On our recent wine trip to Tuscany, we were suprised to see the popularity of this dessert, Zuppa Inglese, which word-for-word means "English soup". The name is certainly intriguing and then you wouldn't expect that the Italians would borrow something from the English cuisine!
So what is Zuppa Inglese and why is it so popular? The Italians also do not know the exact origins of this dessert's name, though it's believed that the English who lived in Tuscany in the 19th century often asked for "English trifle", hence the birth of the Italian version of this famous English pudding. Since then, Zuppa Inglese has been widely adopted in the Italian cuisine and features as desserts, cakes and even ice-creams.
One of the best examples we had, was at the restaurant of Locanda del Glicine and Cantina Pieve Vecchia - a state-of-the-art winery and boutique resort situated in Maremma, on the Western coast of Tuscany. It was light, fluffy and the sauce made from Alchermes liquer was just delicous. Here is the secret recipe by the Chef - Daniele Zanzucchi. Buon appetito!
Ingredients (serves 4):
For the cream:
whole milk 60 ml
sugar 30 gr
1 egg yolk
For the chocolate sauce:
full-fat cream 85 ml
dark chocolate 30 gr
white chocolate 30 gr
1 small sheet of isinglass (fish glue that can be replaced by other food additives)
Simmer the milk in a pot, then add the egg yolk mixed with the sugar and cook to just below boiling point. Save a couple of spoons of the formed cream aside, for the final decoration.
In the meantime, put the isinglass in cold water and leave it for a while, then add it to the cream made earlier.Simmer the milk in a pot, then add the egg yolk mixed with the sugar and cook to just below boiling point. Save a couple of spoons of the formed cream aside, for the final decoration.
In the meantime, put the isinglass in cold water and leave it for a while, then add it to the cream made earlier.
To make the chocolate sauce divide the cooked cream between two bowls and add to the first bowl the dark chocolate and to the second bowl the white chocolate. Let it cool down.
Whip the full-fat cream and add it to the bowls proportionally. Stir gently.
Put the mixtures into two little dessert bags.Get the moulds ready. They have to be made either of alluminium or silicone.
Split one of the ladyfingers into 4 pieces each (one for each mould) . Drop some alchermes liquer onto the 4 pieces of ladyfingers until they are soaked, then layer each piece at the bottom of the moulds.
Fill the moulds with the dark chocolate sauce untill they are half full, then repeat with the white chocolate sauce to fill them up.
Split the last ladyfinger into 4 pieces again and pour some Strega liqueur on top of the them. Finally, place the moulds on top of each piece of the ladyfinger.
Put it in the fridge and leave it there for at least an hour.
Decoration: put some icing sugar on the plate, then with a little knife, cut the trifle out of the mould and place it on the plate. Add a spoonful of cream set aside earlier and then add a dash of Alchermes liquer.