Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zuccotto, the Italian Bombe

Summer birthdays can sometimes be a bummer. I know because I was born in July. I remember wanting to invite friends over for a birthday party, and they were all gone on vacation. Also, I never got to celebrate my birthday in elementary school. I remember in two different years where the teacher told the kids with summer birthdays that we'd have a group celebration at the end of the year. Both times, the teacher forgot about it. I don't think I was scarred for life, but still...

At the office, I bring in cake for birthdays. One student I work with has a summer birthday, so we decided to celebrate 1/2 birthdays. And, I was not going to forget.

The night before I looked through recipes trying to decide what to make. I came across a cake that I have wanted to try for many years, a chocolate bomb with banana custard filling. A bombe is a cake molded in a bowl by layering cake with mousse or ice cream. The photo in the cook book looked amazing, but as I reread through the recipe, I remembered why I've never tried it. It takes quite a bit of time to make, and time wasn't on my side. Once again, this cake would have to wait. I asked Katie for ideas, and she reminded me of a cake we tried a few years back . It's called Zuccotto, and it's basically an Italian bombe. I did a little research and found the cake was inspired by the dome cathedral in Florence.

This cake is a triple threat. First, it's a show stopper. Make this, and I promise you many "oohs" and "aahs". Secondly, it tastes phenomenal. And finally and most importantly, it's dang easy to make.

Give this cake a try, and enjoy!

Happy birthday, Matt! You're the bombe bomb!

Even though I'm still dealing with a simple point-and-shoot
camera, I think you can still get the idea this cake is 
soooo good.



  • 1  10- to 12-oz. store-bought pound cake (If you wish to make your own pound cake, I suggest Alton Brown's)
  • ¼ cup  orange juice (The authentic cake uses alcohol but orange juice works great.)
  • 1  6-oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips, chopped
  • 2  cups  heavy or whipping cream
  • ½ cup  sugar
  • 1  tsp.  almond extract
  • 1  cup  slivered almonds, chopped
Spray a 3-quart mixing bowl with cooking spray and line with plastic wrap.

Cut the pound cake into ½-inch slices, then diagonally cut each slice in half. Brush pieces with orange juice.

Arrange the cake pieces with the pointed ends at the bottom and crust sides next to cut edges until the bowl is lined. Cut tiny pieces to fill in any holes. Set aside the remaining cake pieces.

In a microwave, melt half the chocolate in a small cup on high for 1 minute. Stir until smooth.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream, sugar, and almond extract until stiff peaks form. Fold in the chopped almonds and the remaining chocolate chips. Spread half the cream mixture around the cake-lined bowl, leaving a well in the center.

Mix the melted chocolate into the remaining whipped cream, then use that to fill the center of the dessert. Top with the remaining cake pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days ahead.

When ready to serve, turn the cake out onto a platter and slice in wedges. Serves 10.


  1. This also looks particularly delicious. You should come over. Bring this!

  2. Since you're in Wales, it might take me a while to get there. However, if I do make it, I'll certainly have one of these with me.

    My wife and I have always wanted to visit Wales, and it's high on our list. We love the film "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain." It looks like a beautiful place.


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