Archive for the ‘treat’ Category

cake, cookery books, cooking, desserts, new book, party, recipes, tiramisu, treat, writing

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I am so happy to announce that my new book, Tiramisu Recipes from Italian Friends and Family, has been published. This is my fourth book, but in a sense it’s my first book in a new genre, the non-fiction one, so it feels like a new experience all together.

In my previous blog I mentioned some of the challenges I faced writing a cookery book, but there have been more, of which I will talk about in future blogs. But for now, I want to focus on all the people that have helped to make it happen.

The first ones I need to acknowledge are the people who have actually contributed the recipes for these lovely desserts. There are twenty-five delicious tiramisus that feature in my book, and you can take a look at the photos here.

Below are the names of my friends and family who have shared their tiramisu recipes, and without them, the book would not exist. I have of course, included myself in the list 🙂

Giulia Beyman, Anna Maria Serra, Monica Loi, Cristina Garau, Dalia Portas, Laura Puddu, Rita Puddu, Claudia Peduzzi, Manuela Paric’, Ferruccio Munzittu, Mariangela Panu, Rita Dessì, Martina Munzittu, Maria Grazia Munzittu, Maria Antonietta Munzittu, Tiziana Munzittu, Sofia Rossiter, Severa Soddu, Brunella Formentini.

Having written fiction before, I had never handled images and text together, so I needed some help with that. And there I found Janet Tallon, a very talented designer who was able to create a great looking cookery book, a fantastic book cover and an enticing tiramisu party invitation. She deserves a big thank you.

One of the biggest challenges for me, when I was writing the quantities of the ingredients, was the measurement conversion. As if it weren’t bad enough to convert from metric to imperial, I discovered the American cups. This deserves a blog post in itself. Suffice it to say, for now, that I was lucky enough to find a very nice and knowledgeable food blogger, Jean, who was extremely helpful and gave me some great advice on converting my metric measurements to US cups. So a massive thank you goes to Jean.

The index at the end of the book was done by my lovely friend and brilliant author Joanne Phillips, she’s a professional indexer, so I couldn’t get any luckier than that!

The final challenge was the creation of the ebook. I had formatted my own fiction ebooks before, but doing one for a book with photos was a different matter. I wanted an ebook that looked as professional as the printed version, and unless I spent hours on a course learning how to do it, it wasn’t going to happen. I discovered that one of my Facebook friends, Serena Zonca, did just this sort of thing professionally, so I asked her to take care of the digital edition of Tiramisu Recipes, and she did a fantastic job.

There have also been friends behind the scenes that have tried and tested some of the tiramisu recipes. And this is a massive contribution for me, because I wanted to see how easy they were to ‘execute’, and if they tasted as good to them as they tasted to me!

What can I say? I feel really lucky to have had such a supportive team around me. I think you should all raise a virtual glass with me, or in this case, with a tiramisu, a cup of espresso coffee is definitely more suited.

Cake, anyone?

Oct
2013
02

cake, tea, treat

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I like to have a cup of tea in the afternoons, but I don’t always have cake with it. Yesterday, however, I fancied a little treat, so I had a slice of lemon cake to go along with my drink. As I had my first sip of tea, I observed my sweet temptation and wondered: if the heroines of my books were to face this lemon cake now, what would they think?

Clara, from A Deal with a Stranger, has an obsession with food, in particular desserts. She would be right in her element. She would probably pick up the small plate and bring it closer to her face, in order to smell the cake first. Because it’s lemon cake, she would expect to detect the hint of the fruit, and possibly spot some lemon zest in the sponge. Then she would dive into it. Her thoughts would be something like: “Not bad. The sugar on top is lemony too. I would probably have put a layer of lemony cream or crème patissière in the middle, to make it even more palatable, but that’s fine too. I now need a second slice to get a better idea of what it really tasted like.”

Lucy, the more traditional one of my Incompatible Twins, likes to eat good food and is keen on puddings; she wouldn’t say no to a slice of lemon cake. Her thoughts would be along the lines of: “Tea and cake during working hours? Why not? It’s nice to have a treat every now and then, especially after working on the computer all day. Just make sure you don’t make a habit of it. Otherwise, who’s going to fit into that Kenneth Cole dress again?”

Poppy, the more unconventional one of my Incompatible Twins, likes good food too, but is a vegetarian and always very careful about how food is made and what it contains. She would be quizzing the person who brings her the cake, her line of questioning would be something like this: “Thank you for this, but I need to know a little more. Is it made with free range eggs? Is that sugar on top, instead of honey? Were the lemons organic?” Before you’ve even had the chance to reply, she’s already decided that not only she’s not going to eat your cake, but she’s not even going to touch it.

Nonna Pina, who runs the Broken Heart Refuge, will be looking at this slice of cake with a smile. She knows that if you’re feeling a little sad, but you’re in the company of friends, and you’re having a cup of tea all together and are sharing a cake, you are bound to feel a little bit better. It may not be the cake in itself, but the combination of the three things above. What is better than a cup of tea? A cup of tea with cake.

And now, I am curious: what do you think when you look at my slice of cake?