Carnival in Tuscany
Beautiful memories of Carnival to my mind
My 13 year-old daughter Priscilla, has just found a picture of me as a child where I am dressedas a flamenco dancer! This has brought beautiful memories of Carnival to my mind. I remember the thrill of going out on the street disguised as a Joker and hoping not to be on the receiving end of one! Carnival - such a rich history of intoxicating flavours. As I write I can almost taste the thin sheets of fried sweet dough wrapped in a cloud of icing sugar made by my mother. They arecalled "cenci" or "chiaccchiere". Images of my father intent on making apple fritters typical of the northern Italian tradition, also come to mind. ( here you find the link for the simple and delicious recipe )
Thanks to the photo now held tightly in the hand of my daughter I felt like preparing the "cenci",knowing that she is eager to taste them as Carnival arrives again this year. Next week I will write my grandmother's recipe for the fritters and I will let you know how the "cenci" turned out.
This week instead I'm talking about a typical Tuscan dessert served at Carnival that few people know.
The “fat thursday” in Florence is also called Berlingaccio ( a medieval mask) Originating from the name, Berlingaccio, with which the Florentines speak of fat Thursday, I propose the recipe of "Berlingozzo" or "Berlingaccio": a simple and delicious bundt cake of aniseed and orange zest prepared in the Tuscan tradition for the last Thursday before Lent, the
weeks leading up to Easter.
400 gr spelt flour
150 gr of light cane sugar
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml of Vin Santo
1 sachet of baking powder
1 tbsp of aniseed seeds
2 oranges with grated zest and juice
Preheat the oven to 170 celsius, and grease well the baking pan for the bundt cake.
In a bowl, beat the eggs well with the sugar until you get a frothy mixture. Gradually add the flour, the
oil and the Vin Santo and mix well until the dough is not lumpy.
At this point add the baking powder, the aniseed seeds, the juice and the orange peel. Mix everything
together and bake for 35-40 minutes.