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Capri Island

“’Twas on the Isle of Capri that he found her, Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree.
Oh, I can still see the flowers blooming ’round her, Where they met on the Isle of Capri

Isle of Capri, Grotz and Kennedy, 1934

I read Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in ‘A’ Level literature and imagined the island where it is set to be Capri. Cross by boat from the mainland to the magical island of Capri, through an imaginary haze which distorts reality. Make your way up the funicular railway. Enter the Piazzo Alberto and go to the Al Piccolo Bar. Order a Strega and be presented with these wonderful cantuccini – almond biscotti. Sit amongst the ghosts of film stars, Roman emperors and sea-sirens, enjoying a glimpse of the high life!

Magical Place

24 biscuits
255g (9oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting * 1 tsp baking powder * pinch of salt * 170g (6oz) caster sugar * 2 eggs, lightly beaten * finely grated rind of 1 orange * 115g (4oz) whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Lightly dust a large baking sheet with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the sugar, eggs and orange rind and mix to form a dough. Knead in the almonds. Roll the dough into a ball, cut in half, roll out each portion into a log about 4cm/1½ inches in diameter and place in the logs on the baking sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, cut the baked dough into 1cm/½ inch thick diagonal slices. Arrange the slices on ungreased baking sheets and return to the oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and harden.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book: FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

There are more recipes in the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.