The cake from island Rab is today a culinary souvenir. This is a Medieval recipe, allegedly recorded in 1177, when according to the legend the cake was first served to the pope Alexander III who visited Rab and blessed the cathedral of Maria’s Ascension. Even today the original recipe is being kept by the nuns from the Monastery of st. Anthony of Padua and Benedictine nuns from the monastery of st. Andrew. A combination of almonds and maraschino (originally rosolio – rose petals liqueur) and orange and lemon rind provide it with a label – a special dessert.
250 g (9 oz) soft flour
2 tablespoons sugar (40 g)
pinch of salt
3 teaspoons maraschino
2 teaspoons water
40 g (1.4 oz) butter
85 g (3 oz) butter
350 g (12.4 oz) sugar
2 teaspoons maraschino
350 g (12.4 oz) ground almonds without skin
50 g (1.75 oz) almonds without skin
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, salt and sugar). Then add maraschino mixed with water, softened butter cut in small pieces and eggs. Mix with an electric mixer until you get a soft pastry. Put the prepared pastry in a plastic foil and let stand for 1 hour.
For filling, mix the remaining butter, sugar, grated rinds of orange and lemon and maraschino. Add egg and mix, until the mixture is evenly combined. In the end gradually add almonds.
Divide the pastry in half. Then on a well floured board thin half of the pastry. During rolling add flour as needed. Clean the excess flour from the pastry with a brush and move onto a baking pan layered with baking paper.
Use a wheel for pastry to draw a curve in a shape of a large snail shell. Keep the adjacent lines apart so that the pastry does not touch at the curves.
Distribute the filling on the pastry first forming it with fingers into little rolls, and then with the help of two forks straighten it out and add some grooves. Leave the edge of the lower part of the pastry free so that you may add the decorating strip formed from the other part of the pastry.
Merge the remaining pastry and roll it out thinly like for noodles. Use the wheel for pastry to cut the strips 2 cm wide. Use your fingers to fold the pastry strips and squeeze, i.e. glue to the lower part of the pastry, around the stuffing and following the line of the snail shell. Use whole almonds to additionally decorate the cake.
Bake the cake in the oven heated to 120 °C (248 °F) for about 50 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool. Sprinkle with powder sugar and cut in slices.