Panna al Forno

This recipe is for a dessert we have at Locanda Senio on our Northern Tuscany and Ravenna trip. The dish was created by Roberta and perfected over many years. Roberta recommends a few practice goes to get the oven temperature just right!

6 egg yolks
1 litre cream
130g sugar
50g crumbled amaretti biscuits

Make a caramel with 150ml water and 350g sugar and pour into a dish or mould and allow to cool.

Whisk the sugar and egg yolks until they become pale and frothy. Add the cream and amaretti biscuits and pour the mixture in the cooled dish or mould. Then place this in a pan with water half way up the side (bain marie) and cook in the oven at 150 degrees for 2 hours 15mins.

Yoghurt and Rhubarb cake

This recipe for yoghurt rhubarb cake was a real favourite whilst hiking on Mount Buffalo just this year. We found the recipe on the Taste magazine website and it was written by Kerrie Sun.

Melted butter, to grease
1 bunch (about 700g) rhubarb, trimmed, washed, cut into 2cm lengths
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
200g butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs
375g (2 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
260g (1 cup) natural yoghurt
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
35g (1/3 cup) flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a square 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to grease. Line base and sides with non-stick baking paper. Combine rhubarb and 55g (1/4 cup) of the sugar in a baking dish. Cook, covered, in oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Use an electric beater to beat together butter, remaining sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined.

Stir in flour, yoghurt and milk until combined. Spoon half the mixture evenly over the base of prepared pan. Top with rhubarb. Spoon over remaining mixture and smooth surface. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and almonds in a bowl. Sprinkle cake with almond mixture.
Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven. Set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Vanilla Panna Cotta

This was a favourite from Rundell's Alpine Lodge up in Dinner Plain in the heart of the Victorian High Country.

Ingredients for the Panna Cotta 

  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups cream
  • Cup caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 x 5 g gelatine sheets
  • Strawberries, mint, butterscotch schnapps to serve


  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds


Combine milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan. Cut and scrape vanilla bean, add to the mix and bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Add gelatine and stir until dissolved. Strain liquid, then pour into 6 glasses. Refrigerate overnight.

For the praline, mix sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Add almonds. Stir and pour into a lined baking tray. Allow to cool. Once set, blend in mixer to a large crumb texture.

To serve, cut the strawberries into halves. Place into bowl with shredded mint and schnapps to taste. Add mix to panna cotta glass. Sprinkle with praline to finish. 

Lemon Sgroppino

This recipe was given to us by Gwenda at Casa Luna in the King Valley.  Our Victorian Alps and Vineyards tour stays here and we always enjoy Gwenda's great cooking, influenced by her passion for all things Italian. The recipe originates in the north of Italy but is popular all over the peninsula.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • Approximately 250 mls vanilla icecream, say 2 generous icecream scoops – either home made or high quality
  • The same measure of home-made or high quality lemon sorbet
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 30 mls grappa, or vodka
  • ¼ cup limoncello – can home-made, or Italian

Place all ingredients in a blender and process till smooth.  Pour into champagne flutes, to about two thirds full, place on a small plate, and top with a chilled King Valley prosecco at the table.

Lovely with an accompanying sweet treat.  Gwenda usually serves it with little Sicilian pistachio sponges. Her advice is to try to avoid having two, unless you are walking home!!

Apricot Oat Slice

  • 110g melted butter
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup of rolled oats

These ingredients above make up the base, combine them all well and press down into a shallow rectangle tin with a lip, line it with greaseproof baking paper initially. Prick lightly with a fork and place in preheated oven at 180c for 12 mins. Then remove ready for the topping.

Meanwhile combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200g of diced dried apricots (you could use dates or other dried fruit)
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut

Carefully spread mix all over the base with a spatula. Continue cooking for another 12 mins or until set. Cool and slice.