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Buona La Befana ..and Quite a Royal Torte for Dessert!

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Christmas, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, desserts, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, and Uncategorized

copyright 2014 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, PrimaMedia, Inc.


La Befana is  here or as tradition goes she did ‘fly in  on her broomstick’ sometime before dawn this morning, the 6th of January. And the streets are bustling with cars and people whizzing by.. under my window here in the center of town. Fireworks can be heard from far and near signaling the last day of a long, (seemingly) never ending 12 day Holiday feast.
Today’s mid day meal will be just as special as the rest of  the Holidays.

La Befana vien di notte (the Befana comes in the night)

con le scarpe tutte rotte (with tattered shoes)

con cappelle  alla Romana (A Roman style hat)

VIVA VIVA LA BEFANA! (Long Live La Befana)



Torta Principe Eugenio (Prince Eugenio’s Cake)



6 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate (containing at least 60% cocoa)

1 1/2 cups crushed almonds

1 ¼ cups sugar

2 tablespoons butter

6 eggs

1 tablespoon rum

1 tablespoon brandy

butter for pan


2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 ounces milk chocolate

½ cup whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

Beat softened butter,sugar and egg yolks until creamy. Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Add the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture,then add in ground almonds,brandy and rum.

Beat egg whites till soft peaks form. Fold into the egg yolk mixture gently till well blended.. Butter and flour an 8″  cake pan and bake for 35 minutes in oven at 350 degrees.

Remove from oven. Leaving a 1 /12 “ border around cake, cut out some of  the interior cake , to make about ¼ cup of crumbs. Place crumbs in oven on cookie sheet  to dry and become crisp, set aside., to use as crumble on topping.

Cook raspberries and sugar over low heat for 2 minutes let sugar melt. Let cool. Place whipping cream and vanilla, sugar in bowl. Whip cream till peaks form, add in grated chocolate. Place cooled raspberry mixture in cavity of cake made from digging out crumbs. Top with whipped cream mixture in center of raspberries. Sprinkle with cake crumbs on top of whipped cream and serve.

For more great Holiday recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd editon

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