Rather than see it go to waste I've tapped into the ingenuity of the Italian kitchen and decided to make a version of Torta Raffermo using this stale Colomba. Torta Raffermo is a cake made with stale bread - you might also see it called Torta Paesana and the method is fairly straightforward. You soak the stale bread in milk until it collapses and then you add dried fruit and nuts, cocoa powder in the case of Torta Paesana and eggs to bind the whole thing. You then bake it in a cake tin and voila - you'd be hard pressed to tell this was made with leftovers.
450 grams Colomba, cut into cubes, approx
3 cups tepid milk
80 grams soft brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100 grams silvered almonds
Note: If you don't have stale Colomba, you could use any stale bread - if the bread you use doesn't have any fruit in it, then I'd also add about 50 grams of sultans to the mixture
Place the cubed Colomba into a bowl and pour over with the tepid milk - using a wooden spoon, stir well to break the colomba up - the batter should almost resemble porridge and have a mushy consistency - don't be tempted to do this in a food processor as you'll lose the texture.
Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves - next stir in the eggs, followed by the almonds.
Pour this into prepared cake tin and then dot the cake randomly with amarena cherries - pushing them into the batter slightly.
Bake in a preheated 170°C until cooked through - this should take about 60 to 90 minutes depending on the size of your cake tin.
Cool in the tin before unmoulding.
If you like bread and butter pudding then you'll love this. The unique flavour of the Colomba still comes through and those little flavour bombs of amarena cherries are a perfect match. It's the type of cake that demands you have seconds (and thirds).