federalberghi Parma in collaboration with Ascom Parma, Consorzio Albergatori Promo Parma, FIPE – Pubblici Esercizi and Parma Quality Restaurant, with the patronage of the Municipality of Parma, have decided to offer a stay of up to two nights free of charge in a local hotel with the possibility of a typical Parma dinner, at a special price, in one of the participating restaurants to health, medical, nursing, volunteer, Civil Defence, Public Assistance and  Italian Red Cross personnel.

Any ideas of what you’ll do while in Parma? In the meantime, here are some shots of the city taken by my photographer friend Francesca Bocchia then I will share some activity proposals with you shortly!

And I hope to contribute to your desire to come to my city through the extraordinary products that have made it world-famous and through a few recipes that you will certainly not find in the city’s restaurants… because you absolutely must try the fresh stuffed pasta and the deli meats and cheese platters!

A land of great products

To tell you about my land, I have decided to propose recipes in which Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma (here is the recipe) are used in an unusual way as I am sure that the ‘usual way’ will be known even to those who are not from Parma!

My ‘obligatory’ starting point is Parmigiano Reggiano, the product I was born and raised with, as my family has been producing it since 1895. It is natural that I adore the product that has accompanied me for as long as I can remember and that has marked the rhythms of my family’s life, but Parmigiano has remained a table companion even after diabetes and celiac disease entered our lives, so it is even more precious to us!

Parmigiano Reggiano contains no carbohydrates and is allergen-free. It is also suitable for those who are intolerant to milk proteins if it is purchased with a maturation of 36 months or more. And to alleviate the guilt in case we are overwhelmed by its goodness and can’t stop ourselves in front of its fragrant slivers accompanied by fresh fruit, bread, nuts or a glass of full-bodied red wine, you should know that Parmigiano is a semi-fat cheese as it is made with half of the milk partially skimmed (find out how)!

My recipe to try to make you forever prisoners of the Parmigiano Reggiano spell and continue to welcome you to Parma? A soft cream enveloping fruit and enclosing it under a crunchy caramelised crust… after all, popular culture has warned us: don’t let the farmer (and us) know how good cheese with pears is!

La crème brûlé pronta per essere gustata

Crème brûlé ready to be enjoyed

Parma Accoglie and my recipe for Crème brûlé with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

10.93g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 250g ripe pear (or white grapes)
  • 300g real or vegetable cream
  • 100g milk
  • 50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 40g egg yolk (2 yolks)
  • 30g brown sugar
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ vanilla pod


  1. Bring the cream and milk to the boil with the seeds contained in half a vanilla pod. In a bowl, whip the egg yolks until stiff and pour the hot milk over them in a trickle. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and incorporate well.
  2. Cut the pear into small pieces, put it in a non-stick pan with the juice of half a lemon and let it soften slightly, allowing all the lemon juice to dry.
  3. Take 6 mini-mouldsput the pear pieces or cut grapes on the bottom, pour the milk, egg and Parmesan mixture on top and put the moulds on a baking tin containing hot water that should reach halfway up the moulds.
  4. Bake in a static oven preheated to 120°C for 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool, then transfer the moulds to the refrigerator until serving time.
  5. At this point, sprinkle the surface with brown sugar and caramelise it with the special torch. Serve the crème brûlé immediately.
La superficie caramellata della crema

The caramelised surface of Créme brûlé

Version with gluten of Crème brûlé with Parmesan cheese

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.