Among the typical cakes of the Umbrian Christmas there is one with a very particular shape: the “torciglione”.
Its origins are still uncertain: someone claims it has a shape of a lake’s eel, others that of a snake. Independently from its history, it’s a very famous cake all over the region, and there are different versions that can differ according to the amount, the presence or absence of some ingredients, but especially for the final decorations that leave much room to creativity.
Chop the sweet and bitter almonds, previously shelled and cleaned.
Then mix them with sugar, the grated lemon and the egg’s whites (beaten to a firm froth with a pinch of salt to improve its consistency). Amalgamate and whisk the mixture until obtaining a homogeneous dough.
At this point shape a part of the dough, by stretching it with hands, until shaping it into a snake.
Put the resulting shape into a baking tray with some baking paper and finish at your convenience by carrying out small cuts so to achieve the “scales” effect.
Use some coffee beans to carve the eyes, a whole almond for the tongue and some almonds’ slivers for the ears.
Bake for about 30/40 minutes at 170 degrees, until the dough will get slightly golden.