Garda Veneto’s Desserts
Garda Veneto’s Desserts
Torta delle Rose – Rose cake
Torta delle rose is a classic around here, but it is Valeggio sul Mincio that claims it as its own. Though the dough is simple, it must rest several hours, so the preparation is long. It was once considered a sort of bread, enriched with eggs and yeast, butter and sugar. After 6 hours, the dough is rolled out with a rolling pin, then made into a roll, which is cut in pieces and placed in the pan, giving the idea of a bouquet of roses, the typical shape of this cake that you can try in all seasons.
Particularly inland, in Sona, Bussolengo and Valeggio sul Mincio , peaches are served as a dessert, either in syrup or filled with chocolate and amaretto biscuits, or used as toppings for pies or to make excellent ice cream! Peaches are not only a vital ingredient of the inland’s patisserie. In the best restaurants of Bardolino they are the secret ingredient of delicious desserts, like the strudel with peaches and amaretto biscuits!
Old and new traditional desserts
There are also very ancient desserts (like the Nadalìn, the Dolce di Valeggio or the Fogassìn o Fugassìn) and some of more recent invention by master pâtissiers, like Bussolengo’s Bacio di San Valentino (St. Valentine’s Kiss) or Valeggio sul Mincio’s Tortellino di Cioccolato (Chocolate Tortellino). The latter was created in 2008 by Luigi, 4th generation pâtissier and owner, with wife Annamaria, of one of Valeggio sul Mincio’s oldest bakeries. These pastries have a chocolate crust, prepared with glucose, sugar and water, while the filling can be wafer and hazelnut or wafer and dark chocolate. These tortellini too, like the traditional salty ones, are made (and sealed) by hand, one by one!
The Bacio di San Valentino is even more recent, created by Bussolengo’s master pâtissiers as homage to their patron saint. It is a re-imagining of the traditional almond pastry of the area, the “brutto buono” (meaning ugly but delicious), though the Bacio di San Valentino uses hazelnut paste, egg white, whole hazelnuts, sugar, vanilla and Strega liqueur.
Conversely, the Dolce di Valeggio has very ancient roots, and bakeries only make it to order. In short, it is made with butter cream (vanilla or chocolate flavour) and sponge cake, and the whole thing is then coated with dark chocolate.
The recipe of the Fogassìn o Fugassìn too has very old roots. Its name changes according to the town of production. It is a typical dessert from Verona made with flour, sugar, lemon zest, white wine (or milk), then grilled on the open fire. In some restaurants it is still offered alongside coffee.
Finally, another traditional dessert during Christmas is the Nadalìn, shaped like a star. Originally, it was made at home, and was the ancestor of the famous Pandoro. It too has few, simple ingredients: flour, eggs, and butter!
They are shortcrust biscuits enriched with raisins, usually served with coffee or liqueur. As their name suggests, they were invented at Punta San Vigilio, in the historical inn run by Leonard Walsh up until the 60s. He had them made for the first time shortly after the Second World War, when the then UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill was visiting Punta San Vigilio.