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Madrid: On the hunt for Savoiardi biscuits

Experiencing space in an otherwise crowded city is a rare joy. Plus people are much more aware of their own actions in order not to catch the virus. While looking for certain ingredients and foods during quarantine, Lisbeth Huber got to enjoy having the sidewalks and streets almost to herself.

By now, I have been in quarantine for more than a week but I am still enjoying myself. Yes, being involuntarily confined to your 4 walls was a bit overwhelming the first day. But then I started tackling all the chores I had meant to do for a long time already. Sorting my closet, painting, writing an essay and making the perfect Tiramisu. I had received the recipe two weeks ago from an Italian friend after having tasted her Tiramisu. I knew, this was it. Being slightly obsessed with sweets, and Italian ones in particular, I have tried my fair share of it already.

'Nowadays, I do not get distracted by other people’s movement. Instead I notice the small details.'

My mission was clear. Make this perfect piece of dessert while in quarantine. However, getting the ingredients turned out to be much more challenging than I thought. Grocery shopping, while allowed during quarantine, is not the easy peasy task it used to be. Going outside, taking in some fresh air and getting some food might seem like a pleasurable experience. And it is. To some extent. One thing, for example, that really has improved massively since the seriousness of Corona became apparent, is my mindfulness.

Apart from being (hyper-) aware when I touch potentially contaminated areas and then my face - for example the doorknob of our housing block with 16 other flat shares or the poles in buses - I also notice how the outside changed. The streets in my neighbourhood are usually always busy, day and night. Not excessively, but you will always see people chatting and walking somewhere. Nowadays, I do not get distracted by other people’s movement. Instead I notice the small details. Like the beautiful empty slot between two buildings covered by wild flowers. Or the lovely balconies in my area and their inhabitants. Most of all however, I enjoy not being bumped into. Having this massive space available.

Photo by Lisbeth Huber

Usually, people go about their business without taking much notice of others. Like running into each other when hurrying to work. Or being inconsiderate in the tube. In the past few days, while searching for those yummy biscuits, I got to experience how nice it is to have enough space to move and not get constantly crowded-in somewhere. Instead of being pushed several times a day people, even take a big circle to not cross paths in the street or supermarket aisle.

The struggle right now is, I have to find those biscuits to make a tiramisu. Since I haven’t done so yet I had to resort to a different recipe for a delicious carrot cake. So In the meantime, until I find those biscuits, here’s my version of the recipe at:

I hope you find some inspiration for baking and if you are in Madrid, please let me know where to find Savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers).

Photo by Lisbeth Huber

Carrot cake recipe

Time: approximately 1.5 - 2 hours

1. Pre-heat oven to 176 degree Celsius. Peel and grate carrots. Toss together with eggs, vanilla, oil and sugar in a big bowl.

2. Take a different bowl and mix together all ingredients from 2nd Part. Stir 2nd Part into 1st Part slowly until even batter.

3. Pour batter into round form. Let bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool in form for 15 minutes, and then without form until cold.

Photo by Lisbeth Huber

4. Prepare frosting by mixing cream cheese carefully with sugar (add one spoonful every time, mix until even and add next, to avoid getting covered in white powder). Then add the whipping cream and mix together. Let cool for a bit. Cut cake into two even layers, frost one and place the other on top. Frost the top and finish with some nuts or marzipan carrots.

Best served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a toss of cinnamon.

This story was shared by Lisbeth Huber, a German student of Urban Studies living in Madrid, Spain. In her last story, she shared a meltingly good apple cake recipe with us.

How do you experience living in your city under Coronavirus? Share your story and join us to Spread stories, not the virus.

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