I discovered a lovely little cake(or very soft cookie) which in Italian is Rame di Napoli. In English Copper of Naples. These little cakes which actually probably originate from Sicily when Sicily and Naples were united in the 19th century.
They are usually enjoyed at Halloween, but for me I think they are perfect at Christmas too. The cakes are seasoned with some orange zest and a little cinnamon and cloves. I found a very easy recipe on GialloZafferano which doesn’t use eggs when most other recipes too. However it does use enough baking powder to give the little cakes a very good rise.
The batter is quite loose and can be piped, or spooned, into oval shapes. Then, when they are baked and cooled they are topped with a chocolate ganache and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios. Of course other things could be sprinkled on top but I understand that the traditional topping is those nuts.
These are very easy to make and the result is a lovely, soft cake with the hint of spices and the rich chocolate flavour. They are not too sweet and are most enjoyable. They don’t keep long, so making in small batches was best for me.
- 225g(1 3/4 cups) plain flour, or 00 flour
- 50g(3 1/2 tbsp) butter melted
- 50g(1/2 cup) cocoa powder
- 20g(1 1/2 tbsp) honey
- 200g(1/2 cup + 1/3 cup) whole milk
- 100g(1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- zest from 1/2 orange, finely grated
- 8g(2 tsp) baking powder
for the topping:
- 100g(1/2 cup) dark chocolate
- 60g(4 tbsp + 1 tsp) butter
- 30g(1 1/2 tbsp) marmalade
- 20g(2 tbsp) finely chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
- Place the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Sift the cocoa powder over the top of those items and add the orange zest, then mix to combine.
- Add the honey and melted butter and stir until the mixture is just about combined.
- Sift half the flour on top and pour in half the milk and mix until just about combined.
- Sift the remaining flour and add the remaining milk and stir until everything is well combined and the mixture glossy and still quite wet.
- Spoon measures of about 35 to 36 grams between two spoons to form an oval and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap for spreading. (you can pipe the mixture into ovals if you wish).
- Bake in the oven for 15 mins, until the cakes are risen and bake through.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray and then transfer to a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together, in a bain-marie or in a microwave. Stir to fully combine.
- Heat the marmalade to loosen it so that it can be brushed.
- Brush marmalade over the top of each cake.
- Dip each cake in the chocolate to coat the top, pretty much.
- Place on a tray and sprinkle pistachios on the top.
- Allow the ganache to set before serving.