Today we will prepare a dessert typical of the Umbrian tradition that has medieval roots


Recipe: the Umbrian Torciglione, typical of christmas holidays

Recipe: the Umbrian Torciglione, typical of christmas holidays


The Umbrian Torciglione is a typical dessert for the holiday season and can be found on the tables of many families. This specialty based on almonds, has very ancient origins, almost legendary, and its twisted shape would recall the cyclicity of the year that dies and is reborn.

It seems that the ancient pagan populations of the Trasimeno area used to prepare a votive pandolce with pine nuts and honey during the winter solstice.

The name "torciglione" should have medieval origins but it seems that originally it was called "eel of the lake" from the nuns of Isola Maggiore del Trasimeno. The elders of the place tell a story according to which the dessert was born during a visit by the Pope's high prelates who, having arrived on a Friday after a long winter trip, would have to eat thin but, not having any kind of fish, the nun improvised a recipe with what she had in the pantry, giving it the shape of an eel. Also in the Middle Ages, the torciglione would have represented the snake of the apocalypse that was defeated by cutting and eating the cake.

Thanks to its symbolic value, a restectble torciglione, in addition to the typical shape of an eel, includes a series of pine or almond seals applied along the body that simulate the scales, and two candied cherries or raisins to represent the eyes.

The preparation is very simple and the result is guaranteed.
Ready? let's begin.


  • 500 grams of almond flour
  • 250 g of powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy or rum
  • 80 grams of 00 flour
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • almonds, pine nuts, raisins


Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees. Remove the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Whip the egg whites until stiff and beat the reds together with the icing sugar, lemon zest and liqueur.

Let's combine the almond flour with the 00 flour and the whipped egg yolks mixing well. Gradually add the egg whites and knead it well, helping with a spatula.

Cover a pan with baking paper and place our dough, with wet hands, giving it a spiral shape, which reminds that of a snake. Still with the hands we shape the head, decorate the body with almonds and pine nuts and apply 2 grains of raisins as eyes.

Bake the cake in a hot oven at 160 degrees for 40 minutes until a golden surface is obtained. Before serving the torciglione let it cool well.

By Redazione


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