Crostata di frutta with crema pasticcera

Crostata

Crostata with Fresh Cream and Custard
Many birthdays and cakes have passed amongst my Masters class, and I am slowly getting around to posting them. This birthday bake was for Andrea, my Italian classmate from Turin. He requested this creation, apparently a favourite Italian summertime dessert. Having never made it before I was a little apprehensive. And although it looked and tasted amazing, serving it to 25 classmates was a disaster. The gooey custard cream filling runs away as soon as you attempt to slice it. Perhaps better made as individual tarts or just eaten with 25 spoons. Continue reading

When in LA

There was something about LA that immediately had me seeking out a green smoothie, massaging kale and reaching for a coconut water. Amongst all the concrete, SUV’s and Hollywood glitz, these self conscious Californian’s know what’s good for them. I was surrounded by tasty salads, abundant seafood, hipster coffee and sleek restaurants. And I’m not going to lie, I also managed to exceeded my body weight in freaking good Mexican.

TheIvy

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Olive oil, rosemary and chocolate cake

Some habits never die. I have always loved birthdays, not only my own which I ensure is a month long festival each year, but I love celebrating others. And I firmly believe that every birthday deserves cake. So began the self nominated tradition of me baking for family, friends, and work colleagues every time a birthday came around.

Now that I am back at University it would seem I have brought this honor with me to Italy. Only this time I have 25 birthdays to cater for! With five already down I thought I better start posting my birthday bakes, I might be struggling to come up with something original by the 25th. Continue reading

A Gluttonous 2013, the best bits

Happy New Year! Looking back on 2013 it wouldn’t be unfair to say I did nothing but eat. It was indeed a year rich in food experiences and one which culminated in me taking the ultimate leap of faith to pursue the language of food full time in Italy. The food frolics and indulgences I have experienced over the past year have been amazing and continue to inspire my passion for the world of gastronomy. Continue reading

Osteria Francescana, Modena

A coveted three Michelin Star rating; number three in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the highest ranking Italian restaurant for the past 5 years; 2012’s ‘International Chef of the Year’ by The Daily Meal, Osteria Francescana is kicking culinary goals. It wasn’t my only motivation for moving to Italy, but it was right up there.

In just my first month living in Northern Italy I made the train journey to the medieval town of Modena, situated in the culturally rich region of Emilia-Romagna. Home of Ferrari, balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano, proscuitto and Lambrusco. And home of Massimo Bottura. Continue reading

One week into Italian life


Bra

I am one week into my new Italian adventure. And of course it is nothing less than bellissimo! I am living in Northern Italy in a little town called Bra, yes let’s get all the giggles and jokes out of the way early on. No the town does not have two large mountains, yes it does have a disproportionate number of lingerie shops, I considered going bra-less for the whole 12 months but that would just be silly. Continue reading

Salted caramel chocolate cookies

Cookies

Last Friday was my last day in the office of my real job in London. I am now posting this from Italy where I am about to embark on the gastronomical adventure of a life time. When I read my oversized farewell card from my London colleagues it became quite evident that they won’t remember me for my tireless dedication to my job, they are instead mourning the loss of my baked goods. And I guess that reflects well on my decision to take a year out to complete a Masters in food culture and communication.

And so on my last day at work I baked the killer of all cookies just to ensure that they really will remember and miss me. These cookies are the ultimate. I really did make them weep. Continue reading