Weekly Photo Challenge: Color, Venice (Burano) and Venetian Cake
The title of this week photo challenge is Color. Who knows something more colored than Burano? Have you ever visited it? I’ve been there several times before moving to the States. Last visit was just one month before our relocation in 2010. My husband and I couldn’t leave Italy without a long weekend in Venice. Just to say ‘goodbye’, of course!!!
Burano is one of the small islands that form the whole Venetian lagoon. It is a tiny magical place full of bright and vivid colors. You can reach it with a “vaporetto”, the typical Venetian motorboat, with a short trip of 30-40 minutes from the historical city of Venice.
In half an hour you leave the magnificence of Piazza San Marco, Canal Grande, the Doge Palace, and La Fenice to enter in a complete different dimension: the quiet of an island that has colors as reason of life! You have to consider that these marvelous houses cannot be painted randomly, but the colors need to be chosen according to a specific system originated during the golden age. Everything started when fishermen used to go out fishing very late at night and coming back very early in the morning and during fall and winter, because of fog, it was almost impossible for them to recognize their own houses. What a better solution than painting them in bright and different colors? Green, red, blue, pink, orange, purple, yellow. Imagine a color … you will find it there! You will not see in Burano a house that has the same color as another, and you will never find two neighbors with houses alike. This landscape is just unique.
If you love peace and quiet, if you hate the multitude of tourists, or if you simply want to listen to the “sound of silence” disturbed by the seagulls’ voice only, take the “vaporetto” and have a walk around the Island of Burano. You’ll have the memory of the most beautiful colors you have ever seen before, for all your life!
There’s no better occasion to share with you the recipe of an atypical carrot cake, gluten and diary free (yesss!!!), delicious and tasty, made during the past by the Venetian Jews in the old ghetto. I baked it several time after having discovered the recipe in the fabulous book ‘Nigella Kitchen’ written by Nigella Lawson.
My version is … of course, slightly different. I try to scientifically replicate recipes written by other authors, but I can’t stop myself changing something to create it my way.
2/3 cup brown sugar (with sugar is fine as well)
½ cup olive oil (avoid extra virgin or oil with a too strong taste)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups almond flour
½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 cups grated carrots (preferably organic)
½ cup raisins
¼ cup marsala (or rum, or cognac)
1 orange (ONLY the zest)
½ lemon (juice)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts or shaved almonds
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grate the carrots with a coarse greater (use a food processor if you have it).
Put the raisins in a small pan with the spirit (the ones suggested in the Ingredients work all well. I usually add whatever I have in the pantry), bring to boil, turn down and let cool for few minutes.
In the meantime, whisk the sugar and the oil until creamy. Then add the eggs one at the time until very well combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract, the almond flour, the nutmeg, the carrots, the raisins with the liquid, the orange zest, and the lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients very well.
Grease a baking pan with some oil and scrape the batter into it. Sprinkle the walnuts or the almonds all over the mixture and bake for 35 minutes.