This classic Tuscan cake has been exported all over the world and there are a myriad of recipes in existence. It’s delicious and always worth the effort but it’s terrible when it’s made badly, as is everything else. Everyone needs to have a recipe for this to be able to make it quickly and this one is as simple as it gets.
Here it’s made with a Genoise sponge cake instead of the normal Savoiardi sponge ladyfingers but feel free to use the Savoiardi. The dessert is rich and it would be advisable to serve small portions at first because often when you eat too much too quickly, you’ll feel terrible afterwards.
Chocolate Zuccotto Cake Recipe
- 1 Genoise sponge cake 23 cm-round
- 100 ml Amaretto liqueur
- 300 ml thick cream
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- 250 g mascarpone cheese
- 100 g icing sugar plus additional to dust
- 50 g toasted almonds blanched and chopped
- 25 g mixed peel
- 150 g dark chocolate finely chopped
- 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional to dust
- 2 lemons zest only
- Line a 1.2-litre pudding basin with cling wrap, leaving enough hanging over the edges to fold over the top of the pudding and cover securely.
- Slice the cake horizontally into 3 layers, set aside 1 layer and then cut both of the remaining layers into 8 triangular slices.
- Line the pudding basin with the cake slices, the pointed ends at the bottom of the basin.
- Patch any holes with spare pieces of cake (you may not need all the slices) so the whole basin is lined with cake.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the cake with 2 tablespoons of the amaretto.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
- Place the ricotta, mascarpone, lemon zest and icing sugar in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Add the ricotta mixture to the cream and stir in 1 tablespoon amaretto.
- Transfer half the mixture to another bowl and stir in the almonds, mixed peel and half of the dark chocolate, set aside.
- Melt the chocolate over simmering water or using the method you prefer, stirring occasionally and when melted, remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Stir this into the other half of the ricotta mixture.
- Sift in the cocoa powder, stir until smooth and allow to cool completely.
- Spread the melted chocolate and ricotta mixture over the sides of the sponge cake in a thick layer and fill the center with the almond and ricotta mixture.
- Cover this with the reserved round of sponge, trimming the edges to fit the basin.
- Brush the top with the remaining tablespoon of amaretto. Fold over the plastic wrap and cover tightly, weigh down and refrigerate overnight.
- When it’s ready to serve, turn out the zuccotto carefully onto a plate.
- Cut out 2 triangular templates from baking paper and dust the zuccotto with alternate triangles of cocoa powder and icing sugar, covering the dusted areas with the template as you go.
- Serve zuccotto in slices.
Other chocolate desserts: