Just moments ago I answered a gentle knock on the door to my apartment to find the little girl who lives downstairs (with her parents). She was clad in Nemo slippers and holding an intriguing napkin wrapped bundle. I desperately hoped it was some sort of holiday pastry from Romania, her father's country of origin. It was.
I opened the napkin to find the thick slice of marbled cake pictured above. When I asked her what it was called, she said something that sounded like "Koozelnacht," and when I asked her to repeat it she said it faster and angrier, and therefore even less intelligibly. From a brief google search, I'm guessing that it's cozonac, also called Romanian walnut panetone.
The cake is light and faintly sweet, the crust a gorgeous, smooth golden brown. I'm not sure of exactly what is in the marbling, but I taste walnuts, spices, liquer, and perhaps cocoa, and it's faintly reminiscent of charoses.
It's fantastic, and serves as a reminder of the many culinary traditions that sometimes bubble up in our culture's otherwise corn syrup filled melting pot.
In exchange for the cake, she stuck around to play with Oli, who recently fell asleep on my face.
My New Year's resolution: more shamelessly cute pictures of my dog that have nothing to do with food.