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





Photo feature – Affogato

Hello lovely readers,

it’s a veritable heat wave in Ireland at the moment, we’re seeing sundresses, shorts and sandals everywhere, with temperatures reaching mid 20s. This is our summer and we’re gonna enjoy it! And what better way to cool down than with this.

Espresso + vanilla ice-cream + dash of amaretto = the best dessert you’ll have this weekend.


And to all my Canadian and American readers, hope you’re celebrating your national holidays in style.

Buon appetito e buone feste a tutti!


Photo feature – Baci

In the blink of an eye, all the Baci had left the box.


Baci, or kisses in English, are these hazelnut chocolates, with a little message inside the silver foil, a quote about love or friendship. It’s a sweet reminder of the wonderful people in my life.


Happy Saturday


New feature – photos!

Encouraged by the progress and connections I’ve made from blogging 101, ¬†I’m starting to include a weekly photo feature. It not only shows you lovely readers what Italian foods I’ve been eating or experimenting with, but it also adds a much-needed visual element. So much about what we eat relies on visuals, how could I not post food pics? Part laziness, part “so hungry I can’t pause for a photo-op”, part forgetting where I’ve left the camera…

First photo: Grisbì biscuits


These delicate dome-shaped biscuits, with a variety of creamy fillings, coffee/espresso and cappuccino featured, but I’ve only opened one so far, the temptation to finish the entire pack is over-whelming. They are pleasantly addictive and a light alternative to dessert at the end of a meal. Buonissimi!

More photos to follow… stay tuned folks


Nutella, how I love you

We go way back, me and Nutella, so far I can’t even remember the first time I tasted that chocolatey, hazelnutty spread, that I would later use as breakfast substitute in college (oh college, so crazy, do you know how much refined sugar…? Nevermind). Friends even gave me themed presents, notably a Nutella clock and a Nutella night-light, my love knew no limits. In Italy, the neighbourhood gelateria had a massive 10kg tub in the window and I Googled it, because, you know, that amount is planning ahead, like an adult. And, If Vans made Nutella shoes, I’d have ’em.

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Well, now, where did the last few weeks go…? Ah yes, preparing for Christmas! With lots of people to see and be merry with, I got caught up in the festivities and left my blog to one side. This goes against the good advice of many bloggers, I know, but it doesn’t happen that often that I am both in the mood and financially able to go out with my friends and family as much as I did. While I ventured out into the world in search of happy times, I also happened to make this classic Italian dessert for dinner at a friend’s flat. They made the dinner, a lasagne and parmigiana, both hearty, belly-warming lovelies, and I brought tiramisu’ to feed 8.

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Panettone update

Sampled the Aldi Panettone and what a delightful surprise – the sweet soft lightness you expect, with a hint of candied fruit and currants, perfect with an espresso after a Sunday spent chilling out and going for a¬†walk in the park. I’ll be a bit naughty and sneak some in at breakfast tomorrow morning, just to ease the Monday blues,¬†as well as¬†lunchboxing a piece¬†for my morning tea break.

Now that this Panettone has been opened, it means I’ll be on the search for another one. I might go for an Italian brand this time, or I may go back to the supermarkets and see what’s on offer. Either way, I’ll definitely opt for the lighter fruit cakes this winter time and I’ll¬†take a moment to reflect, to appreciate every single bite. What joy lies¬†in the small things!