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pine nut cake
Torta di Pinoli (Pine Nut Cake, with butter, raisin, milk, rum and "Pane degli Angeli")
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Anna-Maria Benvenuto

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For batter
250 grams flour
150 grams sugar
50 grams butter, melted, cooled
75 grams pine nuts, coarsely chopped
30 grams raisins
2 eggs, separated
1/2 glass (3 ounces) milk
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 shot ( 1 1/2 ounces) of rum or cognac
1 packet of vanilla-flavored baking powder (e.g. "Pane degli Angeli")

For decoration
Vanilla-flavored icing sugar
Chocolate Frosting
1 packet vanilla sugar
100 grams butter
100 grams icing sugar
30 grams chocolate
200 grams pine nuts, finely chopped


Coarsely chop the pine nuts.

Place the raisins in warm water and allow them to enlarge. When they are enlarged, drain the water and then dry them.

Beat the egg yolks and the rum or cognac to the mixture.

In a separate bowl mix the flour and sugar, and then gradually add the milk and butter.

Add the beaten egg yolks flavored with rum or cognac to the flour mixture until the cake batter is shiny and smooth.

Add the lemon zest.

Meanwhile, in another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.

Incorporate the beaten egg whites to the cake batter.

Pour the batter in a well-greased round or rectangular pan.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees F until ready -- about 40 minutes.

Turn off the oven, and then let the cake remain in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool.

After the cake is cooled either decorate with icing sugar or make the suggested chocolate and pine nut frosting, making sure that there are no lumps by melting the chocolate over low heat, and stirring the mixture constantly for about 10 minutes.


Mrs. Anna-Maria Benvenuto has collected hundreds of recipes from relatives, friends, and neighbors over the years. She recorded the recipes in Italian in numerous notebooks, often naming the recipe after the person who gave it to her. Mrs. Anna-Maria Benvenuto also copied recipes from Italian cookbooks, magazines and newspapers. The recipe in this entry was found in an Italian cookbook published in the early 1970s. Being an avid baker Mrs. Benvenuto tried out many of the recipes herself. However, because of her enormous talent and expertise, she did not feel the need to write detailed instructions as she knew how to make the recipes without them. However, when asked by this website's archivist (Mary Melfi) for details, she quickly volunteered the information. Nonetheless, as with most first generation Italian-Canadian handwritten recipes, it is understood that whoever attempts to duplicate them should have some knowledge of what they are doing.... Photo: Mary Melfi

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