The zelten is a sweet bread with nuts, typical of the Trentino Alto Adige region (far north of Italy), and it is traditionally made during the Christmas period.
There are many different versions, and it seems that each family has its own!
I received this recipe from Maria, a friend from Trento. The recipe has less ingredients than most of the other zelten recipes you can find and it is pretty easy to make.
I only changed a couple of things, mainly I swapped the butter with sunflower oil in order to make the bread more moist.
- 90 g sugar 3.17 oz
- 2 eggs room temp
- 85 g sunflower oil 3 oz
- 2 tbsp. rum
- 150 g flour 5.3 oz
- 16 g baking powder 0.56 oz
- 50 g hazelnuts 1.76 oz
- 80 g ozalmonds 2.82
- 50 g walnuts 1.76 oz
- 50 g pine nuts 1.76 oz
- 120 g dried figs 4.23 oz
- 100 g sultanas 3.5 oz
- pinch of salt
- plus: almonds and glace cherries for garnishing
- honey for brushing
- Beat the eggs together with the sugar. Add the oil and rum, and mix.
- Sift the flour together with the baking powder and add them to the mixture. Mix well.
- Chop roughly the hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts. Fold them into the mixture together with the pine nuts.
- Cut the figs in small cubes and flour them. Also pass the sultanas in flour. Add both to the dough, which will be quite thick.
- Butter and flour a 22-24 cm springform cake pan. Distribute the dough in the pan and garnish with almonds and glace cherries.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 170° C (340° F) for 40 minutes. After about 25 minutes brush the top of the cake with honey.
- The zelten is best consumed after a few days.