The “Easter Dove” is a typical Italian cake we always have at Easter. We usually buy it ready-made in colourful boxes, as we do with Panettone and Pandoro at Christmas, but this year I decided to make my Colomba at home. It took several hours as the dough needs time to rise, and I couldn’t find all the ingredients, but the final result was good. Here is the recipe.
You need: 500 g of flour, 100 ml of lukewarm water, 7 g of dried yeast, 100 g of melted butter, 170 g of Demerara sugar, 5 yolks, 100 ml of milk, some drops of vanilla essence, grated zest of one lemon and grated zest of one orange, a pinch of salt, 100 g of candied fruit.
For the glazing you need: 3 egg whites, 50 g of sugar, 100 g of confectionary sugar (I couldn’t find this it so I used some coloured sugar) and 100 g of almonds.
Mix 150 g of flour, yeast and water and knead for 5-10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place for one hour.
Mix the rest of the flour with Demerara sugar, the yolks, 50 g of melted butter, salt, milk, vanilla essence, the zest of the lemon and the zest of the orange. Combine the two mixtures and knead. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for two hours.
After two hours knead the dough adding the candied fruit and the rest of the melted butter. Let it rise for another three hours in a mould with the shape of a dove (I made mine with some strong paper and lined it with baking paper).
For the final touch you need to prepare the glazing, whipping the whites until stiff with the sugar. Spread it on the dove and decorate it with the almonds and the confectionary sugar (or coloured sugar). Bake for 10 minutes, 200 °C, and then for 30 minutes 180 °C.