Cranberry and hazelnut biscotti

Cranberries taste great with sweet things.  


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup hazelnuts


  • Set the oven to 180°C /350°F
  • Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the sugar, eggs,vanilla essence, cranberries and nuts.
  • Form a dough out of the mixture and divide it in half
  • Flatten the two halves and place them on a greased baking tray
  • Leave this in the oven for about 20 minutes
  • Allow the biscuits to cool for 15 minutes and then slice into thumb-like shapes
  • Set the temperature to 160°C.
  • Place them on their sides and bake for another 15 minutes

 Makes about 20 biscuits


source: Lisa Williams


Famous Italian dessert , well-know all over Italy and using ingredients known to the country. You don’t have to use rum - you can use any sort of liquor. Grappa is an Italian liquor, but is incredibly strong.


  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 5 ml rum
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup soft cream cheese
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 120 g castor sugar
  • 80 ml cream
  • 2 tsp gelatine


  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar to the ribbon stage
  • Whip the cream to soft peak stage, fold it into the cream cheese, mascarpone
  • Whip the egg whites to stiff peak
  • Soak the gelatine leaves and fold it into the yolk mixture
  • Gently fold it into the cheese, cream mixture
  • Line a terrine mould and pour a layer of mixture on the base
  • Place the sponge fingers on the top and soak in the coffee
  • Continue for 3 layers
  • Leave overnight to set and demould

photo credit:


Probably one of the easiest Italian desserts to make and also one of the tastiest owing to all the cream.


  • 1 litre cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 130 g sugar
  • 8 gelatine leaves
  • 3 vanilla pods


  • Place the cream and the sugar in a pot
  • Split the 3 vanilla pods and scrape them into the pot with the cream and sugar mixture
  • Bring to boil
  • Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water
  • Once they are soft, remove the cream mixture from the stove, add the gelatine and stir until they are all dissolved
  • Add the milk and leave to cool
  • Once cooled remove the vanilla pods
  • Pour into moulds and place in the fridge and leave to set

photo credit:

Espresso Meringue Pie

Just like a lemon meringue except with a shot of espresso instead of lemon, giving it an authentic Italian touch


  • 2  Tbsp coffee
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1  tsp mixed spice
  • 1 pack digestive biscuits, crushed


  • ¼ cup strong espresso
  • 160g castor sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 5 eggs


  • Mix the coffee, mixed spice and butter with the biscuits and blend.
  • Press into a cake tin.
  • The filling needs to be cooked over a double boiler on a gentle heat
  • First bring espresso, butter and half the sugar to the boil in a saucepan
  • Whisk the eggs and remaining sugar together
  • Pour ¼ of the hot liquid over the egg, stir well then add it back to the pot
  • Place the mixture in a bowl and cool slowly over a double boiler until the mixture becomes thick
  • Leave to cool and set
  • When the filling is cool press it into the base

 Meringue mixture

  • 2 egg whites
  • 110g / 4 oz. caster sugar


  • Set the oven to 120°C
  • Whisk the egg whites until they become stiff and add the sugar gradually, but keep on whisking until it has dissolved and stiff peaks start to form.
  • Spread the mixture over the filling and leave in the oven until it turns golden brown.
  • It doesn’t have to be in the oven for long. It probably doesn’t need to go in for more than 20 minutes because it’s not properly cooked.

 Espresso Granita

This is very easy to make. You can make any flavour you want. Granita is very popular in Italy and is sold on the streets, especially in Summer.


  • ½   cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup espresso


  • In a saucepan, bring the sugar, water and to a boil.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the espresso.
  • Strain into a shallow pan and freeze overnight until solid.
  • Scrape and place in bowl.

Semi Freddo

It’s an Italian classic and makes a nice treat in Summer. You can experiment with different fillings and flavors, but make sure they complement each other.


  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cream


  • Beat the cream
  • Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until they are stiff
  • Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the vanilla until the mixture is pale in color
  • Fold the cream and whites into yolks with the fillings that you have chosen. Things like nougat, nuts and fruit are some of the things that go well with this dessert.
  • Freeze it into container a cover it with plastic until you are ready to serve – you should make this a day in advance and freeze it overnight if you want the best results

Marsala Zabaglione

If you have had a heavy meal, then this is just right to finish off with. You can experiment with different liquors as well. You can just keep this warm in the bain marie. It’s also great to fill up your favourite pie


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp superfine sugar
  • â…“ cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup double cream, whipped
  • Raspberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest


  • Bring a pot of water to the boil on a low heat
  • Use a bain marie, add the eggs and sugar and keep on stirring all the time
  • Add the Marsala with the vanilla, cinnamon and the grated lemon
  • You should have to whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens
  • Serve this biscotti in a tot glass as a dessert or use the sauce as an accompaniment with a dessert. Scatter a couple of raspberries on top with a spoonful of thick cream.