Monday, 3 March 2014

Posted by Judie on Monday, 3 March 2014
The Prinjolata is a traditional Maltese dessert made during the Carnival Period. Its name derives from the pine nuts used in the recipe (prinjol in Maltese). It is made from a mixture of sponge (or biscuits), candied cherries, pine nuts and chocolate and then covered in Italian Meringue. It is quite painstaking to do from scratch, and will take most of a day's work. 



Ingredients:
Makes one Prinjolata


For the sponge:
  • 4 eggs 
  • 200g caster sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind 
  • 200g self-raising flour
For the prinjolata mixture: 
  • 1 tbsp whisky 
  • 50g pine nuts, roasted and chopped 
  • 50g glace cherries, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips 
  • 250g softened margarine 
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar 
  • 1 tbsp vermouth 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Italian Meringue: 
    • 75g egg whites (from 2 large eggs)
    • 150g sugar 
    • 45g water 
    • pinch of cream of tartar or 1/8 tsp lemon juice
    For decorating: 
      • glace cherries, halved
      • chocolate, melted 
      • pine nuts (optional)

      Directions:
      Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. For the sponge, beat together using a mixer the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and grated lemon rind for about 8 minutes or until a smooth soft mixture is formed. Add the flour to the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin. Bake the sponge until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely. 

      For the prinjolata filling, break the sponge into very small pieces in a large bowl. Sprinkle the whiskey over the sponge pieces. Add the chopped pine nuts, glace cherries and chocolate bits; mix well. Using a mixer, beat the margarine and sugar until a smooth mixture is formed. Add the cake mixture, vanilla extract and vermouth and beat together using a mixer. Mould the mixture in the form of a dome and place on a plate. You can do this easily by covering a bowl with cellophane and then turning the bowl upside down. 

      For the Italian Meringue, combine sugar and water in a small pan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. The temperature should be 116 degrees Celsius. In the meantime, start whisking the egg whites with the cream of tartar or lemon juice in a clean, grease-free bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Bring sugar syrup to 121 degrees Celsius. This should be the hard ball stage, that is, when you drop some sugar syrup into cold water, the sugar should form into a hard ball. Increase the mixer speed to high and, with motor running, gradually pour syrup into meringue. Beat at medium speed until cooled to room temperature and meringue is thick and glossy, about 15 to 20 minutes.

      Cover the prinjolata dome with the meringue. There is no need for it to be perfectly smooth. Put the halved glace cherries on top along with the pine nuts, and drizzle with the melted chocolate.  




















      Prinjolata recipe from Original Recipe
      Italian Meringue recipe from Original Recipe

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