Pinoccate Print

These are little diamond-shaped sweets made of sugar and pine nuts (white with vanilla or black with chocolate).

Ingredients: sugar, pine nuts, lemon peel (optional), glucose, flour, cocoa or vanilla.

Pinoccate are traditional Christmas sweets in Perugia. They are wrapped in festive, colourful paper, brightening shop windows, festive hampers and tables. It seems that these cakes were used by Benedictine monks as early as the 14th century and towards the end of the 18th century they were still being eaten at the end of lavish Christmas meals. They are made from a special mixture of just water and sugar and boiled until a dense syrup is obtained. A quantity of pine-nuts, equal to the quantity of sugar used, are put into this syrup and this is then poured onto a marble surface and shaped into numerous little diamond-shapes as it cools. Cocoa is added to half the mixture, both to lessen the excessive sweetness and to diversify the sweets, which are then wrapped in pairs: one white and the other black.

Method of preparation: the sugar, glucose and a little water are boiled to a temperature of 113° C. The pine nuts, flour and cocoa or vanilla are then added. The mixture obtained is fluid and creamy and is poured onto a marble surface, left to cool and cut into diamond shapes with a steel cutter.

This is a fresh product and should be kept in a cool, dry place for a few days.

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