Winter is the perfect time for this recipe made with dried fruits. You can make it in small disposable paper cake pans, like these that I bought at a discount store, or make one larger cake in a round pan. There is a certain charm to these miniature cakelets though, and they are just the right serving for one person.
The small amount of cornmeal in the recipe gives the cake a darker look, but adds a bit of flavor and texture. If you want to eliminate the cornmeal, just substitute an equal amount of white all-purpose flour.
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From the Italian cookbook “Fantasie da forno”
- 7 tablespoons butter, softened (100 gr. di burro ammorbidito)
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten (2 uova sbatute)
- ⅓ cup (50 grams) flour
- 1 teaspoon (un cucchiaino di lievito) baking powder
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal (100 gr. di farina di mais)
- 1½ cups mixed dried fruit (225 gr. frutta secca mister
- ¼ cup pine nuts, or other nuts (25 gr. di pinoli)
- grated rind of a lemon (la scorza grattugiata di 1 limone)
- 2 tablespoons milk (2 cucchiai di latte)
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice (4 cucchiai di succo di limone)
- Grease a 7" or 8" round pan (or use several small baking paper cake holders).
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer.
- Add the beaten eggs, one a time, mixing each one thoroughly.
- Add the flour, baking powder and cornmeal and mix until incorporated.
- Add the dried fruits and nuts, the lemon peel, the lemon juice, and lastly the milk.
- Spread the mixture into the pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour, but if using the mini pans, check after 30 minutes.
- Test with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let it cool, then dust with powdered sugar.