nostalgic baking: mum’s Sourcream & Spice cake

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Another of mum's cakes from the original recipe folder, that Emma and I are delighting in as we leaf through looking for things to cook during this second lockdown.  Mum didn't bake this cake often, perhaps because my father isn't big on spiced…

Broccoli, parmigiano & lemon cake

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A bit like in the case of a carrot cake, the broccoli in this cake doesn't necessarily add flavour (the parmigiano and lemon do the heavy lifting) but it does add vegetable substance in the place of extra carbs. And even though some of the nutrients…

lockdown recipes: chocolate, oat & hazelnut biscuits

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Thursday 19 March 2020.  Schools in Rome have been closed since the 6th, and we have been on official and increasingly stringent lockdown since Monday the 9th. How is it?  Relaxing?  Challenging?  All of the above.  Nothing to do but…

nostalgic baking: walnut crescents

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In Italy nuts are known as Frutta Secca, which to me sounds a bit strange because it translates as dried fruit, which for us English speakers is more sultanas, prunes, dried apricots and the like.  But when you think about it, the things…

anglo-australian classics: sausage rolls, with rough puff pastry

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Rough Puff, also known as (quick) all butter puff pastry   Real puff pastry is a laborious process that involves much folding and refrigerating to produce that - oh so wonderful - effect of buttery layers. A puff pastry is best used for open…

mother’s love: anzac biscuits

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A couple of days ago a gentleman asked me whether I was British.  I replied 'No, I am Australian'.  He suggested that this was the same; making me essentially British.  I repeated that I was Australian, and that did not make me British. 2015…

rustic Italian baking: with brisée pastry

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The meeting spot is Villa Pamphilli, behind the swings and umbrella pines where the the ground slopes down towards the wild bit. It is a picnic, so everyone will bring something to eat and at least one rug.  The children will take their shoes…

festive baking: la Crostata Stellata

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I developed this recipe for what I am calling a Crostata Stellata, for a Ci Piace Cucinare Christmas menu. It all started after our summer trip to Abruzzo, when I started researching traditional sweets for a Lunch in Abruzzo story.…

rustic Italian baking: with shortcrust pastry

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Originally I had lumped all my Torte Rustiche collection together in one post, but I have since broken them down according to pastry type. For brisée pastry click here: For olive oil pastry click here: For puff (and rough puff) click here. Shortcrust…

anglo-australian classics: meat pies

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When you go to a football game in the southern part of Australia, where we follow Australian Rules Football, a home grown style of footy first played in Melbourne in the 1800's, the standard stadium food is a meat pie, with sauce, otherwise…

anglo-australian classics: scones with jam and cream

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For better or for worse, Australia occupies a sort of novelty position in the eyes of many Italians.  Newspapers run spots about killer sharks and koalas on the loose, and us auw-stra-yalini get lots of questions like how long does the flight…

rustic Italian baking: focaccia

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Roughly three years ago Rachel Roddy, Carla Tomasi and I sat in Carla's kitchen with mugs of tea, looking out onto Carla's blooming kitchen garden and chatting about how Market to Table would become our chance to cook together with curious travelers…