Rice Fritters from Siena

With carnival season approaching bakery windows are brimming with all sorts of fried pastry in Italy. Each region or even city has their own specialty. Recently visiting Siena I enjoyed a taste of their rice fritters – Frittelle di Riso – in historic Piazza del Campo. A little hut is set up there around this time that turns out freshly fried Frittelle by the minute. Outside a line of people impatiently wait for these delectable crispy treats. A sign outside listed the genuine ingredients. Coming back home I couldn’t help making them myself. I wasn’t disappointed – I think I came pretty close! Of course to fully enjoy them you should really come to the beautiful medieval city of Siena yourself. Continue reading

Healthy Cream Filled Brownie Valentines

These flourless and fat- free Healthy Cream Filled Brownie Valentines come from a Jamie Oliver inspired chocolate beetroot cake recipe. In my version I used steamed beets instead of fresh ones, substituted regular sugar with coconut sugar and I also added chopped walnuts. The batter was baked in a rectangular pan with a lower rim to make heart cutouts easier to form. Ultimately each heart was sandwiched together and topped with whipped cream and raspberries. Continue reading

Apple Pear Miascia

This Apple Pear “Miascia”, a traditional cake from Como could be grouped together with other “frugal” cakes in
Italy such as the “Torta Paesana” of Brianza. These cakes both use day old bread soaked in milk but the “Miascia” has a lighter and fruitier twist in the use of apples and pears instead of cocoa – and walnuts are used here instead of pine nuts. Continue reading

Easy Pumpkin Sticky Buns

These Easy Pumpkin Sticky Buns can be made in a snap if you have that tube of ready-roll croissants on hand. Just unroll, pinch together the triangles and reroll again with the pumpkin filling. Slice and bake on top of the caramel sauce. When baked, flip them over and you have delicious topping on top of everything. Couldn’t be easier than that! Continue reading

Chocolate Wine Bread

This versatile chocolate wine bread has barely a hint of wine that complements the chocolate taste perfectly. In addition the chopped walnuts give this loaf a welcome crunch. These unusual flavours for a bread combine perfectly with the whole wheat and rye flours creating a loaf that goes wonderfully with cheese and also scrumptious toasted and spread with cherry or raspberry jam for breakfast. And all the work is done by your bread machine! Continue reading

Ricotta Pear Bundles

This Ricotta Pear Bundle is an interesting and refreshing way to serve a cheese and pear filled crepe – which by the way is a great combination of flavors. You only have to fill the crepe and gather the edges, then tie it off like a bundle – hence where it gets its name! The delicate pear sauce surrounding it compliments it perfectly. Continue reading

Blueberry Panettone

This Blueberry Panettone is so easy to make with a bread machine. By now there are an infinite variety of panettoni on the market in Italy. This year I opted for a blueberry version which was nowhere to be found so I just went ahead and made one! The kneading and two rises were done by my bread machine after which I pulled out the dough and shaped it into two 1/2 kg. paper panettoni cases and two mini ones and then baked them in my conventional oven. I have to say it wasn’t much harder than making bread. I only had to add the (dried) blueberries and finish off with the last rising before popping them into the oven. This is not the overly sweet store bought panettone that can last weeks in your cupboard. There are no emulsifiers or preservatives here but it’s so wholesomely good that it wouldn’t last long anyway! Continue reading