This is one of the best cakes I ever did 🙂 I really love it and it’s so simple, but the flavor explodes in your mouth and stays for so long!
It is also one of the countless old traditional regional recipes of Italy which are “traditionally vegan” 🙂
It was, at the time, a poor recipe like many others. It is typical of Liguria region, and more precisely of the village of Pietrabruna, in Imperia province. It’s a region rich of olive oil, more in the detail it’s oil made with Taggiasche olives, and this oil is “sweeter” than other oils, and it’s one of the finest, so it gives a particular flavor.
Originally it was not made with pure extra virgin olive oil but it was used the sediments remaining on the bottom of the jars/tanks/bottles used to store the oil (in the past oil was not being perfectly filtered like is mostly done nowadays), according to the philosophy that nothing had to be wasted 🙂
Another thing different from the modern recipes was the fact that no baking soda was used, but the women used to prepare a mixture of flour and water that was then left to rest for 5 days long in the coolest place of the house, this mixture was called “levau” in the local dialect. But nowadays baking soda is used.
The name Stroscia (pronounced “strosha“) comes from the dialect verb “strosciare” which means “break”, indeed it’s not to be cut with a knife but you have to break it with the hands 🙂 like the Sbrisolona cake that I already showed in another post.
Let’s see how to make it.
INGREDIENTS (for a 28 cm cake):
- 400 g flour, I used 200 g of wheat flour Tipo 2 (according to Italian types codes) and 200 g of spelt flour
- 200 ml of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 100 g sugar
- half glass (about 100 ml) of vermouth, in alternative Marsala wine (but also other sweet wines are fine)
- the zest of one lemon, not treated
- 5 g baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- 30-40 g of unsalted pistachio, or almonds or hazelnuts (optional)
- Take a bowl and sift the flour. Add the sugar, the pinch of salt, the lemon zest and the baking soda too. Make a hole in the middle and add the extra virgin olive oil, and start to mix it.
- When the oil is absorbed by the flour add the vermouth/wine and keep working the dough.
- When also the wine is absorbed and the dough is well done and soft, you are ready 🙂 it doesn’t need to rest.
- Take a cake pan, spread a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on the bottom, and then put the dough inside. Spread it simply using your fingers, it should be about 1-1,5 cm thick, if higher it will probably lose its characteristic crunchiness.
- Sprinkle some sugar on the top, and if you want add the pistachio too.
- Bake at 170 °C, fan assisted mode, for about 40 minutes.
- That’s all 🙂
- As I wrote, break it with your hands and enjoy it, next to a glass of good sweet wine is a great dessert too 🙂
Flour: Farina Buratto Bio Tipo 2 (wheat) from “Mulino Marino”, organic Spelt flour (tönkölybúza) from Pásztói Malom.
Oil: extra virgin olive oil from Iseo lake, produced by my father 🙂