Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a delicious traditional carnival treat from Florence. The word “schiacciata” means squished, or flattened, and most of the year if you ask for it in a bakery, you get a flat, salty bread with oil on top, great for eating just like that, or for opening up and making a sandwich. In the fall, there’s “schiacciata all’uva” which is a not-too-sweet cake made with the red grapes that are in season then, pits and all. And during carnevale, the term refers to a sweet sponge cake with a hint of orange flavour. You’d think they’d stop naming everything “squashed” and come up with a variety of titles, but so be it. Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is topped with icing sugar with a cut-out shape of the giglio, the lily of Florence. It’s lovely plain, but is often served cut open and filled with whipped cream for a true “caloric bomb”. You will need: 250g flour, 150g sugar, 2 eggs, 1 expresso-cup full of olive oil*, 2 expresso-cups full of milk, 1 blood orange, juiced and zested**. Add after mixing: 1 baggie “lievito vanigliato”, about 2 tsp baking powder with vanilla flavouring.
Mix all ingredients except for the baking powder together in a bowl with a mixmaster on high for 3-5 minutes. Then add baking powder, mix in. Pour into rectangular silicon baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees celcius. Cool on rack. Transfer to plate. Place lily cutout on top and sprinkle icing sugar. This cake is really easy to make. Like, if you have never successfully baked anything in your life, you can make this.
*the expresso cup is equivalent to about 1/3d of a cup. Don’t worry, it’s a very forgiving recipe, measures are approximate. **If you don’t have fresh oranges on hand you can use orange juice.