While in Bergamo you will see many tempting cakes and desserts in cafes and bars and in the windows of pasticcerie (cake shops).
A local speciality you may notice is Torta Donizetti, a ring shaped cake dedicated to the great musician, who was born and died in Bergamo.
One story is that it was whipped up in a hurry by Rossini’s cook when the two composers were dining together and that Rossini dedicated it to his guest afterwards.
It is now part of Bergamo’s gastronomic tradition, and if you enjoy sampling it while visiting the city, you will find it is simple to make at home.
Here is my version of the original recipe, which I adapted slightly to use ingredients easily available in the UK . It makes a large cake, enough to serve approximately six to eight people.
Unsalted butter, 320 gr
White sugar, 135 gr
Egg yolks, 8
Egg whites, 4
Flour, 50 gr
Cornflour, 120 gr
Dried apricots, cut into small cubes, 100 gr
Fresh pineapple, cut into small cubes, 100 gr
Teaspoon of Maraschino (or any fruit liqueur)
Teaspoon of vanilla essence
Method – Whip together butter, 20 gr of sugar and egg yolks. Beat egg whites with rest of sugar till stiff, then add to the mixture. Gradually add flour and cornflour. Then stir in the cubes of apricot and pineapple, the liqueur and the vanilla essence. Maraschino, a clear cherry-based liqueur, is used in the classic recipe but if this is not available another fruit liqueur may be substituted.
Butter a 24 cm ring shaped baking tin and pour in mixture.
Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.
Afterwards leave it to cool before brushing the top with icing sugar.