The secret foreign baking project turned out pretty good.
A while back, Cody and I were at a wine tasting at Jimmy's and the dessert was a tasty cake called Colomba. I loved it so much, so I looked online to find a recipe. There are not a ton of recipes, and each one is very different. I had trouble deciding which to use. The cake is traditionally baked in a dove-shaped cake pan because it is the dessert for Easter dinner in Italy. Colomba di Pasqua means "Easter Dove."
First I thought I'd just bake it in a round cake pan and be okay with it. But then, I found a recipe that shaped the bread without a cake pan. It took some work. I made almond paste (using the candy thermometer) in advance, but I probably should have just bought it. It's available at grocery stores. There were a couple of rising times involved, and twisting the bread into the correct shape proved difficult. It was a case of seeing the shape with my eyes but failing to make my hands cooperate.
My Colomba cake didn't really taste like the kind I had at Jimmy's. It was still good, but not as good as what I had. It had less almond flavor and lacked the airy texture.
But, it was a decent attempt and tasted okay with coffee the next morning. The reason I made it was to surprise a few friends at an Italian themed dinner we all attended.