ILOF: International Ladies of Fabulous
The majority of my friends in Norway are not Norwegians. In fact, I think we only have 2 countries that are represented twice in my group of girlfriends - India and Norway. In my gaggle of hens, we have a Miss Finland, Miss Italy, Miss Cyprus, 2 Miss Norways, 2 Miss Indias and me, Miss USA (woot woot!). It's a great mix full of diverging ideas, cultures, personalities that all come together in one loud, chatty, opinionated group of new friends.
On Friday, I invited a select few of us over for coffee+cake. I wanted it to be a small group partly because we don't have many seats in our apartment and I wasn't sure if the cake would turn out ok. It was the first time I'd made a cake from scratch in 13 years. I don't count types of cakes like carrot, banana, or zucchini as a true cake because you can't really mess those up. The first, and up until this week, last time I made a real cake from scratch was when I was a teenager. I wanted to bake a cake for a good friend. Her favorite color was purple so I dyed the cake a lavendar color. As if the color wasn't disastrous enough, when I moved the cake from the baking rack to the worktable, I dropped the cake. Now, if the cake had broken apart into a lovely soft crumble, I would have been sad but I would have gotten over it. This cake bounced and stayed intact. It scarred me for a long time. 13 years to be precise. So you can understand how I would want to limit the guest list.
Turns out my fears were unecessary. The cake was delicious, if I do say so myself. I made a torta di pere, or more descriptively, a dark chocolate and pear cake. I got the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, SmittenKitchen. I didn't take pictures of the process. SmittenKitchen takes wonderful and descriptive pictures and my kitchen was a hot mess throughout the process. I was a little uncertain of how it would turn out; so much so that I sat on the floor in front of my oven and neurotically watched the cake rise just to make sure it would. It all works out well in the end. How well? Check the images I did take - a picture says a thousand words.