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Italian Cook Book, The

189

ALMOND CAKE

(Bocca di dama)

Granulated sugar, nine ounces,
Very fine Hungarian flour, five ounces,
Sweet almonds with some bitter ones, two ounces,
Six whole eggs and three egg yolks,
Taste of lemon peel.

After skinning the almonds in warm water and drying them well, grind or better pound them well together with a tablespoonful of sugar and mix well with the flour. Put the rest of the sugar in a deep dish with the egg yolks and the grated lemon peel (just a taste) and stir with a ladle for a quarter of an hour. In another dish beat the six whites of egg and when they have become quite thick mix them with other ingredients stirring slowly everything together.

To bake place the mixture in a baking-tin greased evenly with butter and sprinkled with powdered sugar and flour.

190

CORN MEAL CAKES

(Pasta di farina gialla)

Corn meal, seven and a half ounces,
Wheat flour, five and a half ounces,
Granulated sugar, five and a half ounces,
Butter, three and a half ounces,
Lard, two ounces,
A pinch of anise seed,
One egg.

Mix together the corn meal, the flour and the anise seed and knead with the butter, the lard and the egg that quantity that you can, forming a loaf that you will put aside. What remains is to be kneaded with water forming another loaf. Then mix the two loaves and knead a little, not much because the dough must remain soft. Flatten with the rolling pin until it becomes one quarter of an inch thick, sprinkle with flour, and cut in different sizes and shapes with thin stamps.

Grease a baking tin with lard, sprinkle, with flour, glaze with the egg, bake and dust with powdered sugar.

191

BISCUIT

(Biscotto)

Six eggs,
Granulated sugar, nine ounces,
Flour, four ounces,
Potato meal, two ounces,
Taste of lemon peel.

Stir for at least half an hour the yolks of the eggs with the sugar and a tablespoonful only of the flour and meal, using a ladle. Beat the whites of the eggs until they are quite firm, mix slowly with the first mixture and when they are well incorporated pour over from a sieve the flour and the potato meal, previously dried in the sun or on the fire.

Bake in a tin where the mixture comes about one inch and a half thick, previously greasing the tin with cold butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar mixed with flour.

In these cakes with beaten whites the following method can also be followed: mix and stir first the yolks with the sugar, then put the flour then, after a good kneading, beat the whites until they are firm, pour two tablespoonfuls to soften the mixture, then the rest little by little.

192

CAKE MADELEINE

(Pasta Maddalena)

Sugar, four and a half ounces,
Flour, three ounces,
Butter, one ounce,
Egg-yolks, four,
Whites of eggs, three,
A pinch of bi-carbonate of soda,
A taste of lemon peel.

First mix and stir the yolks with the sugar and when they have become whitish, add the flour and stir for fifteen minutes more. Mix with the butter, melting or softening it fine if it is hard and finally add the whites when they are well beaten. The flour must be previously dried in the sun or on the fire.

This cake may be given different shapes, but keep it always thin and in little volume. It can be put in little molds greased with butter and sprinkled with flour, or else in a baking tin, keeping it not more than half an inch thick, and cutting it after baking in the shape of diamonds and dusting with powdered sugar.

193

ALMOND CRISP-TART

(Croccante)

Sweet almonds, four and a half ounces.
Granulated sugar, three and a half ounces.

Skin the almonds, divide the two parts and cut each part into small pieces. Put these almonds so cut at the fire and dry them until they take a yellowish color, but do not toast. Meanwhile put the sugar on the fire in a saucepan and, when it is perfectly melted, pour the almonds hot and already slightly browned. Now lower the fire and be careful not to allow the compound to be overdone. The precise point is known when the mixture acquires a cinnamon color. Then pour little by little in a cold mold, previously greased with butter or oil. Press with a lemon against the walls of the mold, making the mixture as thin as possible. Remove from the mold when perfectly cooled and, if it is difficult to do so, dip the mold in boiling water.

The almonds can also be dried in the sun and chopped fine, adding a small piece of butter when they are in the sugar.

194

WAFER BISCUITS

(Cialdoni)

Put in a kettle:

Flour, three ounces.
Brown sugar, one ounce.
Lard virgin, half an ounce.
Cold water, seven tablespoonfuls.

First dilute the flour and the sugar in the water, then add the lard.

Put on the fire the iron for waffles or better an appropriated iron for flattened wafers. When it is quite hot open it and place each time half a tablespoonful of the paste. Close the iron and press well. Pass over the fire on both sides, trim all around with a knife and open the iron when you see that the wafer is browned. Then detach it from one side of the iron and hot as it is roll it on the iron itself or on a napkin using a little stick. This operation must be made with great rapidity because if the wafer gets cold, it cannot be rolled.

Should the wafers remain attached to the iron, grease it from time to time, and if they are not firm enough, add a little flour.

These wafer-biscuits are generally served with whipped cream.

195

QUINCE CAKE

(Cotognata)

The ingredients are about six pounds of quinces and four pounds of granulated sugar.

Put on the fire the apples covered with water, and when they begin to crack remove them, skin and scrape to put together all the pulp. Rub the latter through a sieve. Put back the pulp on the fire with the sugar and stir continually in order that it may not attack to the bottom of the kettle. It will be enough to boil for seven or eight minutes and remove when it begins to form pieces when lifted with the ladle.

Now in order to prepare the quince-cake spread it on a board to the thickness of about a silver dollar and dry it in the sun covered with cheese cloth to keep away the flies. When it is dry cut it in the form of chocolate tablets and remove each piece from the board passing the blade of a knife underneath.

If it is wished to make it crisp, melt about three and a half pounds of granulated sugar with two tablespoonfuls of water and when the sugar has boiled enough to "make the thread" smear every one of the little quince cakes with it. If the sugar becomes too hard during the operation put it back on the fire with a little water and make it boil again. When the sugar is dry on one side and on the edge, smear the other side.

196

PORTUGUESE CAKE

(Focaccia alla Portoghese)

Sweet almonds, five ounces.
Granulated sugar, five ounces.
Potato meal, one and a half ounce.
Three eggs.
One big orange or two small.

First mix the yolks of the eggs with the sugar, then add the flour, then the almonds skinned and chopped fine, then the orange juice (through a colander) then a taste of orange peel. Finally add to the mixture the whites of the eggs well beaten. Put in a paper mold greased evenly with butter, with a thickness of about an inch and bake in a very moderately hot oven. After baked, cover with a white glaze or frost, made with powdered sugar, lemon juice and the white of eggs.

197

MACAROONS

(Amaretti)

I

Granulated sugar, nine ounces.
Sweet almonds, three and a half ounces.
Bitter almonds, half of the above quantity.
Whites of egg, two.

Skin and dry the almonds, then chop them very fine. Mix the sugar and the whites of egg and stir for about half an hour, then add the almonds to form a rather hard paste. Of this make little balls, as large as a small walnut. If the paste is too soft add a little butter, if too hard add a little white of egg, this time beaten. Were it desired to give the macaroons a brownish color, mix with the paste a little burnt sugar.

As you form the little ball, that you will flatten to the thickness of one third of an inch, put them over wafers or on pieces of paper or in a baking tin greased with butter and sprinkled with half flour and half powdered sugar. Dispose them at a certain distance from one another as they will enlarge and swell, remaining empty inside.

Bake in an oven moderately hot.

II

Powdered sugar, ten and a half ounces.
Sweet almonds, three ounces.
Bitter almonds, one ounce.
Two whites of egg.

Skin the almonds and dry them in the sun or on the fire, then chop and grind very fine with one white of egg poured in various times. When this is done, put half of the sugar, stirring and kneading with your hand. Then pour everything in a large bowl and, always mixing, add half of the other white of egg, then the other half of the sugar and finally the other half of the white.

In this way an homogenous mixture will be obtained of the right firmness. Shake into a kind of a stick and cut it in rounds all equal, one third of an inch thick. Take them up one by one with moistened fingers and make little balls as large as a walnut. Flatten them to the thickness of a third of an inch and for the rest proceed as said above, but dust with powdered sugar before putting in a hot oven.

With this dose about thirty macarons can be obtained.


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