Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Friday, January 7, 2011

Twelfth Day of Christmas

Anne's 12 Days of Christmas Recipes

 On the twelfth day of Christmas, for my true love, I cooked...

~ Twelve Drummers Drumming ~

 Anne presents...

 Timpano Di Maccheroni (Pasta Timpani)
Dobos Torte (Hungarian Drum Cake)

For 12 Drummers Drumming, the very last day in my little collection, I wanted to do something spectacular as a grand finale.  Have you seen the movie Big Night with Stanley Tucci and Tony Schalub?  If you have, you probably remember the huge Timpano that they brought out at the restaurant. It's a drum-shaped pasta concoction of epic proportions.  Just google search "timpano recipe" and you'll see what I mean.  I made up my own timpani ingredients based on what I had in my kitchen.  I was thrilled that it actually turned out and didn't fall apart.  And it tasted great too.  :)

Next, I decided to make a drum dessert.  The word "dobos" means "like a drum" in Hungarian.  But this cake is actually named after Hungarian pastry chef Josef Dobos, who invented it in 1884 and first introduced it at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885.  It became a big hit in Europe.  Dobos Torte is a multi-layer sponge cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with thin caramel slices.    This cake was just "okay" for me, especially considering the amount of time it took to bake each individual layer.  I thought it had too much chocolate frosting. 

Anne's Fun Fact:

Cost of 12 Drummers Drumming (2010 Christmas Price Index) =$2,553


Anne's Timpano 

puff pastry sheets (yes, I cheated and didn't make my own dough)
1 egg white
elbow macaroni noodles
penne noodles
meatballs, cooked
veggie spaghetti sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
ricotta cheese
frozen chopped spinach, thawed and patted dry

Cook the pasta very al dente, allowing for the fact it will continue to cook when baking. Drain, and mix with a good helping of the sauce.  Sprinkle in some basil and oregano and mix well.

Preheat oven to 375º F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out very thinly in a large circle. Carefully place the dough into a greased 12 inch springform pan, oven-proof glass bowl, or casserole dish,  letting the excess dough hang over the sides. Spoon some of the the sauced pasta into the bowl. Add another scoopful of sauce, and layer the meatballs and mozzarella on top of the first layer of pasta. Spoon more pasta into the pan. Spread a layer of ricotta cheese and spinach.  Top with more pasta, sausage, and mozzarella.  Add a final layer of pasta. Carefully fold the dough over the top, sealing it with your fingers. Make a wash with the egg white and a little water, and brush this over the pastry. Bake the timpano for 45 minutes until browned. Let rest 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Invert it onto a decorative platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the timpano into wedges to serve your guests.
Dobos Torte (Hungarian Drum Cake)

9 egg whites
8 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon shortening
1 cup white sugar
Chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Have ready two 10 inch cardboard circles. Generously grease a 9 inch springform pan or a 8-9" round cake pan with soft butter, and dust with flour.
  2. Beat the egg whites until frothy, and gradually add 1 cup sugar. Beat just to soft peaks. In another bowl, beat the yolks with the milk, lemon peel, vanilla, and salt. Fold this into the egg whites. Sift the flour over the egg mixture, and fold in.
  3. Spread 1&1/3 cups batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 5 to 9 minutes, or until small, brown spots begin to appear on cake. Remove the cake from the oven, and remove layer from pan with a spatula. Dust the cake lightly with flour, and place on a rack to cool. Grease pan again, and repeat this process until all of the batter is used, about 6 times more. Place the layers between wax paper, and cover with a towel. Chill layers for a few hours. Make the Chocolate Buttercream. 
  4. To make Chocolate Buttercream:  In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add chocolate and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add more chocolate for darker chocolate color.  Add more milk for thinner consistency.  Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
  5. Layer the chilled layers on one of the cardboard rounds with the buttercream. Start with one layer; cover with the buttercream, and then press down with another layer to make a good seal. Repeat this with the remaining layers, but reserve one layer. Wrap the cake in plastic, and chill for at least 6 hours along with the remaining buttercream. Grease the other cardboard round with the shortening, and place the last layer on it.
  6. Place 1 cup sugar into a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Allow sugar to cook until the edges look melted and brown. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sugar become an amber color, and is smooth. Carefully pour the caramel over the top of the last layer, and spread to the edges with an oiled knife. Quickly, using an oiled knife, indent the top of the caramel into 16 wedges. Allow to cool slightly, and then retouch the indents with the knife again. Place layer onto a counter top dusted with sugar, and allow the caramel to cool completely.
  7. Place some more buttercream on top of the chilled torte, and top with the caramel round. Frost the sides with the remaining buttercream. Chill the torte before serving. 

Anne's 12 Days of Christmas Recipes  

1st Day: Partridge in Pear Tree             7th Day: Seven Swans a-Swimming
2nd Day: Two Turtledoves                    8th Day: Eight Maids a-Milking
3rd Day: Three French Hens                 9th Day: Nine Ladies Dancing
4th Day: Four Calling Birds                  10th Day: Ten Lords a-Leaping
5th Day: Five Gold Rings                     11th Day: Eleven Pipers Piping
6th Day: Six Geese a-Laying                12th Day: Twelve Drummers Drumming


  1. Hey Anne,

    just caught up and wanted to say -- A, how cool! B, if you want to do a similar cake, from what i've read on baking blogs, they'll suggest that you just bake two normal layers and then slice each layer into 3 super thin mini layers rather than waiting out cooking 6 individual mini layers.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, it was time-consuming baking each layer individually. But considering my history with knives, I was probably better off.... haha.