Do you know “Il Bersagliere”? In your opinion is it a sweet or savory dish?
“ Il Bersagliere” is a typical dessert from Centuripe a small Sicilian town of about five thousand inhabitants in the province of Enna.
It is a particular type of biscuit covered with a chocolate glaze and still produced today according to an ancient recipe.
It is said that its origins date back to 1943 during the Second World War with the arrival of the Americans, who distributed chocolate bars to the population.
Thus it was that a centuripine lady , found the chocolate in her hands, and had the happy idea of obtaining a delicious icing with which to cover the cookies she had just baked.
Thus was born the “bersagliere”.
But to taste this goodness you will surely have to go to Centuripe defined by Garibaldi as “The Balcony of Sicily”, for its breathtaking views .
This small town located halfway between Catania and Enna, has a predominantly agricultural and artisan economy.
But Centuripe is much more , an enviable archaeological heritage of the Roman age, the second richest in Eastern Sicily. His buttonhole flower? The marble portrait of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian Augustus , the “most beautiful portrait of the emperor ever found in Sicily” , which on 28 August 2021 returned, after 83 years, to Centuripe after being kept at the “Paolo Orsi” Regional Archaeological Museum in Syracuse.
We have revealed just a few gems of Centuripe, and certainly to appreciate it to the fullest you must definitely go and visit it .
So let’s go back to our “Bersagliere” and the ingredients needed for the recipe:
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE:
1 kg of flour 00
200 g of granulated sugar
250 g of lard
12 g of ammonia for sweets
milk (and / or water) to taste
300 g of powdered sugar
225 g of dark chocolate
200 ml of water
1 knob of butter
1 sachet of vanillin
Sift the flour with ammonia, arrange on a pastry board and form the classic fountain.
Pour a pinch of salt, sugar, lard and eggs into the cavity. Knead the dough, adding the milk until you get a homogeneous paste of medium consistency, but not elastic.
Obtain biscuits of about 10 cm in length and 3 cm in diameter. Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, spacing them apart, and bake for about 10 minutes at 200 degrees.
Then lower the oven temperature to 180 ° C and cook for another 12-15 minutes or, in any case, until the biscuits dry, while maintaining a light color.
When cooked, take them out of the oven and let them cool; in the meantime, prepare the chocolate glaze.
Chop the chocolate, melt it in a bain-marie and perfume with vanillin. Sift the icing sugar. Put the water and sugar in a pan. Stir and bring to a boil over moderate heat.
Let the syrup cook for 3-4 minutes.
Then remove it from the heat and add the melted chocolate and butter. Beat the mixture carefully.
Then prepare the lemon glaze. Sift the icing sugar.
With the electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Continuing to beat, add the icing sugar, the lemon juice and the grated peel. Whip everything until you get a soft and very white glaze.
Then move on to the glazing of the biscuits.
Dip half into the chocolate glaze and half into the lemon glaze.
Don’t worry if the icing will coat the cookies unevenly, this is a characteristic of the bersaglieri.
Put them to dry on a tray covered with baking paper or, better still, on a pastry rack.
Eat the Bersaglieri as soon as the icing dries, or you can keep them for a few days in a cookie tin.
We just have to wish you … good appetite!
Photos from the web