Nonna Anna’s Zuccotto

Zuccotto serving platter When Nonna Anna suggested making Zuccotto for dessert on the Cooking with Nonna Anna Day, I asked, “what is Zuccotto?” Zuccotto means pumpkin in Italian, and it’s spring…why would we serve pumpkin in the spring? The name Zuccotto comes from the shape, not the ingredients!

After learning what Zuccotto is I knew that was the dessert for us! How can you go wrong with a dessert that’s a cake…but not a cake? Well, it is a cake…but not really.

You start with a pre-made pound cake, so there’s no cooking. Just some slicing, drizzling, and assembling. That seems to be the way with many Italian desserts. Take Nonna Anna’s Tiramisu, for example, no cooking or baking, just assembling. And both of these desserts are dee-lish-us!

Zuccotto cake slices
Start by cutting some of the pound cake into triangles.
Zuccotto first layer
Make sure the slices get cozy in the bowl once they are coated in the syrup!
Zuccotto Raspberry layer
Add the raspberry cream layer, making a bowl in the middle.
Zuccotto filled
Add the chocolate cream…yum!
Zuccotto unfrosted
Naked Zuccotto! At this point you can sprinkle it with cocoa or frost it…we like to frost ours.
Zuccotto slice
So Good!

Assemble a day ahead of time, and when it comes time to serve, no stress…just dessert!

Nonna Anna’s Zuccotto

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raspberry liqueur (such as Chambord)
  • 1 12-ounce pound cake
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6-ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 pint raspberries, divided
  • Chocolate ganache (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Line a 1 1/2-quart bowl with plastic wrap.
  2. In a small sauce pan stir together the water, sugar and liqueur and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat.
  3. Slice the pound cake into 1/2-inch slices. Cut two-thirds of those slices on the diagonal.
  4. Brush both sides of each diagonal slice with the raspberry syrup and lay into the bowl covering the bottom and sides of the bowl. Set aside.
  5. Melt 6-ounces of the chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, and heat for another minute at 50% in the microwave. Continue in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Let sit out to cool slightly.
  6. Beat 2 cups of the cream with the powdered sugar and almond extract until stiff, but not dry.
  7. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate, add the slivered almonds to this mixture.
  8. Into the remaining 2/3 of the whipped cream fold 1/2 of the raspberries.
  9. Into the bowl of cake slices evenly spread the raspberry whipped cream mixture, leaving an indentation in the middle.
  10. Then put the chocolate/almond whipped cream mixture into the indentation.
  11. Smooth the top.
  12. Take the remaining pound cake slices, brush each side with the raspberry syrup and lay on top of the cream mixture, completely covering the cake. Brush any remaining syrup over the top.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  14. A couple of hours before serving make the ganache.
  15. Remove the Zuccotto from the refrigerator and invert onto a serving plate. Then remove the plastic wrap.
  16. Smooth the ganache over the surface of the cake.
  17. Garnish with remaining raspberries.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 10-ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream to scalding (just until bubbles appear around the edge).
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 8 minutes.
  4. Stir until smooth.
  5. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Zuccotto Deb beaters
Don’t forget to lick the beaters!
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