What we present is a regional recipe of the Marche region of Italy, an ancient Christmas dessert, even if so called “poor” … rich in ingredients and quite laborious, an explosion of calories !!! … but at Christmas everything is allowed! The name and some ingredient vary depending on the area. In Falerone (province of Fermo) we do it this way.

500 g of dried figs (possibly black), cut into small pieces
150 g of raisins
75 g of bitter cocoa powder
1 small cup of coffee
1 teaspoon of ground coffee
150 g of walnuts kernels
150 g of almonds without skin
2 tablespoons of rum or sweet liqueur of preference
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
peel of 1 lemon, grated
peel of 1 orange, cut into small pieces or grated
50 g of dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
250 g of breadcrumbs
1 liter of water
half a glass of cooked wine (or sweet wine)
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar

To garnish
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs
some walnut kernel or almonds

Toast the almonds in oven with an oven paper at about 200 C for about ten minutes. Once toasted, keep aside and let it cool. In a pot boil 1 liter of water and half a glass of cooked wine, pour into figs and raisins and from the moment it comes to a boil cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. Now, with the help of a chopper, cut finely the toasted almonds, the walnut kernels and the dark chocolate to very small pieces. Mix well, pour into a large bowl and add a cup of coffee, a teaspoon of coffee powder, the orange peel in small pieces, the grated lemon peel, the bitter cocoa, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, olive oil, salt and sugar. Add the figs and raisins, and the breadcrumbs and rum. Mix the mixture well, helping with a wooden spoon. The consistency must be soft but not too liquid, if necessary to harden you can add more breadcrumbs. If necessary to soften you can add a bit of hot water or other liqueur or coffee according to your taste. Marche women really like to make this dessert because you can taste it and add add … depending on your tastes, but do not exaggerate it!

Grease 2 cake molds of a dimension 18/20 cm with just a little olive oil and sprinkle with a tablespoon of breadcrumbs. Pour the mixture into the two molds, and with the edge of a spoon, level them well, they should not be more than 3 cm tall. Brush them with just a little oil, garnish at your pleasure with walnuts and almonds and bake in a preheated oven at 160 C in ventilated mode. Cooking can vary from 45 to 60 minutes, it will not have to dry out too much, nor will it remain too soft. Help yourself with the test of the toothpick (inserting it must be extracted without holding the compound) and its surface must form a very slight crust …that’s the right time to extract it! So let cool and … Merry Christmas!

A tip: you can keep the dessert for several days (even 10/15), the important thing is to keep it well covered or hermetically closed.