Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh To Be 18 Again, Or Not

My Italian "son," Filippo marked his 18th birthday today. For his birthday dinner, we had Thai from the neighbourhood Siam Bistro.

Filippo has never tasted Thai food before, so I thought this would be the perfect occassion to introduce his Mediterranean palate to galangal and Thai curry. He enthusiastically cleared his plate, then had two more helpings. (I'm certain we are genetically related.)

Pad Thai, Kao Pad Khing, Kao Pad Pak, Kao Gang Garee Gai
Remember when we were 18? We could imbibe and consume anything until our insides were bursting. No guilt. No food hangovers.

During my18th summer, my sister Tina and I spent summer evenings on the lakeshore in the West Island of Montreal. We sat in the front of Dad's Oldsmobile with the radio playing Cyndi Lauper. In the glove box, along with the compass and tire gauge, were our vital implements: two metal spoons. One was for the pint of Baskin Robbins World Class Chocolate ice cream. The other was for the Sara Lee chocolate cake. The sugar orgy gave us enough fuel for a night of bar-hopping on Crescent Street.

I've since graduated from Sara Lee and packaged desserts. I can't recall the last time I was in a dance bar. I can't stay awake that late.

But I still enjoy my sweets. I am, once again, trying to cut down my sugar intake. Today, though, I made an exception for Filippo's birthday cake.

Tenerina is his favourite dessert which his mother makes for special occassions. I think an 18th birthday definitely counts as a special occassion.

I love the simplicity of this recipe. There are only five ingredients: eggs, cocoa, butter, sugar, potato flour.

I had to ad lib the original recipe beause I didn't have enough coconut oil or butter. I used vegetable oil instead. The torte came out beautifully. I divided the batter between two loaf pans for a double layer cake. In between the layers and on top, I poured warm peach-mango jam. It reminded me of a sachertorte on a diet.  

Filippo's Birthday Cake  
Serves 8
3 eggs, separated
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons potato flour

Combine yolks and the four remaining ingredients.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs white until soft peaks form.
Fold in the chocolate mixture.  
Pour into parchment-lined loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Decorate as desired and enjoy!

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