italian breakfast cake

Italians love a small sweet biscuit or a small piece of cake with their coffee in the morning. This cake is light and lemony and is made with olive oil and lots of eggs. You could eat it anytime of day and it would be delicious with berries and a dollop of crème fraîche too. I reduced the sugar a bit as I don’t like my cakes too sweet but you can add more if you prefer. I think it’s sweet enough.

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vanilla pannacotta

This dairy free recipe for pannacotta is really silky and creamy and it has the delicious flavours of lemon zest and bourbon vanilla. It’s easier to make than you think and you can make it the day before and store it in the fridge till you want to serve it. Perfect as a refreshing light pudding at the end of a heavy meal. You can serve it on its own with my cranberry sauce or with fresh berries or whatever you fancy.

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pistachio amaretti

These Italian amaretti biscuits are traditionally very crunchy on the outside and chewy and a bit marzipany in the middle. They are really easy to make and are gluten and dairy free. I love adore pistachios and I serve them with coffee at the end of a meal instead of making a dessert, or after dessert. They are dense and rich and you only need a couple. Perfect at Christmas and you can give them as gifts in little bags tied with a ribbon.

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mince pie cake

A dairy free alternative to a traditional Christmas Cake which can be made last minute, just make the mincemeat the day before as it needs to marinate and ruminate for 24 hours before you use it. You can use a jar of shop bought mincemeat if you want to save time, the cake is full of spices a bit of brandy and all the Christmassy flavours and is perfect if you are a mince pie fan, but fancy a lighter cake version and it’s perfect with dairy free vanilla ice cream.

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pistachio and chocolate meringues

These are my version of the traditional biscuits called “Brutti-ma-Buoni” in Italian… they are light, chewy, crispy and melt in the mouth and a bit macaron like and the chocolate and nuts magically end up in the centre. They are also gluten and dairy free. Pistachio and chocolate are a fantastic combination and they are perfect with a coffee at the end of a meal and they are super easy to make. I think they make fantastic home made gifts wrapped in cellophane with a ribbon. Perfect at Christmas or anytime.

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Italian hazelnut and chocolate meringues

These traditional biscuits are famous for not being the best looking biscuit in the world but probably one of the most delicious. Called “brutti-ma-buoni” in Italian, they are a delicious combination of a cross between a meringue and a Ferrero Rocher and they are crispy and melt in the mouth and a bit macaron like… they are also gluten and dairy free. Hazelnuts and chocolate are a fantastic combination of flavours and textures and I added a little vanilla to mine. They are perfect with a coffee at the end of a meal and they are super easy to make. I think they make fantastic home made gifts wrapped in cellophane with a ribbon. Perfect at Christmas.

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pavlova ice cream pudding

This pudding can be assembled in 5 minutes max, so zero stress.  I’ve never met anybody who didn’t think it was really amazing. It has that great combo of creamy and crunchy mixed with sweet from the meringues and ice cream and tart from the berries. It’s a visual and sensual feast. The recipe uses any vanilla ice cream, but I use Swedish Glace or the newly launched coconut ice cream from Coconut Collaborative which are delicious if you are going down the dairy free route. None of your guests would guess it’s dairy free and it’s perfect if you are following kosher.

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pear drop sorbet with pear guitars

This no churn boozy sorbet is based on the the delicious pear drop cocktail which is pear juice with vodka and vanilla. It’s such a brilliant combination of flavours I have made it into an easy gelato version which is perfect for valentine’s night or date night as it’s lighter than a traditional dessert, so you won’t feel like dozing off after dinner as you dim the lights and crank up the Barry White…
It can be made in advance and kept frozen till needed. It’s also very easy and quick to make, you just need a freezer and a food processor or a nutribullet. How to make the pear guitars is at the bottom of the page after the recipe instructions.

Happy date night!

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