Red and white like the distinctive colours of the city, ‘Ciaramicola’ is the typical Easter cake of Perugia, Umbria. It was traditionally prepared by the girls as a gift for their boyfriends on the occasion of Easter celebrations. Ciaramicola’s original shape represents the city and its most important points: Fontana Maggiore in the middle and the five historic districts all around.
Ciaramicola evokes great memories of childhood to me. Its bright colours, eating secretly the candies of the decoration, the attention with which my grandmother used to wrap it up with the Easter cake, some eggs and other foods ready for the traditional blessing. Umbrians know what I’m talking about!
Here is the Ciaramicola recipe, if I was successful for you it’ll be an easy game!
- Flour: 500 g
- Sugar: 200 g
- Eggs: 4
- Milk: 1 glass
- Seed oil: 1 glass
- Alchermens: 1/2 glass
- 2 baking powder sackets
- Grated zest of 1 lemon + 1 lemon (juice)
For the Decoration:
- 3 egg whites
- 1 pinch of salt
- 250 g of sugar (or icing sugar, depending on your tastes. I usually do a mix.)
- Coloured sprinkles
Separate the egg whites from the yolks, add the sugar to the yolks and mix them. Add all the other ingredients gradually, maintaining a soft mixture, alternating solid and liquid ones. When you add flour and baking powder, help yourself with a sieve to prevent the formation of lumps.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks and then add it to the mixture got over.
Grease a cake pan, add a pinch of flour and then put the mixture inside. Place all in a preheated oven at 180 (celsius) degrees for about 20 minutes (checking the cooking status from time to time).
When you are almost at the end of the cooking process, whip the 3 egg whites and all the ingredients listed in decoration section until stiff peaks (candies excluded). The cake should be removed from the oven when it’s not too dry; then, you can let it stand for a few minutes.
Turn down the oven to 100 degrees and start doing the decoration. Using a spatula or a brush, spread the meringue mixture all over the cake, creating an irregular surface and then put all over the coloured sprinkles.
Bake again leaving the oven slightly open: this is a very important step because the ‘snow’ must remain white and just one minute more could damage its whiteness.
Once the baking process is finished, let your great cake cool down before tasting!