Risgrynsgröt, the Christmas rice porridge

Risgrynsgröt is a rice pudding traditionally served for Christmas in Sweden.

It took me a few attempts to memorize and consequently correctly pronounce risgrynsgröt. It’s a compound word that, translated literally, means “rice grain porridge”. That’s pretty much what it is, as risgrynsgröt is a rice porridge. Lightly sweetened and always dusted with cinnamon powder, risgrynsgröt is a Christmas food traditionally served in Sweden. Sometimes it may feature an almond, but I’ll explain the almond part later. Continue reading

Gingerbread cheesecake

Ah, gingerbread! It’s not something I’ve always associated with Christmas but now I can’t think of Christmas without pepparkakor anymore. There is no Advent without the smell of spices coming from my kitchen at least once. This year I decided to try my hand at gingerbread cheesecake. No-bake cheesecake, in fact, but don’t let the fact that no baking was involved make you think the house did not smell like gingerbread. This gingerbread cheesecake is flavoured with the same spices I use in pepparkakor: cinnamon, ginger and cloves, and it features a speculoos biscuit base.

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Saffron panna cotta

Saffron panna cotta

Saffron panna cotta is my way to honour Italy and Sweden this Advent season. On one side we have panna cotta representing Italy, and in particular my home region: Piemonte. On the other side we have saffron, one of the key flavours of the Swedish Christmas. Italy is a producer of one of the finest saffron qualities in the world, yet we mostly use it in savoury dishes. (Namely, risotto alla milanese.) In Sweden saffron goes mostly into sweet foods, in particular during the Christmas season.

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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

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.

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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

Walnut cupcakes with honey mascarpone frosting

Walnut cupcakes with honey mascarpone frosting

Although in most of this emisphere it is still summer, in Sweden it definitely feels like fall already. There are some flavours that are just perfect for this time of the year, when you still don’t want to let go of the refreshing taste of summer and you’re not ready yet for winter spices. September is the time for full-bodied flavours that can still work very well also in the background. Think walnuts and honey. Continue reading

Raspberry custard tarts

Home-made custard tarts decorated with freshly picked raspberries

No blueberries this year. What a big disappointment. Last year when my parents visited at the beginning of August, they went out blueberry picking every day and filled my freezer with endless supplies. Flash forward to one year later and the bushes are all empty. No harvest time for my parents. Except for one time, when they came back from their afternoon walks in the neighbourhood with some raspberries. Continue reading