A few weeks ago I wrote about how I missed a cake I had in Perugia, Central Italy. Francesca then kindly told me the name of the cake - torcolo, the traditional cake in Perugia for the feast of one of the patron saints of the city. She also sent me a link for its recipe (thank you so much Francesca!). I just love these local favorites, they really add more personality to the places, or at least give me an anchor to talk about them. Like, when I tell people I'm from Hongkong, they'll gasp "ooooh, dim sum!". Many times I told taxi drivers in Singapore to take me to Joo Chiat, they'd immediately put their thumbs up to 'the best wanton noodle and chilli crabs'. Any specialty in your area then :) The recipe in the above calls for cocoa, I've skipped it and re-adjusted the balance between dry and wet ingredients. And since I like cakes nutty and rustic, a couple of new ingredients were added. Although this almond cake isn't the original torcolo, I still find the result very satisfactory.Ingredients for Almond cake (yield 1 loaf)
- 120g all-purpose (plain flour)
- 120g butter, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks
- 120g sugar
- one handful of ground almond
- 2/3 pack of Lievito pane degli angeli (leavening agent)
- 1/2 can of Almond filling
- a pinch of salt
- some milk, room temperature
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add yolks, one at a time, mix to coperate.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, ground nuts, lievito and salt. Scoop in 1/3 of the butter mixture, and some milk, mix well; then another 1/3, and milk, mix well; then the last 1/3, and milk, mix to combine.
- Grease a 9x5" loaf pan, pour in half of the batter, spread the almond filling, then pour in the rest of batter.
- Bake in a pre-heat oven 335F about 40 minutes.