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Tasty Italian Cooking Monthly newsletter, Issue #002 - Sweet on SWEETS!
February 21, 2010

Sweet on SWEETS! Italian Desserts are divine!

There is nothing like the scent of freshly baked pastries wafting through the open doorway of an Italian pasticceria. While living in Rome I came across a few of these, but my favorite was a small hole-in-the-wall bakery situated below ground just north of Vatican City. While walking to a friend's house we discovered it, and as we climbed down the stairs into the tiny shop, we saw them - mountains of sweets; the only thing that separated us was a thin wall of glass. It was love at first site.

Love Italian sweets? Here's a recipe for you!

Pan di Spagna


  • 7 large eggs (separated)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • powdered sugar or strawberry topping
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • 1 tube cake pan
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites with cream of tarter and whip until stiff peaks form (test by lifting up egg beaters.. if the mixture forms a point and does not fall over, they're done) Set aside.

    In a large bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar and blend together at medium speed until they are creamy. Add the water, oil, salt and extract and mix well. While continuing to beat the mixture, slowly add the flour and baking powder ot it. Set this aside.

    With a wooden spoon gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour the dough into a greased tube pan. Bake in the oven for approximately 60 to 70 minutes. DO NOT open the oven door to check on the cake before 60 minutes are up or the cake with deflate!!

    Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely. Once it is cooled, flip it onto your serving platter. At this point you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar or with your strawberry topping. If you use strawberries, serve with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This cake can be served warm or cold. Enjoy!

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