The zeppole of the Immaculate is a cake originating in Campania typical of Italian culture. They are prepared throughout the country, not only on the occasion of the 8th of December, but during the whole Christmas period, which goes from the advent to the festivity of Epiphany. These are fried pasta bases simply made with flour and water, which are served both as desserts and savoury based on the filling or accompanying sauces.
The typical version is the one with honey and sugar, but they really lend themselves to thousands of combinations and are perfect for experiencing new tastes and combinations. The preparation is simple and originates from the Campania-tradition, but is made throughout Italy and, depending on the region, can take different denominations, depending on one or the other dialect of the place where they are prepared.
A perfect cake for the 8th December
The Immaculate zeppole are a delicious sweet and able to satisfy the taste-buds of young and old. They are typical of the Campania hinterland but are made throughout the Italian territory during the Christmas holidays. The version devoted to the day of the Immaculate Conception is, in particular, a sweet version, to be served accompanied with honey and sugar. Once cooked, the zeppole is covered with honey and sprinkled with granulated sugar and decorative colored sugars.
But there is more: this is not the only existing variant. One of the most beloved and easy to prepare Italian cakes could never and exist in a single version. Every family observes their traditions and follows their own recipe. Everyone has a secret ingredient in their own way to prepare zeppole, or a particular one to follow when frying or decorating. It is very popular, for example, to add mashed potatoes to the dough to make it more soft.
Also the zeppole are not called in the same way throughout Italy. Each region (somewhat like many other Italian recipes typical of the country’s culture) gives the recipe its own particular nickname, which is often inspired by the dialect of the area. Here, in Milan, they take the name of tortelli and in Salento the name of scauratielli. It is in the end of the same cake, prepared in the same way but nicknamed in different ways.
Brief History about the festivity of the Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception is a 100% Italian celebration, belonging to the religious sphere of the Catholic world and established by Pope Pius IX in 1854. During the holiday, which is also recognized by the working calendar and which is therefore considered a day of rest, is celebrated the purity of the Virgin Mary devoid of original sin. The festival is celebrated on December 8 each year, and people often take advantage of it as a “bridge” to anticipate the weekend break, especially when it is on Thursday or Friday.
Zeppole of the Immaculate: the recipe
Curious about how to prepare the zeppole of the immaculate? Here is the recipe!
- 250g flour
- 200ml water
- 7g of yeast
- 1 pinch of salt
Dissolve the yeast in 200ml of lukewarm water. Then pour over the sifted flour. Add a pinch of salt and mix. The compound must be sticky and manageable, but not hard (but not too soft!). Let it rise covered for at least an hour and then fry, spoon size shape in plenty of boiling peanut oil.
The preparation of the perfect immaculate zeppola: variants
Once ready, your zeppole of the Immacolata will be served with the most common topping: you just have to melt 20g of sugar and 100ml of honey in 100ml of water slowly. The sauce will be poured on the zeppole, which can then be sprinkled with colorful decorative sugars, as desired. Other variants? fill with cream, chocolate spreads, or with jam or, for savoury lovers, with sliced and fresh and seasoned cheeses!