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Zuppa Inglese

(Serves 10-12)
Zuppa Inglese
Zuppa Inglese

Pastry Cream:
4 cups milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 layers of yellow cake or a large pound cake
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh berries for garnish


To make the pastry cream:
Bring 3 cups of the milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining cup of milk until blended.
Sift the flour into the egg yolks, whisking until smooth.    Beat in the hot milk a little at a time.  Transfer this mixture to the saucepan and return to medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla.

Divide the cream between 2 bowls.  Add the chocolate to one bowl,  allow to melt, then stir in until there are no streaks.  Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

To assemble the Zuppa Inglese:
Choose a large deep serving bowl, such as a trifle bowl.  Slice the cakes horizontally  so that you have 4 layers.  Don't worry if they break.  Stir together the rum and jam.

Spoon half of the vanilla pastry cream into the bottom of the serving bowl.
Place a layer of the cake on top, cutting pieces to fit, and brush with the rum mixture.  Spoon half of the chocolate pastry cream on top, add another layer of cake, and brush with the rum mixture.  Repeat the layers one more time.
Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Just before serving, whip the heavy cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form.  Spoon the cream on top of the zuppa inglese and garnish with berries.
"English Soup"  is the literal name for this luscious dessert and it is similar to English trifle. 
Zuppa Inglese consists of layers of cake that are brushed with a rum and jam mixture, alternately layered in a glass bowl with vanilla and chocolate pastry cream and topped with sweetened whipped cream and fruit.  Zuppa Inglese makes a beautiful presentation at Christmas or at the end of a special dinner.
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Zuppa Inglese is just as suitable for serving from individual glasses as it is from a large triflle bowl.