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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Florentine Schiacciata - Carnival Cake



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a quick and easy version of Schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a flat cake served by Florentines during their extended Carnival season. The cake is flavored with orange zest and extra virgin olive oil and, while it can be made with yeast, this version is leavened with baking soda and can be assembled in about 15 minutes. It's a lovely cake. It's lighter than an American sponge cake and it has an unusual, but very pleasant, fruity flavor. It is best served for dessert and it's wonderful with a slightly sweet fortified wine. I learned to make a version of this cake in the kitchen of an Italian neighbor when I was a child. There are, literally, hundreds of recipes for this treat. I like this one because it so nicely blends the flavors of the Tuscan orange and olive groves. Be sure to use extra virgin olive oil if you decide to make this. Anything else would be too strong for a dessert cake. It is also very important to make sure the cake is completely cooked before it's removed from the oven. Test in several areas, not just in the center of the cake. This is a moist cake and will stay fresh for several days if properly wrapped and refrigerated. Oh, before I forget, schiacciata is pronounced ski-ah-CHA-ta. I'm quite sensitive to this. I was able to make the cake long before I could pronounce its name and there was a lot of good natured teasing at my expense. Here's the recipe.

Florentine Schiacciata - Carnival Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite and La Cucina Italiana

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting cake

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan with wax or parchment paper. Grease and flour pan. Set aside.
2) Whisk eggs, sugar, orange zest and juice in a large bowl. Combine olive oil and milk in a two cup measure. Whisk into egg mixture. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold into egg mixture until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
3) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before removing from pan. Invert on rack to complete cooling. Sprinkle a liberal layer of confectioners' sugar over top of cake before serving. Yield: 9 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Mediterranean Chocolate Cake with Lemon and Olive Oil - One Perfect Bite
Biscotti Regina - One Perfect Bite
Pizzelles - One Perfect Bite

42 comments :

Laurie said...

Oh this sounds wonderful! I think I will make this for my mom and dad tomorrow! What a nice surprise it will be for them.. my mom loves orange scented cakes and pastries.
Thank you for sharing this!!

Alessandra said...

how lovely!!!!

How are you Mary? I haven't been able to post regularly, did a lot of traveling and I am in Italy now for a few months...it is cold and snowing!!!!!

hope to have regular internet connection in the near future.

ciao
Alessandra

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, I had to laugh- your pronunciation is perfect! My grandmother's neighbor always made this cake and taught me. You're very right about testing for doneness. Great post!
xoxo Pattie

zurin said...

it looks gorgeously delicious Mary! I love how it looks so golden and moist. mmmmm

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Hullo Mary,howdya do....well haven been around lately ...laptop prob so cant post either....u have so muc of deliciousness posted here that can drool away at the yummyluscious godies ...
well my feeds arent still fixed so will be moving at a new home but same account-http://brightmorningstarsfoodie.blogspot.com/...but am still checking if these feeds update or no...hope they do.....
cheeers and wonderful day sweets....

Carol at Serendipity said...

Mary,

Another fantastic recipe. I will have to try this one.

Your recipes always make me hungry!

Carol

Martha said...

Looks lovely. I made something similar which I adored -- but I do like these kinds of cakes -- simple with no frosting so you taste the cake rather than the cake being the vehicle for frosting!

janet said...

If this cake tastes like it looks, it is a winner ;-)

♥ Kathy said...

That looks so good!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

I have to say, I must be wanting this for breakfast. When reading this, I could have sworn it said it was best served for breakfast...but then I saw the wine recomendation...well, I suppose we could have cake and wine for breakfast :)
Seriously, this looks wonderful!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Delicious and so delicate looking. Thanks for the pronunciation tip - I would definitely have gotten that wrong.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Thanks for sharing this perfect cake!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Wonderful - I have become quite a fan of oil cakes in the past couple of years. Somehow, the fruitiness of the olive oil and the citrus is a perfect match. And you can't beat only 15 minutes of preparation!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Mary, I know I would love this with the orange zest and the olive oil.
Sam

Bob said...

I love orange cakes, I bet I would love this! Heh, I always hated being teased for not being able to pronounce things properly. I still do, actually, and my Boston accent doesn't help much. ;)

Maryrose said...

That looks delish. Orange trees are beginning to bloom here and the fruit is so sweet. Perfect timing.

SmilingSally said...

It sounds like a perfect finish for an evening meal.

My Little Space said...

Mary, this sounds simple and delicious! Just perfect for any tea parties.

Kim said...

This cake looks so delicate and light! I love cakes with a hint of orange flavor and this sounds delicious. Gorgeous picture.

ArchaeologyAnna said...

Wow! That cake looks so moist and beautiful! I love the photography you did on this cake too! I will have to try it!

Joie de vivre said...

Pretty!!!

noble pig said...

I wish I lived somewhere with an extended Carnival season, LOL. It's a beauty Mary!

The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds so festive and pretty!

Federica said...

splendida foto! splendida torta!! complimenti!

Holly said...

This sound and looks really good:) I love your pictures!!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This cake sounds absolutely delicious and must smell heavenly when baking!

Claudia said...

I may make this tonight. I love cakes made with olive oil and adore the orange. I have never made it. Now I must. You twisted my arm.

lostpastremembered said...

I've never had this cake ... but I am loving these olive oil cakes... orange and the olive oil

ginny said...

I will definitely be making this one! I am Italian and love anything new and different.
Thanks Mary!

Bridgett said...

Perfectly refreshing for a summertime cake. I love this.

Pam said...

It looks so moist and delicious Mary - I love the orange flavor.

Martha's Menagerie said...

I'm not much of a dessert maker or baker but this sure sounds yummy!

2 Stews said...

I've never made a cake with olive oil and have always been intrigued by the thought. With orange you have me sold, and now I know how to pronounce it.

Thanks Mary.

Diane

Arlette said...

Looks awesome ..
We do a similar cake in Lebanon , and we add toasted Pinenuts or Almonds to the cake for extra crunch.

merrilymarylee said...

Mary, your recipes are wonderfully luscious sounding!

I have to ask. . do you take those fabulous photos? The carnival cake... I'd put that sucker over my mantel!

Ivy said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. It is a pleasure to discover yours and I look forward to exploring and visiting.
I love these kind of cakes which remind me of home and yours looks beautiful.

Elisa, Croatia said...

So easy and yet so yummy! thanks Mary for including the pronounciation, I would have butchered the name!
I'm writing this recipe in my cook journal right now!

Debinhawaii said...

Such a bright and sunny cake!

Andreas said...

Nice and fluffy cake.

Mary said...

Andreas, it is a very light, lovely cake with a unique flavor due to the olive oil. I really think you'd like it.

Katy ~ said...

What a bright and beautiful color...so perfect for welcoming spring.

Baking Monster said...

This cake looks divine and perfect for the coming season of spring!

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