Recipe and photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com
The idea of this scrumptious dessert came to my mind thinking about three of my favorite elements of the Italian Art of Pastry : Pan di Spagna, Zuccotto and Meringata.
Pan di Spagna is the traditional Italian sponge cake used as a base for many Italian desserts. It is a light and quite dry cake that is usually brushed with liqueur or syrup before the addition of the filling.
Zuccotto is a semi-frozen, chilled dessert made with cake, liqueur and ice cream. This dessert is traditionally made in a special pumpkin-shaped mold called Zuccotto ( literally little pumpkin ).
Meringata (Italian Meringue Cake) is a delicious frozen dessert made of whipped cream sandwiched between meringue rounds. The Meringata is usually served with warm chocolate sauce.
Buon Appetito !!!
Servings : 6
Difficulty : difficult
Prep Time : 45 min. + 3 hours in the fridge
Cook Time : 20 min.
For the Italian Sponge Cake
5 eggs, separated
4.5 oz granulated sugar
3.5 oz flour 00
0.88 oz potato starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Syrup
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 shot of rum
For the fillings and cover
1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips semi-sweet
10 vanilla meringues, crushed
Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.
Grease a round 9 inch cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.
In a medium bowl sift together flour and potato starch, set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, then add the vanilla extract and blend.
In another medium bowl, whip egg whites until stiff.
Gently stir the whipped egg whites into the egg/sugar mixture.
Fold in, little by little, the sifted flour and the potato starch.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Slice horizontally into 3 thin layers then cut every layer into stripes (1 inch width).
Prepare the syrup placing water and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved . When the syrup is warm, add the rum and stir well.
Whip the heavy whipping cream until just firm, add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Line a medium mixing bowl with cling wrap, place stripes of sponge cake to cover the entire bowl (bottom and sides), brush the sponge cake with the syrup. Trim the edges with a knife (if necessary).
Fill the cake halfway up with the filling, make a layer with sponge cake, fill with more filling. Finish the cake with a layer of sponge cake. (Preserve the remaining filling and place it in the fridge).
Cover the cake with cling wrap than place a wheight over (a plate will work well). Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Invert the zuccotto over a serving plate, remove the cling wrap, spread the remaining filling evenly over the cake.
Decorate the cake by joining the crushed meringues to the top and sides of the cake.
Place the zuccotto in the fridge for another hour before serving.