Flourless Walnut Butter Cookies

You know how sometimes everything magically falls into place? Well, sometimes, it also doesn’t. We were hoping Alessandro would be able to transfer to a position in Brussels or nearby once he finished his course in Turin this past month (so we could finally put an end to flying halfway across Europe to see each other). We had high hopes while we were waiting to hear back on his transfer request even if we knew that the likelihood of him having his request accepted were not exceptionally high. Alas, in the end he was transferred to a new position in Rome. And while Rome is a magical city, and arguably a great place to be for an Italian army officer, it is not really a place for commercial lawyers that aren’t Italian like myself. So we have been having a lot of long conversations over the last few weeks as we try to figure out our next steps. Trying to

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‘Everything Bagel’ Rye Scones with Scallion Cream Cheese – Goes Well With Coffee – 5th Edition

When my eyes first fell upon the SCAA’s flavour wheel I remember scanning the different flavours and at first nodding in agreement – citrus (yep), berry (yep), chocolate (yep) – and then my eyes fell on ‘alliaceous’ (garlic and onion) and I was a bit flummoxed. I had certainly never tried a coffee and thought – ‘hmm, not bad, I just wish it did not taste so strongly of onion or garlic’ (nor in fact have I ever reminisced fondly about a coffee that reminded me of our favourite alliums!). So I had to do some research to understand where that onion or garlic flavour in coffee can come from. It turns out, there are two reasons why the flavour of coffee can remind you of onion and garlic. Both can be a side effect of ‘wet processing’ (also referred to as washed processing) of coffee beans, a process which involves coffee beans (after being removed from the coffee cherries but

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Toasted Cornmeal and Salted Honey Shortbread … Goes Well With Coffee – 1st Edition

This post is a little different from my regular posts as I have decided that, over the next few months, I want to do a series of posts all around one theme. And no, we are not talking Christmas cookies (even if Pinterest might have you believe you should be dusting off your star-shaped cookie cutters already). Instead, this little series will be all about things that go well with coffee. And by things that go well with coffee, I, of course, mean cakes, cookies, pastries and all their various incarnations. Because, really, isn’t the whole point of sitting down for a cup of coffee the opportunity to enjoy something sweet alongside said cup of coffee? The series is inspired by the Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel produced by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. As it says on the SCAA’s website, the Flavour Wheel develops a glossary of coffee terms based on sensory science and is used by coffee cuppers

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Moroccan-inspired Cubeb Pepper Mince Pies

As promised, here is the link to the second recipe I developed for the Peppermongers – a recipe for Moroccan-inspired mincemeat using Cubeb Pepper.  I am clearly a fan of giving mincemeat my own unique twist and this version is inspired by Moroccan Tagines that I so adore and that often include dried fruits like prunes or dried apricots. The mincemeat gets a bit of kick from a generous pinch of cubeb pepper – a key ingredient in Morocco’s famous Ras el hanout spice mix and whose woody ‘Christmas tree’ aroma lends wonderful warmth to the mincemeat.  For our first batch of mince pies this year, I made a rich almond and orange zest pastry filled with this spicy mincemeat and served it with a dollop of crème fraiche flavoured which I had flavoured with orange blossom water.  This is also the mincemeat which made its way into copious batches of mincemeat scones, another delicious way of using up a glut of

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Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses Cookies

Do you sometimes find yourself in a supermarket or delicatessen holding a new-to-you ingredient in your hands, maybe even a quite pricey one, pondering whether to buy it or not and asking yourself how often you are likely to actually use it before it will go off? Admittedly I try not to let such rational thinking interfere with my buying what are surely the key constituents of future delicious food. But then the other day Alessandro decided the day had come to find a new home for all our pasta.  I counted and we currently have over 10 different shapes of pasta – that might seem a lot to most people but is in fact fairly modest to what I have seen at some friends’ places here in Italy.  While the door of our pantry still closes without forcing it shut Alessandro could be right in saying that my baking supplies have taken over our pantry.  As much as I

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