Make: Panpepato di Siena

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January was a bit of a long month wasn’t it? I have definitely hit my over-this-cold-and-dark-state-of-living limit. What works for me when it gets like this (because the potentially dreadful months of Feb and March still lie ahead!!) is to focus on warming things: flavoursome recipes, belly laughs (not difficult when you live with a toddler) exercise and wearing many layers.

Now, when it comes to the kitchen I’m not particularly adventurous with recipes. I have a staple few ‘go-to’ choices when we have people over for a meal, but my days of trying and testing are well behind me – I just don’t have the mental capacity energy for perusing recipe books and pottering about with non-standard ingredients (like that time I tried to make this weird cranberry brioche mixture that got completely stuck to my hands and I had to touch everything in the kitchen to get it off – yuck!). That said, I really enjoy cooking for people and wish I was better at it.

So I recently had the absolute pleasure of receiving a 4 month subscription from The Spicery as a gift from a friend and wasted no time in ordering my first box from the World Kitchen selection. The box arrived with the recipes and spices for one main meal and a dessert – an absolute treat in itself! You might be thinking, just how much spice can you get into a dessert? Well, easy! The recipe was for Panpepato di Siena is roughly translated as ‘peppered bread’ – a chocolatey, nutty, cakey, spicy dessert with A LOT of amazing pepper including the most beautiful crushed pink peppercorns on top. The best part was that the flavour fusion INTENSIFIES over time so it’s best to make it the day before you want to serve it.

I was so excited to make it that I forgot to take pictures of the process and the end product (doh!) but I was kindly told by my guests that “it looked exactly like the recipe’s picture” *see below, so there we have it!

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It was a wonderful way to try a new recipe – nice to have the extra handholding and the instructions were really easy to follow. It wasn’t a recipe I would have chosen from a book, so it was a lovely challenge to take on and I can’t wait to try next month’s box!

Here is the recipe if you’d like to try it. I made mine with figs as I’m not a fan of sultanas. If you’re going to make it, definitely make it 24 hours before you want to serve it – trust me on this one! Also serve with aromatic coffee or a a lovely dry-ish sparkling wine (not because I’m a knowledgable foodie but really because dry-ish sparkling wine goes with most things doesn’t it?!)

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Bon appetit!