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Florentine Carnival Cake - {Schiacciata Alla Fiorentina}

Courses: Dessert
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

3/4 cup 148g / 5.2ozGranulated sugar
1   Active dry yeast
  = (or 2 tspns rapid-rise yeast)
1/2 cup 118mlWater
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlSalt
1/2 cup 118mlExtra-virgin olive oil - plus
2 tablespoons 30mlExtra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons 30mlEggs - at room temperature (large)
3 cups 187g / 6.6ozAll-purpose flour
  Grated zest of one orange
1/4 teaspoon 1.3mlCinnamon
2   Egg yolks
3 tablespoons 45mlPowdered sugar - (to 4 tbspns) - for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Lightly brush sides and bottom of an 11- by 7- by 1 1/2-inch baking pan with olive oil.

Dissolve the yeast in water and follow directions on the package regarding how long to let it sit. Using a mixer at medium speed (or processor with dough blade), blend into the yeast mixture the following (in order): the flour, half of the sugar (1/4 cup plus two tablespoons), the salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, the two whole eggs. Blend at medium speed until smooth and well combined.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the orange zest, and cinnamon, blending until oil is incorporated into dough. This mixture will be sticky and unkneadable. Scrape the dough into a very lightly oiled bowl. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap or a large towel and put it in a warm place (75 to 80 degrees, no drafts) for 1 1/2 hours to allow dough to rise.

Using mixer (or processor with dough blade), again at medium speed, into the risen dough blend egg yolks and the remaining granulated sugar until fully incorporated. It should form a smooth, yet loose ball. Scrape mixture into the oiled baking pan. With your knuckles, even the dough to a uniform thickness, cover with a towel (preferable to plastic wrap, because the dough may expand over the pan edge), and place it in that warm place again until it rises to the edge of the pan, approximately 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake dough until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Then, with a decisive motion, slam the pan on a counter to dislodge cake.

Cover the cake with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar. For decoration, you may cut out a stencil (click here for a sample) of a Florentine lily and lay it on the cake before its sugar coating for a traditional and very handsome design.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Bon Appetit, February 2000


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