a.k.a. Torta di Nada, and Graduation Cake :)
Graduating form school is bittersweet. Over the past few months I couldn't wait for school to end, counting down until there were no more labs, internal assessments, exams, essays or art pieces to do, no more endless to-do lists and sleepless nights. During the last week or two of school I felt sad, nostalgic, paying extra attention to all my old classrooms, noting the things I love about my friends and teachers, marvelling at how it could have all gone by so quickly. But even when classes ended, we still had a few weeks of study leave and final exams, by which point I had gone back to being fed up. I even had a countdown on my laptop which I checked almost obsessively, waiting until the moment my last exam ended. That moment is something I can't quite describe... I ran out of the exam hall and squealed and hugged my friend; my friends and I were beaming as we talked to the teachers we ran into, reminiscing and chatting; I called my mum and shouted "guess who's free?", not fully able to grasp it myself. I had a day that was so spontaneous and leisurely it was surreal: a long lunch with my friends, playing games and listening to music with my boyfriend, and a lovely evening with my mum spent talking, finishing a puzzle, eating pizza, watching a movie, and flipping through pointless magazines.
So I think perhaps this exact moment of graduation is more of a closure. The sadness and the elation are over, and this evening was just a lovely way for all the students, teachers and parents to meet one more time.
My family and I went to a new café in Kala Ghoda called The Nutcracker for breakfast that morning (and got caught up in a film shooting at the same time... that's Bombay for you). It's a cute little place that could be lifted out of Paris, and although the service wasn't brilliant, the food was delicious. After a practically customary stop at Rhythm House, we came home to this 'graduation cake' that my mum and I had made. Really, it was my mum who made it and I was a happy sous-chef. It's from Jamie Oliver's book Jamie's Italy, and he calls it Torta di Nada after the woman who makes it at a bed and breakfast. It's light, zesty, fresh, and rather addictive. I kept cutting slivers of it all day for a week, and occasionally treated myself to a nice big slab.
Whether you're graduating or not, I think you need to celebrate summer with this cake ;)
Summer Fruit Cake/Torta di Nada
From Jamie's Italy by Jamie Oliver
Note: Fresh blueberries are exorbitant here in Mumbai – $78 per kilo (!) – and canned blueberries are just too syrupy and sugary. We use St. Dalfour jam on a regular basis because it has whole chunks of fruit and no sugar added, so we made this cake with their blueberry-cranberry jam, and it was perfect. We also halved the amount of zest and it still turned out really refreshing and zesty.