Zuppa Inglese, a 4-layer sponge cake with pastry cream layers and meringue icing!

Does that description of Zuppa Inglese (Zuppa Angelica) get your attention? Good. This is an old recipe Dave started making years ago. Chef Dave is an experienced restaurant chef and restaurant manager. His New Italian Recipes web site is geared to enhancing the gourmet cooking knowledge of and enhancing the enjoyment and daring of all home chefs who really care about the product they are putting out for their friends and family.

If you are adept in Italian, you will realize this translates to English as “English Soup”. Weird, huh? Well, we don’t know where the name came from originally, no one seems to for sure, but we do know that “English Soup Cake”, with three types of pastry cream and a meringue topping, is very elegant and tasty. And, as with a rose, by any name, Zuppa Inglese would remain every bit as sweet!

Very Italian, a bit on the labor-intensive side, but not all that bad considering what you get out of it. You may want to save it for an Italian dinner party or a holiday get-together, though. Something a bit special, at least. It is worthy!

Zuppa Inglese will make a really authentic finisher, for sure, and you will blush brightly as you rake in the compliments. We guarantee it. Go ahead, you deserve those compliments, and Chef Dave would love for you to have them!

New Italian Recipes Presents Zuppa Inglese (Italian Rum And Pastry Cream Sponge Cake)

General Ingredients:
1/3 cup orange flavored liqueur
½ cup Orange Marmalade
5 T Coca Casa (Find this in the party mixer section of the grocery store. It’s an ingredient that goes well in pinà coladas), or use 3 T of crème de cacao as a substitute.
1/3 cup dark rum

(These ingredients will be used at a later time)
3 egg whites
5 T Coco Casa (optional) (See above).
1/2 t vanilla
½ cup sugar

Zuppa Inglese Sponge Cake Layers Ingredients:
6 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ t salt

Pastry Cream Ingredients
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
6 egg yokes
1/3 cup sugar
3 T all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

1 oz. German Chocolate

4 T Coco Casa or crème de cacao

4 T light or dark rum

3 T orange-flavored liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, etc.)

Preparation for Zuppa Inglese:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For sponge cake layers:
Butter and flour two 9-inch round layer pans. Beat eggs in large mixer bowl until foamy.

Beat in the sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time.

Continue beating after all sugar is added for 3 minutes.

Mix flour and salt, sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over egg mixture, and fold it in. Repeat twice.

Pour batter into prepared pans, divided evenly.

Bake until the tops are golden brown and a wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the Zuppa Inglese layers from their pans and cool on wire racks.

Pastry Cream:
Heat cream in a medium sauce pan until hot to the touch. Combine egg yolks, sugar, flour and salt in a large mixer bowl. Beat until it is pale yellow and fluffy.

Gradually, and on low speed, beat in the hot cream and return the mixture to the pan.

Cook, stirring, over low heat, until the mixture heavily coats a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Immediately transfer the mixture to three separate bowls, divided equally.

Stir the grated German Chocolate into one bowl of the pastry cream until it is melted, then stir in the Coco Casa or crème de cacao and combine well.

Stir the rum into the second bowl and the orange-flavored liqueur into the third bowl.

Refrigerate the mixtures until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Assembly Step 1 for Zuppa Inglese:
Carefully cut the two cake layers in half horizontally. (A thin-bladed, serrated knife like a bread knife is best for this.)

Place one of the four layers, cut side down, on an oven proof serving plate. With a pastry brush, dabble the remaining orange-flavored liqueur over the cut surface evenly. Spread the marmalade over this same layer, then spread the orange-flavored pastry cream over this.

Place the second layer on the first, cut side up. Spread the room temperature Coco Casa evenly over this layer, or dabble the crème de cacao if using as a substitute. Then, spread the chocolate pastry cream over this.

Repeat the process with the third layer, dabbling the rum, then adding the rum-flavored pastry cream.

Place the fourth layer, cut side down, on top of this layer.

For best results, refrigerate the cake overnight, covered with plastic to keep it moist. It won’t hurt to keep it refrigerated for 2 days if well-covered.

Final Assembly:
Preheat your broiler.

Beat the egg whites, vanilla and Coco Casa (if using; you could use 1 T of crème de cacao as a substitute, if so desired, to enhance the flavor) in a mixer bowl until foamy. Then, beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all sugar is added and dissolved.

Now, beat the mixture until it is stiff and glossy but not dry.

If you have a pastry bag, spoon this mixture into it. “Pipe” the mixture onto the top of the cake in circles until completely covered. If no pastry bag, spread evenly with a knife or spatula.

Place the cake under the broiler, leaving the top of the cake about three inches below the heating element. Let it broil until the top turns golden brown. Watch it closely so your Zuppa Inglese Cake doesn’t burn or over brown. The browning will only take 20-30 seconds if broiler is at full heat.

Let the Zuppa Inglese cake stand for 15-20 minutes before serving.

You should then have a masterpiece of Italian dessert bliss!

Yeah, this one is a bit of work, but that is the case with a lot of great dessert recipes, right? We concur. And the presentation of this one is exceptional. (It’s pretty pleasant on the taste buds, too.)

So, don’t fret about the preparation, just plan a bit ahead and kick back with a nice cool glass of the latest white from The American Cellars Wine Club. Not a member yet? Then, what are you waiting for? Click on the link above and find out all about it.


Buon Appetito from Chef Dave
The Villages, FL


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