Spiced Honey Roast Figs with Amaretti Mascarpone

Roasted Figs with Amaretti MascarponeAs a little girl, a white wedding isn’t something I thought about that much. Other than the few obligatory years of being anti-boys, I was pretty sure I wanted to get married – to have the happiness my parents had and create and brand new family of my own – but I hadn’t dreamed of the venue, the dress and every detail of the big day in the way so many small girls do.

I didn’t really dream about the man I’d marry either. Of course I hoped for someone good looking and funny, caring and all the attributes that almost everyone wants, but there wasn’t a specific agenda, criteria to meet or checklists made. I suppose I wanted to see what would happen, where life would take me and what the future might hold. Continue reading

Honey Almond Cake with Spiced Strawberry Sauce

Strawberries

Summer and strawberries go hand in hand. Wimbledon, barbecues and, being a summer baby, birthdays are all synonymous with a strawberry or two in my mind, the season kick starting with that first sweet burst at the end of May.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but memories of my childhood summers are dappled in sunshine, garden grass scorched by the sun as we took turns spraying each other with the hosepipe and praying that it wouldn’t be banned. As an adult, the Great British Summer seems a little wetter, certainly colder, the sky hung with clouds and even edible sunshine kept at bay with our strawberry season delayed by several weeks. Continue reading

Green Tea, Honey & Pistachio Financiers

Green Tea, Honey & Pistacio Financiers

Sweet, soft & full of interesting flavours

‘Every time I’m forced to watch [my friends] eat egg whites, I feel bad for them. In the first place, egg-white omelettes are tasteless. In the second place, the people who eat them think they are doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed’.

My attitude to egg white-only omelettes is pretty much in line with the Nora Ephron quote above. After a major custard or ice cream making spree, I’ve occasionally attempted to scale the mountain of leftover albumen by making an anaemic omelette, but I’m almost always disappointed by the odd consistency and insipid flavour which result. Continue reading

Chunky Homemade Granola

Homemade granola

Chunky homemade granola

Happy Valentine’s Day!

All around the world, in every corner of the internet, people are posting or googling recipes for things like chocolate fondants and profiteroles, planning in what they will eat with their other half this evening and exactly what it is that constitutes the ultimate romantic dessert.

So today I’m bringing you breakfast in the form of my favourite chunky granola . . . Continue reading

Honeyed Pistachio Ice Cream

honey ice cream

Salty, sweet, smooth, crunchy & chewy – the ultimate ice cream experience

‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

I’m the kind of person who thrives on anticipation. I love nothing more than planning in a project at work, booking in my next holiday or organizing an event (don’t even get me started on the wedding . . .). But sometimes I look forward to the future with such a sense of excitement – whether it’s a weekend of activities or simply what I’m going to have for lunch that day – that I need to take a step back, to remind myself to live in the present and enjoy each moment as it comes. Continue reading

Caramelized Apple, Cinnamon & Pecan Tartlets

apple_tart

Flaky pastry, caramelized apple & crunchy nuts create the perfect contrast of textures

Remember the fairy tale of the princess and the pea? This story starts a little like that.
Since before I can remember (when I was just the littlest suggestion of a loaf inside my mother’s stomach, in fact) I’ve spent my summers at my parents’ house in Italy. High up in the mountains just before the border between Tuscany and Umbria, it’s one of the most beautiful, relaxing places I know. Due – in no small part – to the fact that it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading