The meaning of this dessert name means English soup, although it is not English and it is not soup. It is a classic Italian classic dessert texture can look a little bit like a thick soup. So why it is called like that? There is a legend that it was made in the 16th century for Dukes of Este when they asked chefs to make a trifle, typical British dessert. Although, they didn’t have the right ingredients so they used what they have and added sponge cake, pastry cream and also Alchermes.
If you serve it in a nice large glass it will be a great celebration dessert, because it looks super pretty. For this recipe you will need liqueur called Alchermes, its characteristic is scarlet color which is obtained by the addition of a small insect “kermes” (cochineal). It gives a special flavor to a dessert, but it could be tricky to find it outside Italy.
Zuppa Inglese it’s not so hard to prepare, it’s quite simple recipe. The only tricky thing is to make the cream, you need to heat it really slowly that you cook the flour, but not curdle the eggs. So don’t rush the process. If you see that things might be getting out of control then remove the pot from the heat.
- 400 g of Lady fingers or sponge cake
- 1 l of milk
- 200 g sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 60 g of flour or 40 g of starch
- 100 g unsweetened cacao
- Alchermes liqueur
- For the topping use fresh berries or almonds
- Mix half of the sugar with 4 egg yolks, starch or flour and half a liter of milk with lemon zest. Stir everything and bring it to boil.
- Replicate the process with remaining ingredients (egg yolks, sugar, starch, milk), but this time add cacao.
- In a beautiful container form a layer of Lady finger which is soaked with Alchermes, then add another layer lemon cream.
- Add another layer of soaked Alchermes lady finger and cover it with chocolate cream.
- Continue the process until you’ll fill the whole container.
- Before serving place Zuppa Inglese in the fridge for about half a day.