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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Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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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Posted in Italian, Mains, Mediterranean, Pasta, Regional Italian Dishes, Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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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Posted in American, Baking, Breakfast, Cookies, Desserts, Snack, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Margarita Chicken Wings

Margarita Chicken Wings

In the recent couple of years I have come to LOVE eating chicken wings.  They are really not something Italians eat a lot of.  I mean, we do eat them when we cook a whole chicken and we use them a lot to make chicken broth, but they are not an appetiser kind of food for us.  Since making my Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings though, I totally fell in love.  I have been making quite a few versions of chicken wings lately and I like them all!  Today I will share with you yet another great way to cook finger-licking-delicious chicken wings: Margarita Chicken Wings!  Don’t you just love the sound of that??  Margarita AND chicken wings together?  Yesss!  These are very easy to make and they taste awesome.  You basically marinade the wings in a Margarita mix, bake them and drizzle them with honey.  Yum!  I also strongly suggest to serve them with some extra lime and coarse salt (it is a Margarita based dish after all) and to add a splash of Tabasco if you like a little spice.  Perfectly balanced flavours!  Enjoy and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a Hamper full of Barilla’s goodies!

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Posted in American, Appetisers, Baking, Finger food, Mains, Meat, Mexican | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Ode to Pasta and a Barilla Hamper #Giveaway

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Mediterranean Vegetables - Barilla

Today I am very excited as I am partnering with Barilla Australia for a special giveaway!  Yes, you got that right: Barilla is offering one of my lucky readers the possibility to win a hamper full of exciting and delicious Barilla products!  Read on to find out all the details!
Barilla is the number one pasta brand in Italy and it is sold worldwide.  I use it very often for my recipes and it never fails me.  My Spaghetti with Vongole is just one of the many dishes I cooked using Barilla pasta, but you can find many other ideas while browsing through my Visual Archive Continue reading

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Posted in Giveaway, Italian, Mains, Mediterranean, Pasta, Reviews, Sauces | Tagged , , , , | 38 Comments

Orchid and Matcha Macarons

Orchid and Matcha Macarons

I know I already have a few macarons recipes on the blog like my Salted Caramel Macarons and my Lavender and Jasmine Macarons, but I haven’t shared a new one in a while.  Today’s flavour combination is yet another winner: orchid and matcha!  Yum!  Don’t these macarons sound exotic?  They really are.  I am sure you are now wondering what orchid essence tastes like… right?  Well, it tastes sort of like vanilla, but with a stronger floral hint and it makes for a delicious buttercream filling!  The sprinkle of matcha on the shells adds a touch of colour and a little welcome bitterness to contrast with the sweet filling.  I love balanced flavours.  These macarons are perfect for spring (for all my lucky readers in the Northern hemisphere) or to dream about spring (for us down under).  Enjoy them with a warm cup of tea! Continue reading

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Posted in Baking, Cookies, Desserts, Finger food, French, Special Occasions, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pomegranate Risotto

Pomegranate Risotto

As you know, autumn has come to the Southern hemisphere.  I can’t lie… I don’t mind it.  I welcome the fresher air and the leaves changing colour on the trees.  It is a beautiful season.  And I LOVE autumn food: mushrooms, chestnuts, quince… pomegranates.  In fact, pomegranates always put a smile on my face: I have always thought they are quite an impressive fruit and also rather deceptive.  Just by looking at it, would you ever guess how beautiful it is on the inside?  I always say that pomegranate arils look like rubies.  Italians often cook with it during Christmas and New Year, as it is considered to bring good luck and prosperity.  If you follow Manu’s Menu, you will know that I am not new to publishing recipes of risotto made with fruits (see my Strawberry Risotto, Blueberry Risotto, Taleggio and Apple Risotto and Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto), so today’s recipe will not come as a shock to you.  I believe that certain fruits work really well in savoury dishes and pomegranate is one of these.  It is sweet and tangy at the same time and the crunch of the arils adds as a nice touch to each spoonful of creamy risotto.  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in Fruits, Gluten Free, Italian, Mains, Rice, Special Occasions, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taleggio and Hazelnut Tarts

Taleggio and Hazelnut Tarts

Cheese is probably my favourite food.  I love to eat it plain, but I also enjoy cooking with it.  One of the things I miss the most about Italy is the variety of cheese and cold meats available at the local supermarket.  We are very spoilt for choice.  We don’t only find Italian products, but also French, Swiss, German, Dutch.  All the famous varieties are easily available.  Not so much so here in Australia.  You do find them in speciality stores or if you go the city, but not so easily in the suburbs.  I find this so frustrating… the other day I couldn’t even find “real” Emmental and had to buy “Swiss cheese”. Grrrrrrr  Anyhow, this is to tell you that whenever a big place like Costco has European cheese, I always buy some.  This time they had Taleggio, one of my favourite cheese ever, so I was quite happy.  Today’s recipe is a fantastic appetiser idea, but it works great for lunch too, if served with a salad on the side.  Taleggio and hazelnuts are a fantastic combination and I highily recommend serving these tarts with some honey: it’s that special touch that pushes this dish to a new level.  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in Appetisers, Baking, Cheese, Italian, Pastries, Snack, Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments