Easter delicious cake: the Fugassa Veneta (Focaccia or Italian Easter Sweet Bread)
The Fugassa, as it’s called in the Veneto slang, or Focaccia is our own Venetian Easter cake counterpart to Christmastime Panettone, but not as rich, and the Easter sister cakes of the Colomba (Easter Dove), which is served all over Italy.
It’s the symbol of our Pasqua and a food tradition not-to-be-missed on our Easter table.
The ingredients aren’t very rich with eggs, flour, yeast, butter and sugar topped with crunchy sugar pieces and whole or sliced almonds. Although there are little variants in anyone recipe, that little tricks to make it even more exquisite like a bit of milk and orange peel, the Focaccia is a delicate, aromatic cake crusty on the outside topping and spongy, golden on the inside, simply superb.
It ain’t a complex recipe to try at home but it’s a bit time consuming as the secret to its soft texture lie on the dove’s preparation which has to rise naturally for several hours through different steps. Up for the challenge? Here I found both a long version of the recipe and its short cut.
The Focaccia remain so soft even for the next days, great to eat it at breakfast but, I truly doubt it, there would be any left, it’s so damn moreish! Even better if served as dessert accompanied with a glass of Prosecco.
I stock of Focaccia at a local bakery in Ponte della Priula, “La Spiga d’Oro”, at €10 for a one kilo big Focaccia.
Accordingly to the renowned food guide Gambero Rosso, two of the top 10 patisseries for 2010 producing the best Easter cakes in the whole Italy are located in the heart of Veneto in Padua: the Pasticceria Biasetto and the Association Giotto by the master pastry chef/prisoners of the Due Palazzi detention centre. These convicts have received in the past the reward “Piatto d’Argento” by the Cooking Italian Academy for the best Panettone of Italy. Their secret to make a great Fugassa is behind a 55 hours long preparation of the dove.