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Gourmet Pastas and Sauces on-line

behind the scenes
who is uncle phaederus?

by Alice Ann Pazzaglia
(more recipes)

Many people write to me seeking recipes. Some of these recipes are extremely difficult to find. I have a secret friend who finds the difficult ones for me. His name is Phaedrus and he is the Web Detective. He can find anything on any subject for you but he will not reveal is own true identity.

"I do prefer to remain simply 'Phaedrus' or 'Uncle Phaedrus' to readers. The character was created to be a 'mysterious seeker after truth.' " he says. He also told me he enjoys Italian pasta and Chinese food.

Phaedrus not only finds recipes for me but he also makes genial deductions about their origin and sometimes finds Italian recipes outside of Italy!

Not long ago I had a request for a recipe from a reader who said her grandmother made a fantastic dessert called "Dolce Antico". I did some searching but came up with nothing. The name is too generic so I wrote to Phaedrus. This is what he came up with:

"Dolce antico consists of an outer shell of dough surrounding swirls loaded with walnuts, raisins, orange rind and honey. It's made with all natural grains, fruits and nuts, according to a secret recipe that's been guarded since medieval times by a single Italian family.

There are no recipes available for this dessert.

However, Phaedrus has determined that this Concoction is the same as "Yugoslavian Holiday Potica", for which there is a recipe :
Yugoslavian Holiday Potica
1 cake yeast
1 1/4 c. scalded milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
6 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Grated orange rindFilling:
1 c. honey
1 lb. ground walnuts
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 c. sweet cream
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 stiffly beaten egg whites
2/3 c. raisins

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm milk. Cream sugar and butter; add egg yolks and mix well. Add flour and salt alternately with one cup lukewarm milk. Beat until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, vanilla and orange rind. Beat until smooth and dough is not sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Roll out on a floured cloth; brush with melted butter. Heat honey, add nuts, butter, sweet cream, and mix until butter is melted. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and egg whites. Spread filling over dough and roll tightly with hands. Place in a large baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until nicely browned.

You can find Uncle Phaedrus at his website


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