“Inforno. 60 Sweet and Savory Delights to Bake in the Oven” is the new cookbook by chef and food blogger Stefano Cavada dedicated to one of his greatest passions – baking.
The book, available Sept. 28th and published by Athesia, represents the evolution of the young chef and food blogger’s cooking. With “My South Tyrolean Cuisine” (2019), Stefano Cavada brought the culinary tradition of South Tyrol cuisine to kitchens throughout Italy and beyond: even abroad, his easy-to-make recipes won the palates of a wide audience. In 2021 it was the turn of “My South Tyrolean Christmas,” a cookbook dedicated to the most magical time of the year, a book from which the essence of tradition and preparation for the most beloved holiday shines through.
Now the talented chef brings his audience “Inforno,” a cookbook entirely dedicated to one of Stefano Cavada’s greatest passions: the oven. Ever since he was a child in the kitchen of Caldaro (BZ), he has been experimenting and observing the delicate magic that transforms sweet and savory doughs into fragrant cookies, fluffy cakes, tantalizing pizzas and crispy sandwiches.
In this third book, while the traditional component linked to typical South Tyrolean cuisine remains, Cavada wanted to enrich his recipes with references to his life experiences in London and Paris.
The recipes in the book are designed specifically to be prepared, as the title suggests, in the oven, a faithful companion appliance to many of his preparations. Gathered in six different chapters-first courses, main courses, breads, cakes, cookies and small delicacies-the recipes are prefaced by a valuable guide with useful tips to put in place to always achieve the perfect bake.
Great attention is also paid to photography. After using the point of view and style of Valentina Solfrini, for his third cookbook, Stefano chose to collaborate with Lucia Iannone and Claudiu Frasiloaia (known on social media as Frollemente).
A Chat with Stefano Cavada
How much of Stefano Cavada is there in this third book of yours and what is different from the other two?
There is so much of Stefano Cavada in this new book. I have always had a great passion for baking recipes, such as cakes, breads and cookies. Probably because the smell coming out of the oven while baking these dishes is so good. Compared to the previous two books there is less focus on South Tyrolean traditions, although some South Tyrolean influences are evident. The biggest difference certainly is in the photographs: there are many more!
The oven is a kind of magical element of cooking, what in particular fascinates you?
The oven is a very valuable tool in the kitchen, it allows you to make everything. By merely using different temperatures and functions, it allows for a wide variety of recipes. However, there are two things that fascinate me most about the oven. The first is being able to directly watch the dishes transform through the door: as soon as you put a loaf of bread in the oven it seems to be there, standing still; go back and look at it after fifteen minutes and it will be completely transformed. The second is the aroma that is released during baking: whether sweet or savory, it always has that good smell of home.
What is your comfort food?
I admit that my quintessential comfort food, especially related to this book, is the baked pasta pasticciata, which, for my personal taste, has to be well browned (so that it has that super crispy crust on the surface). You can’t help but replicate the one with béchamel sauce, prosciutto and peas from “Inforno.”
How important are quality raw ingredients in the success of a dish?
Tremendously! I would say that along with kitchen tools, quality raw ingredients are the most important element in the success of a recipe. For example, to make a good cake or good bread, you have to use very good and top-quality flours and the right kind.
The recipe in this book that you are particularly attached to?
The olive focaccia. It is very easy to make and the crispy texture, the strong, Mediterranean flavor of the olives and the softness of the inside are all elements that make this recipe one of my favorites from “Inforno.”