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Italian Apple Cake with Zabaglione
This recipe comes from Valentina Harris.Valentina is an authority on Italian food and food culture and a respected member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In 1984, Valentina published Perfect Pasta and has since gone on to publish many more books on Italian Cookery.

Valentina has featured regularly on TV and her latest cookery series for the Carlton Food Network, ‘Cucina Valentina’, is filmed in Tavernelle, Italy, where she rums her owm cooking school providing wonderful week long holidays where guests can relax and increase their culinary knowledge.


2 large eggs
150g caster sugar
185g plain white flour, sifted
120ml milk
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 heaped tsp baking powder, sifted
55g butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp stale breadcrumbs
1 kg dessert apples (not Bramleys) peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp light brown sugar

6 egg yolks
100g sugar
a pinch of salt
150ml Marsala wine
grated zest and juice of half a lemon
half a tsp vanilla extract

  • First make the Italian apple cake. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / Gas 4. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs until light and fluffy, adding the caster sugar gradually, then fold in the flour, milk, lemon zest and baking powder making a runny mixture.
  • Butter a 25 cm spring-form cake tin thoroughly, then dust with the breadcrumbs. Invert the tin to shake out all the loose breadcrumbs. Pour the cake mixture into the tin.
  • Top the cake mixture with the apple slices. Dot with the butter and sprinkle over with the light brown sugar.
  • Bake for 55 minutes until set.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack before removing from the tin.
  • Make the zabaglione just before serving the cake. Mix together the yolks, sugar and salt in a large, heatproof bowl. Using a wire whisk beat until the eggs are pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the Marsala wine, lemon zest and juice and the vanilla extract.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk continuously until the mixture has doubled in volume and can hold its own shape.
  • Serve the zabaglione with the apple cake.

Serves 6

    Valentina Harris

© Valentina Harris