All posts filed under: Sweet things

No churn coconut ice cream

“One more minute, oh no oh no, I JUST DON”T KNOW” The young man behind the counter tutted and gestured to the queue winding out of the shop and down the street. “Okay, okay, okay…strawberry” This is one of a few wildly regrettable decisions I’ve made in my life. Strawberry gelato…I had the choice of the most devilish flavours the ice cream world can offer and I plumped for strawberry. Oh well, faced with 100 different flavours and about thirty seconds to make a decision what’s a girl to do but have an existential crisis in the middle of Rome’s famous Gelateria della Palma? I have since learned from my mistake. Now when faced with gelato I go with anything involving chocolate…or caramel…or coffee…or all three. What I’ve really developed is something that affects most of us: Ben and Jerry Syndrome. It’s characterised by a great longing for layer upon layer of contrasting flavours and textures (need I mention my adoration for cookie dough ice cream?) Luckily for me, the Italians know how to jazz Read More

Marble cake

Some cakes are pure decadence: a Victoria Sponge that is bound together by a butter corset, or a carefully regimented army of macaroon clones. These creations are fabulous, but baking perfection requires the patience of a saint or the skilled hand of a patisserie. I have neither, so perfection has to be something else than the crisp shell of a macaroon. A couple of years ago I read Anthony Bourdain’s ‘A Cook’s Tour’. His search for the perfect meal takes him around the world’s dining table until he reaches the rather obvious epiphany that his pursuit is futile – there are too many perfect meals.  Of course, the taste buds are as subjective as the ear, and when food sings like heaven to one mouth there will be another that it tortures. The perfection of food is the perfection of a moment. When we remember eating that first forkful of spaghetti al vongole on the Ligurian coast, we’re not only remembering the pasta, but we’re reminiscing over the taste of the sunset and the lick Read More

Vegan chocolate coconut tart

This time last week I was on a coach on my way back to London. When I saw London in the distance, skyscrapers clustered together, grey faced and glowing with the artificial light of office windows, I wanted to go back to Norfolk. The sky was a choked sort of grey – the dank purple of a bruise. It all seemed so inhospitable, so unwelcoming. Although in all honesty my London blues had very little to do with those skyscrapers (which I love most days), but with what the city had in store for me. I had four essay deadlines looming closer and closer, not to mention the uncountable days of revision galloping into the spring. I wasn’t ready for it. However, the next day I woke up early and the skyscrapers with their artificial lights became shards of glass reflecting sunshine. There was a feeling of spring in the air and suddenly London didn’t seem like such a bad place to be. Isn’t it funny how it’s the small things that can lift you out of Read More