The recipe for Donizetti Cake was conceived in 1948 by Angelo Balzer to celebrate the centenary of Donizetti’s death. Balzer, the descendant of a historic family of confectioners in Bergamo, took a sponge cake as a base, gave it a donut shape, and enriched it with pieces of apricot and candied pineapple. It was immediately acclaimed by the general public, and quickly spreads to all the pastry shops of the city.
The ingredients, according to the recipe of Caffè Balzer, are: butter, flour, eggs, sugar, candied apricot and pineapple, starch, Maraschino cherry liqueur and vanilla essence.
Adding myth to the true story, a music-lover not from Bergamo might tell you that the cakes has as its origins in the heartache of the great composer from Bergamo and Gioacchino Rossini’s attempt to relieve it. According to the legend, the latter, at dinner with a sad Donizetti, asks his cook to quickly prepare a cake to cheer up his friend and colleague. The cook, not prepared for the sudden request, takes a ‘Margherita’ sponge cake recipe, and throws in some candied apricot and pineapple.
260 g butter
150 g sugar
8 egg yolks
4 egg whites
80 g plain white flour
100 g starch
80 g candied pineapple
120 g candied apricot
1 teaspoon Maraschino cherry liqueur
1 vanilla pod (or vanilla essence)