Torta Pistocchi – Chocolate cake from Florence



Let me start by saying that this is not a sponge cake. It is a dense, rich chocolate hit. This is closer in texture and flavour to a chocolate pot, gianduja or Nutella, but so much more deeply chocolatey, and satisfying.

I tasted the 65% bittersweet torta with a cup of black coffee, at my fave Italian food shop in Dublin, Little Italy, as part of a chocolate tasting event. Quite the caffeine buzz so early on in the morning, but, hey, that’s just me living on the edge. ūüėČ

On the day, Marcello, from Districts of Italy, a¬†food distrubition company based in Wales, told me about its origins in Florence, its popularity in Italy and beyond, and the variety of torte available, not forgetting chocolate covered nuts and orange peel, chocolate discs and a vegan torta. There’s a white chocolate torta with spices but didn’t get to try it on the day so I’ll have to order it instead. Chocolate surprise in the post, much better than bills.

I got a few little 40g torta for some famlily who have the same feelings about chocolate as I do (there is never enough of the good stuff) and I shall be back to get more, if there are any left.

And, while on the subject of Christmas cakes, I’ve already spotted a whole range of Panetone and Pandoro. It’s all very exciting stuff, or maybe that’s my sugar buzz talking.

a dopo





Christmas is coming…

No surprises this year, planning ahead and on top of prep, like a real grown-up and it’s great! Means I can enjoy the holidays, the lights, the jumpers, the hot chocolates, the fleece onsie that I bought especially this winter. Are you getting ready for holiday celebrations?

Part of all that organising is food and the inevitable food presents. I give food. I like getting food presents. If we ever meet, and there’s a celebration involved, bring food! For food presents can do no wrong.

I had the oportunity to go to a chocolate tasting last week in my fave Italian food shop in Dublin and I’ll be writing about it during the week. Chocolate cake with no flour or dairy, just pure chocolatey goodness. Best present ever!



(50th post!)

Coffee buzz

I love coffee sometimes but I am unfaithful. I like tea just as much.

I like espresso when it’s too hot for a longer drink. I like tea when I’m in my pyjamas. I like tea in the morning when my stomach can’t take sharp coffee jolt. I like coffee mid-morning when I need help getting through the day.

I like the smell of coffee. I like the memories coffee has given me over the years. I like that I meet people for coffee. I like social coffee. I like coffee alone. I like coffee outdoors. I like it on the go.

I like standing at the bar in Italy for an espresso. I like it when people say expresso because I used to say that too.

I like learning more about coffee culture and the different beans and roasts and temperatures.

I like the culture of coffee houses in a historical and political context. I like that I just wrote that last sentence and meant it.

I like that buying new coffee kit is like buying a new toy.

I like coffee that’s kind to the environment and fair for the people who¬†produced it.

I like coffee flavoured desserts. I like coffee flavoured alcohol and cocktails. I like coffee chocolate. I like chocolate covered coffee beans.

I like the buzz.


Photo feature – Nutella night-light

Nutella onNutella off

Ciao ragazzi, come state?

After straining my voice, and getting laryngitis, I went MIA and now I’m back. Phew. I missed the blog.

In the photos above, you can see my lovely Nutella night-light. Just press the white jar and the light comes on. I love Nutella, I really do.

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Photo feature – Nutella love

My housemate got me this treat – a single serving of Nutella on the go, with tiny bread sticks for dipping. I’d seen something similar in Italy, but with an added mini drink ln the side.

Oh sugary Nutella snacks, how I love you!

Nut and go

Tiramis√Ļ, Take Two

Ciao ragazze e ragazzi! Had a good Easter, hope you did too, if you were celebrating it.

Just before Easter, I made another version of tiramis√Ļ. There were a few odds and ends lurking in the fridge and cupboard so I put them to good use. Nothing like a¬†dessert to make things better.

Tiramisu 3

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Photo feature – Pocket Coffee

Rocket fuel espresso lives in a dark chocolate shell, ready for an instant caffeine hit. Yum

Pocket coffee 2

In the background, an article from the Sunday Times Magazine on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, on my ever-increasing list of books to read. Have you read them?