all the articles tagged as:

baking

Stay at home with these comforting family recipes

What a summer! Post-lockdown Florence is bittersweet, we are wary and careful – masks still on, distances kept, obsessive hand washing and hand sanitizer a prerequisite for entry into any indoor space – the streets and piazze are free of travellers and previously tourist-dependant parts of the city now are left for residents to discover their own city again. It’s great to be able to see friends and family again and even take the... Read More

Edna Lewis’ white pound cake

Between making yolk-rich pasta, the odd carbonara, or whipping up some crema, I always seem to have a few egg whites lying around — I honestly can’t bear to throw them away. I usually freeze the egg whites, hoping to find something useful for them but inevitably they sit there in the freezer, multiplying. My girls love meringues but I’ve found that defrosted egg whites don’t make the best meringues (or pavlova!). If I have... Read More

Why baking a cake is the best therapy

There is something incredibly soothing about baking. If you love cooking and read this blog of mine, I’m sure that you probably feel the same. When times get tough, or you’re simply feeling down or uninspired or, maybe just because it’s raining or you can’t leave the house because you’re in a national lockdown, baking a cake (or perhaps bread) can be the perfect remedy. When Amelie came out and I watched it for the first... Read More

Ricotta al forno, a simple baked ricotta cake

I’ve been craving a really good baked ricotta cheesecake lately, but after having a disappointingly bouncy and ‘squeaky’ one recently, I was feeling a bit picky about it. I wanted it above all to be simple — no water baths, or covering your cake tin in foil, and not even a crust, none of this having to crush biscuits with a rolling pin and press the crumbs into a tin! I just wanted a creamy, lemony, fluffy cheesecake that... Read More

Sicilian chocolate, almond and lemon torta

In Carol Field’s In Nonna’s Kitchen, this delicious dessert is called a Torta ripiena di mandorle e cioccolato, in other words, an almond and chocolate tart. Or perhaps you could more literally translate it as a tart filled with almonds and chocolate. Field found this recipe in the handwritten journal of Giovanna Passannanti, a Sicilian woman who was in her eighties when the book was published in 1997. Aside from the almonds and chocolate, it... Read More

Why our favourite pizza dough is Roman

My husband Marco has been on the search for his perfect pizza dough. He has long been the one in our family who loves making and experimenting with dough (like with this recipe for Bonci’s focaccia pugliese). You see, he loves pizza and bread and it’s no exaggeration to say he could happily live off them alone if it weren’t for the slightly negative reaction he gets when he eats it, thanks to a wheat intolerance. He has been managing... Read More

Budino di Riso (Baked rice pudding) from Tortellini at Midnight

This isn’t a pretty dessert, let’s face it. But then so many treats that you could label comforting aren’t usually, are they? And I would put this in the same category as bread and butter pudding, rice or semolina pudding, even french toast or pancakes. It’s simply good, rather wholesome, definitely rustic and absolutely homely. An oldie (literally; it comes from Pellegrino Artusi’s classic cookbook from 1891) but a... Read More

An Acquacotta-inspired Christmas

Some of my favourite ingredients from the Maremma, in southern Tuscany, are also those flavours that I love at Christmas — I’m talking about chestnuts, dried figs, nuts and chocolate, and game like guinea fowl. They are ingredients that make this season’s table feel special yet not over the top. I’d rather be comforted by a Christmas meal than overwhelmed by one and these dishes, for me, do just that. These recipes are essentially... Read More

Easter Adventures in Tuscany and tackling Carol Field’s Colomba

Surely the best thing about colomba, the Easter equivalent to panettone, is the sugared, toasted almond topping that covers the whole thing and crumbles when you cut it, so you sort of have no choice but just to pick up the crusty sugary bits and eat those on their own. I’d always thought that colomba would make a very good baking project but was somewhat intimated by getting the right shape  — it’s vaguely in the shape of a dove,... Read More

Crostata di Susine Selvatiche (Wild Plum Tart)

This is not a very practical recipe unless you chance upon a basket of wild plums at your local farmgate, like I did, while picking out some enormous, gnarled tomatoes, sunny zucchini flowers and purple and white eggplants the size of my fist. Or, even better, find yourself a wild plum tree that no one else (birds and bugs included) has noticed. In years of scouring farmers markets, I have never once come across wild plums, even though they are well-used... Read More