After hearing so much about the cookbook, Dolce Italiano, I decided I needed my own copy. While waiting for Amazon to ship my book, I read all the blogs featuring the recipes and imagined all the wonderful recipes I would make.
When my book finally arrived in the mail, I realized that I was poorly equipped with the necessary ingredients and equipment needed to actually bake anything. It took a while to gather up some of the necessary ingredients, including kosher salt, polenta flour, vanilla beans. Then I realized that I only own three pans for baking: a muffin pan, a loaf pan, and a rectangular pan, as well as a couple of cookie sheets. So, back to Amazon to order some pans. I ordered a wonderful new springform pan, a 9-inch square cake pan, and a zester and my dad gave me a bundt pan that he never used.
While waiting for my new pans to arrive, I made the Ricotta Pound Cake. It was a pretty simple recipe to follow. I ended up cutting the recipe in half because I ate some of the ricotta before I finally found the Vanilla Beans at a reasonable price. I think I might have taken it out of the oven a little too soon, but I still found it to be quite delicious. I cut it up into pieces and put most of it in the freezer, taking it out and heating it up each morning to have for breakfast with my morning espresso.
My new pans arrived last weekend. Once they arrived, I realized why I owned so few pans. Each one takes up storage room! One of the reasons baking is such a challenge for me is because of the very limited space I have in my kitchen. I have three tiny counters in my tiny kitchen. Because I have limited storage space, many of my baking pans are stored in my oven. This is where my new pans also ended up.
When I bake, I have to take all the stored pans out of the oven. They end up balancing on top of my pans on the stove as well as overflowing onto a couple of my counters. I use two counters to hold the bowl for the dry ingredients and some of the other ingredients needed for the recipe. That leaves me with one counter (with my espresso machine already on this counter) to actually do the measuring, chopping, and the mixing with my little hand mixer, because of course I have no room for one of those nice Kitchen-Aid mixers. I even use my sink at times as free space before it gets filled up with dishes. That means, no room for my cookbook, which I end up putting in my living room area and go back and forth to refer to while baking. If you are getting the picture, it is quite a challenge to actually try to bake anything in my kitchen. I thought about taking a photo of all the pans balanced on my stove, but I would have had to clean my kitchen first to do that (you know, how you clean before the maid comes to clean?).
On Saturday, I finally got up the courage to attempt one of the more complicated recipes; the Citrus-Glazed Polenta Cake. This is one of the recipes I have wanted to make since getting Dolce Italiano. I can proudly announce that I successfully created a delicious Citrus-Glazed Polenta Cake. I did not take a picture of it however as it fell in the middle while cooling. It still tasted quite wonderful and even better the next day!! It tastes like a gourmet cornbread cake. I love cornbread!!
Next up, perhaps a tart? I don’t think however I will be able to make my own crust. It would just be a little too challenging with the space available.
Dolce Italiano is a fabulous cookbook. Well done, Stella!! I am so happy that I have discovered it.
I am looking forward to some wonderful morning treats of Citrus-Glazed Polenta Cake with my morning espresso. Yummy!!
5 thoughts on “my attempt to bake a cake”
Look – I gotta tell you, that is the BEST cooking blog entry I have ever read. I really loved it. My gosh I like reading your blog.
Ten out of ten.
I keep two cookbooks, one American one, which I use occasionally and one Australian one, which I never ever use. We won’t talk about my baking. I am about to eat a brownie bought with the Dominos pizza yesterday.
Leslie, you are too kind.
I enjoyed reading this too! When you said the cake fell, it reminded me of khb’s blog (In and out of the garden) – her phrase for when the cake looked less than presentable was “it had far more of a rustic look than I had intended”. Er, my cakes always look quite rustic…heck, I made chocolate chip cookies the other day and even they fell (how sad is that?) But tasted great though.
Kitchen space IS a challenge. I have a good sized room with plenty of cupboards, but I still have to store my cast iron frying pan in the oven…drives Dave nuts as he forgets to take it out before heating up the oven, and then burns his hand. (He makes a mean shepherd’s pie, does my hubby!)
Wait, you mean cakes and cookies aren’t supposed to sag in the middle?? ;)
The only thing that matters is how it tastes, don’t you think?