Category Archives: Sweets

Brutti ma Buoni — ‘ugly but good’ cookies (or, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose)

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Four ingredients and ten minutes later, you’ve got cookies!

One thing that has become apparent in lockdown, especially now that the Twins are doing their schoolwork at home, is that everyone needs a computer nowadays. It’s surprising how much I use mine when I think I’m actually doing something else, like cooking, or gardening, or even just reading; I need to look things up, or write things down, constantly, obviously. After forcing our children to basically live the life of Luddites (no phones until you’re 12 years old, no electronic games until you buy them yourselves, very little TV, and definitely no computers when you don’t need them for school, which up until now they didn’t), we are now seeing the following: Continue reading

Easiest Cookies Ever (Peanut Butter or Tahini)

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Gluten-free, dairy-free, a doddle to make, and still delicious!

This past weekend, Anna and I ran a pop-up café at the Crux Craft Fair, which is a brilliantly run annual fair promoting great quality handmade crafts. Do I have any pictures of it to show you? No. We were so busy cooking that it wasn’t until 4:00 on Sunday (an hour before the entire shebang ended) that Anna and I were able to get out of the kitchen to see everything on display.

This is the fourth year we have run the café at the fair, so we knew this would be pretty much how it went. What we didn’t know was that, despite Continue reading

Date, Peanut & Chocolate Bonbons

chocolate, dates and peanut butter - better than a Snickers bar!

This morning, The Poppet asked if she could have one of these date, peanut butter & chocolate bonbons after breakfast.

“Of course!’ I said. “They’re healthy!”

The Author looked at us and said to The Poppet, in all seriousness, “Do you know how lucky you are to have a mother who believes that chocolate is a health food?”

And he’s right, I do.

I suppose it comes as no surprise, given my upbringing, that I can see the health benefits to almost any food, and chocolate is certainly no exception. To make things even better, Continue reading

Frutta Candita (Sicilian citrus peel candy)

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First off, promise me that if you live near me, and your kids are in the twins’ class at school, you won’t make these for a teacher’s gift at Christmas, although I wouldn’t blame you if you did. This is a true something out of nothing dish, a stone soup of candy, if you will, and it is the perfect budget present, one that definitely does not announce that we are living in times of austerity, and one that can accommodate anyone’s Christmas budget. So I’m bagsy-ing it for a teacher’s Christmas gift.

Now that we’ve settled that, perhaps we can talk about why I appear to have a penchant for making things, particularly orange things, in a ball shape. I blame it on Giorgio Locatelli. Every time I dip into Made in Sicily, I find he has a recipe for something that looks utterly mouthwatering and is inevitably round. I have to confess that I find it a very fun shape, and one that can turn any food into something better. Think of meatballs – just meatloaf in a spherical shape. Truffles – ganache in a pleasing mouthful. And now these – old peel that you were going to throw away, turned into a little delight.

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Continue reading

Sweet Rice Croquettes with Orange Honey

A taste of sunshine!For the record: I cannot stop eating these.

This morning, when I woke up to the blustery, rainy and grey weather, I decided to stay in bed a little longer. Then I realised that the clocks got turned ahead last night, to British Summer Time, so in fact it was an hour later than I thought. But the kids were still asleep, the cat was purring, and the Author was gently snoring beside me: so I was staying in bed. Then I let my mind wander, and I remembered these delicious little creamy balls of rice that had been soaking in honey-orange syrup all night. That got me up straightaway.

I admit it. I am hooked. Continue reading