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Polenta e Osei - Bergamo's Signature Italian Cake

One of the most renowned sweet speciality of Bergamo’s cuisine, the "Polenta e Osei" is a dessert made from sponge cake, chocolate, butter, hazelnut creams and rum.

The sponge cake is covered with yellow marzipan, then dusted with crystals of yellow sugar. The little bird-shaped decorations then placed on polenta are made from marzipan covered with a layer of chocolate.

So here’s the recipe for this delight, until we can actually travel to Bergamo to try it!


For the sponge cake

  • 390 gr sugar

  • 15 gr Honey

  • 320 gr eggs

  • 150 gr yolks

  • 320 gr flour

  • 130 gr potato-flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon of the leaven

Chocolate and hazelnut buttercream (for the stuffing)

  • 500 gr butter

  • 200 gr white chocolate

  • 50 gr rum

  • 50 gr hazelnut paste

Buttercream (for layering)

  • 200 gr egg whites

  • 50 gr sugar

  • 600 gr butter

  • 100 cl. alcohol

Other ingredients

Baked sugar (made with 1kg sugar, 50gr glucose, 75gr water), Curacao, yellow marzipan, chocolate marzipan (for the birds), yellow sugar in crystals, apricot jam, little cubes of candied citron and cocoa.


  • Sponge cake: Whip sugar with honey, eggs and yolks and add slowly flour, potato flour and leaven, previously mixed. When all the mixture is homogeneous, pour in greased moulds in the shape of a semi-sphere. Bake for 20/30 minutes at 200°.

  • Chocolate and hazelnut buttercream (for the stuffing): whip butter with white chocolate previously melted and then add hazelnut paste and rum.

  • Baked sugar: Moisten sugar with water and add glucose and bake until it reaches 120°.

  • Buttercream (for layering): Beat egg whites stiff, add the baked sugar and let cool down the mixture. Add to butter previously whipped.

  • Arrangement of polenta: Halve the sponge-cake semi-sphere and moisten with a bit of Curacao, stuff with the chocolate and hazelnut buttercream. Replace the half-sphere, spread the upper part with the buttercream and cover with a yellow marzipan pastry 4/5mm thick

Final decoration

  • Sprinkle polenta with crystals of yellow sugar. In the middle of polenta spread apricot jam and add the little cubes of candied citron alternating them with the chocolate marzipan little birds (their little paws shall always be turned upwards), spread with the remaining apricot jam and sprinkle with cocoa.


You can make this delicacy at home easily with our instant Valsuga Polenta from our import partner, Chenab Gourmet.

Get Valsuga Polenta and more Italian Gourmet products at your doorstep and get up to 25% discount when you order with us. Get in touch at or call at +91 9811392313 to get a complete list of items and place your order!

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Source(s) Visit Bergamo, Rossi writes

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