In the decadent 80’s, we would go as far as to say that mom and Baba Rada hosted what seemed like one serendipitous event after another, which we called our childhood. The fact that it centered around church life and the backdrop of Saint Steven’s Cathedral in the Alhambra hills in L.A. made it euphoric. There were a lot of parties, there were a lot of guests, a lot of etiquette, and there was a lot of cake!
In a sense, we Pavichevich kids took the sweet delicacies for granted, but that’s what you get when your Baba is a culinary artist, mother is a master of theater arts, and your living room is constantly full of the well-heeled, cream of the Serbian crop. It’s food meets high fashion, our favorite arena. The atmosphere slightly resembled that of a scene in Sophia Coppola’s highly theatrical “Marie Antoinette” starring Kirsten Dunst in which Marie is indulging in hundreds of little cakes and sweets.
One of the most epic post-lenten curtain calls at Baba’s Table throughout the year is without a doubt, Easter! Easter is the feast of all feasts in our home. Our mom, Jovanka took pictures as she helped Baba Rada with the cookies and pastries this year.
If you’re not going to the Drake Hotel for high tea on the Magnificent Mile this Mother’s Day, consider making Baba Rada’s "Orange Torte" for mom (recipe below). Surprise her with this light citrus delicacy that tastes even better than it looks. Baba has a saying which has been mentioned already called "od prilike" translated means by memory and use of common sense. Her recipes are so engrained in her head from practice that they are sometimes difficult to extract. However, we were able to conjure up the recipe below. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
10 Eggs (separate yolks and whip whites in a bowl).
12 Tbls powder or crystal sugar
12 Tbls blanched ground almonds.
2 large oranges (zest & juice in separate bowls)Reserve some orange peel for decorating the cake.
2 sticks unsalted butter (whipped)
In bowl: whip egg yolks with sugar (beat well)
add 1/2 of the orange zest and juice
add 4 Tbls flour
To this, fold in the whipped egg whites
Grease and flour 3 round cake pans, distribute batter evenly.
Bake at 350-360 ten to fifteen minutes. Cool and remove from baking pans.
Filling: Combine 4 whole eggs, 3 Tbls. flour, 1/4 cup milk and remaining 1/2 of orange juice and zest, and 4 Tbls. sugar. Stir this over a double boiler, to thicken. Cool filling mixture well, then combine it with 2 sticks whipped butter. Frost the cake. You can decorate with almonds and orange peel.