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Lemon: The key ingredient for the Pope's 79th birthday cake

2015-12-17

Pope Francis turned 79 today, and he celebrated in a very sweet way. This cake was made by the pastry shop Hedera, on Borgo Pio, just a few meters from the Vatican. The creator chosen by the Holy See explained his work.

FRANCESCO CERAVOLO
Papal Baker
"In reality the process is the most classic there is. Therefore, it was very, very slow. It has a real custard and the best vanilla in the world, which is from Tahiti. It uses the best lemon there is. It must rest, then the cream is added. The bread comes from Spain. That's the typical Italian pastry preparation. Then there is all the handmade additions, based on whatever design you want. There's a lot of thought behind it. We worked on an initial sketch and then slowly moved to the final cake.”

With the Pope's health in mind, his cake was a little lighter than the other ones delivered to Casa Santa Marta.

The elaborate cake also celebrates, in its own way, the Jubilee of Mercy. With its elaborate process, which takes three days, the cake can only be made on special occasions. Other clients can buy pastries for the Jubilee of Mercy, but they're much more simple.

The head of Hedera is very discreet, but he acknowledged it wasn't the first time he made pastries for the Pope.

FRANCESCO CERAVOLO
Papal Baker
"The way it's delivered is very discreet. Casa Santa Marta is a place where one typically eats pasta and meat. Their providers are excellent but classic. And we are among them. We are ready whenever we are needed.”

It's unclear whether the Pope asked for the recipe himself, but he certainly did enjoy the cake.


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