My First Ada Boni Success!

Ada Boni challenge continued…this week I made Boni’s Bocca Di Dama recipe.

Keep scrolling to see:

  • The recipe
  • Any problems I experienced
  • My next recipe
  • Comparing my results to google photos
  • Where to follow the journey

The Recipe

Bocca Di dama


  • 1/4 cup shelled almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 7 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups pastry flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel


Place almonds in a saucepan with a little water and bring to a boil. Remove from fire and cool. Remove almond skins, dry well and chop and pound into a fine paste. Add sugar and 1 egg and mix well until a smooth paste is obtained.

Place eggs, egg yolks, and 1 3/4 cups sugar in top of double boiler and place over hot, but not boiling, water. Beat eggs and sugar until mixture is lukewarm. Remove from over hot water and continue beating until yellow and very thick. Add almond mixture and sprinkle in flour, a little at a time, blending flour in thoroughly. Add lemon rind, cinnamon, and candied orange peel and mix thoroughly.

Butter and flour a deep 12-inch cake pan and pour in cake batter. The batter should not fill the pan more than 2/3 full. Bake in moderate over (375 degrees F.) 40 minutes.

Problems, you ask?

Even though this recipe took 3 hours to make from start to finish, I didn’t have nearly as many frustrating moments as the first recipe. There were about three portions of the recipe that were particularly challenging:

  1. Shelling almonds and making the paste
  2. Candying orange peels
  3. Using the double boiler

Coming from an Italian family, especially Sicilian, many people who know about Italian desserts are surprised when I say that I’m not fond of nuts in my sweets. That is my personal taste simply because I have a family member who is allergic to tree nuts so I grew up never having nuts in my desserts. Moreover, because we never baked with nuts, prior to this recipe I didn’t know that almonds could be shelled….yup.

When I bought ingredients for Bocca Di Dama, I saw that the almonds were going to be turned into a paste so I bought sliced ones so that the chopper wouldn’t have to work as hard. This was a good idea until it came to shelling (for those who don’t know this means peeling off the dark drown outside layer on the nut).

Because the almonds were sliced, the peels were super tiny and just plain tedious to take off, so I got as much as I felt necessary and said “oh well” to the rest. Comment below if you have experience with shelling almonds, I personally feel it may be easier to do when the almond is whole? Let me know!

While working on the almonds I was also candying the orange slices. I don’t have a lot of experience candying fruits; however, earlier this summer I was successful candying lemon slices for decorating cupcakes. The lemon slices turned out great! Unfortunately, the orange slices I candied the other day, did not come out perfect.

Once they were done they still carried that super sour citrus and they were rock hard. If I was to do this recipe again, I would probably find a different method of candying and chop up my orange slices before putting them in the melted sugar. If anyone has anyone advice on candying fruits, drop it in the comments below please!

The last mini challenge was using the double boiler while still trying to candy my orange peels aka I was whisking and stirring up a storm. The double boiler wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be; however, it took much longer than expected for my egg and sugar mixture to reach the desired “lukewarm”. As a result, I was whisking for about 20 minutes… But hey, I got a good arm workout in for the day!

What’s next?

I enjoyed making Bocca Di Dama because I learned quite a bit and I got to run around the kitchen like a chicken with its head cut off for about 3 hours…who doesn’t love that? Will I make it again? Doubtful. Although I learned a lot in the process, my personal opinion of the cake’s flavor did not match the amount of work. This recipe definitely taught me why Italian women sweat so much 🙂 (I was literally dabbing at my forehead while baking).

My next Ada Boni recipe is (tentatively because I’m not sure I’ll be able to get all the ingredients right now…sometimes you have to wait till the holidays to find candied fruits in the grocery stores in the states) Pinza Bertoldese. From what I can tell by reading the recipe, this is a sweet bread with candied fruits, some nuts, a bit of honey, and of course rum. I am super excited to try this recipe because it will be very different from anything I have made before!

Check out my previous recipe HERE

Read about why I made the Ada Boni challenge HERE

How Did i do in comparison to google images?

Google Photo 1:

My final:

Overall, I think I made a successful Ada Boni recipe! Ps. be careful when googling this recipe because what typically comes up is Bocche Di Dama which is a very different dessert.

Below is a little video showing highlights of the process…it’s not very good, the next will be better.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the second step in my Ada Boni challenge! Follow my blog to keep reading the updated articles and check out my Instagram page @discover_with_deanna for live coverage!


Have a lovely and spooky autumn weekend.


2 thoughts on “My First Ada Boni Success!

  1. It looks delicious! Personally, I hate shelling nuts, so avoid them whenever possible. I can’t imagine how time consuming it must have been to peel sliced almonds. Haha, I probably would have said “oh, well” and left them alone.


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