There are some cakes that are irresistible to both adults and children due to their lightness, aroma and inimitable taste: one of these is certainly the Easter colomba ‘dove’ cake, which is always served in Italy during this important religious festival. The cake symbolises Easter, both due to its shape as a dove, itself also a symbol of peace and purity and, as it contains eggs, as a metaphor for rebirth. Recipes to make this Easter cake are countless and making it at home takes a long time due to the extensive rising periods, so that, like many traditional desserts, it requires more than one day to complete. The recipe that I offer here comes from a magazine and is a slightly different version from that suggested by Anna Moroni. When covering the cake with the icing, take care not to go right to the edge of the mould because, otherwise, the glaze will leak out during cooking.
Sift the flours and make the raising agent by kneading together 150g g flour with the yeast dissolved in 125 g of warm milk. Let it rise for about an hour. Then add to this dough the other 150 g of flour, 120g of sugar, the remaining milk and 125g of butter. Knead thoroughly and let it rise for 3 hours. At this point combine the rest of the ingredients, the eggs, egg yolks, candied fruit, grated zest, butter and remaining flour, honey and vanilla. Knead and let it rise for 12 hours at constant temperature. After this time is up, transfer the dough into two moulds of about 750 g each and let it double in volume. When it is about 1 cm below the rim, sprinkle with icing that you have made by whisking the flour, almonds, icing sugar and egg whites together. Decorate the surface with whole almonds and sugar grains. Bake, finally, at 200°C for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C for another 40 minutes. Remember to cover the surface with aluminium foil halfway through the cooking time to prevent the icing darkening too much.