Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Barring a lactose-allergic fiancé, a very tasty, yet not at all trendy choice for a wedding cake would be a mille folie (pronounced mee-lay foe-lee-ay). “Mille folie” essentially means a thousand sheets in Italian. This dessert is a very light Italian cake made with layers of thin, flaky dough (not unlike cooked filo dough), alternating between layers of thick, creamy custard. The custard soaks into the dough, softening the flaky layers. Topping all this is a light, whipped frosting that neither attempts to upstage the cake nor shirk away from its responsibility as the “icing” on top. It’s rich without being heavy and dense without being overwhelming. Mille folie absolutely melts in your mouth.
Mille folie is the cake of choice in my family (on those rare occasions when we decide to purchase dessert rather than make our own). What dessert should we serve at Easter lunch? Someone needs to pick up the mille folie. What kind of cake should one of the cousins order for their wedding? Mille folie, of course! An aunt is visiting from
Where can I find this most amazing Italian cake that La Famiglia thinks so highly of?!?
I’m so glad you asked! There is this delightfully quaint Italian pastry shop called Dianda’s. They have two locations—one in
Take a moment to slowly examine all the possibilities found behind the glass. Showing off their dazzling white frosting adorned with spring-colored flowers, cakes wake patiently in their cool storage space before being claimed by an eager customer. In the next case, there are personal-sized samples of the cakes in the refrigerator. This is where you will find your own gone-in-two-minutes mille folie. Also available, and equally wonderful, is tiramisu cake, rumcake, cannoli, and a wide assortment of more traditional dense cakes made with all the lightness of the Italian bakers’ ancestors. Each of the large slices are about five inches long and maybe two inches wide, with three inches of height. It’s probably healthier (and better for your hips) to split one of these with a friend, but it can easily be consumed by a single eater—trust me on this one! On the shelf behind this counter would be my sister’s weakness—almond torta. A dense cake-like dessert, this is in a class all of its own. It’s sweet almond taste is accented by a thin layer of raspberry filling along the bottom. It’s like eating a slice of
The next display proudly offers all kinds of tempting cookies. Amaretti—round cookies with pine nuts nestled on top; alunetti—squared-off, finger-length, flaky cookies decorated with powdered sugar; biscotti—traditional long cookies with almonds, accented with a slight orange flavor; chocolate cookies; big cookies, small cookies; all yummy cookies. And then finally, you get to the candies. These flavor-filled, chocolate-coated bites of sugar rival anything found at See’s Candy.
Order whatever tickles your fancy and enjoy it with a cappuccino or espresso at one of their charming café tables, or take some home to share. And just maybe, people will begin to catch onto the wonder that is Dianda’s cakes, helping wedding guests truly enjoy the cake served at the reception.
Dianda's in San Mateo
117 De Anza Blvd.
San Mateo, 94402
Dianda's in San Francisco
2883 Mission St.
San Francisco, 94110