22 August 2011

about that cake

chocolate cake3

I told the gathered Italian neighbors that I would bring a  chocolate cake with a twist, a secret ingredient that I would not reveal until everyone had at least one good bite of the cake. Oh, the suspense was thick!

Marco joked that it might be an ingredient that sent us all to the hospital.
His wife, Cristiana, lamented that at least the hospital has air conditioning, a good thing in this heatwave.
Rosy, allergic to all cheese except for mozzarella di bufala, inquired if there would be any cheese in the recipe.
Ida and Zia just smiled and shook their heads, agreeing to at least a taste. I never know what they are really thinking. They do love my pecan pie, so they are likely truly willing to give my cake a shot.

I did exactly as I promised. After a somewhat disjointed, American and Italian, potluck-style meal that included both pasta with mussels and BBQ chicken sliders, grilled hotdogs and grilled polenta, I brought it out.

Everyone had a taste.
Everyone gave the proverbial two thumbs up, some even asking for seconds.
Except for Pino. For Pino, it's never good enough unless it's exactly the way they make it in Naples. He suggested (several times) that if I would only add almond to the cake it would be just like the Torta Caprese found in Naples. Exactly.

And then I told them, and a hush came over the crowd . . . except for Pino, who was sure I said zucchero (sugar) and looked at me in puzzlement. "Isn't that in all cakes? Don't forget the almonds next time. This cake would be so much better with almonds."
This, from a man who probably couldn't make himself a bowl of cereal.


And if you want to know, you'll have to go and visit Daisey for the secret ingredient.
And while you are there, check out this woman's creative talent.
Ah - mazing, she is.

Are you local?

She's teaching classes at the Art Center where she'll guide you in making these fab creations.
I would be there, but I have this pesky thing called work to attend to, starting tomorrow. 


  1. Ack! The wild goose chase made me even *more* desperate to try this recipe!


  2. Go for it. It is, after all, healthy, right? I mean TWO CUPS of the stuff!

  3. My guess is zucchini...and I use the same approach, insisting that my Italian friends try it before I let them in on the secret ingredient!

  4. Glad to hear the cake was a hit! Beautiful cake picture, looks even richer in black and white. Thanks for the link :o)

  5. haha! i swear that is a work of art... i WISH i were local... :)

  6. your cake looked wonderful - happy new school year!

  7. Next time you will have to make brownies for pino made with beets. Have you seen that cookbook by Jerry Steinfield's wife who using veggis in everythings? And by the way-YUM!

  8. Ha. Good idea Kelleyn! No doubt, he will still find a way for me to improve it and make it more like what he knows and loves. Good ol Pino.