THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt
You know how when you’re around really smart people, it makes you feel smarter? (Or is it just me?) In The Secret History Richard Papen goes to Hampden College in Vermont, and he is determined to get into Professor Julian Morrow’s exclusive Ancient Greek Classics class. Richard reveals in the beginning of the book that one of the six members of the group, Bunny Corcoran, was murdered by the rest of them. How things get to that point and how the students deal with their feelings and each other in the aftermath makes for a gripping read. A critical event in the story occurs when the core group, excluding Richard and Bunny, engages in a Bacchanal in the woods and things go terribly wrong.
In deference to this Roman celebration of extreme eating, drinking, and lascivious behavior, I present to you Italian Love Cake.
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
- 2 pints part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Pour batter into 9 x 13 x 2 inch greased baking dish. Set aside.
- Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Blend well. Spread mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 75 minutes if using a glass baking dish, 90 minutes if using a metal pan.
- Blend pudding mix and milk until thickened. Blend in whipped topping. Spread over cooled cake.
Enjoy — Cynthia