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La Gioconda, a Florentine Pound Cake, Victor Hugo

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, desserts, entertaining, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, Tuscan, and Uncategorized

copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Book Cover[1]

I was in absolutely grand company this week  for my book release signing at Book Expo America (Javits Convention Center in NY, NY0….the book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style will be officially released in print October 1st, and online on or about September 1st…but also signing copies of their new release books at the Expo were Linda Evans (still looking as elegant as her ‘Dynasty’ days ) and John Leithgow as well as  many noted writers!

Thanks to all who stood in line to get their signed copy of the pre-release copy of my new book..I loved meeting you all…..If you didn’t make it to Book Expo  and would like a free pre release promo copy, just  email: and request the free promo copy and we will email you the downloadable version, you will also receive a special 40% off coupon if you pre-order the book at by July 15th as a Thank you!   So you will be able to purchase the book at the wholesale price instead of the full retail price if you purchase by July 15th,2011. You can pre –order the full  book here .


La Gioconda  the title of  an opera in four acts and the hauntingly beautiful painting of Monna Lisa La Giocanda ( A Florentine woman that was the wife of Francesco La Giocondo). Her smile brings to mind a saying by Victor Hugo, who wrote the text for the opera..”Dry happiness is like dry bread.We eat but we do not dine.”

Simplicity and beauty were paired together in everything DaVinci.  In honor of La Gioconda..a Florentine torte..easy enough to add to a summer picnic

Torta Di Farro ( Farro Pound Cake)


this is a typical Florentine Dish made from the flour of Farro and Vin Santo

4 eggs

4 cups (800 gr) Farro flour

2 cups (400 gr) sugar

1 cup (200 gr) milk

1 cup (200 gr) Vin Santo

2 tsps (10 grams) baking powder

Break all eggs in a large bowl. Place in sugar and beat till foamy and a creamy white color. Add in the Farro flour, a tablespoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in milk and Vain Santo, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add in baking powder and mix in.

Cover an 8” cake pan with baking paper and pour in the batter. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes or until firm. You can also use an angel food cake pan that has been buttered and floured.

When finished remove from oven, When cooled remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with Vin Santo..

Hope to see you at:
June 10-11-Great Grapes Festival-book signing and on stage cooking demo,Cockeysville, MD

July 21-24-Festa Italiana,Milwaukee Wisconsin-book signing and on stage cooking demos

July 29-31, Gourmet Food & Wine Festival, Bally;s Casino, Atlantic City, book signing and on stage cooking demo

For info on these events, email:

One Comment

  1. Jay

    Maria, so sorry to have missing you at the Book Expo this year, but I’m so excited about your new cookbook and wish you the BEST. What a fantastic cookbook concept; it’s positively brilliant, and we can’t wait for it!

    May 31, 2011

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