Parrozzo – Abruzzo chocolate cake for Christmas
Parrozzo is a traditional chocolate Christmas cake from Pescara in the Abruzzo region. Here in an extra moist version with marzipan.
There’s an entertaining story connected with this traditional Christmas cake from Pescara in the Abruzzo region. The cake was invented by a baker in Pescara, who wanted to make a sweet version of the peasants’ corn bread called pane rozzo. He substituted corn with eggs and almond flour, shaped a mound resembling round bread and covered it with chocolate to imitate the burned crust. He called the cake parrozzo and invited the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio around for a tasting. Afterwards D’Annunzio composed “La Canzone del Parrozzo” in honour of the new cake. The poem is written en dialect, but for those who can read it, the text is here:
“È tante ‘bbone stu parrozze nove che pare na pazzie de San Ciattè, c’avesse messe a su gran forne tè la terre lavorata da lu bbove, la terre grasse e lustre che se coce… e che dovente a poche a poche chiù doce de qualunque cosa doce…”
My version of the Abruzzo chocolate cake is not arched. And almond flour has been substituted with marzipan, but that does not make this Parrozzo any less appealing. And both the bakeries in Pescara and I make it throughout the year.
100 g ground almonds
100 g marzipan
80 g butter
100 g sugar
100 g flour
2 tbsp corn starch
200 g dark chocolate
Separate the eggs and whisk the whites stiff.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar until white, and fold in ground almonds, flour, corn starch and grated marzipan
Melt the butter in a casserole and pour it into the cake mixture
Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture
Grease a spring pan form and cover it with parchment paper
Pour in the cake mixture and bake at 180 C/ 360 F for 25 minutes
Cover the cake with alu foil and bake for another 10 minutes to prevent the surface from turning dark
Leave the parrozzo for 1 hour to cool. Remove the spring pan form and cover it with chocolate melted in a bain marie water bath.