It’s funny to think that during the holidays I do the same thing every, single year. I get so psyched up about wanting to be the perfect planner and holiday baker. I carefully make my plans only to realize, plans change.
Spontaneity is cool. I like that I spontaneously baked this cake and everyone liked it. Well, mostly the adults. There is rum in it. The kids had other sweets to eat so don’t feel too sorry for them.
It reminds me of Christmas in Italy. It makes me want to spontaneously reserve tickets on the next flight to Italy and surprise my in-laws.
Some images from this past summer in Italy. I’m dreaming a little.
Since that isn’t really going to happen, I’ll bake some more Italian sweets and dream a little more of Italy and my mother-in-law spoiling us.
My husband’s grandmother this summer in Italy making Calabrese style eggplants with her great grandchildren assisting.
This cake is delicious with it’s buttery shortbread crust, thin layering of marzipan and jam. The moist cake is filled with juicy rum soaked raisins and topped with pinoli. If you aren’t a marzipan fan, you could leave it out.
Orange Marzipan Cake
Source: Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell
Makes 1×8-inch cake
1/3 cup (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
4 medium eggs, plus 1 yolk
1/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup raisins
1 2/3 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 ounces marzipan
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1/3 cup orange jam
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Put all the ingredients for the shortbread in a food processor and reduce to crumbs, then keep the motor running until the mixture comes together into a ball.
It will be very soft and sticky at this point, but press it into the bottom of an 8-inch springform cake pan.
Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. To make the cake, put the butter and sugar in the food processor and cream for several minutes until very pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and the yolk one at a time, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Incorporate the rum. Pour this batter into a large bowl. Toss both types of raisins with a little flour to coat them.
Sift the remaining flour and baking powder over the batter and fold it in, then fold in the dried fruit.
Thinly roll out the marzipan on a counter dusted with confectioners’ sugar until it is transparently thin, barely thicker than a quarter. Cut out an 8-inch circle (the size of your cake pan).
Spread the jam over the top with a spatula evenly over the marzipan.
Spread the batter on top.
Scatter the nuts over it and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake and let it cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. The cake keeps well in a covered container for several days.
Thanks for stopping by to say CIAO! Hope you had a fabulous week.