Sharjah (UAE) – Celebrity Italian chef Damiano Carrara dazzled his audience with a gluten-free version of an irresistible pastry called mirtillina, which quite simply means “small blueberries”.
Explaining his choice of dessert, the passionate restaurateur and TV host said he decided to prepare something unusual for the audience so they could taste different cuisine.
The live cooking demo session at state-of-the-art Cookery Corner was a definite highlight on Thursday at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).
addressing the audience, Chef Carrara said: “This is a very difficult recipe. It has many layers, but I always say, if you go out to eat and order a dessert you could just cook yourself, what is the point?”
Confidently mixing sugar, butter, and salt with almond flour, Chef Carrara gave useful advice to the audience about keeping their ratio of gluten-free dishes made with wheat alternatives at 70:30 respectively.
“And never ever over-mix the base of a crumble,” added the Tuscan chef.
The other layers of this mouthwatering dish were made with wild blueberry and plum sponge, sour cream, blueberry jelly, and mascarpone mousse mixed with Omani black lemon.
The sweet dish was then finished off by pouring a thin layer of glaze made exclusively with natural blueberries.
“There is no sugar or artificial sweetener added,” said Chef Carrara.
He then meticulously decorated the perfectly round purple pastries with wafer-thin white chocolate ribbons and showered the delectable creation with an edible silver paint.
“Minus the black lemon, this is the same recipe we use to make tiramisu,” he explained.
The master lesson was at the book fair, proving it was more than a gathering of authors and bookworms.
The aromas of baking drew young children, who were at other parts of the fair, and they soon gravitated toward the Cookery Corner.
A curious child asked the Italian chef what the first dish was he ever made.
“It was a Cream puff,” replied the chef.
“I am always eager to keep learning. I learnt a lot when I was in America for 12 years – more than what I would have learnt If I had stayed in my hometown.”
Italy is being celebrated as a guest of honour at this year’s SIBF.
From children’s programmes, cultural shows, comic book exhibitions, book signings, and social media stations, there is something for everyone at the cultural event which is free for everyone to attend.