Chiara made her first cake with her father when she was a little girl.
Renzo, her father, started to work very young for the famous Biscottificio Mattei in Prato and passed to Chiara the secrets of a lifetime. Now she jealously keeps the recipes and use them to make her amazing biscuits and cakes.
She realized her dream by creating a little laboratory/shop in Pistoia where she can cook and keep her family tradition alive with love and care.
The Biscottificio Guarducci is in a tiny street in Pistoia, it is very cozy and welcoming but what I liked the most is the laboratory where they knead, mink, whisk and where they prepare all the amazing creations that will appear in the windows of the shop.
The sounds, the smells and the gestures of this job are so fascinating.
The rhythm is very precise and all the gestures have a meaning and anticipate the next phase of preparation. I would have never left this magical place… imagine when I saw all the pans in many different sizes, molds to make round biscuits, heart, donuts, stars… I got crazy and I wanted all of them in my kitchen too!
Chiara uses very good quality products that are coming from local producers.
That day I was in seventh heaven, all was so harmonious in there and I couldn’t resist to ask Chiara for a recipe, a simple one that we could make in our home without all that beautiful pans and pastry’s accessories that most of us unfortunately doesn’t have.
We decided for pastry base that you can use to make biscuits and all kind of tarts.
Ingredients for 1kg of pastry base
- 500gr butter
- 325gr sugar
- 2 eggs (90gr)
- 825gr flour
- a pinch of salt
- yeast (8gr)
- A Vanilla bean or grated lemon or orange (1gr)
- Franca, that helps Chiara in the laboratory, told me that it is very important to sift flour twice before starting;
- once that the flour is sifted, add the yeast and a pinch of salt;
- add sugar and butter;
- add grated lemon or orange or the seeds that you scraped from the inside of the vanilla bean;
- beat the eggs in a bowl and add to the dough;
- knead it very well.
You can cook biscuits for about 12 and 15 minutes at 180°C and tarts for about 25 minutes.
You can make biscuits with marmalade, chocolate and Franca decided to make a double biscuit filled with chocolate… I couldn’t resist so here is the recipe for the chocolate’s ganache:
100gr of fresh cream
100gr of dark chocolate
25gr of acacia honey
warm the fresh cream while you melt the honey inside, when the honey is melted take it off the fire and put the chocolate in little pieces to melt while turning, let it cool until it is ready to be putted in between of two round biscuits (everybody has a sac à poche!!!) where one has a hole in the middle, like a donuts, where the chocolate is coming out…after writing this I think I am going to make it right now!