Tuscan Carnival Cake/Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a humble flat cake made with simple ingredients. The word schiacciata means flat or crushed. Originally made as a yeasted bread with lard, today’s version has morphed into something easier and faster. It is best to make this cake in a rectangular or square pan to retain its flatness. This cake is so important to the Florentines that each year at Carnival time, a contest is held to see who can make the best one. After baking, the fleur-de-lis, the symbol and coat of arms of the city of Florence is the final decoration on top of the cake.
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- Juice and zest of one large orange (1/4 cup juice)
- 2-1/4 cups flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Powdered Sugar for coating top of cake
- Baking cocoa for sprinkling on top of cake design
- Makes One
- Download a free image of a fleur de lis and cut out a stencil design from it. Set aside.
- Butter a 9 x 7 inch or other similar pan and line it with parchment paper. Butter the paper and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy. Add milk and olive oil and beat a couple of minutes. Add juice and zest and beat in.
- Sift flour with baking powder and add in increments to the egg mixture until well blended. Pour into prepared and bake for about 12 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean and the cake is firm to the touch.
- Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Turn cake pan upside down and remove parchment paper. Turn cake right side up and place it on a serving dish. Dust the cake completely with Confectioner’s sugar. Place the stencil design in the middle of the cake. Use a small sieve to fill in the stencil with baking cocoa powder. Carefully lift the stencil design to reveal the fleur di lis. Cut into squares.
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