pan di spagna

sponge cake

It's an Italian invention, originally known as Pâte Génoise. In the mid 1700s, a famous Genoese cook, Giobatta Cabona, was invited by the Genoese ambassador to prepare a banquet for the Spanish court in Madrid. For the occasion he created a superb, light and airy example, which took the name pan di spagna to flatter the court, and the rest is history.

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