Caramelised Rice Pudding Pots from Homemade Memories 

One of my favourite food stories ever is the one of Proust’s Madeleines. It’s a story that I think resonates with so many people because there is something about revisiting the perfume or a bite of a special, sweet treat that you had a child, when you are an adult. Something magical. Like the narrator in Proust’s Swann’s Way, a madeleine dipped in tea immediately produced a flood of memories that eventually filled seven volumes:... Read More

Five Quarters & pine nut, rosemary, sea salt brittle

It took me a car ride from Porto Ercole to Florence – about 2 ½ hours – while I had a napping toddler behind me, to read Rachel’s new cookbook, Five Quarters. I don’t normally read cookbooks from front to back, I usually flip through them first, letting the pictures or recipe titles jump out at me — ooh that looks good! Or even flipping to the index to look up recipes with a particular ingredient, something that I either have... Read More

Renaissance elderflower fritters

I have to admit that when I first thought I’d like to try this recipe, I didn’t even know what elderflowers looked like. I had to google them and then once I had and I saw the cluster of tiny white flowers, spread out in that distinct, flat, oval shape, I couldn’t stop noticing them absolutely everywhere. In spring, they are prolific around Tuscany and pop up anywhere where you find green. I even found them in town, growing around... Read More

Ada Boni’s eggless, butterless chocolate cake

I’m always looking for interesting recipes in old cookbooks, things that are perhaps a bit forgotten and old fashioned or even a bit quirky. Even the classic things that haven’t changed for decades or centuries interest me for the fact that they don’t change. It’s something of a passion of mine and I’ve managed to make it the theme of my new column for Cucina Corriere, the food blog of Italian newspaper, Corriere della... Read More

Making food memories with sweet pizza

I have to admit, I was late in the game with discovering Ruth Reichl’s work. In fact, I hadn’t really known much about her until she came to Australia last year for the Melbourne Writers’ Festival to talk about her novel Delicious! But then I was serendipitously sent a wonderful book, the Italian translation of Reichl’s memoir, Tender at the Bone (La parte piu’ tenera in Italian). It’s the first of a series of... Read More

Crema Inglese

I found myself recently with an overload of eggs. We use eggs a lot in our household. Between my two-year-old’s favourite breakfast (soft boiled egg with toast fingers) and the amount of cake baking I tend to do, we go through a lot. That was one of the many reasons I wanted to get a couple of chickens for the backyard, but around the time our two black, fluffy Cochins both became broody and suddenly stopped laying, I serendipitously met the... Read More

Four ingredient (gluten & dairy-free) birthday cake

When I say that this cake only needs four ingredients I mean the frosting too. And what’s more, it’s completely gluten free and dairy free. It’s easy to make and light as a feather. In short, it’s a pretty magical cake that makes you realise you can do so much with just eggs, sugar and corn starch (the fourth ingredient is a 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar, which you could even leave out if you were very, very confident about... Read More

Cinnamon christmas cookies

Every year when Christmas rolls around I try and make some sort of handmade gift to give out to people. One year I went mad making spiced jams and herb salts. Biscotti and other cookies always go down well. Last year I tried my hand at Sardinian nougat, one of my favourite handmade gifts to date. There’s something about a handmade, home made, edible gift. You can give them to many people, they don’t cost the earth yet they’re made... Read More

The trouble with writing recipes & walnut and lemon buttercream cake

There’s nothing more disappointing than finding out that a recipe you’ve posted hasn’t worked out for someone. Worse if multiple people have had the same problem. Luckily in this case, it’s not my recipe, but it is a recipe that I’ve written about for my Food52 column, Regional Italian Food. It’s for a torta di noci, a traditional walnut cake from Calabria in southern Italy. I was drawn to it because of it’s... Read More

Swiss roll with Alkermes mascarpone cream and pistachios

It’s done. The manuscript is in. It’s been a whirlwind three or more months, where every spare minute of my day (when not devoting it to a toddler), every day and every evening, was consumed in the pages of my notebook, either scribbling recipes, testing, recording or researching them. It’s been quite an eyeopening experience and one that was made even more challenging with a little one around. Now I feel like I can finally breathe.... Read More