This past weekend, for his father's 60th birthday party, Foodgoat hosted his first big dinner party. And so ended any desire for opening a restaurant, because now we know that cooking for over twenty people? It's work. It's hard work. It's fun at any given night to make pork and dumplings, salmon, spinach gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce, black bean and avocado salad, green salad, or roasted vegetables, but all in one day? With your cooking reputation on the line? We have a newfound respect for all who cook for large gatherings.
Fortunately, Foodgoat had the help of his brothers and his mother (good cooks all), and the food came out deliciously and was well-received and everyone was happy.
The one thing we didn't have to make was the birthday cake. While the rest of the menu was not decided until last week, for months Foodgoat had his heart set on a cassata cake from Corbo's Bakery in Little Italy.
A cassata cake is a dessert from Palermo, Sicily, but it's the dessert to get here in Cleveland. They appear at all kinds of special occasions, and locals turn dreamy at the mention of Corbo's cassata cakes.
Traditionally, cassata (introduced by the Arabs) is a tort of plain white cake filled with the same sheep's milk ricotta cream, topped with frosting and sugared fruits. It might have an orange liqueur and chocolate filling and a shell of marzipan or chocolate frosting.
The Corbo's version is a light, fluffy, white cake filled with creamy custard and fresh strawberries and topped with just-sweet-enough whipped frosting. Sooo delicious! It's so good I completely forgot to take a picture, so anxious was I to eat a piece.