Heavenly Strawberry Cake

DSCN0104Wow! It’s been so long I almost forgot I owned a blog! It’s not always easy to shuffle all your duties and give each one the same amount of attention.  Sadly, as much as I regret to say this, this one often comes last.  But I’m back and hungry so for today we decided to bake something not just amazing, not just delicious, but something so wonderful it will literally knock your socks off (or if we want to stay in theme with the seasons, it will literally knock your bikini’s off!)
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Strawberry Pistachio Tiramisu Cake and How to Decorate it Beautifully

DSCN9899Tiramisu is truly one of the greatest Italian recipes.  And we’ve turned it into something even greater.

I was born in April, and one of the fantastic features of this wonderful month is that besides the flowers, the birds and the bees, another thing that starts popping out left and right are big, red, juicy strawberries.  I love strawberries.  It’s a love I just cannot control.  And my family knows this oh so well.
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Pineapple and Pastry Cream Pie

DSCN8856-2The other day my sister was at work.  Just a typical day at the radio station, nothing out of the ordinary.  A couple of songs, some senseless (albeit entertaining) chit-chat, traffic updates, another song…you get the idea.  And then, suddenly, a familiar voice.  And not just any voice [my sister would say]!  The one and only, the grand, pastry God…Luca Montersino.  If you’ve been to any of the Eatalys around the world, you may (should!!) know who I am talking about, and you might understand why we refer to him as the God of all things sweet! But, alas, I do understand that not everyone is as food-crazed as we are, not everyone chooses to just hang at Eataly instead of the mall, and not everyone falls asleep reading cookbooks instead of novels.

We are not as strange as I make us sound, I swear!

In the years spent testing, trying and adapting recipes, my sister will always tell you that when it comes to cakes, Luca Montersino’s techniques are unbeatable.  Plain and simple.  He is the pastry God, after all.  And since we never really had a nonna that made us cakes and brought them over for Sunday lunch, we had to make up for it with our own creations.
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Quick and Easy Coffee Cake

DSCN8687-2-2The first time I had coffee cake I was about seven years old.  Our parents brought us to the States for the first time ever to meet all our American family.  It was Christmas, so [since it only snows in Rome during freak winters…so never] for the first time in our lives we were going to have a real[ly] white Christmas!! So a 9-hour flight later we landed at JFK International Airport in New York and drove up to Montclair, New Jersey to see the first batch of cousins!  A couple days later we left NJ and headed north to Providence, Rhode Island.  To the eyes of a seven year old who hadn’t seen snow in years, you can imagine what it could have looked [and felt] like!! We walked into my aunt’s house and it just got better! Picture the initial scenes of the first “Home Alone” movie.  Mom, dad, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters-in-law, grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews…the whole nine yards!! Maybe a bit overwhelming when you’ve grown up with a small-ish family, but when the time came for presents…overwhelmed would be a massive understatement!!

Moving on, a few days after Christmas my uncle decided we should go down to Florida…by car! My aunt flat-out refused and jumped on a plane the next day.  We drove for three days.  We stopped in Washington DC, drove through the Carolinas, visited an old friend of my mom’s in Savannah, Georgia and finally reached our destination…the warm and sunny Sanibel Island, Florida.  Overall, the trip was great…albeit a bit crowded.  But the thing that I remember the most is eating what my mom claims, to this day, is “the best coffee cake in America” (something she ate all the time growing up in NY), to the point of feeling physically ill!

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