Wedding anniversary Italian cake
Was asked if I could help locate a design/recipe for and organize for an Italian anniversary cake for my aunt and uncle's 50th in late summer.
They are looking for a traditional Italian wedding cake. I have tried googling but keep finding North American/British looking cakes which are very different from Italian wedding cakes which can be much simpler in design, with more of a focus on flavour and ingredients.
Any help would be appreciated. Even googled it in italian.
At my wedding in Italy the caterers served a *fantastic* large, round millefoglie that was rich as sin, yet light as air. I was actually very happy not to have a towering concoction.
The millefoglie have a range of possible fillings:
-crema Chantilly (flavored, sweetened whipped cream)
-crema pasticcera (the eggy filling like that in chocolate eclairs)
-crema diplomatica (a cross between the two above creams: 1/3 Chantilly and 2/3 creme pasticcera).
There isn't one "official" version of millefoglie, but the simplest classic adds crushed almonds or almond brittle, sometimes mixed with toasted savoiardi crumbs dusted over each layer of cream, and the cake is topped of with a drizzle of caramelized sugar. You can also opt for fruit (fresh, or in syrup) either as a topping or part of the filling.. you can add grated chocolate... or you can go a more heavy-duty chocolate or chocolate/hazelnut route.
Once you decide what flavor path you want to take (classic/fruit/chocolate) and whether you want to make or buy the puff pastry, all you need to figure out are the volumes of the sub-ingredients you'll need for the construction, based on how many layers you want and how many people you have to feed. For late summer, fresh berries seem a natural accompaniment.
Here is a version in Italian, describing how to make the caramel decoration:
Filled Cake with Spun Sugar (Millefoglie
200 g puff pastry
30 g powdered sugar
½ liter of milk
4 egg yolks
80 g sugar
10 g flour
25 g unsweetened cocoa
2 deciliters whipped cream
100 g sugar
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Divide the dough into three equal parts and roll out each section to a thickness of 3mm, circular shape about 25 cm in diameter. Bake in a hot oven for about ten minutes, remove and sprinkle on plenty of icing sugar, then bake again until the sugar is melted and the dough has taken on a golden color.
Meanwhile bring the milk to a boil and, in a saucepan, beat the sugar and egg yolks with a whisk, then combining the sifted flour and cocoa together with the egg yolks. Add the hot milk and thicken the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, allowing it to simmer for five minutes before taking it off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool and then fold in the whipped cream. With a knife, trim the edges of the pastry disks so that the diameter is uniform. Place the bottom layer on the serving dish, spread it with half of the filling cream, cover with the second disk and the remaining cream and finish with the last disk. Place in the refrigerator.
In a saucepan, cook 100g sugar with 100 g of water, until it is light golden in color. Take it off the heat and wait a few minutes.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil on your work surface. Dip a fork in the caramel and use a delicate movement to spin it onto the foil. Allow to cool. Decorate the surface of the cake with the prepared caramel threads arranged scenographically in a dome.
Here is a cannoli-inspired version from the Italian site of "La Cucina Italiana":
Millefoglie di Ricotta
Kcal 391 (KJ 1642) per serving
250 g puff pastry
500 g ricotta cheese
200 g fresh cream
80 g candied orange peel
castor sugar and icing sugar (powdered sugar
After you have rolled out the dough with a rolling pin, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the dough all over, brush with cold water, sprinkle with castor sugar and bake at 200 degrees for around 20 min. Meanwhile, whip the cream and mix it with the ricotta, adding to the mixture (the filling) 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and the candied peel, diced small.
Once the pastry is out of the oven, even up the edges, then divide it into 3 equal strips that you will stack after they have been thoroughly coated with the ricotta cheese filling, with which you will also cover the edges of the puff pastry. Serve on a rectangular plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish, if you like, with more diced candied orange peel.
Sorry, no.. It was bordering on the pre-digital camera age.
Ours was just a large, low, round without particularly elaborate decoration. It had fresh leaves and flowers around the border.
Here is a strawberry version:
Here are some more varieties with a bit more decoration: