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About this recipe: A traditional Maltese dessert prepared especially for Carnival. The name 'prinjolata' comes from the word ‘prinjol’ which means pine nuts in Maltese. The prinjolata is a delicious carnival cake that is instantly recognizable from its unusual shape. When ready, the prinjolata resembles a snow capped mountain.

NCE Malta Island, Malta

Serves: 12 

  • For the sponge
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • For the prinjolata filling
  • 1 tablespoon whisky
  • 50g pine nuts, chopped and roasted
  • 50g glace cherries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 250g softened margarine
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the decoration
  • 1 packet dessert topping mix
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon vermouth
  • 50g glace cherries, halved
  • 50g pine nuts, roasted
  • 50g melted chocolate

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:15min preserving  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  2. For the sponge: Beat together using a mixer the eggs, sugar, vanilla essence and grated lemon rind for about 8 minutes or until a smooth soft mixture is formed.
  3. Add the flour to the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin.
  4. Bake the sponge until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely.
  5. For the prinjolata filling: Break the sponge into very small pieces in a large bowl. Sprinkle the whiskey over the sponge pieces. Add the chopped pine nuts, glace cherries and chocolate bits; mix well.
  6. Using a mixer, beat the margarine and sugar until a smooth mixture is formed.
  7. Add the creamed mixture, vanilla extract and vermouth and beat together using a mixer.
  8. Mould the mixture in the form of a dome and place on a plate.
  9. For the decoration: Mix the topping mix together with the cream and vermouth, mix with a mixer until the mixture becomes thick.
  10. Cover the prinjolata with the mixture. Stick some glace cherries and pine nuts to the prinjolata. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top.

Serving suggestion

Put the prinjolata in the refrigerator and let it chill for about 5 hours before serving.

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