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“Torta in Balconata per dodeze persone” cake for a dozen or so guests...comes from the book “Libro di cucina del secolo XIV” published by Frati in 1899, in which we find especially refined recipes dating back to the 14th century. The rather strange name, “Balcony cake”, is due to the different layers of pastry on which dried fruit and nuts and almond milk are set.

In 1992, 500 years after the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the Comunità Montana Mugello presented a historical study on the traditions of the 15th century, and in particular on culinary art. The historian Dr. Greco and the gastronomist Dr. Cirri recovered original recipes from that period written in the language of the times.

"Torta in Balconata per dodeze persone" cake for a dozen or so guests...comes from the book "Libro di cucina del secolo XIV" published by Frati in 1899, in which we find especially refined recipes dating back to the 14th century. The rather strange name, "Balcony cake", is due to the different layers of pastry on which dried fruit and nuts and almond milk are set.

The recipes were then translated, and the food was prepared using as much care as possible in applying the same methods and ingredients. Thanks to this meticulous historical and gastronomical study, the recipes were prepared and offered in restaurants and bakeries in the territory.
The Torta in Balconata continues to be prepared and offered in bakeries in Borgo San Lorenzo.

Ingredients

For the pie:

  • 300gr of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • salt
  • water as required

For the filling:

  • 500 gr of dates
  • 250 gr almonds
  • 250 walnut kernels
  • 250 gr raisins
  • 150 gr cane sugar
  • 10 clove

For the almond milk:

  • 300 gr almonds
  • water as required.

The Torta in BalconataThe Torta in BalconataThe almond milk must be prepared three days prior to making the cake: mince the almonds finely, place them in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover in water –by at least 2 inches – and store in the refrigerator. 

Prepare the pastry by mixing the flour, oil, salt and water as required to make a smooth, soft ball of dough. Knead for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough with the rolling pin, prepare four discs of 28-30cm in diameter, brush with them with milk and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pit the dates, cut into pieces and mix with the chopped almonds and walnuts, raisins, sugar and the ground cloves.

Place the discs and nut compost in a high rimmed pan alternating layers of pastry and nuts. Remember to leave some chopped nuts for the top layer.

Cover with the unfiltered almond milk and cook at low heat for one hour. Leave to rest for 24 hours before serving. It preserves well for many days in the fridge. If the cake is too plain looking, it can be decorated with warm brown honey and almonds, walnut kernels and dates.

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