Recipes

Siena Easter Cake

This is a low salicylate version of the traditional schiacciata di pasqua di Siena, a plain yeast cake, perfect with milk coffee, cocoa or barley coffee. The original also contains soaked seeds of anise and a little olive oil, and instead of whisky a special liqueur, rosolio di menta, available from a shop in Siena. The savarin version contains vanilla instead of liqueur/whisky and butter instead of lard. If made with lard, the cake has a special coarse consistency.

500 g flour
200 g sugar
25 g fresh yeast
half cup lukewarm milk
3 eggs
100 g butter or lard
half glass whisky (alcohol will evaporate during cooking)

Weigh flour and sugar into warm mixing bowl.  Dissolve yeast in warm milk and place in well in flour.  Leave in warm place until yeast becomes bubbly.  Begin to stir yeast, making a ball in the flour.  Add eggs one by one.  Knead for 10 min until dough is elastic. Consistency is more like cake batter than bread dough.  Place lard in pieces on top and cover; set aside in warm place until dough doubles in size.  Beat the dough down and work until the lard is incorporated, then add whisky.  Consistency is now very slippery and viscous. Grease a round tin (say 25 cm diameter) of sufficient size that the dough comes half way up the side.  Tie an oven paper band around the top in case the dough rises over the top.  Place in warm place to double in size. Preheat oven to 170’C (with fan) cook for 10 min (or until brown) then reduce temperature to 155’C (with fan) for another 25 minutes. Cool in tin.  Buon appetito!  - grazie to Helen from Siena, Italy

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