Some days ago I did for the first time the “Soffioni Abruzzesi”, literally “Dandelion of Abruzzo”. I always tough that it was a complicated cake to do, but eventually it was not so complicated and I decided to share my experience with the full recipe and a small video.
The “Soffioni” are small cakes typical in the Abruzzo region. They look like a kind of “cupcake” but biting them you will discover the tasty, softy and fresh stuffed made by “ricotta”, an whey cheese made from sheep, and freshness and smell of lemon. More easy is the reason why they are called dandelion indeed the stuffed wile is cooked swells up as if someone had blown in.
I find them good for every occasion although they were typical at Easter time. Of course there are many version of the recipe accordion to areas where they are made. This my version, how we do in my house!
Ingredients for 12 Soffioni
– For the pastry
Flour (00 sort) 300 gr
2 Eggs + 1 yolk
Granulated sugar 80 gr
Extra virgin olive oil 50 ml
– For filling
Sheep Ricotta cheese 400 gr (Before to start remember to place the “ricotta cheese” in a colander and let it drain meshed for at least 2 hours)
Granulated sugar 100 gr
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Start with the pastry, take a large bowl and pour the flour, and than add the sugar, the oil and the 2 eggs plus the yolk.
2. Knead to obtain a smooth and firm dough, which will have a consistency similar to that of the pasta and Wrap it in cling film and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, the time to prepare the filling.
3. Meanwhile prepare the filling: grated zest of one lemon and set aside in a small bowl. Then separate the yolks from the whites, pour into a bowl or a bowl of a planetary, add the sugar and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.
4. At this point sieved the ricotta (that you had put to drain) and add it into the frothy mixture. Finally, also joined the lemon zest that you had put aside, mixed and transferred into a bowl. Remember not to mix for too long, otherwise you mount the ricotta.
5. Apart whip the egg whites very gently with half a teaspoon of sugar to make them softer. Add them to the cream made with ricotta and mix well together.
6. Now roll out the dough until it reaches a thickness of about 3 mm. Divide the dough into 12 squares, which will measure around 10×10 cm.
Grease with butter a muffin mold or single cups with a paintbrush and dusting flour.
7. After start to arrange the squares of pastry within the spaces, making sure to leave out the flaps. Then pour about 60 grams of cream in each square of pastry. After pouring the cream, fold the flaps inward.
8. After filling all 12 molds, bake in oven preheated to 180 degrees for 30 minutes, once after the first 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 160 degrees and cook for another 35 minutes. (if you use a ventilated oven, bake at 160 degrees for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 140 ° and cook for another 25 minutes). When the heads will be golden brown, they are ready. Let them cool and remove gently from the molds. Sprinkle your “Soffioni”with icing sugar and serve!