Mimosa cake

‘Cheat’s’ Mimosa cake

A recipe for ‘Cheat’s’ Mimosa cake – Torta primavera ‘furba’ By Mario Matassa This cake is an amalgamation of two cakes synonymous with the season: Mimosa and Colomba (which means ‘dove’). Mimosa cake first made an appearance to mark International Women’s Day on the 8th of March (Festa della Donna in Italy). It’s so called […]



Meascia, a type of bread cake, was a staple of cucina povera – an inexpensive way to make dessert using whatever was in the store cupboard. Mario Matassa shows us how to make it I’ve used apples from the nearby Valtellina in this version of meascia, but it can also be made with pears and you […]

Paradise cake with hot zabaglione

Paradise cake with hot zabaglione

Mario Matassa shares his paradise cake recipe – a cake that miraculously improves with age and is better if made one or two days in advance… The name ‘paradise cake’ comes from the fact that the cake is as light as air (like paradise). It has a dry, fragile texture, so is usually filled with a […]

Torta caprese

torta caprese

Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi share this delicious chocolate and almond cake recipe from their book, The Amalfi Coast: A Collection of Italian Recipes… One of our most romantic evenings was in a restaurant overlooking the sea just outside Positano on the Amalfi coast. A couple of months before my engagement ring had broken and unbeknown to […]

Torta mimosa

Mimosa cake

This torta ‘mimosa cake’ is covered with pieces of sponge cake, reminiscent of the flowers of the mimosa – it is served across Italy to celebrate La Festa della Donna By Mario Matassa Makes one 22cm cake Preparation time 20 minutes (plus chilling) Cooking time 20 minutes Ingredients: For the cake • 4 free-range eggs • 200g […]

Valtellina fruit cake (bisciola della Valtellina)

Valtellina cake

This tasty cake is also known as panettone della Valtellina, though it is moister and richer than traditional panettone – Mario Matassa shares his recipe… Makes one loaf Preparation time 20 minutes Cooking time 40 minutes Ingredients: • 200g plain flour • 50g rye flour • 50g unsalted butter • 2 medium free-range eggs • 25g caster sugar […]

Vero Italiano: dolci

Bisciola della Valtellina

In his latest instalment in the series uncovering the secrets of Italian food, Mario Matassa looks at the delights of Italian biscuits and cakes to recreate in your kitchen Photos by Mario Matassa  There can be nothing more evocative and comforting than the wafting aromas of freshly baked biscuits and cakes. Bound up in childhood […]

Panettone on test

For a true taste of Italian Christmas, you can’t beat a slice of classic (or flavoured) panettone – here are seven to help you decide which one to serve this year The origins of panettone go back to Roman times, but it was the bakers of Milan in the early 20th century who made the […]

Chestnut and chocolate cake

chocolate and chestnut cake

Chestnuts and chocolate are a winning combination in this delicious torta di castagne e cioccolato recipe…   Chestnut flour is a great gluten-free alternative, giving cakes and biscuits a delicious nutty background flavour; and in many European countries, such as Italy, France and Spain, chestnut spread or jam is found slathered on bread and croissants at the […]

Mascarpone and lemon cake

mascarpone and lemon cake

If you’re seeking an Italian-inspired sweet treat, this cake recipe from Mario Matassa could be exactly what you’ve been looking for… Makes one 26cm cake Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 40-45 minutes Ingredients: • 250g mascarpone • 3 medium free-range eggs • 180g white caster sugar • 50g unsalted butter, melted • 200ml milk • zest of […]