I was in Italy and in Italy I was inspired. I made up recipes and ate new things. My roommates were happy to be fed. Here are a couple of simple dishes:
But one thing I missed was baking. For the first 2.5 months in my apartment on Via del Cane, I thought the oven didn’t work. However, with a flick of a switch from the dark-haired, over-sized housing assistant who rode up to the house on her moped, it suddenly functioned again. However, it was finicky and powerful and left my brownies covered in a layer of burnt char. I had to stick to less precise foods like lasagna and one of my signature dishes there, chicken and eggplant rolontini, so baking was simply not an option.
Upon my return to Boston, I took a while to settle myself, and once I did, I celebrated by baking a big cake. I’m personally not a huge cake fan because for many the cake is too dry and the icing is too sugary and it all becomes a dry spongy mess in your mouth when you eat it. I chose this one by Paula Deen because the caramel icing sinks into the simple white cake layers to make them moist. The frosting was extremely spreadable but still pretty sweet so if you make this cake, you’ll need to pour yourself a big glass of milk.