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Sicanians travel blog

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The "Minni di Virgini" (Virgins breasts) of Sambuca di Sicilia

You cannot go to Sambuca di Sicilia without having tasted the typical sweet, the "minni di virgini" a dessert made with shortcrust pastry, milk cream, pumpkin, chocolate chips and cinnamon; all covered with colored sugar balls.

This dessert was created by Sister Virginia Casale of Rocca Menna, on the occasion of the marriage of the Marquis Don Pietro Beccadelli with Donna Marianna Gravina.

For the minni di virgini dough

Knead the sifted flour on a pastry board with the sugar, the lard cut into small pieces, the egg and the vanilla, adding, as soon as the dough is too hard and dry, a little milk until you get a paste smooth and homogeneous. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.

For the stuffing

Pour almost all the milk into a saucepan (keep a glass aside) together with the sugar and cinnamon powder and cook over medium heat. While the milk is heating up, pour the sifted starch into a bowl and dissolve it with the remaining cold milk, to be poured slowly. Then add the starch to the milk in the saucepan and mix continuously with a whisk. When the mixture has thickened sufficiently (10-20 minutes), remove it from the heat and, always continuing to stir, pour the cream into a bowl and let it cool.

Once lukewarm, mix a few small flakes of chocolate with the cream.

Creation of the minni di Virgini

Roll out the dough of minni virgini until it is about 5 mm thick and cut out an even number of discs: one half with a diameter of about 10 cm and the other half with a diameter of about 16 cm.

Spread a layer of pumpkin just under a centimeter high on each of the small discs. Then cover the layer of pumpkin with thick chocolate flakes and a high and abundant dose of cream. On top of this, place some more chocolate flakes, another flake of pumpkin and, finally, a sprig of cream.

Cover the filling with one of the larger shortcrust pastry discs, sealing everything around with your fingers and giving the top the shape of a nipple. Then brush the minni of virgini with a little egg white and bake them in a preheated oven at 200 ° C until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

When cooked, place the cakes to cool to room temperature. Then brush the minni di virgini di Sambuca with a light icing of powdered sugar and water, sprinkle them with colored sugar sprinkles and let them dry before consuming.


  • 400 grams of flour 00

  • 150 g of sugar

  • 150 g of lard

  • 1 egg

  • Milk to taste

  • 1 sachet of vanillin

  • Preparation about 50 minutes

  • Cooking 20 minutes

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