I think I might be having too much fun with desserts. I haven’t developed a new sweet-tooth, but am fascinated and challenged by just how many recipes there are to create without grains.
I fell in love with this dessert many years ago, when I bought a copy of Everyday Italian. It’s a classic Italian book full of accessible recipes. I pull it off the shelf every few weeks and thumb through – always feeling inspired. Some cookbooks just do that for me. Maybe the recipes aren’t elaborate, but the copy, photos and combinations of recipes speak to me in a way that other cookbooks can’t. I’m sure you have a cookbook or two like that in your collection.
Zuccotto is a fancy-looking dessert made from everyday ingredients. A pound cake, some whipped cream, chocolate, extract, brandy and almonds. That’s it. The “fancy” part is the way it’s all organized. The pound cake is cut into triangles and pieced together in a lined bowl. The cream is whipped – once with chocolate, the second time with almonds and extract. The bottom of the dessert is once again lined with cake. It’s chilled in the refrigerator where it forms a mold and the finale is a dusting of cocoa powder. It will get many “oohs” and “aahs” at the table. I enjoy making it for guests because the entire dessert can be assembled the day before. You can substitute the almond extract for another, leave out the nuts or keep them, or add other ingredients to the mix. Use your imagination and enjoy the possibilities!