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For me, the Aperol Spritz is the quintessential Summer drink. I love nothing more on a searing hot day, than whipping up one of these and taking myself out onto the grass, enjoying the sunset and feel the grass between my toes.

I knew I had to whip up these goodies for The Italy Issue – they found their origin in Venice in the 1920s, where the Barbieri Brothers, who inherited a liquor company from their father, developed the lighter aperitif. it wasn’t however, until the 1950s that the Aperol Spritz really took off, the prospect of a citrus cocktail the most blissful way to spend a Summer Day.

Ingredients: 

  • Ice
  • 75ml Prosecco
  • 50ml Aperol
  • 25ml soda water
  • Orange Slice

Method

In a wine glass, combine Prosecco, Aperol and soda water

Stir

Add plenty of ice (we recommend filling the glass)

Garnish with an orange slice.

Image: Katherine Milton

When I think of Italian desserts, I think of ricotta! It can be a cannoli or a creamy ricotta cheesecake. This recipe is a take on the cannoli and its many different flavours. It’s such a simple recipe and super easy to whip up. Great to serve up at a dinner party or create mini versions for petit fours at a cocktail party or wedding. The almond sponge can be made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge, or even frozen for use at a later date. The ricotta icing just takes a few minutes in the food processor. I’ve flavoured the ricotta icing with lemon zest – but you could use orange zest, cardamon, coffee or chocolate – the flavours are endless! Here’s the delicious recipe:

Almond Sponge cake

  • 185g almond flour
  • 85g sugar
  • 45g flour
  • 5 eggs
  • French Meringue
  • 125g egg whites
  • 100g sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix slowly until combined. Add eggs in one at a time until all combined.

In a separate bowl whip egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form.

Carefully fold meringue mixture into the batter.

Gently spread the batter into a parchment lined sheet pan (45cm x 65cm)  and bake for 8 mins, or until surface is evenly browned.

Allow to cool and invert on a wire rack.

Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts, The French Culinary Institute

Ricotta Cream

  • 300g ricotta
  • 40g unsalted butter, salted
  • 200g confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 1 lemon

In a food processor, whip butter and ricotta until there are no lumps. Slowly add sugar and lemon zest.

Chill in the fridge before use.

Sugar syrup

  • 100ml water
  • 100g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest

Place all ingredients into a saucepan. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

Assembly

Cut discs out of the sponge cake. I used a 7 cm diameter cutter.

Dab some sugar syrup on each round. Carefully pipe the ricotta cream on the sponge and continue to layer.

Decorate with chocolate, pistachios or berries.

Store cakes in the fridge.

Ms Zebra says: Katherine Milton, the talent behind Sweet Milton makes beautiful cakes and desserts, with an emphasis on truly gorgeous (and delicious) wedding cakes. Realising her passion whilst living in New York, Katherine has studied globally and set up shop with her family in Melbourne. Here, she is living proof of her passion for desserts and cakes and continues to make one of a kind culinary delights.


TWR’s Willard’s Julep
For a black tie wedding you want the best of the best. And that includes the drinks you’ll be toasting your new life with. TWR at Crown Towers Perth has just been named the Best Hotel Bar by the Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide Awards. Their plush private lounge and airy terrace are suited to intimate cocktail-and-canapé-style weddings or engagement parties to impress your guests.
TWR has kindly shared the secrets to making their sophisticated, signature Willard’s Julep cocktail below. It’s quite a complex recipe so it’s great for perfecting on the sly at home and presenting to your whisky-loving belle or beau as a treat. Serving the drink in gleaming designer metallic barware adds an extra luxe touch that standard glassware may lack and using shiso in place of mint leaves to garnish ups the special points even further.

Willard’s Julep

60ml smoked bone marrow infused Bulleit Bourbon (simply use a smoky or bacon bourbon if you want to cheat)
5ml maple syrup
3 dashes Monin Salted Caramel
5-6 shiso leaves
Crushed ice
Matcha, to garnish

Add all ingredients to a glass, top up halfway with crushed ice then swizzle to combine. Add additional crushed ice to form a dome over the glass. Garnish with a shiso leaf and a dusting of matcha.

For the Smoked Bone Marrow Infused Bulleit Bourbon: 

Season 1kg of bone marrow with salt, pepper and brown butter. Render down the bone marrow in an oven at 180C for 2 hours. The fats will liquefy and collect at the bottom of the tray (this should yield roughly 180-200mls of bone marrow oil). Collect the oil and place in a container smoked with mesquite wood chips (TWR uses a PolyScience smoking gun for this). Once smoked, combine 15mls of the smoked bone marrow oil and 1 700ml bottle of Bulleit Bourbon in a separate container and leave to sit overnight. After 24 hours, place the bone marrow oil infused Bulleit Bourbon in a freezer for four hours to allow the fat to freeze. Strain through a cheesecloth and bottle.

About Crown Towers Perth TWR: With a lavish custom-designed environment, sophisticated atmosphere and exceptional cocktails served to perfection, TWR is the ultimate unparalleled social destination in Perth. From the moment you step in, you’ll receive attentive care from the impeccable bar staff. Discover unique sumptuous signature cocktails, become reacquainted with bar room classics, explore TWR’s extensive range of superior wines or the suite of local and imported premium beers.