Sbrisolona is a dry, very crumbly cake that can be kept for a long time.
The recipe seems to date back to the late Renaissance and its modern version is published on the official website of the city of Mantua, the birthplace of this Italian Torta in https://www.mantova.com/torta-sbrisolona/.
Sbrisolona can be prepared in a bowl in 15 minutes paying attention to not mix the ingredients too much.
The dough, in fact, must be crumbled using your hands as quickly as possible and left rather divided and discontinuous on the bottom of the cake tin - with more parts worked than others.
Once cooked and cool, the torta should traditionally not be sliced, but broken into bite-sized pieces and eaten by hands as a snack.
The traditional, yet modern, Mantuan recipe calls for the same amount of cornmeal, all-purpose flour, sugar, almonds and butter.
Unlike the traditional modern version, I’ve substituted 50% of all-purpose flour with homemade almond flour for a more intense texture and I sprinkled the dough with an Italian almond liqueur.
Moreover,I’ve reduced the amount of butter and recovered the lard that was present in the original Renaissance recipe.
The lard gives the crumble an incredible flavor, twisting the taste completely.
As for the cornmeal, I chose an Italian variety called Bramata - a cornmeal with a grainy texture - to give a rustic look and taste to the cake. Choose the fine-grained Fioretto variety for a finer, simpler, yet irresistible flavor. —Adele
caster sugar + 20 g for the decoration
Italian cornmeal, type Bramata (for a rustic taste) or Fioretto (for a finer taste)
coarsely chopped unpeeled almonds + 10 whole almonds for the decoration
sifted all-purpose flour
softened and diced butter
Amaretto di Saronno or another Italian almond liqueur (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180° C.
Butter and dust a 20 cm in diameter cake tin.
Make your own almond flour by adding 50 g of blanched almonds to a blender and blitz until a fine, powdery flour is achieved
Chop the unpeeled almonds coarsely.
Sift the all-purpose flour in a bowl, add your freshly homemade almond flour and the Italian Bramata cornflour. Mix together.
Add the chopped almonds, the sugar and mix again. Add the egg yolk
Using your hands, mix in the softened diced butter and the lard very quickly to avoid heating the mixture. Add a pinch of salt.
Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Amaretto di Saronno.
Crumble the mixture with your hands as much as possible and spread it on your prepared cake tin.
Pay attention to not compact the mixture on the bottom.
Spread the 10 unpeeled whole almonds on the top of the dough.
Bake on the middle rack for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Once cool, dust with caster sugar, break it with your hands and ... go.