This is an updated version of a spongati cake recipe by Ivan Day. Day got the recipe from William Jarrin’s “The Italian Confectioner” which was first printed in 1820. The cake is sort of like an English mince tart but in my opinion, much better.
For the pastry
225gr (8oz) plain flour
50gr (2oz) caster sugar (I use pure icing sugar)
100gr (4oz) unsalted butter (the Danish brand, Lurpak is excellent)
3 egg yolks
For the filling
115gr (4oz) white bread crumbs
115gr (4oz) walnuts
20gr (2/3oz) currants
20gr (2/3oz) pine nuts
450gr (1lb) honey (I use macadamia honey)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Icing sugar to dust the finished cake
Preheat the oven to 150C (300F)
Sift the flour and sugar. Chop up the butter into small cubes and mix with
the flour, sugar and egg yolks until you get a breadcrumb like, consistency
(I did this all in a food processor). Roll the mixture into a ball and chill
for about an hour or so. I always rush this step and it makes the pastry
more difficult to control (it splits and cracks) when it’s rolled out, and
on a side note, in Jarrin’s original recipe he says to let it sit in a cool
place over night.
The next step is to mix the filling ingredients together.
Take 2/3 of the pastry dough and roll it out into a 22cm (8 1/2″) circle and place
the filling in the middle leaving a 4cm (1 1/2″) clear border which you turn upwards
to make a rim. I actually do all this in a 22cm (8 1/2″) springform baking dish lined
with baking paper which makes it all easier to control. Roll out the rest of
the pastry to cover the filling and base, then press the edges together.
Put several holes in the top to let out the steam and cook for about 40 to
When the cake has cooled down, lightly dust it with some icing sugar.
This cake goes well with ice-cream, frozen yoghurt (my choice), custard or coffee.
By the way, for my regular visitors, sorry for not posting for a while and
my only excuse it that I’ve been making arrangements for my up coming
trip……. plus I’m just slack!