Dolce Italia

Dolce Italia, with the support of Buonitalia Spa and the Italian Ministry of Agricultu has launched the first official Italian website in the United States devoted to authentic Italian Sweets & Dessert Wines. was launched in March 2010 with the goals of:
  • Sharing with American consumers the superb quality, variety and tastes that are unique to authentic Italian products
  • Exposing the many imitation products on the market that hint at Italian origins, but are not made in Italy and do not adhere to Italy’s strict quality standards

Francine Segan, acclaimed Food Historian, James Beard and U.S. Spokesperson for The Italian Confectioners Association, has shared some delicious Italian recipes made with genuine ingredients to put you in the mood for springtime and celebrate the new website! Enjoy!

Chocolate Tiramisù

Recipe from, Courtesy of Vicenzi

Savoiardi are the basic ingredient for lots of Italian sweets, but probably the most famous is to tiramisu. The original tiramisù recipe calls for just a dusting of cocoa powder but this modern Italian update features a wonderfully rich and creamy center of Italian dark chocolate.

  • 8 Vicenzi Savoiardi
  • 1/2 cup coffee liqueur such as Caffuccino, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 ounces Italian dark chocolate, such as Perugina, Vanini or Venchi
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces mascarpone cheese

Cut the savoiardi in half, place them in a bowl, and pour 1/2 cup of the liqueur over them. Allow them to soak up the liqueur, then line 4 glasses with the savoiardi.

Melt 3 1/2 ounces of the chocolate in the cream in a glass bowl either over a double boiler or in the microwave. Allow to cool to room temperature and then divide the chocolate sauce between the 4 glasses.

Finely grate or chop the remaining chocolate as garnish. Reserve.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil over medium heat.

Combine the yolks and sugar in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until creamy. Set the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch the water, and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of liqueur. Continue whisking the custard until it has tripled in volume and is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool the custard.

Once the custard is cool, fold in the mascarpone and divide the mixture between the 4 cups. Top with a sprinkle of the reserved chocolate and serve.

  • Yields: 4 servings

Bittersweet Chocolate Panini

Recipe from, Courtesy of Bauli

Panettone, glorious brioche-like cake imported from Italy is wonderfully moist, and delicious. Perfect for slicing and eating as is, and terrific as a key ingredient in so many recipes. Try it in French toast or in this simple-to-make dessert sandwich.

  • 2 whole slices of Bauli Panettone, cut 1/2-inch thick crosswise horizontally
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons dark Italian chocolate, such as Perugina, Venchi or Vanini, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 pint of fresh raspberries

Cut each Bauli Panettone slice in half and then in half again creating quarter slices. You will need two quarters to make one panini. Butter one side of each quarter slice with 1 teaspoon of the butter and place 4 slices buttered side down on a work surface.

Top each of the 4 slices with 1 tablespoon of the chopped chocolate to within 1/4 inch of the edges of the pandoro. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mascarpone in the center and top each with a second quarter slice of pandoro, buttered side up, to create a triangular sandwich.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the panini without crowding the skillet and cook for 1 minute, pressing lightly with a large spatula until golden brown. Carefully turn the panini over and cook for about 1 minute longer or until golden brown and chocolate has just melted.

Transfer the panini to individual serving plates, dust with confectioner's sugar and serve at once, accompanied by fresh raspberries and a good cup of espresso or cappuccino.

This recipe can easily be doubled.

  • Yields: 4 servings

Asti Spumante Risotto

Recipe from

Pop the cork and let the fun flow! Serve risotto as they do in Piedmont, with the bottle right in serving dish. The Asti Spumante docg adds a nice creaminess and wonderful bright flavor to the risotto.

  • 5-6 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 split bottles (187ml) Asti Spumanti docg, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Heat the chicken broth until just below a simmer; keep warm.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter with the olive oil over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until translucent, 4-5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high add 1 bottle of Asti Spumante docg and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed, 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding a broth, a little at a time, until done, but still very firm.

Stir in the cheese.

Set the remaining bottle of unopened Asti Spumante docg on a wide, shallow serving platter with a high rim and surround with the rice. When ready to serve, hold the bottle in place and remove the cork; the wine should bubble up over the risotto, if not, just drop a pinch of sugar into the bottle to release the wine.

Spoon large scoops of warm risotto with Asti Spumante docg onto plates and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 6 servings

Chocolate Almond Truffles

Reprinted with permission by, courtesy of Vicenzi,
  • 1/2 cup Pandoro or sponge cake, diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Caffo Amaretto or other nut liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces Vicenzi Amarettino d'Italia cookies
  • 3 ounces Italian dark chocolate, such as Perugina, Vanini or Venchi
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 ounce sliced almonds, as garnish
  • 2 ounces pistachios, finely crushed

Soak the pandoro in the milk and liqueur in a large bowl for 5 minutes.

Crumble in the amaretti cookies and mix well. Roll small quantities of the mixture into balls.

Cover and refrigerate until firm. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and cream in the microwave or over a double boiler. Mix well and let cool.

Drizzle the chocolate over the truffles and sprinkle with the almonds and pistachios and almonds.

  • Yields: 4 servings