“Mistake” Focaccia

The best thing about mistakes is that you can always learn something from them! I’ve made this super wet dough yesterday, it was impossible to handle and I was about to cry and throw everything into the bin, but then I thought…what if I make a focaccia with it?! What can I say, I’m glad I had this lightening through my headΒ πŸ’‘βš‘Β because turned out just greatΒ πŸ˜πŸ˜‹
It was gone 5 minutes after I put it on the kitchen table at lunch time. Kiddos devoured it as quick as they could!!Β So pleased I didn’t waste a whole day of work and food!!Β β€πŸ’•.

Homemade glutenfree dumplings


There’s a brand new toy in my kitchen and it happens to be a bamboo steamer!

Couldn’t wait to play with it, so my first experiment has been these delicious #glutenfree chinese dumplings! Long story made short: the first dough turned out into Ooblek (the famous NO Newtonian stuff which is not solid or liquid, and yet, it works as both!) and let the kids playing with it. But the second time I’ve got it right! Let’s see the ingredients:

– 1 and a half cup of corn starch

– 1 cup of potato starch

– boiling water

For making the dough just mix the flours together and then add the hot water, a little bit at time, until the dough gets together. Doesn’t need to be over mixed, as there is no gluten. When ready, let it rest covered for about 10 minutes! The filling you choose to make is totally up to you: it might be vegan, fishy or meaty! There’s no rules in that! I simply mixed together: chinese cabbage, carrots, spring onions, sausage meat and soy sauce! But you can mix only veggies if you prefer, maybe adding some mushrooms for give it a kick of taste, or maybe you fancy a bit of fish, so you can add some flaked haddock, or salmon, or shrimps, or, why not, all 3 of them! It’s very important that anything you choose must be finely chopped!

After 10 minutes our glutenfree dough is ready to be rolled in a long snake, chopped in regular pieces that will get tossed in corn starch and covered again! One by one, try to make regular circles out of the pieces helping you with a little rolling pin, then add the filling in the middle and close the very tight (there are lots of good YouTube videos about how to make their tipical shape!). When you finished to roll, fill and close, it’s time to steam!!! Get your bamboo steamer on the boiling water, put few cabbage or lettuce leaves on the bottom of it before putting your beautiful dumplings! Close, and let the steam make its magic for about 13/15 minutes!

When they are ready, I suggest you to put your little, shiny jewels on a bad of lettuce leaves, as they stick to the plate easily! ENJOY!!!

Sourdough beetroot oat porridge bread

This is my second attempt to make beetroot bread! My aim is to keep that brilliant, lovely colour into the crumb, but it’s getting difficult, as it seems steaming away after baking. My first attempt didn’t keep any colour at all, so this one is already something. I create this recipe trying to figure out the best balance between colour and taste, so I used organic white bread flour and organic rye flour, thinking that, perhaps, a very white dough could keep much colour in itself, rather than a brown one! I reckon has been a good idea adding cooked oat porridge as it actually kept much colour in itself, in fact, all the pink-ish stripes, come from it, not mentioning the taste of its buttery glorious flavour. Let’s see how I made this bread, shall we?


  • Organic white bread flour 262g
  • Organic white rye flour 88g
  • Levain 70g
  • Salt 7.6g
  • Water 274g
  • Steamed fresh beetroot 42g


  • Butter 10g
  • Oat 36g
  • Milk 76g
  • Water 76g

Sweet Sourdough Easter eggs bread

This is a very easy recipe for recycling all those Easter eggs left under the kitchen table for ages, and sourdough leftovers from the fridge. Today I was just wondering what to do with them, and really wanted to make something easy for tomorrow morning breakfast, but couldn’t find any good recipe on the web, plus my question to Google was maybe too much; I mean…who squeeze sourdough leftovers and Easter eggs in the same sentence, except me? As I thought, nothing exciting came up, so I decided to make it myself. And here I am, glad to share with you my very own recipe about sourdough leftovers and Easter eggs! Let’s get started then!

What we need for this recipe is:

  • Unsalted butter 75g ( ambient temperature)
  • Plain flour 150g
  • Potato starch 50g
  • Milk 60ml
  • Baking powder 1tsp
  • Eggs 3
  • Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar 110g
  • Sourdough leftover 110g
  • Chocolate Easter eggs (or any other milk chocolate) 225g
  • Chocolate mini eggs 10 (optional)


  1. Start mixing soft butter, sugar and vanilla extract into the stand mixer. When it’s well mixed and fluffy, add the eggs, one by one, waiting for each of them to be well incorporated before adding the next one.
  2. Add sourdough leftover straight from the fridge. Mine was 4 days old. Must be active and bubbly. Don’t need to be mixed for long but must be all melted into the mixture.
  3. In another bowl mix together: flour, potato starch and baking powder. Whisk together briefly and add few spoonfuls to the butter mixture, alternating with milk, for 3 times. It must be well incorporated after every adding, but be careful not to over mix.
  4. Melt 115g of chocolate into the microwave (or on the top of a pan of boiling water) and add it to the mixture.
  5. Yet again, DO NOT OVER MIX! If you keep mixing, the gluten network will start developing and the final product will be a bouncy ball, and you really don’t want that! Therefore, add, quick mix, done! Easy peasy! πŸ˜‰
  6. Add further 110g of milk chocolate’s pieces (get that egg and crumble it with your fingers, trying not to eat it all at once! I didn’t AT ALL! πŸ€₯πŸ˜‚)
  7. Now it’s time to get the plum cake tins ready. I lined them with a long paper case ( easy to find in any supermarket), but if you don’t have it, nevermind. Just spread cold butter all over the tin and line it with regular baking paper, but don’t forget the sides! Must be all lined up!
  8. Now fill the tins with half mixture each. With these quantities I’ve made 2 of them.
  9. In the middle I’ve added 5 mini eggs each (just because. Don’t judge me!), but they are totally optional. Depends on how much chocolaty you feel. I was looking for a kinda full chocolate Easter party taste!

Pop the tins into the preheated oven, at 180Β°C, for about 35/40 minutes, but check them after 30 with a toothpick, that must come out clean.

Last part of the recipe consists in melting a bit of more chocolate (let’s be honest, chocolate is never enough!) and spread it on the top of the cooled cakes. You can decorate as you wish. I chose stars for mine, but I’m very curious to see what you will come up with!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did!

Thanks for reading and let me know if you try to make this amazing sweet bread! One of them is already gone here. I can assure you, It won’t last long!! My kids love chocolate and this is just perfect as after dinner treat and early morning breakfast! πŸ’•

You can also following me on Instagram @bia84f and on my Facebook page ‘the Sugarsmith & the white witch’!πŸ€—πŸ˜˜

Mother’s day strawberry cake

I’ve made myself this gorgeous strawberry cake on mother’s day! Why should I buy it when I can easily make it? It was scrumptious!!! My kids where so impatient to eat it, and honestly, me too! Everybody loved it!

These are two of my basic recipes for the pie crust (pasta frolla), that see involved almond flour, and for custard cream (crema pasticcera). Let’s get started with the ingredients of pasta frolla. For 700g of pastry you will need:

  • 155g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 281g all purpose flour ( or 00 flour, or plain flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 56g almond flour
  • 113g icing sugar
  • 42g whole eggs
  • 48g eggs yolks
  • Zest of an organic lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 1tsp extract)
  • A pinch of salt


I prefer using a freestanding electric mixer for making this recipe, but it’s easy to make by hands as well. Remember that the dough doesn’t have to get too warm though, so put your hands under cold water if the temperature is too hot.

Put the cold butter, plain flour, almond flour, lemon zest, vanilla and salt into the bowl and, using the paddle attachment, start whisking all together until they form a sandy-like consistency. Add the icing sugar, all the eggs and whisk quickly until it’s all combined and the dough comes together. Be careful not overwork it, or it will become stiff and brittle. If this happens, just add a splash of cold water.

Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it into the fridge for about two hours (overnight would be even better, depends on your time).

After the resting time, take it out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until is about 5mm (1/4in) thick. Line the pie dish with the pastry, pressing it gently into the base to make sure it is sitting neatly in the dish.

Trim any excess around the edges with a small knife, cutting in line with the edge of the pie dish.

Texture can be added to the edge of the pastry by pinching with your fingers or a fork. Allow the pie crust to rest in the fridge again for about 20 minutes.

To bake ‘blind’ (as you need in this recipe), preheat the oven to 160Β°C.

It is very important to prick the crust base with a fork. If you don’t do this it will rise in the middle wildly! So, remember to prick it!!

Line the pie crust loosely with parchment paper and fill with ceramic baking beans (or uncooked dry kidney beans). Pop it into the oven and bake it for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and the paper and continue baking for further 20 minutes or until the crust is an even golden brown colour. Allow to cool before filling.

Now, let’s see how to make the delicious, velvety cream for filling our beautiful crust. You will need:

  • 25g plain flour
  • 250ml fresh whole milk
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 75g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Pour milk and vanilla in a pan and bring it to boil.

In the meantime, in a bowl mix the yolks with sugar and, only when all mixed, add the flour and mix again.

When the milk starts boiling, take it off from the heat and add a spoon at time into the eggs mixture, mixing well. Put only 1/3 of the milk.

Put the milk back on the heat, wait until it boil again, pour in all the eggs mixture and start stirring fast. You’ll see the cream getting firm in no time, so this process must be done very quickly! When you see the custard getting bubbly, it means that is done! Don’t overcook it, or you will end up with sweet crumble eggs (maybe still good on a buttery French toast, but not really what we need for filling our pie πŸ™‚)

When the cream is done, pour it over a clean glass dish and cover with cling film.

Now, this is the time to cool our cream down as quickly as we can. I use a very ancient way, one of those that our great grandmothers would be using, and yet, very efficient. I simply put the dish into the sink filled with cold water and ice. When is cold, pop it into the fridge until is time to use it.

Now it’s time to put it all together!

First thing to do is to simply pour the cream onto the pie crust and smooth the surface as much as you can with a spatula.

Did you remember to buy the strawberries? Good…because now you gotta cut them. You can choose your own cutting style and customize the pattern. I was looking for some kind of 3D effect, with the strawberries popping up gently. For it I simply cut them in halves and start cutting a kinda folding fan on the tops.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

If you need any help, just contact me and I’ll be more than happy to give you advices!

Happy baking! πŸ’•

Homemade granola

I love GRANOLA! It makes a great breakfast as it has all the nutrients you need for starting your day in the best way. The problem is that, quite often, I cannot find the commercial right one for me and my family, as everyone has a different taste and what likes to one doesn’t like to the others, therefore I’ve decided to make it myself today. It’s very easy to make and doesn’t cost much, even because, I’m pretty sure, you got all the ingredients in your kitchen already! Are you ready for making some tasty granola? Let’s do it!


100g mixed nuts

45g dried apricots

70g mixed seeds

200g rolled oat

125g clear honey

30g sunflower oil

1/2 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 150Β°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.

Chop the mixed nuts and apricots and pop into a bowl. Add the seeds and oat.

In another bowl mix honey, oil and salt together and let it melt over a bowl of hot water. When the mixture is all liquid and fluid, pour it over the dry ingredients and mix well until is all covered. Get back the lined baking tray and spread the mixture evenly on it. Pop into the oven for about 20/30 minutes, or until is all golden and smells good! Taste a bit to check if it is well toasted. Let it cool in the tray and try to resist!

Be careful…it’s additive! I couldn’t stop myself from eating it!

Obviously you can make all the changes you wish! Maybe you don’t like apricots and prefer dates instead…no one is stopping you from swapping the ingredients I’ve been using with what you like! Have fun and have yourself a great (and extremely healthy) breakfast! Enjoy!

If you need any help with this recipe, don’t hesitate to contact me! I would gladly help you anytime! Besides, I’ll be pleased to see if you make this recipe, and let me know what do you think about it! Thanks! See you to the next culinary experiment!

Red lentils soup

What’s better than a steaming hot homemade red lentils soup, with my homemade sourdough bread croutons in a cold wet day?! I make mine in this way: stir fry chopped onions & carrots slowly, in two tbs of olive oil til tender, then add a chopped garlic clove and go on further 2 minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes and let it get to simmer, then blend it all. After blending, add the cleaned red lentils, hot water and a vegetable stock cube (I prefer the organic ones with NO glutamate inside). Let it simmering gently til the lentils are all soft and creamy. I added some escarole at this point, but is up to you, whether you like it or not. Season with Italian style dry herbs and salt. Pour in bowls and add the sourdough bread croutons! Enjoy! X

Sourdough Ciabatta Bread

Four sourdough ciabatta bread just out of the oven!πŸ˜πŸ’• Love the scent of hot bread around the house before bed time! The question now is: should I open one of them and have a quick peek at the inside (and eventually gobble it up!)…or waiting til tomorrow? πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

The struggle is real πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚