The Italian Cake of Roses has a soft dough to the unmistakable scent of melted butter and the delicate flavor of anise. This cake has a special place in my recipe book and, not surprisingly, was the inspiration for this blog post. I did not know the origins of this cake, then “wandering” on the web I found that a cake has a history. Of course, the recipe has been changed over time and in fact there are many versions with different fillings. What I propose is a filling with raisins. What remains unchanged, however, is the dough that is formed like roses.
History Italian Cake of Roses
Its historical origins date back to the fifteenth century, between history and legend, it is said that the cake of roses was created on the occasion of the marriage of the Marquis Francesco II Gonzaga and Isabella d’Este in the year 1490. To honor guests Ferrara became festival with much pomp; sumptuous banquets were laden with delicacies of the bright renaissance cooking of Mantova. Isabella was so much enchanted, as a result, it is said arranging for welcome the spirits of his guests with a rose still warm from the oven.
Ingredients Italian Cake of Roses
For the dough:
750 gr flour
3 whole eggs
60 gr sugar
200 gr milk
50 gr brewer’s yeast
zest of 1 organic lemon
65 gr corn oil
For the filling:
200 gr soft unsalted butter
150 gr sugar
150 gr raisins
50 ml anise liquor
Cooking Instructions Italian Cake of Roses
To soften butter at room temperature. Prepare the butter cream by combining the sugar and stirring until mixture is creamy.
Meanwhile put the raisins for soaking in anise to soften and flavor. Pour the flour into a bowl, make a small fountain and crumble the yeast, then add the sugar, pour one half of the milk doing dissolve the yeast and sugar, stirring and taking a little bit of flour from the sides of the fountain.
Cover with a towel and wait for it to start rising.
When the mixture in the middle of the fountain begins to swell combine the eggs one at a time, the remaining milk, the grating of lemon and corn oil.
Begin to knead the mixture on pastry board, till you get a smooth and elastic dough. Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll out the dough into two rectangles, fill with butter cream and raisins anise seed-flavored, roll and cut the cylinder forming of sheaves.
Place the “roses” in the baking sheet, spaced between them, let rise until double in volume (I put roses to rise in the oven turned off so that it doesn’t take air, for about 1 hour).
Bake at 180° (the temperature depends on the type of oven and if it is too high it may darken the surface too) for about 30 minutes.
When the cake has got a nice golden color do the cooking test with the blade of a knife, if it’s dry, the cake is ready. When is cold sprinkle with icing sugar.