all the articles tagged as:

baking

Nonna Vera’s Almond Cake and a new cookbook

Introducing my new cookbook, Torta della Nonna ~ Making sweets was my first foray into cooking independently in the kitchen, and as a teenager I could often be found baking my way through my mother’s cookbooks, in particular an American pie cookbook – I have always had a thing for pastry. You will see a bias towards it in this collection too, from southern Italian custard and jam bocconotti to ricotta-filled crostata and Florence’s... Read More

Truffle, artichoke and anchovy (ancient grain, sourdough) pizza

Christmas may be upon us but since 2020 is a very different kind of year and we will be just us, I feel we can do something kind of different for Christmas too. Homemade pizza is something we have always loved making but to make it special I thought I might put truffle on it so we came up with this rather unusual combination — but oh it works so well! We recently moved from Florence to my husband’s hometown, San Miniato, which is half... Read More

Chestnut panforte, a gluten free and vegan treat

This is a slightly untraditional variation on the most traditional recipe I know for panforte — a sweet, dense, spicy medieval cake from Siena. The recipe comes from the bible of Tuscan cooking, Paolo Petroni’s Il Grande Libro della Vera Cucina Toscana and every time I make panforte (since I first posted about it back in 2011) I make some kind of variation on his recipe. To be honest, I usually don’t deviate from it much unless... Read More

Tuscan spice pumpkin bread, a tale of forgotten drugs

I am quite aware that this title sounds a bit ridiculous — because there is no such thing as Tuscan spice pumpkin bread and it sounds like one of those recipes that I see online and abhor, that has nothing at all to do with Tuscany, like “Tuscan salad dressing” (no such thing exists in Tuscany, we just use olive oil and a wine vinegar of choice). But this time Tuscan spice really is a thing and it’s a fascinating thing too,... Read More

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