The Ciambellone Ring Cake… or “Berlingozzo”

The Ciambellone is one of the traditional Tuscan cakes typically associated with conviviality. Each family has its own recipe and its own… Ciambellone.
Every mother, and every grandmother, has her unique and unmistakable way of preparing this cake, which people usually have for breakfast and as an afternoon snack.

The story of this cake is quite curious, and so is its … second name. In Tuscany it’s called “Berlingozzo”, and it’s one of the oldest desserts of our cuisine.
It’s a simple cake that, like many others, was originally only baked on Holy Thursday. Its name comes from “berlingaccio”, which derives from the old German “bretling”, meaning “dining table”.
According to another version, funnier but less reliable, the name would come from a certain Berlinghieri, a paladin of Charlemagne who was a great drinker and eater.
Like all the desserts made at Palazzo Malaspina, the ingredients must be of the highest quality: in this case also the flour, which they get from a local mill.

350 grams 00 flour
300 grams sugar
4 eggs
150 grams extra virgin olive oil
1 cup baking yeast powder
1 lemon zest only (grated)
1/2 glass of milk

Hand-whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add the lemon zest, milk, flour and baking powder.
Mix everything until the mixture is creamy. Pour the mixture into a greased ring mould (26 cm diameter). Bake in the oven at 180 ° for 35-40 minutes.