Sego Ciambellone

I was really delighted and frankly surprised by all of the feedback that our post about preparing and using tallow (or Sego in Italian) received since we published it. It's great to think that people are perhaps warming to the idea of learning about different fats again and that some of the stigma attached to using animal fats is perhaps starting to be lifted. That, and they did look cute wrapped up in their hipster brown paper.

To follow on this theme I wanted to show you some of the things that could be done with beef fat; I've gotten really interesting results when I use it in baking, so I've posted some photos of a ciambellone that we often make for guests in the B&B. Ciambellone is a simple sponge that is usually served for breakfast or as a late afternoon snack and is a really wonderful simple treat.


Using tallow in place of butter gives the cake a fantastic crispy texture on top, and makes the sponge a lot more crumbly in the middle. I've tried to capture it below but as we've established, I don't have the best camera for these types of things.

A slightly blurry look at the crumbly interior
A slightly blurry look at the crumbly interior

The tallow gives you a result that is both lighter than butter and more crumbly, so if you're someone who prefers your cake a little more on the firm side (or someone that, for example, prefers cakes when they're a day old especially with coffee) than you'll love this recipe. In my opinion the actual taste doesn't change but I did notice the absence of the taste of butter, which I suppose we all take for granted in our baked goods.

It's absolutely worth a try and it goes perfect with a little light reading of your favourite blog (for example). Let me know how yours work out!

The three things necessary for a complete breakfast  
The three things necessary for a complete breakfast  

Ciambellone Rustico

250g Sego
250g Brown Sugar
250g Whole eggs

500g AP Flour
32g Baking Powder
6 Lemon Zest

200g Milk

1) Whisk together the sego and sugar untill doubled in size, light and fluffy
2) Continue to whisk and add the beaten eggs little by little. Take note if the mixture looks like its splitting. If so add a little flour but ideally you don't want this
3) Once all the egg is incorportated into the sego and sugar, start to add the flour, baking powder and lemon zest.  
4) Last whisk in the milk until smooth
5) Grease a ciambelone pan will sego. I also like to dust the greased pan with brown sugar to create a crisp crust on the outside
6) Transfer your batter to the pan at this point i also dust the top with browwn sugar for the same reason as the side
7) Bake at 170C for approx 30mins turning every 10.
8) When the cake tester comes out clean, remove from the pan and leave to cool on a rack.