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With the Italian Semolina Cake Migliaccio we make a jump in the Italian region of Campania. Today this dessert is typical of the carnival period, but its roots are very ancient. Migliaccio’s ancestor made his appearance in the eighteenth century, in rural Campania and Tuscany. It was prepared with millet, a type of cereal, from which this dessert takes its name.
Another ingredient that contributes to the composition of its name is pig blood. In the medieval period, pig blood was used in preparations such as desserts and bread-making, to make these dishes more caloric and consequently more energetic. In this way the farmers could cope with the long and hard days of work. Over time, towards the end of the eighteenth century, this ingredient was eliminated, above all due to pressure from the clergy and the bourgeoisie who believed that the use of this ingredient was a pagan practice.
The blood was replaced by ingredients like sugar, cinnamon and eggs. The millet was then replaced with corn our and slowly we began to use cow’s milk ricotta and aromas such as the orange and lemon typical of the Campania areas and sometimes also the orange blossom water. In the Campania tradition, in some houses lard is used instead of butter.
The Modern Migliaccio Cake
The traditional semolina cake we know today, is a dessert with cornmeal, rich and robust, with an heady taste and aroma. Usually cooked in a Neapolitan pastiera tray. We wanted to enrich our recipe with an extra touch. We added raisins soaked in the Gran Marnier and with the Gran Marnier itself. If you want, if you don’t like raisins, you can add dark chocolate chips to the dough to add an extra touch. Once cooked, I advise you to let the Italian Semolina Cake cool completely so that it firms completely.
Italian Semolina Cake: Migliaccio Cake
- 200 g Semolina
- 500 g Milk
- 300 g Caster Sugar
- 500 g Water
- 300 g Cow Ricotta Cheese
- 4 Eggs
- 50 g Butter
- 4 Orange Peel
- 1 Lemon Peel
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- 40 g Gran Marnier
- 1 pinch Salt
- to taste Raisins or chocolate chips
For the Mold
- Put the citrus peels to boil in water for 10 minutes. Once passed, remove them and add milk and butter. Melt the butter, add the semolina to rain and mix for 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, cool the semolina in a pan. If you want to use raisins, soak them in the Gran Marnier.
- Sift the ricotta. Beat the eggs with the sugar and add the sifted ricotta and vanilla seeds.
- When the semolina has almost completely cooled, add the eggs and sugar a little at a time. When it is well mixed add the Gran Marnier, raisins or chocolate chips.
- Grease the pan and line it with the breadcrumbs, pour the dough and bake at 180 ° C for 1 hour. Once cooked, leave it in the oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely so that it solidifies before serving.