Black Sesame Loaf with a Kinako Glaze

 Alessandro and I came back from our trip to Laos and Thailand a few days ago.  We have been back in Rome just long enough to take care of mountains of laundry but are still fighting our jet lag on a daily basis.  The day after we arrived the packing materials for my move to Brussels arrived and thanks to surprisingly decent day-time TV (House MD, Gilmore Girls, Friends re-runs) one of the walls of our living room is now made up of stacks of boxes, some taped shut already, others waiting to be filled. I have moved a lot in the last few years and far too many of those moves have been of the international kind.  I love having had the opportunity to live in so many different places and countries but let’s just say that international moves are even more fun (read: stressful) than moving already is.  It inevitably starts with flathunting in a different country and

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Black sesame ice cream

I don’t actually remember the first time I tried black sesame ice cream but I do know that the flavour of roast sesame and its many applications has intrigued me for years. Even more so now thanks to Alessandro who is obsessed with sesame (especially sesame Grissini rolled in San Daniele prosciutto and eaten together with a nice and creamy Gorgonzola). Although I am all for ice cream sundaes marrying gooey brownies with caramel sauce and chopped salty roasted peanuts, the simplicity of a single scoop of gorgeous deep grey sesame ice cream, studded with black sesame seeds is something I cannot say no to whenever I see it on a menu. Alessandro and I went to Japan a few years ago and besides falling in love with the whole country, once again I also fell head over heels in love with black sesame ice cream. Roasted sesame seeds have such a complex flavour and the deep grey hue of

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Black gold – London’s best coffee shops and some black sesame madeleines

(Amended to update the little blurb on Prufrock). So, I was browsing the Stylist’s website the other day and came across a brief article on London’s best coffee shops. As an avid coffee drinker (coming from a family that managed to kill an espresso machine by drinking more cups of coffee per day than any espresso machine developer could have ever imagined (we now have a commercial espresso machine)), I keep a list of favourite coffee shops (key attractions are: (i) decent coffee (look out for the crema on your espresso and the use of fresh milk – noone wants to drink a cappuccino made with UHT milk), (ii) free wi-fi (because I am a cheapskate and treat my ipad as though it’s a limb I never knew I had by carrying it around with me wherever I go), and (iii) outstanding pastries and cakes (which reminds me I need to tell you about Gail’s almond croissants)). However, once in

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