Torta Pere e Cioccolato

The first time I had the pear-chocolate combo in cake form was this summer in Pisa, when I had a supermarket version of it at a birthday party.  Being a supermarket cake, it wasn’t anything mind-blowing.  Actually, the cake was dry, the chocolate flavor was muted, and all I wanted to do was eat all the pears out of it and leave the sad cake scaffolding for the others.  Since that’s not socially acceptable behavior, I resisted the urge. Continue reading “Torta Pere e Cioccolato”

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Torta alle Nocciole (Hazelnut Cake)

I am 10 hours and one exam away from being done with the first semester of sophomore year! While it has been a great semester, I am sooo ready to go home and not sit and stare at books for hours and hours every day.  With the excuse of using up the excess of eggs that I have before leaving for vacation, I procrastinated studying for chemistry to make this lovely cake.  Baking is chemistry, right? Continue reading “Torta alle Nocciole (Hazelnut Cake)”

Torta di Ricotta

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Sicily is famous for its desserts, many of which feature ricotta.  Cannoli, cassate, cream puffs, and various tarts and cakes all have ricotta as their star ingredient.  Whenever we have some ricotta in the fridge, I know that it is destined to become this cake.  Today, I wanted to do something different with the ricotta because we always make the same cake, but I ended up making it anyway, because it is really the perfect incarnation of ricotta in a dessert.  However, ricotta here is a world apart from what you can find in supermarkets in the US; that stuff is plastic.  Whereas “ricotta” in the US is usually a gummy white paste sold in plastic tubs, ricotta here is a creamy and delicately flavored whey cheese sold in little plastic baskets that separate the cheese from its watery whey. Continue reading “Torta di Ricotta”