Maltese Carnival Prinjolata

prinjolata main masks

Renato’s Prinjolata for Maltese Carnival Week at Karrot & Ko Photography Ian Noel Pace

‘The feast before the fast is with us again and you can watch my good friend Renato Briffa make traditional Prinjolata from an old recipe passed on to him by his dad who owned a well know confectionery in Old Mint Street Valletta between 1956 and 1987. ‘

And to make his prinjolata you will need:
625g flour
200g butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
a few drops of a good vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
250g sugar
150g water

Rub in the butter into the flour and add the baking powder, vanilla and lemon zeat.
Mix the sugar with the water until it dissolves.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well until it forms a dough.
Form the pastry into a long sausage shape and bake in the oven at 190C for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch it, do not let it burn.
Leave to cool and using a sharp knife slice them into biscotti shapes.

For the butter cream you will need:
900 g Butter
1200g icing sugar
6 drops vanilla

Beat together in a electric mixer until it becomes a smooth butter icing

You will also need:
200g chopped dark chocolate
150g candied peel
100g roasted almonds chopped up

Mix the pastry biscotti with the butter cream and all the rest of the ingredients,
When all the ingredients are combined form the cake in the shape that you prefer.   Renato builds a mountain but you can also use a circular pudding basin.

Now you will need to prepare an Italian meringue with :
850g sugar
285 g egg white

Place the sugar in a sauce pan and just add enough water until all the sugar can soak,
Mix with a wooden spoon.
As soon as it comes to boil add e egg whites and whisk with an e,extricating beater until it reaches the hard ball stage. I do this by using a sugar thermometer which is clearly marked ‘hard ball stage’ so it’s very easy this way. Add the egg whites and mix at low speed for 3 minutes.

Cover the cake generously with the meringue and it will set and slightly


You will also need:
200g dark melted chocolate
100g glacé cherries, halved
100g pinenuts

Decorate the Carnival cake by drizzling melted dark chocolate all over and pressing the halved cherries all around … Sprinkle pine nuts all over…

My flour comes fromSt Georges Brand and pine nuts from Good Earth Distriburtors

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