Poached pears in sweet wine

- 4 pears
500ml sweet wine (e.g. Muscadelle)
- 200g brown sugar
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean
- Peel of 1 lemon

1. Wash and peel the pears.

2. Pour all the ingredients into a large saucepan and boil over medium heat for around 30 minutes. Stir from time to time to allow the pears to absorb the flavours from all sides.

3. When the pears are cooked, remove from the heat and allow them to cool down completely.

4. Put in the fridge and leave for one night in order to absorb even more flavour.

5. You can serve the pears alone or with anything you like (vanilla ice cream, custard, hot chocolate, whipped cream).

Bon appétit!


Fig and camembert toast

Ingredients for 6 toasts:
- 1 ciabatta baguette
- 150g Camembert cheese
- 3 figs
- Honey

1. Slice the baguette into slices as thick as you like.

2. Wash and slice the figs and cut the cheese in pieces to fully cover the toasts.

3. Place the cheese on top of the bread, add the fig slices and drizzle with a little bit of honey.

4. Broil until the cheese is melted.

Bon appétit!


Red velvet cupcakes

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:
- 60ml vegetable oil (or light olive oil)
- 150g sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons of red food colouring paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 125ml buttercream
- 150g flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar   
Cream cheese frosting:
- 200g cream cheese
- 120g butter (room temperature)
- 120g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.

2. Mix the sugar and oil and when they are completely integrated, add the egg.

3. Sift the flour and the cacao into another bowl.

4. Using a whisk, add the flour and cacao to the sugar mix without stopping to mix, always alternating the flour and the buttercream.

5. In a small glass, mix the vinegar and baking soda and when it starts bubbling pour it into the mix.

6. Finally add the red colouring and the vanilla extract.

7. Put the paper moulds into the tray and then spread the mix evenly across.

8. Bake for around 20 minutes.

9. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting.

10. Sift the icing sugar and whisk with the butter, the cream cheese and the vanilla extract.

11. Keep in the fridge until needed.

12. Allow the cupcakes to cool down completely and using a piping bag top with the frosting.

Bon appétit!


Mango and avocado salad

Ingredients for 2 people:
- 150g baby spinach
- 50g arugula
 ½ avocado
- ½ mango
 Candied pumpkin seeds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt
- Mustard
- Balsamic vinegar

1. Peel and cut the avocado and the mango, then keep aside.
2. Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of mustard, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt.
3. Place the baby spinach and the arugula on the dishes you want to use.
4. Top with the avocado and mango chunks.
5. Add the vinaigrette and sprinkle with few pumpkin seeds.

Bon appétit!


Pasta with arugula, cherry tomatoes and walnuts

Ingredients for 2 people:
- 200g spaghetti (or your favourite pasta)
- 50g walnuts
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- 1 big spring onion (or 2/3 if they are small)
- 50g arugula
- 1 clove of garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt
- Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Finely chop the spring onion and the garlic.

2. Half the tomatoes and roughly chop the walnuts.

3. Sauté over medium heat the tomatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil for around 2 minutes. Then, add the onion and the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

4. In the meantime, boil the pasta with water and salt according to the instructions.

5. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the frying pan with the rest of the ingredients. Add the walnuts and half of the arugula. Sauté for an additional minute.

6. Place the pasta in the dishes and top with the other half of the arugula, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Bon appétit!