Wednesday, August 22, 2012

houseguest prep

Like I said yesterday, a friend of mine from my second semester in Venice (when I was an RA) is staying with me this week, and I couldn't be more excited! That semester, I had to stay in the house while the kids were in class, which resulted in a plethora of baked goods for them (I couldn't ever sit still, not even in an awesome house in Italy). So, I figured baking something that could be snacked on while I'm stuck at work would be a good hostess-y thing to do and bring back good memories from Italy for both of us.  

The eggs had to come to room temperature and the butter had to be both melted and cooled, so, I lined up the bowls of ingredients, then cleaned my apartment a bit while the various temperature adjustments happened. Secret I recently learned: if you put cold eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water, that whole room temp thing happens a lot faster, which is awesome if you're in a hurry.

As usual, I got super distracted while baking/cleaning, so the only snapshot I have is the one above. BUT, this time the end product in my kitchen looked exactly like the photo from the glossy blog. A Tuesday afternoon miracle, really. 

photo from the recipe (but it looks like mine does!)

You bake the cake (or cakes, if you don't cut the recipe in half like I did), then you poke a bunch of holes in it and pour lemon/sugar syrup all over it. This requires patience and a bit of focus, which was a challenge given my easily distracted state yesterday. Anyways, I tried a tiny slice pre-syrup, and a tiny slice post-syrup, and both are good, just in very different ways. The pre-syrup sample is more like a pound cake with a hint of lemon. The post-syrup bites, no surprise here I'm sure, were all "hello LEMON." I did all of this about ten seconds after the cake came out of the oven, so I'm curious to try another post-syrup piece to see if the lemon and sugar concoction made it further down in to the cake itself. When I tried it you really tasted it at the top, and not so much at the bottom.  

It's not a particularly healthy recipe, but I think if you're going to welcome a long lost Venice friend in to your apartment, and you're going to be at work when they open your front door for the first time, you owe them something kind of ridiculously sinful.

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