Most of us are used to having our cake and ice cream served as a big slice of cake topped with a scoop of ice cream. In the village of Pietrabruna along the western coast of the Italian Riviera, southwest of Genoa. Known for the cultivation of flowers (anemones and buttercups) the townspeople like to do things a little differently making a cake with just flour, olive oil and sugar.
The descriptive name of the cake is stroscia from the Italian "strosciare" meaning “to break up”. The cake is too crumbly to be sliced and must be broken by hand meaning that it is perfect as a crumble for a gelato or ice cream and that is the best way to serve it.
Senza the scoop you can break it into layers to eat one shard at a time. A simply made dessert with a delicious multi-purpose. Stroscia is not only good with gelato or ice cream, but also with an espresso or with a glass of sweet Ligurian wine.
Recipe for Pietabruna Stroscia
2 cups all-purpose flour or semi-whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup mild flavored extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp Vermouth or Marsala
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to dust on the surface
grated zest from1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Sift the flour with baking powder and sugar. Form a fountain on a working surface, put a little oil in the center and start kneading. Add 1/2 cup oil and liqueur, alternating, a little at a time and continue to knead gently. Add the grated lemon zest.
Continue to work the dough until you get the consistency of a short crust pastry adding a few drops of water as needed to form the pastry dough. You'll know it's ready when it stays together. Line an 8-inch round baking pan with parchment paper. Spread and press the pastry dough into the baking pan with your fingers to a thickness of 1/2 inch and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Put in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the cake surface is golden.Cool in pan. When you serve the stroscia, do not slice it but you simply break off pieces with your hands.