Hot Cross Buns with Honey Butter

Hot Cross Buns with Honey Butter

Today’s recipe is not Italian.  In fact, I had never eaten Hot Cross Buns before moving to Australia 8 years ago.  Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten for breakfast on Good Friday and they are marked with a cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus.  Traditionally these buns are made with lots of spices (especially cinnamon) and sultanas and/or currants, but nowadays there are so many different types available that I never know what to pick!  Some are made with apples, others have chocolate and others have a coffee flavour…  As I still hadn’t shared with you any recipe for Hot Cross Buns, I thought of keeping it traditional.  I made cinnamon laden buns with loads of sultanas.  Feel free to add any other dried fruits that you like (dried apricots or cranberries or citrus peel work really well).  I like to serve these warm with some soft honey butter (recipe below), for a little extra sweetness.  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my Easter Recipe Roundup for more delicious ideas.  I wish you and your loved ones a safe Easter weekend! Continue reading

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Posted in Australian, Baking, Bread, Breakfast, British, Cakes, Desserts, Easter, Pastries, Snack, South African, Special Occasions, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easter Recipe Roundup

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Today’s post is not a recipe. As the title suggests, I will share with you my favourite recipes for Easter. In the Northern Hemisphere, Easter is in spring and many Easter dishes are linked to spring both in produce used and in theme. While we are in autumn down under, the people who migrated from Europe have maintained their Easter traditions alive. Which means, you will still find recipes with spring time vegetables in this post.
That said, what do Italians eat for Easter? On Good Friday, we don’t eat meat and we usually have a frugal or lighter meal. On Easter Sunday instead, we eat… a lot. We traditionally eat lamb. We also eat eggs, ricotta, artichokes, spinach, zucchini, asparagus… and lots of chocolate. While we tend to spend Easter Sunday with our families, we often get together with friends on Easter Monday and we go “out of town” for a picnic in the countryside. That’s when we have barbecues and all sorts of savoury pies. So expect to find some of these ideas in the links below.
What about you, what do you usually eat at Easter? Continue reading

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Crespelle Cake with Asparagus

Crespelle Cake with Asparagus

The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanna from What’s On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish!
Mmmm I know what you are thinking… “crespelle cake with asparagus” doesn’t sound very Indian.  And it isn’t.  Actually, Joanna challenged us to make a crêpe dish and use any savoury fillings we wanted, so as to add our twist to the dish.  It is getting quite cold and rainy down here and with this weather, I start craving cheesey and hearty food.  Even though you know how much I LOVE Indian food, this time I went for an all Italian recipe.  I immediately knew that my crêpe component was going to be “crespelle” (the Italian version of crêpes).  We always use béchamel sauce with crespelle, so the sauce was easily decided.  As for the layering and flavours… I wanted to keep it vegetarian.  I looked at what I had in my fridge and pantry and the recipe came up quite easily: asparagus for the vegetable component and Stracchino and Parmigiano Reggiano in the cheese department.  The result was amazing: crunchy top, gooey oozy cheesey inside and delicious asparagus!  Definitely a keeper and a recipe I will be making again in the next few weeks.  Thanks for the yummy challenge Joanna! Continue reading

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Stracci di Antrodoco #SundaySupper

Stracci di Antrodoco

This week Sunday Supper’s theme is “stuff it, roll it, and/or wrap it”!  We will be sharing recipes for food that is stuffed, rolled, and/or wrapped, so make sure to check out all the yummy links at the end of this post!
Today I am going to combine my Sunday Supper post with my Regional Italian cuisine series, as the recipe I will share it is a regional Italian recipe.  Stracci di Antrodoco is a main dish that comes from the very ancient and little mountain town of Antrodoco, near Rieti in Lazio, somewhere between Rome and L’Aquila.  They are very similar to crespelle or cannelloni as a concept, but instead of being made with crêpes or pasta, they are made with thin frittatas.  The frittatas are filled with a veal mince sauce, mozzarella and grated Pecorino Romano (the typical cheese of the area).  They are then rolled and covered in tomato sauce and more grated Pecorino Romano before being baked until golden brown.  Can you think of anything more delicious than this?  It is amazing comfort food and perfect for the rainy autumn weather we have been putting up with down here during the last few weeks!  Enjoy and thank you very much to Amy of Kimchi MOM for being a great host! Continue reading

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Pomegranate Daiquiri

Pomegranate Daiquiri

The last few weeks have been rainy down here and the weather has turned from hot into “cool” (I won’t say cold, as we probably get about 2 weeks of real winter here in Sydney and even then, it’s a much milder winter than my childhood winters).  Autumn has definitely come and I am quite happy to welcome it.  I love how the leaves change colour and all the delicious new produce available at the grocery store.  Pomegranate is definitely one of them.  After sharing the recipe for my Pomegranate Risotto a few days ago, today I will be sharing the recipe for a drink… a delicious Pomegranate Daiquiri.  Simple to make and beautiful in colour.  I love the hint of cherry added my the Maraschino liqueur (one of my all time favourites!).  It is a very refreshing and elegant cocktail, perfect to celebrate the arrival of autumn!  Cheers! Continue reading

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Creamy Apple Tart

Creamy Apple Tart

It is autumn down here… and it’s also been quite rainy in the last few weeks.  So, what better way to cheer the family up than baking a cake?  And being autumn, it had to be an apple cake!  I make all sorts of apple cakes and tarts, like my Apple Tart (one of the very first recipes I ever published on Manu’s Menu!), or my Apple Crostata with Steusel Topping and I like them all.  I think there is no better cake than an apple cake to make you feel loved, cherished and warm inside.  It is comfort dessert at its best.  Just what we need on a rainy day.  This tart in particular is very unusual.  It is somewhat in between an apple cake and an apple clafoutis, both in consistency and taste.  It is creamy, but at the same time, the apples (and there’s LOADS of apples in here!) add a bite to it.  A really special find and a cake I will be making often.  It is perfect with a cup of hot tea and it will surely put a smile on your face and make you feel like the sun is out again… hopefully! ;-)  Enjoy and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a Hamper full of Barilla’s goodies… just 2 days left! Continue reading

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Malloreddus with Walnuts and Prosciutto

Malloreddus with Walnuts and Prosciutto

Today I am going to share with you one of my Regional Italian recipes!  And this time I will take you all to the beautiful island of Sardinia or, as we say, Sardegna.  Sardinia is a popular holiday destination for people who love the seaside.  In fact it has some of the best beaches and sea in the world.  Malloreddus – also known as gnocchetti sardi - are gnocchi shaped pasta, typically served with a sausage sauce (see my recipe for Malloreddus alla Campidanese).  Today I am presenting them with a different sauce, made with prosciutto and walnuts, Marsala and cream.  It is a delicious dish, one that I would serve for special occasions.  The sauce takes just a few minutes to put together and it is impressive!  Do not forget to check out my tutorial on How to make Malloreddus, so you can make your own!  Enjoy and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a Hamper full of Barilla’s goodies! Continue reading

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love Chocolate Chip Cookies??  I fell in love with them at 17, when I visited the States for the first time… I had never eaten them before.  Cookies in Italy were different: crunchy and delicious, but different.  The Chocolate Chip Cookies I had in the US were chewy and sugary and oh so good.  Today’s recipe is my go-to recipe for when I want Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I found it on the web 1 or 2 years before starting this blog and I liked it so much that I never looked for another one.  In fact, I used to take pictures of these cookies and post them on my personal Facebook page… they looked so good that many of my friends asked for the recipe.  So, here goes the recipe… and as they saying goes: better late than never! ;-)  These cookies are crunchy on the edges and chewier in the middle… just perfect, if you ask me!  Enjoy them with a glass of milk, they are to die for!!!  Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a Hamper full of Barilla’s products! Continue reading

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