White Chocolate Mousse Cake and Blessings

by cakeduchess on April 1, 2011 · 54 comments


Italians know how to make a good cake! If you have had an Italian cake, you know what I’m talking about! if not, take this cake as an example.

I’m luckily married to an Italian. I’m very lucky to be married to a cute Italian chef that brings cakes home from work for every birthday! Luca turned 5 this past week. I asked Fabrizio which cake he is bringing home from the restaurant. He answered, “A white chocolate mousse cake and a tiramisu’ cake.” My head was spinning as I nodded my head in approval! I was counting down the minutes until we all got to have a slice of these heavenly creations.

Fabrizio’s mom cooked the whole day. My mom was given strict instructions to just relax and take the day off. Teresa made Calabrese zeppole stuffed with sardines, red peppers, and hot dogs! She made homemade lasagne with her meat ragu’ and besciamella. Teresa made Calabrese eggplant meatballs. I made the salmon for our vegetarian guests. She made a roast with polenta. I ate 10 sardine zeppole and then I was pretty much done. I had to nibble on her lasagne or she may have been offended. My dad kept urging me, “Mangia! Mangia! You’re so skinny. Are you sure you’re ok?” Yes dad! I’m fine! Just 10 fried zeppole expand and then leave no room for lasagne. But there is of course room for a little cake.Winking smile


I have to talk a little about how blessed I feel. I have two healthy beautiful children and a sweet husband. I have some health issues, but I’m praying they’ll all be resolved next week when I do my surgery. There are many other reasons I feel blessed. I will keep this short and leave that for another post.

I have been thinking all week about my friend Monet and her sister’s car accident. Her sister Pam and family were in a terrible wreck last week. Monet lost her nephew in the accident. I couldn’t sleep for a couple nights after it happened. I would fall asleep and then wake up thinking about how she lost her nephew and her sister and brother-in-law were severely injured. I lay awake thinking how life can change in an instant. I felt this crazy pang in my chest that made me want to call my dad in the middle of the night. I was thinking about how we have to cherish every moment. Hug our loved ones, squeeze them, smother them with kisses. And if we can’t do that in person, call them and tell them we love them.

A group of friends did guest posts for Monet to keep her blog going while she goes through this difficult time.  Today is the sad day her sister Pam passed away. Pam was on life support and I know she is in a much more peaceful place now. My heart aches for Monet and her family’s loss.

I have not yet met Monet in person, but I feel as if we’ve been friends for a lifetime. If you don’t know her, maybe you would like to read her past posts. You will be charmed by her sweetness and eloquence. She bakes the best breads and is always ready with thoughtful compliments on everyone’s blogs. The food blogging community is amazing (another thing I feel grateful about!) and has been so supportive to her. Go over and tell her you’re thinking of her…she could use all the support she could get these days.

Luca was wondering where his Disney Pixar Cars cake was when Fabrizio arrived with these cakes from work. He also said the letter “L” wasn’t the real letter “L”. He does have a point. It was sloping down.
I don’t have the recipe here for you today for this amazing cake. It was a Pan di Spagna cake (an Italian sponge cake), white chocolate mousse in middle, gorgeous strawberries on top. The other cake on right was all tiramisu’. I will post a recipe for the cake in the future. I didn’t want too much time to pass without mentioning my little angel’s birthday and to show off his cakesWinking smile.

In the meantime, I found this recipe from Nick Malgeri. I love Nick Malgeri’s recipes and know this is authentic and delizioso!

Pan di Spagna

Recipe Courtesy of Nick Malgieri

Serves: 1 9 or-10 inch cake


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the yolks with the vanilla extract. Whisk in half the sugar and continue to beat until very light and frothy, about 5 minutes. Combine the flour and cornstarch and sift once to aerate. In a clean, dry bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold a very soft peak. Beating faster, add the remaining sugar in a very slow stream, beating until the egg whites hold a firm peak. Fold the yolks into the whites. Sift the flour and cornstarch over the eggs in 3 additions, folding them in gradually. Do not over-mix the batter. Pour the batter into a buttered and paper-lined 9 or 10-inch round pan, 2-inches deep and smooth the top.
Bake the Pan di Spagna at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is well risen and feels firm when pressed gently with the palm of the hand. Immediately loosen the layer from the side of the pan with a small knife or spatula. Invert the layer and leave the paper stuck to it. Turn the layer right side up and cool it on a rack. The cake can be stored double-wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer. Thank you for coming by to say “hi” this week! I hope you’re having a super week!Smile Cherish your loved ones. Cherish every breath and every beautiful moment. Don’t sweat the little things. Really. I mean it.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

bunkycooks April 1, 2011 at 2:49 am

The photos of this cake are gorgeous. More importantly, I agree with you. Focus on what is important in life. If you know Monet, you will know how short life can be and how precious it is. Remember that every day.


RJ Flamingo April 1, 2011 at 2:54 am

Sometimes in the minutes of our lives, it’s easy to forget how blessed we are, until we learn of others’ misfortunes. My heart goes out to Monet, and I thank you for the reminder.


Kimmy Bingham April 1, 2011 at 2:56 am

This is a beautiful post. I lost two loved ones in the past few months, and it’s amazing how it opens your eyes to so many things. I’ve been following Monet’s story, it’s so heartbreaking how people can be here one minute and gone the rest.

Thank you for reminding us to count all the blessing we have. I continue to think good thoughts for you as well!


Nelly Rodriguez April 1, 2011 at 3:14 am

It’s the small things like you say: family, cake and enjoying both together. Those cakes (though not Pixar!) look fabulous and I bet they tasted delicious. It sounds like you had a food feast! Thanks for sharing and my prayers go out to Monet and her family…


sara @ CaffeIna April 1, 2011 at 3:15 am

We do all have to remember how blessed we are! I love this post Lora, it really made me reflect a lot! And I did love that cake. Next time you have such a dinner, please….invitami! I’m coming over even if I had to drive from California :)

Happy birthday to your little one and good luck to you for next week. I hope all your health issues get resolved in a “batter d’occhi”
Love, S


Kim - Liv Life April 1, 2011 at 3:23 am

A lovely post, Lora, and happy bday to your little guy! Pam’s accident and death have hit me hard as well, I can’t seem to stop thinking about them. I guess as a mom we just can’t let go of a child’s death either.
I read your post on Monet’s blog and it was beautiful.
You are in all of our thoughts as well! May your surgery be quick and your recovery easy.


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 1, 2011 at 3:23 am

Happy Birthday to Luca, sounds like it was a wonderful celebration. That is so thoughtful of you to help Monet during this difficult time. My thoughts are with her and with you as well, I hope that everything goes well for you next week.


chefpandita.com April 1, 2011 at 3:49 am

God bless your family, Lora! Your daughter looks so much like you :) reading about Monet’s family reminds me how unpredictable and fragile life is. A few days ago my neighbor’s husband passed away [heart attack while he was sleeping next to her]. I am praying for all these people who are no longer with us, and I’m really grateful for the blessings in my life.


spcookiequeen April 1, 2011 at 3:54 am

Happy Birthday to your sweet Luca! Please tell Teresa her meal made my heart skip a beat. I’m keeping you in my prayers. My heart had been aching for Monet too.

Wishing you get well soon.


Ilke April 1, 2011 at 4:04 am

My heart aches for Monet! And there are many times we ask “What is the point?” but then life is depressing and not worth living if we believe so! There has to be point!
The point is that you leave traces in others’ lives and make their day brighter… and others do the same for you.
Hope you get well soon! Hope the surgery will go great and will resolve all the issues you are having! You are in my thoughts!


Sue April 1, 2011 at 4:51 am

Life can be tough, which is all the more reason to savor the sweet and happy moments! Blessings to you with the outcome of your surgery, Lora. Your kids look so cute hugging each other:) The cakes look amazing and big! :)


Lana April 1, 2011 at 5:23 am

Buon compleanno a tuo Luca. Tanti auguri!
Tu sei una ragazza con il cuore grandissimo.
I admire you and your strength. I admire your support for Monet.I think of both of you every day, but not sadly. My thoughts are very happy thoughts, because both of you are strong, beautiful, giving souls that make other people smile even when it’s really difficult to face the life. Thank you for being you:)


Denise April 1, 2011 at 6:38 am

Beautiful, touching post! I agree…we are all very blessed. Even though tragedies happen, I know and trust that God is in control. You have a beautiful family, Lora!! Happy birthday to your son. :-)

Denise @ Creative Kitchen


Nisrine M April 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

You’ll be in our thoughts. Keep the faith.


Lauren at Keep It Sweet April 1, 2011 at 10:26 am

Thanks for reminding us to think of the blessings in our life when so many sad events and circumstances seem to surround us. Beautiful post.


Happy When Not Hungry April 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

This is such a wonderful post Lora! Thank you for reminding us how truly blessed we are. I was crushed to read Monet’s post yesterday, but so inspired to see how positive and strong she is staying. Love this post and this cake looks absolutely divine. I am so happy that you’re having such a wonderful time with your in-laws right now!


Carolyn April 1, 2011 at 10:48 am

Beautiful cake, Lora. We are all thinking of Monet and sending her our thoughts. I will be thinking of you and praying for the best for your surgery too. A good reminder to be thankful for what we all have.


Pegasuslegend April 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

You are so darn talented! I can’t wait to see that beautiful smile come back to us with no stress left! Bellissimo and your right you are so lucky just looking at the families look in their eyes of the love they have for you… stay strong dear your going to get through this… so sorry about the little boy in the car.. what a tragic accident.. prayers are being said by all of us.. we are your family too here xoxo Ciao with amore’


Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow April 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Beautiful cakes and a wonderful post! Stay strong!!


Erin April 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Beautiful and delicious looking cake!


georgiecakes.com April 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Holy Schmolly… wish I was there to taste everything! Especially those mouth-watering cakes and the rest of the menu! Absolutely beautiful family!


Jersey Girl Cooks April 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I love Italian cakes and this one is beautiful. Such a nice post! My heart goes out to your friend and her family.


wendyweekendgourmet April 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm

This cake is BEAUTIFUL!! I love nothing better than strawberies and white chocolate…heaven! Also thinking of Monet and praying for her. Wishing you great success with your surgery next week.


Pretend Chef April 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm

This post was a rollercoaster of emotions. At one point I’m smiling and the next tears welled up in my eyes. My thoughts are with you and your family as well as with Monet’s. Sending a big air hug your way!


alana April 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

This cake looks amazing and I am praying for you.


Becky April 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Such a beautiful, moving post. I, too have been thinking about Monet and her family, all week and feel so helpless. I’m praying for her and her family. You are also in my prayers for your surgery next week.

Events like the tragedy Monet’s family has been goin gthrough, make us realize how precious life really is. Make the most of every day!

Happy Birthday to Luca, and who wouldn’t love not1 but 2 gorgeous cakes.


Aggie April 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Buon Compleanno Luca!! You have a lovely lovely family and are very blessed. You are a beautiful person,inside and out!!

I need good Italian cake!!


Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels April 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Ok I just need to stop staring at the cakes and leave a comment. lol. I’m drooling and not writing.
Oh my word, I need these cakes right now. Both of them! I want to devour them all. LOL!
Your family is sooo cute. Little Luca’s hair is so adorable. He’s so funny. I’m so glad he had a wonderful birthday with his family.

I will be thinking of you when you go in for surgery. I know you’ll get through this. You’re so strong. :)


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. April 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Hope everything is okay. This is a wonderful post


Sprinkled with Flour April 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I’m so glad you have been able to be such a support to Monet during this tragic time. I know it means a lot to her. This cream cake looks divine by the way!


Michael Toa April 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Italians definitely know how to bake a great cake. I have always believed that I have a little Italian blood in me. I just need to trace my family tree. :)
I’ve been thinking and praying for Monet.


Wilde in the Kitchen April 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Excellent post, it is good to stop and think about all of the wonderful things in our lives. Thanks for sharing.


Susi's Kochen und Backen April 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Lora, happy Birthday to your little guy! You have a beautiful family and these cakes look incredible!

I read your guest post for Monet and thought you did a lovely job. This tragedy has gotten to me pretty badly as well, especially since I have a 13 year old boy myself.

I will be thinking of you next week when you go in for surgery and am sending a few prayers your way as well! Stay strong!


Kathy Gori April 1, 2011 at 9:34 pm

that is one beautiful cake!! it reminds me of the cakes I had growing up in an Italian household. My thoughts are with you and your friends’ family. I lost my younger sister a few months ago,it’s never easy.


Savory Sweet Living April 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm

What a touching and thoughtful post. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have in my life. So sorry to hear the tragedy of a fellow blogger, my deepest sympathy to your friend. Best wishes to your surgery next week. In the meantime enjoy your beautiful family, what a great photo.

BTW, I love zeppoles, and would love to learn that recipe.


The Mom Chef April 1, 2011 at 10:09 pm

first, happy birthday little man. I hope you enjoy being 5 years old and relish every moment. May you lose your first tooth too!

Second, thank you for the timely words. I’ve been feeling the same thing since the tragedy that Monet has faced this week. My husband and daughter don’t leave the house without a hug and an “I love you.” I end my conversations with my parents the same way.

The cakes; I groaned with pleasure when I saw that white chocolate mousse cake. Holy cow that looks sinfully delicious.


foodwanderings April 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

The sweetest sweetest post thinking of friends and family first! Lora you got the most adorable family, your kids have suce sparkles in their eyes. happy b-day Luca!! You are a good mom, wife, a daughter (& in law) and a friend. hang in there, next week you will be in and out of surgery and on the road to recovery!!


Sandra April 2, 2011 at 1:02 am

Thanks for such a beautiful post Lora. I’m still sending you positive vibes and tons of prayers. This is a beautiful cake made for a special occasion. Be Blessed my foodie friend.


Sandra April 2, 2011 at 2:45 am

First that cake is amazingly delicious, you are blessed, and I can see happy family on the photos!
I am keeping my fingers crossed and sending you love from here, I know everything is going to be OK! You are our blogger cheetah!:)


marla April 2, 2011 at 3:08 am

Such a lovely birthday celebration with your beautiful family. I hope your surgery goes well next week. If you were closer I would give you a giant hug :) So sad about Monet’s family. She is in my prayers as are you. xo


Evan @swEEts April 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm

What a beautiful looking set of cakes.. you are so right about counting our blessings, what happened to Monet is a horrible tragedy and she is in our prayers for sure.. as are you while you prepare for your surgery! Have a wonderful weekend with your family.


Kate@Diethood.com April 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Ah your post made me cry … you’re so wonderful.
My thoughts and prayers are with Monet.

You have a beautiful family! Happy Birthday to the little one… please send a piece of cake this way. K. Thanks. :)


Maria April 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Beautiful post and cake! Hugs!


Lizzy April 3, 2011 at 1:24 am

Lora, your words are so true. Life can change in an instant…and we grieve for those who suffer losses. I pray for your good health and for dear Monet…

PS…I’d love a wedge of that beautiful cake. Happy birthday to Luca!


scrambledhenfruit April 3, 2011 at 2:33 am

Beautiful post, beautiful cake! You are so right- we all need to savor every moment. :) Sending you prayers for surgery next week!


Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes April 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

I have just come from reading your beautiful guest post on Monet’s blog – what a true friend you are. Monet is in my thoughts and prayers as well.

P.S. This cake looks lovely, as do your cream puffs. I am so happy to have found your blog!


A Thought For Food April 3, 2011 at 4:48 am

I’m just so sad about everything that happened with Monet and her family. Everyone should go to her wonderful blog and send her good thoughts and lots of love. She could really use it right now.

What a sweet post and incredible recipe you have here.


Beth April 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

The cake looks wonderful. I’ve been holding Monet in my prayers, too.


baking.serendipity April 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm

This is such a heartfelt post. I love seeing so much support for Monet and her family. I too feel myself becoming more thankful for small things each day.


Amy April 4, 2011 at 2:11 am

Beautiful post! It is very kind of you to guest post for Monet while she is going through this tough time! This cake is beautiful, and looks delicious with all of the berries!


briarrose April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Incredible cake with all those fresh strawberries across the top….my favorites. ;)


Angela@RecipesFromMyMom April 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Absolutely love Nick Malgieri and I have his Modern Baker cookbook. Your kids are so adorable Lora! I hope Luca never cuts his curls.

What a great feast you had for dinner. I’m still hoping you’ll start that MIL recipe blog.


Spicie Foodie April 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

What a beautiful post and your advise is very good advise. I felt heartbroken for Monet and her family. They have been through so much lately and it’s all so sad. I hope you are doing well and on will be quickly on your way to a speedy recovery. Your family is beautiful. Happy birthday to your son, what a feast! There is always room for dessert:)


glutwin October 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Beautiful post…in every possible way…Question..Would it be possible to obtain the recipe for the white chocolate mousse you use in this spectacular cake?..Thank you for all you do and share…in thought and culinary talent.


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