A Special Mimosa Cake for International Women’s Day

Festa delle Donna | la Giornata Internazionale della Donna

This dessert is dedicated to International Women’s Day marked annually on March 8th. This global day celebrates the social and political achievements obtained by women who have always fought against discrimination and violence with courage and dignity. Legend has it that Women’s Day was established in 1908 in memory of the workers who were killed in a fire at a cotton factory in New York.

Actually, International Women’s Day was officially born in the United States on February 28, 1909. It was established by the American Socialist Party, which on that date organized a massive parade in favor of women’s suffrage.

Protests for Universal Suffrage

Protests for universal suffrage were soon joined by other demands for women’s rights that multiplied and spread throughout many European countries. The now official date of March 8 was originally chosen by the delegates of the Second International Conference of Communist Women to establish the International Workers’ Day. It was inspired by the women of St. Petersburg who on that day, took to the streets to demand an end to the war.

Also, in Italy, Women’s Day is celebrated for the same social and political connotations and on March 8, 1946, all Italy, free from fascism, celebrated Women’s Day for the first time.

Gustav Klimt Exhibition in Rome

Indeed, from now until March 27, paintings by Gustav Klimt are on display at an exhibition at the Museo di Roma. This event is perfect for the occasion, considering the artist’s fascination with the female figure. The father of Art Nouveau and Viennese Secessionism has produced a myriad of works showing woman as the protagonist and in her most captivating and twisted nuances.

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Giuditta by Klimt © Museo di Roma

In a way, it seems like Klimt represented that part of the female world – made of strength, boldness and awareness – that was until then, concealed by art and society. Here was a a world of clear and decisive elements that characterize women and give them an unparalleled charm. Klimt thus represents a woman, freer to assert and express herself. She is an ethereal being capable of rising above all that happens. Also, a feminine woman, seductive, aware of her own individuality, very close to women of today. She claims her rights, is energetic and sensual and aware of herself and of her charm. She is admired and respected.

Yes, because women, let’s face it, are the real engine driving society and the family. They have always been a source of inspiration not only for art, but to us all, me included.

Mimosa Cake Recipe: A Tribute to All Women

My tribute to all women is this revised version of the Mimosa cake: a traditional Italian dessert that owes its name to its resemblance to the mimosa flower that has become a symbol of Women’s Day. The tiny yellow flower fully represents the woman — her femininity and strength. Its branches bloom in late winter and can grow spontaneously even in the most difficult soil. Its straw-yellow color softens the grayness of winter and brings the joy and vitality of spring.

The mimosa flower was chosen because it was cheap, so that everyone can pay homage to the woman of his life. I believe that true wealth is precisely this: knowing how to love with simplicity.

For love is in the thought of giving a flower, and a flower is the exact intervention between the rough hand of a man and the fragile beauty of a woman.

Thus, she is like art and like the world, does not belong to anyone, but is there to be admired.

International Women's Day Mimosa cake on a plate

Ingredients:

For the Sponge Cake

Sugar 125 g
Flour 00 70 g
Potato starch 60 g
Eggs at room temperature 4
Vanilla pod 1
Fine salt 1 pinch

Chantilly Cream

Fresh cream 120 g
Whole milk 500 ml
Egg yolks 4
Maizena 40 g
Sugar 150 g
Vanillin 1 sachet
Lemon peel as needed
Gelatin sheets 4

Liquor Syrup

Water 60 g
Sugar 35 g
Limoncello 45 ml

Cocoa Marquise

Eggs 5
Icing sugar 300 g
Bitter cocoa powder 90 g
Potato starch 30 g

Short Crust Pastry

Flour 00 250 g
Sugar 120 g
Butter 120 g
Eggs 1
Vanilla 1 sachet
Milk as required
Green gel food coloring as required

For the Assembly

White chocolate 150 gr
Pineapple 1
Yellow velvet spray as required

Procedure:

Ingredients:

For the Sponge Cake

  • Sugar 125 g
  • Flour 00 70 g
  • Potato starch 60 g

Eggs at room temperature 4

  • Vanilla pod 1
  • Fine salt 1 pinch

Chantilly Cream

  • Fresh cream 120 g
  • Whole milk 500 ml
  • Egg yolks 4
  • Maizena 40 g
  • Sugar 150 g
  • Vanillin 1 sachet
  • Lemon peel as needed
  • Gelatin sheets 4

Liquor Syrup

  • Water 60 g
  • Sugar 35 g
  • Limoncello 45 ml

Cocoa Marquise

  • Eggs 5
  • Icing sugar 300 g
  • Bitter cocoa powder 90 g
  • Potato starch 30 g

Short Crust Pastry

  • Flour 00 250 g
  • Sugar 120 g
  • Butter 120 g
  • Eggs 1
  • Vanillin 1 sachet
  • Milk as required
  • Green gel food coloring as required
For the Assembly
  • White chocolate 150 gr
  • Pineapple 1
  • Yellow velvet spray as required

Procedure:

  • Preheat the oven to 160° in static mode.
  • Crack the eggs and place them in the bowl and start whipping them with a whisk at moderate speed.
  • Incise the vanilla pod, remove the seeds and add them to the bowl along with a pinch of salt.
  • Slowly add the sugar.
  • Continue to whisk for about 15 minutes until the eggs have tripled in volume and you have a smooth, creamy mixture.
  • Sift both the flour and the starch and gently incorporate them into the mixture with movements from the bottom up using a spatula without disassembling the mixture.
  • When you have obtained a homogeneous mixture, butter and flour a mold and pour the mixture.
  • Bake the sponge cake in a static oven preheated to 160 degrees for about 50 minutes.
  • Check the cooking with a toothpick, if completely dry you can take the cake out of the oven and let it cool before unmolding it.
  • Now prepare the chantilly cream: put the milk, lemon zest and vanillin in a saucepan.
  • In a separate bowl mix with a hand whisk the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch and add the heated milk.
  • Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  • Put the mixture on the fire and add the squeezed gelatin sheets and mix until the cream thickens.
  • Transfer the cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Now whip the fresh cream. When the cream is completely cold add the fresh cream and mix gently.
  • In the meantime prepare the syrup for the sponge cake, pour the water, the liqueur and the sugar into a pan.
  • Turn on the heat and heat up the syrup until the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Then pour it into another bowl and let it cool.
  • Prepare the cocoa marquise; start whipping the egg whites and when they start mounting add 200 g of powdered sugar little by little.
  • Keep whipping until the mixture is glossy and well whipped.
  • Whip the egg yolks with 100 g of powdered sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add the sifted starch and unsweetened cocoa to the yolks and sugar mixture and mix well to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and gently stir from the bottom up making sure not to deflate the mixture.
  • Pour the cocoa marquise mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, leveling the mixture well to obtain an even layer.
  • Bake the cocoa marquise in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 9 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before unmolding.
  • Prepare the shortcrust leaves, remove the butter from the fridge and, once it is soft, mix it with the sugar until you get a cream.
  • Add the egg to the butter and sugar cream as well, and after it is well absorbed by the mixture start adding the blended flour, vanillin and gel coloring.
  • Add the milk, a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and semi-liquid.
  • Spread the mixture on the leaf moulds and bake in a static oven at 180° for about five minutes.
  • Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie and brush all the walls of the molds, then let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Once cold, use a pastry bag to fill half of the molds with the chantilly cream.
  • Add a slice of pineapple inside.
  • Close the mold with a slice of sponge cake previously soaked in liquor.
  • Let cool in the freezer for a few hours.
  • Remove the semifreddo from the mould, sprinkle with the velvet spray and let it dry.
  • Cut two slices of cocoa marquise for the base.
  • Place the mimosa semifreddo on top.

Finish with the shortbread leaves.

Lorenzo Diamantini

Food and Wine Editor

Lorenzo Diamantini was born in 1987 in Gubbio, a wonderful medieval Umbrian city in central Italy. He has been an electrician for 15 years and at the same time, cultivates countless passions for art, photography, reading and writing — in particular poetry which is his own peculiarity. Lorenzo is the author of several poems and he devotes much of his free time to his writings. As a former footballer, Lorenzo is also a fitness lover, a full-time athlete, and devotes 6 days to training per week. Care for the body and food brings him closer to the world of cooking which becomes a large part of his creative expression and good taste. This somewhat stimulating hobby matures hand in hand with his love for wine and craft beer that embellish the recipes with refined combinations. Numerous publications of his dishes on his social media platforms attract great interest/ Today, Lorenzo is a food blogger in evolution and is more and more appreciated on the net. Follow @lorenzodiamantini on Instagram.

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