recipe comes from Carmelita
Caruana. Carmelita is just passionate about
food, about the scents and flavours of food, about
the pleasures of cooking and of eating in convivial
company, about the use of the best possible ingredients
in order to maximise those pleasures.
believes everyone can learn to cook. She also
believes that to cook well you need first to be
greedy, and then you need a little patience and
a lot of passion!
started Cook Italy which organises cooking holidays
in Italy in 1999 and though relatively new to
the field, she is already having great success,
travelling internationally to give talks and to
run cooking classes. She appeared as guest chef
on BBC 2 's Saturday Kitchen last year, cooking
a Sicilian menu, and plans to be running occasional
evening cookery classes in London. Her cook book
is on the way!
circle of bought day old Pan di Spagna (Italian
fat-less sponge cake)
125 g sugar
2 organic lemons
10g leaf gelatine
2 - 3 tbsp. vodka or gin (optional)
the vodka or gin with an equal amount of water.
the leaf gelatine to soak for 10 - 12 minutes
in a small bowl of cold water, separating the
the Pan di Spagna into triangles, with which
you are going to line a pudding bowl. Save all
left over bits of cake. If using, sprinkle the
diluted alcohol on the triangles of cake.
the lemons and squeeze out about 75 mls of juice.
100 ml of the cream in a small saucepan with
the egg yolks and half the sugar, and heat carefully
- stirring continuously - in a bain marie until
it starts to thicken.
the lemon zest and juice and whisk until it
is all good and thick.
it off the heat, squeeze out the now softened
gelatine leaves, and whisk then into the lemon
cream fast, so that they quickly dissolve completely.
the lemon cream to cool to room temperature
- it should not solidify.
the egg whites to stiff peaks, and at the half
way stage add the sugar one tablespoon at a
the egg whites into the completely cool lemon
the inside of pudding bowl first with cling
film and then with Pan di Spagna slices, fill
with the lemon cream and seal with more slices
of the cake.
for at least 4 hours, but 12 is better still.
before serving whip up the remaining cream and
sieve all the left over bits of cake to get
fine even breadcrumbs.
the cake, spread it with a layer of whipped
cream, then scatter the cake breadcrumbs over
the top. Dust with icing sugar, garnish with
fresh lemon leaves and slices, and serve.
Gelatineis so much easier to use than powdered
gelatine that I suggest you stock up on several
packets to take home - they weigh nothing and
take up hardly any room. If you run out and
cannot find it at home, ask at Italian restaurants,
or ask any chef you know, since most chefs prefer
traditional Zucotto is like an ice cream bombe
with the Pan di Spagna encasing two creams: a
white cream with almonds and a chocolate cream.
In summer ice- cream versions of Zucotto are sold
in Gelaterias. They make a good gift to your host
if you are invited to lunch or dinner