Panforte di Sienna

Panforte di Sienna post image

So, it’s Christmas again, and that means it’s time to bake something fittingly seasonal and rich. This year, that’s panforte di Sienna, an Italian dessert loosely resembling a cake that’s packed with fruit and nuts. Panforte originated in Sienna in the 12th century, and is supposed to contain seventeen ingredients, to reflect the number of districts [...]

Food & drink

Lekach, or Jewish honey cake

Lekach or honey cake for Rosh Hashanah, by Claudia Roden

This honey cake originated in Germany in the Middle Ages, and became a staple of the Jewish kitchen, finding a place as the traditional cake of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It symbolises a hope for a sweet and fruitful new year. Many dismiss honey cake as one of those traditional staples that simply [...]

Food & drink

Fresh ginger cake

A spicy ginger cake made with fresh shredded ginger instead of the usual dried, powdered stuff. From a recipe by David Lebovitz.

Ginger is a common flavour in lots of cakes and biscuits, but the way it gets there is usually through the use of dried and ground ginger. Fresh ginger is more normally used as one of the first things in the pan at the bottom of an Asian or Chinese dish. In its dried form, [...]

Food & drink

Hennickehammar’s toasted ginger cake

Hennickehammar’s toasted ginger cake, from Roast Figs, Sugar Snow, by Diana Henry

This cake is like a lighter version of a Christmas fruit cake…many of the same ingredients, but without the stodge and the months of waiting.  It has all the same punchiness and body, but none of the heaviness. The usual medley of dried fruit is replaced by a single one – dried cranberries, plumped up in [...]

Food & drink

M’hanncha, or the Moroccan snake

Jamie Oliver’s M’hanncha, or the Moroccan Snake

There are times when I hit a blogging brick wall, where there’s nothing left to say, or where the ideas and half-posts won’t form themselves properly. That happened this weekend, and after binning the third draft of something attempting to articulate what I think of minimum alcohol pricing (short answer: probably good, some reservations, could [...]

Food & drink