Umbrian Dragoon Cake
This is the traditional Christmas cake in Paciano and surroundings, our grandmother learned from my mum and I this special recipe.
We love to start cooking it from the 8th of December, the same day we make the light Christmas tree!!!
300 gr. sweet almond
13 bitter almonds
300 gr. sugar
100 gr. candied fruits
…..some candied cherry if you find it
100 gr. pine nuts
4 spoons of Amaretto di Saronno if you like…
3 tablespoons alchermes, the sweet bright red liqueur supposed invented by the friars of Santa Maria Novella in Florence.
If you don’t find it, the dragoon will not appears pink color
2 coffee beans
One red sugared almonds or a red candy
3 whites of eggs
Crush or grind the almonds, combine sugar, pine nuts, candy and leave “in peace” 12 hours.
Combine the alchermes and the whites of the 3 eggs until stiff peaks form, we say “Montare a neve”, that means beat as it snow… Mix well.
Form the snake and decorate it with pine nuts, make eyes with the coffee beans and the tongue with the candy.
Place on baking paper – put (politely) the spiral.
Bake in a moderate oven for 40 minutes. The oven must be at C 325 gradi F or italian 160 gradi
If it take color quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Just removed from the oven, brush it with clear (well-mounted snow) and sugar, and sprinkle colored sugar sprinkles.