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.
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 cakes.
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!
Cherish your loved ones. Cherish every breath and every beautiful moment. Don’t sweat the little things. Really. I mean it.