Fiance Cake

hideawayamandola:

Check out this delicious cake

Originally posted on madonna del piatto:

this is my minimalist ciaramicola, the traditional one has confetti sprinkled on top of the meringue. Typically, I forget to buy them.

CIARAMICOLA. I love this cake because it’s beautiful and so reminiscent of ancient times.

Ciaramicola is a traditional cake from Perugia, Umbria’s capital city. In a past when things were simple, young women made it  for their fiancé as a gift for Easter. The cake is highly symbolic: an immaculate meringue hides a red-hot heart.

As most Umbrian cakes, the inside was based on bread dough sweetened and softened with eggs and lard. The startling red is obtained with a splash of a liqueur named alkermens or alchermes.

And here is the part I like the best. An 8th century cordial named confectio alkermes  is reported in 1653 Culpeper‘s Complete Herbal and English Physician. Defined as a mighty strengthener of the heart, its recipe includes apple juice, rose-water, raw silk, ambergris, pearls, leaf gold, cinnamon and two pounds of mysterious berries of Cherms, possibly carmine. How…

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