Plaxy Locatelli shares her favourite Easter tradition.
I have never been a great one for Easter, as I don’t believe in god. Its strange to be included in pagan rituals of which I have no affinity and that hold no meaning for me, other then “Holidays!” and “Chocolate!”.
Having been brought up in a agnostic household, with a seriously lapsed catholic irish mother, I had no religious education whatsoever.
Marrying an Italian changed all that, obviously. Suddenly Easter was bigger then Christmas (It is for the Italians) and we would all rush off to Italy to be with my husband's family. Their house would be full of various cakes and sweets and of course the traditionnal torta pasqualina, chocolate eggs for the children and the smell of goat Roasting in the oven.
I have never complained as I love any excuse for a party, even if it does mean a snooze in the church before the serious job of eating and drinking begins.
The one thing I love is the Colomba - a cake that is the shape of a dove that signifies the reconciliation between God and man.
Here is a easy recipe for a Colomba. I don't like candied peel so usually replace it with sultanas or raisins, but you can choose which to use.
1lb all purpose flour
4 1/2 oz sugar
1 3/4 fresh yeast
5oz candied fruit or sultanas or raisins..or NOT!?
course sugar to taste
1/2 oz salt
Blanched almonds for decoration
Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and slowly work in half of the flower, allow the dough to rise in a warm place in a floured bowl.
When the dough has doubled in size, place it in a larger bowl and add the remaining flour, beaten eggs, melted butter, sugar and salt.
Work the dough gently until it stops sticking on the side of the bowl, cover with a moist cloth and allow to rise for another hour.
Sprinkle flour on the raisins/sultanas/candied peel and then shake off the excess flour in a sieve.