A classic cake – Mantovana

The Mantovana cake is a classic! Very good for breakfast, it is also a lovely dessert that goes very well with Tuscan Vin Santo. Either way I am sure you’ll love it.

Stella chef at Misenplace has kindly shared this recipe with me last year and I’ve tried immediately. As i really don’t like almonds, I’ve tried to use pine-nuts instead and the result was very good. Decide according to your taste or use both almonds and pine-nuts.


  • 200g sugar (I always use the brown sugar)
  • 150g flour “00”
  • 50g potato flour
  • 100g melted butter
  • 50g of pine-nuts or chopped almonds
  • 5 eggs
  • 16g baking powder
  • grated lemon rind (half lemon)

Preheat the oven at 180°. Grease/flour a cake tin 25 cm.

Set the yolks and whites apart. Melt the butter in a saucepan

Beat the yolks well with sugar, add flour and potato flour, then add the melted butter, the baking powder and the lemon rind. Continue to stir and mix well.

In another bowl, beat the eggs whites until firm peaks form. Add the whites slowly to the mixture.

Slowly pour in the mixture into the cake tin, add the pine-nuts or chopped almonds on the surface and cook for approximately 40 minutes at 180°.

Buon appetito!

Mantovana di Misenplace


Apple and yogurt cake

This is a delicious cake ideal for breakfast or “merenda”.

It is very easy to prepare and it’s soft and creamy inside and crispy outside. I also serve this cake as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream.

Every moment is a good one for this cake and kids love it!

Ingredients: (Baking pan 24 to 28 cm)

  • 200 gr of flour “00”
  • 200 gr of sugar (I use brown sugar)
  • 3 Spoons of brown sugar
  • 8 gr vanillin
  • 16 gr of raising powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 100 gr melted butter
  • 200 ml of yogurt (I use the Muller vanilla yogurt)
  • 3 apples (as my kids love raisins sometimes I add 3 spoons of raisins to the sliced apples)
  • 1 lemon (only the juice)
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 180° C (356°F)

Peel the apples and slice them in a bowl, add some lemon juice.

In a different bowl beat the eggs with the sugar (200 gr) until they are frothy. Add the melted butter, the yogurt and a pinch of salt. Mix well then add the raising powder, the vanillin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Drain the apples and add them to the mixture. Mix carefully with a spoon.

At the end add the flour and mix well.

Grease and flour a baking pan and pour in the mixture. Then cover with a mix of 3 spoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Bake in preheated oven for about an hour (do the “toothpick test” for the cooking).

Make sure that apples don’t burn and if after 30/40 minutes they start to burn cover the cake with an aluminum foil. Don’t open the oven during the first 30 minutes or the raising f the cake will be compromised.

Buon Appetito! 



A delicious Tuscan sweet treats

Another recipe from the “Pecorino che Passione” cooking class held by Angela Olmi chef at Osteria da Gagliano in collaboration with Stella Severini of Misenplace.

A delicious “tortino” very easy to prepare to surprise your dear ones with a combination of chocolate, pears and pecorino cheese.

Chocolate and pear cupcakes with sweet pecorino sauce
Ingredients for 10 cupcakes:

  • 300 g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g of flour
  • 50 g of cocoa powder
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 50 g of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Kaiser pear into small pieces
  • salt (a pinch)

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 500 ml of fresh cream
  • 100 g of fresh pecorino cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

Put in a large bowl the sugar with the eggs and mix with an electric mixer, then add all other ingredients for the cupcakes, making sure the mixture is smooth and well blended. Pour the mixture into aluminum cups to half the height.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 ° to the base of the oven and place a pan containing a little water to create moisture and improve the leavening. While the cakes cool you put on low heat a pan with the grated cheese, cream and sugar and stir for about ten minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Put the pecorino sauce into a  dessert bowl and the cupcake in the middle, to decorate add some fresh mint or small cubes of pear.

Buon Appetito!

Crostata di Susine – Plum Tarte

I love to cook and I love to make cakes but I’ve never been able to make a proper “Crostata” which is my kids favourite. Two years ago I invited friends for dinner and lovely Francesca brought a Crostata for the kids. They loved it so much that I asked her the recipe and when I tried it was as good as the one she prepared. Now I make Crostata at least once a week, it’s a perfect dessert but it makes delicious breakfast as well. For kids birthday parties it’s a must and I usually do three different Crostata: plum, blackberries and strawberries.

Crostata di Susine – Plum Tarte

  • 300 gr flour
  • 100 gr cane sugar
  • 150 gr butter, softened
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt.
  • Plum jam – I use the sugar free jam made in Montepulciano (or your favourite jam)

In a bowl mix the sugar with the butter and the salt using your hands or a fork. Add the egg and the yolk and mix with the fork,. Mix the flour with the baking powder and combine all the ingredients, handling them as little as possible to keep the butter from melting. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once the dough has rested, butter a flat-bottomed pan about 12 inches (30 cm) across and preheat your oven to 356° F (180° C).  Roll the dough out somewhere between a quarter and a half inch thick; work quickly, without overworking the dough in case it becomes crumbly upon baking.

Set aside the cuttings to make decorative strips. Spread jam on the dough in the pan. Re-roll the cuttings, make rolls and lay them in a  crosshatch pattern over the jam.

Bake the crostata for about 40 minutes at 356° F (180° C).