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Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Pan di Spagna refers to a sponge cake with layers filled with various creams.  In Abruzzo, we refer to it as Pizza Dolce.  Pan di Spagna can also be eaten by itself with fruit or it can be used as a base for Zuppa Inglese.

Pan di Spagna (Pizza Dolce)

In my childhood,  we used to wait for the holidays to eat elaborate desserts.  Pan di Spagna was prepared for Easter Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was also used as a wedding cake. Usually, made with 20 eggs, cut crosswise into three discs soaked in rum, liqueur and espresso coffee and then filled with creams - a chocolate, an almond and a vanilla. The surface was sprinkled with white powdered sugar.    

Today, I continue to make Pan di Spagna at Easter and to celebrate special occasions

Celebrating my daughter's birthday
    6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup flour
    1/8 teaspoon  salt
    1/2 cup strong espresso coffee, cooled
    1/4 cup rum (or any liquor)
    1 teaspoon lemon rind
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    butter and flour for the pan (In Italy we used wax paper to fit in a 10” round pan)

      • Sift the flour, and measure
      • Beat egg whites until frothy; sprinkle salt over the top and continue beating until stiff enough to form peaks but not dry; gradually beat in sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time.
      • Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored; add lemon rind and juice; continue beating until very thick.
      • Gently fold in beaten whites.
      • Gradually fold in flour sifting 1/4 cup at a time.
      • Butter and flour a 10" cake pan. 
      • Bake in moderate oven (325 degrees) about 1 hour; remove from oven.

      Invert pan and let stand until cooled. (Remove wax paper, if used).
      When cool, cut crosswise into two discs.  Soak each disc with cold espresso coffee, rum or any liquor of your choice.
      Add creams over each disc.
      Dust white confectionery sugar over the surface.


      Remember, first of all, once the sponge cake is in the oven do not open the door until the cake is finished cooking otherwise the sponge will deflate.