Traditional layer cake -pizza dogge
“Pizza dolce” or “pizza dogge”, is a simple sponge cake, layered with confectioner’s custard and chocolate cream, produced and known all over the region.
It is considered, to all intents and purposes, a “party” cake and therefore served at every Abruzzo ceremony. It is made all over the region and the ingredients of the traditional Abruzzese recipe are: eggs, flour and sugar (but some people add 1/4 of a grated lemon rind).
The egg yolks are beaten and mixed with the egg whites ands sugar until a plump, white, almost foamy, mixture is obtained. Then flour is added, after having been sieved three times, and this is mixed in gradually to avoid forming lumps. When the ingredients are thoroughly amalgamated, the mixture is poured into a previously greased and floured cake tin, then baked at 180°C for 30-40 minutes.
The sponge cake is cooked when it turns a golden straw colour: The result is a delicate spongy surface of a variable texture, depending on the proportions quantities of ingredients.
When cooled and “dried” (24-48 hours from cooking), the sponge cake is ready to be sliced into four layers and these will be filled with three different creams. The fillings are prepared separately. Before filling the cake, each disc is soaked in a mixture of different liqueurs, which include rum, alkermes, coffee, maraschino or others as preferred, straight or diluted with sugar and water. Starting from the bottom, a layer of different flavour of cream is added to each disc: confectioner’s custard, marzipan (made from almonds), dark chocolate cream. A knife or metal spatula is used to ensure the edges of the cake are clean and even.
The surface is often covered with a white cream made from ground, toasted almonds or whipped cream, or white sugar icing, which may de further decorated with good wishes written with cream from a pochette, coloured comfits, hundreds and thousands.