Rame di Napoli – Story, Origin of the name and Recipe of typical biscuits of Catania
It may seem superficial perhaps (and it probably is), but the RAME DI NAPOLI are one of the things that made me fall in love with the city of Catania!
It was the month of October, and I was in town for a short vacation, when at the supermarket I saw those beautiful sparkling chocolate domes.
It was love at the first bite … and, if you think that it was biscuits from the supermarket and without fillings, you can only imagine my reaction when I tried those filled with a thousand creams from the various biscuits and bakeries of the city.
I signed a pact of eternal love with these treats.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
Although the name may make one think of Neapolitan origins, they are typical biscuits from Catania; the hypotheses on the origin of their name concern the possibility of a tribute to the city of Naples under the Kingdom of the two Sicilies or the existence of a pastry chef called Napoli.
The shape derives instead from the copper coin coined by the Bourbons after the annexation of Sicily to the kingdom.
This biscutits called Rame di Napoli (literally: Copper of Neaples) are usually prepared during Halloween time and in general during Autumn, and you will hardly be able to find them after mid-November.
It may be for their spicy taste, for the presence of cloves and cinnamon, for the sweetness of honey or the opulence of chocolate but these cookies have always seemed to me perfect for Christmas holiday time.
It may also be because the preparation time is quite long and therefore they’re perfect to be prepared during the holidays, spent in the kitchen.
So I decided to prepare these treats to eat during the winter afternoons, with a cup of tea or coffee, as an alternative to the usual christmas’ pandoro or panettone.
To prepare them I was inspired by Mysia recipe, with some changes to meet my tastes.
(Link Mysia recipie (ITA): https://www.misya.info/ricetta/rame-di-napoli.htm)
- 280gr of flour 00
- 100gr of sugar
- 20 gr honey
- 40 gr bitter cocoa
- 80 gr of butter
- 160 ml of milk
- baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- orange zest
- 100 gr jam / nutella
- 200 gr dark chocolate
- 70 gr of butter
- chopped unsalted pistachios and almonds
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and mix adding cold butter, spices, orange zest and milk. With the slightly sticky dough create a spherical shape typical of the Rame di Napoli and cook in oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
While you wait for the cookies to cook, prepare the glaze in a double boiler, melting butter and dark chocolate.
Ready your spiced chocolate biscuits, you can brush them with a cream of your choice: nutella, pistachio cream, jam; I decided to prepare half copper with nutella and half with orange marmalade.
You can now dip the part you covered with cream directly into the chocolate glaze that you have prepared (I am abundant with chocolate at this stage!).
Finish by decorating with chopped almonds and pistachios and let the icing cool for at least two hours.
Here it is, wonderful chocolate domes, full of pleasure and spices! I assure you that the first taste will repay you for all the time spent in the kitchen!