Homemade (healthier) Italian Tartufo


tartuffo blog 009Dear Diary,

During my recent trip to Italy, I indulged in all the local delicacies… most of which included food.  When in Rome, you do as the Romans do right?  That means drinking great wine, overloading on pasta, bread and pizza, but most of all enjoying the sweet life (or dolce vita) by salivating over the best desserts a gal could ever ask for!

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Ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato… I don’t play favorites… but let’s just say I can’t get enough of anything in that category.

On our last day in Rome, my parents who had lived in Rome for many years, suggested a special place for us to enjoy their favorite dessert…  they sent us to piazza navona, where one cafe considers itself the original (and greatest) tartufo specialists! For those who don’t know what tartufo is, let me break it down… tartufo literally translated means truffle– so yes, you can have tartufo ravioli as well!  But in this case, tartufo is specifically referring to a sweeter dish made up mainly of, yes you guessed it… GELATO!   The tartufo was so amazing I wanted to figure out how to repeat it at home… it seemed so complicated– but what I realized was with the right ingredients, my tartufo may not look as fancy but it tastes just as good!

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If you have seen my recent post about chocolate covered bananas– this may look similar– but hey!  I can’t get enough of the superfood and super-chocolatey cacao powder!  And why should I– mixing it with nuts adds decadent flavor to every dessert! And if you peeked at Valorie’s recent favorite, Halo Top, you know that it is the perfect gelato alternative for those who are looking for a healthier version…

One of my favorite things about making desserts at home is that it is guilt free!  No, not because I magically remove any sugar, calories or fat… but because I’m allowing myself to be completely aware of what I’m putting in my body; by making smarter choices I feel no shame in treating myself to any dessert!

I first tried to make this dessert last week… but it ended in tragedy.  What I learned was that just using cacao powder was not enough to hold my quick-melting ice cream together!  What I needed was a dark chocolate/ cacao bar to mold around my ice cream more effectively.

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First, I scooped a spoonful of ice cream, then I added a frozen grape.

Why fruit in the middle?  Well, a sweet cherry dipped in whiskey, or just a refreshing frozen grape can add an extra kick and an extraordinary finish.  Just nuzzle the small fruit into the icecream/gelato/frozen yogurt, and cover it with an extra dollop. :)

Then, melt chocolate over boiling water and let it sit in room temperature for at least five minutes.  Then coat the ice cream ball with the chocolate sauce and sprinkle on the cacao powder and almonds for extra flavor and texture!  All that’s left is to freeze it!

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It may not look like much… remember homemade sweets don’t need to look perfect…

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but it is SO MUCH MORE… look at how the gelato just oozes out of it’s center when cut!

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Try it for yourself– simple, delicious and oh-so-Italiano!

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  1. Melanie says:

    Hi, I don’t normally read your blog but I stumbled upon it through Lauren Conrad’s website! I saw this tartufo recipe and, let’s just say, after seeing all of the pictures of mouth-watering yumminess, I think you and I are going to get along very well! New subscriber here! (:

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