Easter Cake: a Sardinian sweet memory
Easter week is when the tiny kitchens get busier and busier in Sardinia.
In pre- Covid times, the baking game gets really strong and it reaches the level of a competition between long-time friends, aunties and grannies. A chance also to spend time together and to transmit this knowledge to the new generations.
You pass from the luxury fried sweets of the Carnival to more sober and beautifully shaped little creations for Easter. Everything has a inner sense in this preparation for the resurrection.
Every city or little area in Sardinia got its specialities and you can find similar sweets done in a different way and called with different names. Do not want absolutely to open a debate on where sweets were born or who makes them better: we are totally in favour of trying and enjoying all the peculiarities.
Just to mention some of the ones zia Luciana, zia Cecilia, our granny were doing there are "the caschettas" made with a liquor made from grapes called saba that gives them a black colour really special in flavour, "is piricchittus" covered with a lemon glass and the unmissable "pardulas" or "formagelle" made with ricotta and saffron and usually covered with a sugar glaze and little round sprinkles.
We took inspiration from the last sweet mentioned to make a big cake that calls all the flavours of our Easters at home, when we were almost ashamed to eat them one after the other. Hope you will enjoy this cake!
INGREDIENTS - 3 eggs - 200 gr of white sugar, granulated - 100 ml of sunflower oil - 250 gr of plain flour for sweets or 00 - 16 gr of baking powder - the juice of one big orange around 100/200 ml
- the zest of a big orange
-250 gr of ricotta
-1 sachet of saffron in powder, 0.5 gr
METHOD Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and in the meantime butter a 24 cm cake tin.
Place your ricotta in a colander so it can lose all the extra water it has. In the meantime in a large mixing bowl beat the eggs on high speed with the sugar until you rich a thick and creamy mixture. This step should require around five minutes. Add the sunflower oil, keep mixing, and once absorbed and incorporated add the orange juice and the orange zest and keep mixing.
Add now the ricotta, spoon after spoon and let it get absorbed. Now add the flour slowly spoon after spoon and the baking powder and keep mixing until combined and smooth. At the end of the process, add your saffron. Bake for 35 minutes at the suggested temperature in the static oven or at 160 C for 45 minutes in the fan oven or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.