Despite its name, Zuppa Inglese (literally translated “English soup”) is a creamy cake and certainly not “soupy”!! Once again, this is a desert recipe which uses the basic Sponge Cake but in this case, the Sponge Cake is baked in a spring-form pan and allowed to grow tall so that it can then be sliced horizontally into 3 separate discs.
Ingredients for Zuppa Inglese
Custard filling (see recipe below)
Sponge Cake (see our Pan di Spagna Italian Cake Recipe)
Maraschino or orange liqueur
2 cup whipping cream
4 Tbs powdered sugar
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbs chopped almonds
2 Tbs finely chopped candied orange peel
maraschino cherries and mint leaves for decoration (if desired)
Preparation for Zuppa Inglese
Prepare Custard Filling and let cool completely. Prepare Sponge Cake in 9-10 inch spring form pan. When cooled, cut horizontally into 3 layers.
Whip 1 cup of the whipping cream till stiff peaks form adding 2 Tbs of the powdered sugar. Gently fold together the whipping cream and the cooled custard filling and divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. To one portion add the cocoa powder and nuts. To the other portion, fold in the candied orange peel.
Place the bottom cake layer back into the (cleaned) spring form pan and sprinkle with rum. Spread the cocoa mixture over. Place the second layer of cake atop and sprinkle with maraschino or orange liqueur. Spread the orange peel custard mixture and then top with top cake layer and sprinkle with remaining rum.
Cover and chill for 3 or 4 hours.
Meanwhile, whip the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream till stiff peaks, adding the remaining 2 Tbs of powdered sugar. Place the chilled cake onto a serving plate, releasing the sides of the spring-form pan and spread the whip cream over the top and sides of the entire cake. Decorate with maraschino cherries and/or mint leaves, if desired.
Custard Filling: Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 2 Tbs cornstarch and 1/4 tsp salt; blend in 1+1/2 c. milk. Cook and stir till bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Gradually stir about half of the hot mixture into 2 beaten egg yolks; return to remaining hot mixture. Cook and still till bubbly. Cook and stir 2 more minutes. Cover the custard directly with clear plastic wrap (so that a film doesn’t form on the top) and let cool completely without stirring.