I have already introduced you to the black cherry liqueur Ratafià by the artisan company Scuppoz so today you will discover the second liqueur I love to use in the kitchen, namely the liquorice liqueur which I propose in this Almond panna cotta with liquorice reduction, which is also lactose-free.

Liquorice is Abruzzo’s black gold. In the past, this root was given to children instead of candies because it was just as sweet and available in nature along the paths from the mountains down to the sea.

Scuppoz Liquorice Liqueur is produced in a completely artisan way by infusing liquorice roots, which give the liqueur an unmistakable and harmonious flavour (here you can find the AIC rules for choosing gluten-free liqueurs). The ideal temperature for enjoying this liqueur is the refrigerator temperature, as is also the case in my recipe in which, however, we no longer have alcohol in order to serve it to children too!

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panna cotta alle mandorle

Almond panna cotta with liquorice reduction

41.35g carbohydrates per 100g of Panna cotta without liquorice reduction

Ingredients for 4-5 servings

  • 200g vegetable cream*
  • 150g almond milk*
  • 70g sugar
  • 8g gelatine sheets*

Ingredients for the liquorice reduction

  • Scuppoz liquorice liqueur*

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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


  1. Soak the gelatine in cold water.
  2. Put almond milk, vegetable cream and sugar on the stove to heat.
  3. Wring the gelatine and add it to the mixture over the heat so that it melts, then stir well and remove from the heat.
  4. Fill moulds of the desired shape, then place them in the refrigerator for a few hours so that the mixture solidifies.
  5. Prepare the liquorice liquor reduction. Put the desired amount in a small pan and when it comes to the boil, let it reduce for a few minutes, then allow it to cool completely. You can decide to put it in the refrigerator until the momento of serving.
  6. Remove the Panna cotta from the moulds and place it directly on the serving plate, then douse it with the liquorice liqueur.

panna cotta alle mandorle

Version with gluten of Almond panna cotta with liquorice reduction

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

My passion for cheese stems from my roots and is ignited whenever cheese is the protagonist of an initiative. For this reason, also this year I enthusiastically accepted to participate in the “Choose your taste, sweet or spicy, only from Europe” project in collaboration with the European Commission and the Italian Food Blogger Association to promote knowledge and consumption of Provolone Valpadana PDO.

Spicy Provolone Valpadana PDO in my Valentine’s Day dessert

provolone valpadana DOP

I told you how Provolone Valpadana PDO is produced when I prepared my Savoury Muffinsbut this time I used the spicy version of this cheese to prepare a fantastic dessert that left all my guests literally speechless. For those who do not have time to read about the production process of Provolone Valpadana PDOit is really interesting to know that the sharpness of this cheese is only determined by the use of kidrennet instead of calf rennet: every tiny detail opens up a world of differences in cheese with Designations of Origin!

Why this recipe? Because I wanted to propose a perfect idea for Valentine’s Day, namely a spicy dessert, just like love! And also because I love cheese eaten with pears and walnuts, two very classic pairings that reconfirm time and again that sweet and savoury can give us great taste pleasures.

So I prepared a custard using coconut milk so that this dessert could be eaten not only by those who are gluten intolerant, but also by those who are lactose intolerant because Provolone Valpadana is naturally lactose-free! The other star is pears in red wine, a fragrant winter pampering, the ideal partner for cheese. Finally, I created crunchiness with toasted breadcrumbs and walnuts, which are the most neutral part of the recipe, essential to bind all the elements together in a warm and affectionate hug.

Have I convinced you? Run to buy the ingredients and surprise your loved ones… with just the right amount of sweet spiciness.

Coconut Cream with spicy red wine pears

21.23 g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for the coconut cream for 4 servings

  • 225g coconut milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40g sugar
  • vanilla from the pod

Ingredients for the spicy red wine pears

  • 4 Kaiser pears of about 140g each
  • 250g red wine
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/2 star anise berry
  • 2 cardamom berries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients to complete

  • 40g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g shelled walnuts
  • 10g butter
  • spicy Provolone Valpadana PDO

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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


  1. Heat up the coconut milk on the stove and in the meantime whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and a dash of vanilla. When the milk is about to come to the boil, remove it from the heat and pour it over the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a whisk; put the cream back on the heat and let it thicken for a few minutes. Put it aside to cool, then store it in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the pears: peel them, leaving the stalks, and place them in a saucepan large enough to hold the pears close together. Pour the wine, sugar and spices into the saucepan, then put the lid on, bring everything to the boil, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Let the pears cool in their cooking liquid, then remove them and allow the liquid to reduce to a caramel-like thickness.
  3. Put the knob of butter in a non-stick pan, melt it and add the breadcrumbs to toast them. When the bread is almost ready, add the walnuts after breaking them up lightly with your hands. Toast for a few minutes.
  4. Assemble the cake at the time of serving. In a deep dish, pour a small ladle of custard and place one pear in the centre of the dish. Using a large hole grater, grate slivers of Provolone Valpadana cheese over the cream and pear; top with the toasted bread and walnuts and the reduced wine sauce. Serve the dessert cold, possibly paired with a small glass of Barolo Chinato or Port wine.

crema al cocco con pere speziate al vino rosso

Version with gluten of Coconut cream with spicy red wine pears

With the exception of the breadcrumbs, the recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so replace the gluten-free breadcrumbs with conventional breadcrumbs.

A Celebration Sacher because for the first time in my life I will not be at home for Christmas and this makes me feel really strange.

The atmosphere is unusual because we have decided not to light up and decorate our house, which will remain closed during the holidays, but this makes me a little bit sad even though the reason for being away is a real dream: a trip we have been looking forward to for years!  So, to recreate a hint of Christmas atmosphere, I thought of one of my favourite cakes and dressed it up for the occasion: my gluten-free Celebration Sacher! And the Sacher is definitely one of my favourite cakes, as you can also see from my Lovers’ Sacher.

It was definitely a more quiet celebration, but at least we got a taste of the ‘sweetest’ and most anticipated holiday of the year since I don’t know what I will be able to bring to my family’s table on 24 December on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and a sparkling start to the New Year, I hope to bring home some nice surprise recipes for 2020. See you soon!

Celebration Sacher

40.31g carbohydrates per 100g


Ingredients for the cake

  • 150g dark chocolate*
  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 100g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 5 eggs
  • 50g rice starch*
  • a bit of vanilla from the pod
  • a pinch of salt

Ingredients for filling and coating

  • 450g apricot jam*
  • 150g dark chocolate*
  • 95g fresh cream
  • 30g water

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


  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie or microwave and mix well so that the two ingredients are perfectly incorporated. Let the mixture cool down.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and whip the latter until stiff with a pinch of salt, then set aside.
  3. Add sugar, then one yolk at a time to the chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Add the sifted flour and vanilla, continuing to stir so that no lumps form.
  4. Finally fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 24cm diameter cake tin lined with wet and squeezed parchment paper so that it adheres well to the sides of the tin, tap the tin on a surface to release any air bubbles and bake in a static oven preheated to 180°C for 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool. The cake will be fairly compact: this is typical of Sacher, which needs the apricot jam and the chocolate coating to express itself at its best.
  6. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread 250g of apricot jam on the lower half, then cover it with the top half. Pour the remaining jam into a thick-bottomed saucepan with the water, place it on the heat and allow it to melt slightly, then strain it through a thin sieve to obtain a kind of thick, smooth juice. Use this apricot juice to thoroughly wet the surface and sides of the chocolate cake with the help of a brush (you may have some leftover juice).
  7. Prepare the ganache for coating the cake by chopping the chocolate well and pouring over it the boiling cream heated in a saucepan.
  8. Mix well to obtain a smooth and uniform cream, let it cool and cover the cake with the help of a smooth-bladed knife or spatula. Decorate your Sacher with Christmas decorations of your choice. Sacher is even softer when eaten after 5 or 6 hours, or even the day after since the apricot jam will have been perfectly absorbed by the cake.


Version with gluten of Celebration Sacher

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