Ciabatta Bread

As much as it is true that one should not judge a book by its cover, you can safely go about life judging a good Ciabatta by the holes in its crumb! And this is one particular instance when size does matter: the bigger the holes, the better the loaf…The secret to a perfect Ciabatta is…

Pane all’Olio (Italian Olive Oil Bread)

Silvia is back in her Cucina! After two and a half months away in Melbourne threading the boards at the Malthouse theatre, playing the role of a dilemma-stricken bride who runs off with her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day, I feel an utter sense of well-being walking around in my kitchen, re-familiarizing with my tools, pots…

Easter Scrolls and Hot-Cross Buns!

As the Holy Week marches on, I feel the urge to get my hands in more festive doughs! What could be better than home-made hot cross buns and scrolls? With the warm tang of cinnamon, the liveliness of orange peel and the opulence of chocolate, they are definitely going to be on offer at my Easter…

Colomba: an Italian Easter Bread, with Prosecco and Chocolate chips

Colomba is a classic Italian Easter enriched bread, similar to the more illustrious Panettone, traditionally baked in a  dove-shaped mould, hence its name (colomba in Italian means dove). The dough is built in various stages and the thought alone may be enough to put off many people with busy lives, but , don’t despair! The…

Hazelnut Amaretti (Amaretti alle Nocciole)

Just when I thought I couldn’t make Amaretti because I was out of almond meal (and in no way inclined to take a trip to the supermarket with child and toddler in tow) I found a half-packet of hazelnut meal hidden in the cupboard. The idea struck me immediately, but what if it wouldn’t work? Good news,…

Panini alle Olive (Olive and Rosemary bread rolls, made in a food processor)

Happy 2012 to all! Given my self-confessed obsession for yeasted baked goods, it only makes sense that the first post of the year is -yet another- bread recipe. I have been experimenting with doughs and flours and I really wanted to offer you an alternative to hand or machine kneading, and it turns out that some breads can be mixed in…

Italian Apple and Cinammon cake

My two months in Italy already seem so far away in the past. It has only been two weeks since I’ve been back, but, as it always is, all the things you put on hold and stop worrying about when you are on holiday, come back to haunt you and to kick you in the rear…

Authentic Italian Focaccia

I feel the need to specify authentic because I am afraid l there is an overall misconception about what focaccia is and should be. Focaccia should not be thick or doughy. I have encountered so many of this kind, such disappointing, heavy-as lead thick breads so wrongly called Focaccia, that I am now compelled to…

Lemon and Almond Cake with Vanilla frosting

It seems like every cake or cookie I make these days has to have lemon in it. This new-found obsession may be directly linked to my incredibly generous lemon tree. This year it’s going crazy and there are only so many Gin&Tonics a breast-feeding mother can have…what to do with the rest of the lemons? Boil a…

Apple and Sultana Tart (Crostata di mele e uvetta)

This is one of my “Desert Island” dishes. I guess it’s because Mamma used to make this a lot when we were little ,and to me it still tastes of home and lazy Sundays snuggled up on the couch watching cartoons, fighting with my brother and my sister over the last slice of crostata. Legend has it…