I hope you all enjoyed my Italian adventure!

Wow, that went quickly. I can’t believe that my ‘Italian Food Trails’ series is over. I hope you enjoyed the six shows as much as I did making them. I’m delighted that the filming for another ‘Food Trails’ series, this one based in Ireland,  has already been shot and we met some fantastic people along the way so I really think you are in for a treat.

Now just a few thank yous from myself. Firstly to David Hare who produces the show and also to all the people who work on the show in the crew – nothing could happen without your expertise and support. And of course a big thank you to Simply Better Dunnes Stores who sponsored my ‘Italian Food Trails’. And finally to all my staff here at MacNean and my family who are always so so supportive.

(44)Neven's Italian Food Trails, programme five. Neven with Piergiorgio Castellani of Castellani Wines in Tuscany

I truly love getting out and meeting food producers. These are the people who we chefs rely on and as I always say the key to being a chef is to constantly be open to learning and improving and I certainly learn a lot on my ‘Food Trails.’

I shared the Ragú Ala Bolognese from the  final show in a recent blog so tonight I am going to share with you the recipe for the Peach and Amaretti Sponge Cake from earlier in the series.

I know you will enjoy making it and enjoy eating it even more!

Peach & Amaretti Sponge Cake


  • 200g softened butter, plus extra for the tin
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½-1 tsp almond essence (optional)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Amaretto Liqueur
  • 410g Can peaches or apricot halves in natural juice, drained, roughly chopped
  • 85g Amaretti Biscuits
  • 25g Flaked Almonds


  1. Heat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Butter the base and sides of a 22cm loose-bottom cake tin and line with baking parchment.
  3. Put the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder in a large bowl.
  4. Break in the eggs, add the almond essence, lemon zest, olive oil and amaretto liqueur and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  5. Gently stir in the peaches/apricots and the amaretti biscuits.
  6. Spoon into the tin and lightly smooth with the back of the spoon.
  7. Bake for 60 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.


This entry was posted in On the Road, Recipe, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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