A recipe by Massimo Bottura, taken from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Sour cherry sorbet:

500 g stoned (pitted) sour cherries

50 g icing (confectioners’) sugar

50 g glucose

juice of 1 lemon

Mix together the sour cherries, sugar, glucose and lemon juice. Leave to marinate overnight in a cool place. Blend at high speed and pass through a fine sieve. Freeze in a Pacojet container and process just before serving.

Salted chocolate cookie:

50 g butter

50 g sugar

35 g ground almonds (almond meal)

35 g ‘00’ flour

15 g cocoa powder

2 g sea salt

Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer for 5 minutes at medium speed. Transfer the dough to a lipped baking sheet (gastronorm 1/1) lined with baking parchment – it should be 2 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 8 minutes. Let cool, then crumble it. Keep cool.

Bitter chocolate frozen air:

1 egg yolk

100 g extra-bitter chocolate

crema (foam) from 3 espressos

Combine 20 g water with the yolk at room temperature. Whip it in a stand mixer at top speed until foamy. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie to 32°C (90°F) – check the temperature with a thermometer – and add the coffee crema. Pour into a cold container and freeze quickly in a blast chiller. Once frozen, break into blocks like pieces of a broken column. 

Saba-flavoured sour cherry jam:

250 g cherries

50 g sugar

6 g lemon juice

20 g saba

Wash and stone (pit) the cherries, then put them in a bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir gently. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and let marinate overnight in a cool place. Strain the cherries, reserving the juice. Put the cherries in a pan and cook them over low heat for 40 minutes. Strain, reserve the juice, add to the reserved juice and reduce by one third over low heat – about 30 minutes. Stir in the saba. Pour the cherries and warm juice into glass jars and seal them tightly. Chill and store them like jam.

Chocolate Torta Barozzi brownies:

50 g 70% chocolate

50 g butter

30 g egg yolk

30 g sugar

30 g egg white

20 g ‘00’ flour

Melt chocolate and butter in a bain-marie, stirring to emulsify them. Whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar. Stir the melted chocolate into the yolks. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until firm. Gently add the egg whites to the chocolate, then carefully add the flour. Grease a lipped baking sheet or gastronorm 1/1 with butter and pour in the brownie batter. Bake for 25 minutes at 180°C (350°F). Remove and let cool.

Chocolate sauce:

40 g sugar

20 g cocoa powder, unsweetened

3 g potato starch

Mix the sugar, cocoa and potato starch, add 100 g water, stir well and bring to a boil. Once thickened, let the sauce rest and blend with a hand-held blender. Cool the sauce and blend again. Keep it cold.

Crunchy cocoa sheet:

30 g sugar

15 g glucose

15 g cocoa powder

5 g Tierra coffee powder

Mix all the ingredients with 30 g water, put them in a thermal mixer and heat to 90°C (194°F) at top speed. Keep it at this temperature for 3 minutes. Let rest for 12 hours in the fridge, covered, in a stainless-steel container. Roll it out on a silicone baking mat to 2 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Bake for 4 minutes at 165°C (330°F).

To serve:

Brush the plate with chocolate sauce. From left to right, place a quenelle of sorbet on top a mound of cookie crumbs. Insert a shard of crunchy cocoa sheet into the sorbet so that it sticks out in an abstract shape. Next to the sorbet, place a block of bitter chocolate frozen air. Next, place 3 layers of warm, molten brownie with sour cherry jam between the layers, with the top layer falling down the sides.



Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number three place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.