Pistachio & Lemon (Little) Loaf Cakes

little loaf cake

The dense, damp, syrupy crumb makes this cake utterly irresistible

This might just be one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten.

Those of you who read this blog on regular basis will know that this is not a comment to be taken lightly. I love cake. I eat it a lot. I live and breathe baking.  On our recent holiday in Italy in a round of Articulate the clue ‘Kate loves this’ resulted in an immediate and resounding chorus of ‘cake’, and change one letter in my name and I’d practically be named after the stuff. Cake is very important to me.

Pretty much every year I make my own birthday cake. Before you start feeling sorry for me, it’s absolutely out of choice. I love doing it; the magic of mixing together ingredients, transforming flour, butter and sugar into something that looks and tastes delicious, experimenting in the kitchen, sharing my birthday joy with friends and family and condensing it into a single slice.

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Bruschetta

the original garlic bread

Charred slices of toasted Tuscan bread rubbed with garlic & drizzled in oil

When I was fifteen I had a Saturday job in the local chemist. Situated on a sleepy suburban high street it was pretty easy work, and allowed me to spend the whole day with one of my best friends from school who worked the same shift as me. It also happened to be opposite a well-known recording studio, meaning that our otherwise fairly mundane days were often punctuated by the excitement of seeing a celebrity come in to buy cotton buds, shampoo or other more intriguing (read embarrassing) items. Continue reading

Tiramisu with Vin Santo

tiramisu with vin santo

Rich, creamy & laced with chocolate & vin santo: the ultimate Italian pudding

If you’ve never eaten a seriously good tiramisu, you’ve not really lived.

Unfortunately if you’ve eaten a seriously bad one, you’re not alone.

Despite, or perhaps because of, its reputation for being delicious, Italian food is something that continually suffers from major misrepresentation around the world. But rather than focusing on flabby pizza or pre-shaved parmesan – don’t get me started on savoury, I could rant all day – I’m turning my attention today to all things sweet (surprise, surprise). Continue reading

White Peach Bellini (and a Proposal)

italy view

The Tuscan mountainside

I have some news.

Not this Friday gone but the one before, I wrote about our imminent trip to Italy. I posted a picture of one of my favourite views in the world. And I talked about how, while I enjoy new experiences and adventures, there’s something wonderfully comforting about the familiar, returning to somewhere you know and love and going through the tried and tested motions of experiences you’ve lived a thousand times before.

What I failed to mention, or realize at the time, is that it’s perfectly possible to combine the two. Continue reading

A Trip to Tuscany

Tuscan mountains

The view from our bedroom window in Tuscany

If you saw my previous post, you’ll know I’m off to Italy this week. First stop, the seaside in Le Marche, then up to the Tuscan hills where, when I wake each morning, I’ll be confronted with this view.

I can’t take credit for the photo above – my Dad took it early one morning last year, mist still drifting through mountains bathed in a hazy, lazy light – but I hope to capture many more, (alongside a ton of food photos), to share with you when I’m back. Continue reading