Polenta e osei is a delicious pastry made with marzipan from the Bergamo region. It is a perfect sweet treat to have with tea lattes or a cup of coffee.
the base, a sponge cake
4/5 cup (100 g) flour
1 cup (100 g) potato starch (many US supermarkets consider this a Jewish ingredient for some reason)
1/2 cup (100 g) unsalted butter, melted
6 eggs, separated
2 cups (200 g) powdered sugar
Butter for buttering the pan
Flour for flouring the buttered pan
For the filling:
Alchermes (a spicy deep red liqueur)
For the icing:
1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring, diluted in 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
The syrupy clear liqueur of your choice
1/2 pound almond paste (see link below)
Chocolate flavored marzipan (bird shapes)
Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar into a thick cream. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs whites, then fold them into the mixture. Gradually add the flour. Pour into a non-stick greased and floured 9’ cake tin with removable bottom. Bake at 200° C for 40 minutes. Allow to cool.
While the cake is cooking, cream the butter with one shot of rum and the Nutella. Melt white chocolate and dark chocolate in a double boiler and then blend it into the creamed butter mixture to create a chocolate cream.
Now make the marzipan by combining one beaten egg with the ground almonds and the icing sugar. Knead for a few minutes and leave in the fridge, covered in cling film until needed.
Cut the sponge cake into strips of about 3 cm wide and press it into a round 8’ bowl until the bowl is fully lined. Brush with the shot of Rum. Now add the chocolate cream mixture, layering the remaining pieces of cake but be sure to keep enough to form a base. Brush the bottom with Rum. Cover with cling film and let it stand in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Turn the cake out of the mould onto a plate. Roll out the marzipan thinly. Cover with a thin layer of apricot jam. Put the marzipan on the cake jam side down. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
For the finishing touch, put some marmalade at the center on top and add the chocolate covered marzipans on top of that.
Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.