Cornmeal cornbread, a loaf that tastes like polenta

Cornmeal cornbread is a fantastic complement to a hearty meal. Traditionally served for Thanksgiving, I find it incredibly suited year round. Entirely gluten free, it is an excellent option for gluten intolerant guests. I baked my first loaf last year precisely because it is gluten free! I had ran out of gluten-free flour and needed to cater to people with gluten intolerance. There was almond meal at home, but any type of nuts was banned from the workplace so that was not an option. My last card was cornmeal. So I figured that a nice loaf of cornbread was better than nothing. Continue reading

Apple cinnamon mini shortcrust pies

Apple cinnamon mini pies

Apple cinnamon pie rhymes with comfort food (no, it doesn’t). But seriously, this might be the most basic pie, yet to so many people it brings back childhood memories. A warm apple pie that fills the room with its flavour. Add the warming hint of cinnamon and you reach sensory heaven. What’s more? The butter, of course. A proper buttery and flaky pastry that, when warm, releases its butter scent. Apple, cinnamon, butter. Warm. Want some more? A side of sweetened whipped cream. BAM! Continue reading

Tiramisu in a glass

Tiramisu in a glass

My friends know that I like all kinds of foods and that I am not the typical Italian that only cooks Italian food at home. I actually love so many foods from various culinary traditions and I’m always happy to experiment. Yet, I must admit that sometimes I like to show off some classics of the Italian cuisine, and this applies in particular when I have people over for dinner. In a way they expect it, and I don’t blame them. Being served real Italian food at home is a luxury, when Italian food abroad is always fancy restaurant material. How does tiramisù for dessert sound? Continue reading

Dark chocolate cake with coconut cream

Sweet coconut cream layers of filling in between layers of dark chocolate cake. The cake is entirely covered in coconut flakes, for an extra coconut flavour. In order to ensure also a deep chocolate flavour to it, I made the sponge with melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder. This way, the flavours of chocolate and coconut were both the stars. This is the cake I made myself for my birthday this year. Continue reading

Green pea and ricotta soup

Green pea and ricotta soup recipe

The inspiration to make pea soup with ricotta came from the Ikea catalogue. I know, right? I love the Ikea catalogue, it always has those beautiful photos of homes that are filled with stuff yet never look messy. I don’t know how they do it, I also have the house filled with cute stuff, but I seem to never achieve the same level of balance between the objects and the ambience. But that doesn’t matter. One of these beautiful bowls in a beautiful kitchen featured ricotta and pea soup. Continue reading

Nutella panna cotta with hazelnuts

Nutella panna cotta recipe

Panna cotta is a recipe that comes from Piedmont, and so does Nutella. Combining the two should have been the most logical thing to do, yet for some reason I had never come across Nutella panna cotta until a couple of months ago. When I visited home in August my parents took me out for lunch to a restaurant that makes authentic traditional cucina piemontese and Nutella panna cotta was my dessert of choice among those they had. What a delightful experience.

Continue reading

Asparagus pistachio risotto

Asparagus pistachio risotto

I recently had some friends over for dinner and decided to treat them to risotto. Pasta and pizza, especially when home-made by an authentic Italian cook, are always a good option, and no guest will ever frown at this choice of menu. But there’s so much more to Italian cooking than pizza and pasta. Rice is, in fact, a very popular food in the north, together with polenta (cornmeal). Coming from northern Italy myself, I consider risotto one of the finest expressions of northern Italian cuisine. Continue reading

Mini tarts with mushrooms and parmigiano

Mini mushroom pies recipe

I’ve been an advocate of shortcrust vegetable pies for years. I started making them when I didn’t even have a tart pan but was using a springform pan, instead. It works, and it can look pretty, too. Then I started going smaller and made them finger-food-sized baked in the muffin tin. Also something to be proud of. Until I finally got myself a proper tart pan and started producing the real deal. My favourite? Definitely the mushroom tart.

Continue reading

Szarlotka, the Polish apple juice and vodka cocktail

Szarlotka is the name of Polish apple pie. There is another item in Polish cuisine that goes by the same name and that features two of the same ingredients – apples and cinnamon. The third igredient is Żubrówka, probably the most famous Polish vodka out there, the one with a leaf of bison grass in the bottle. When szarlotka doesn’t refer to a pie, it is a drink, Poland’s favourite way of drinking Żubrówka when used as a cocktail ingredient and not enjoyed alone.

Continue reading

Easy sponge cake recipe

The easiest recipe to nail a fluffy sponge cake.

Remember the baking powder I brought back as a souvenir from Iceland (if you don’t, you can read about it here)? Well that tin can is just too beautiful to sit in my cupboard, unnoticed by the world. But I can’t just use baking powder as a random prop for any photo shoot, right? Well, it (finally) dawned on me that I had never featured a sponge cake recipe on this blog yet. How was that even possible?  Continue reading