Choc cream Zucotto

This is a summer variant on the classic Italian Christmas dish that uses up left over pannetone. It can be light, is quick to make and keeps for days in the fridge, just be careful to keep it airtight or the outside will dry out.


Makes enough for at least 6

300g madeira cake
600ml double cream
200g Bournville choc
75g of nuts, I used almonds and pecan, others used macadamia and hazelnuts
75g of candied ginger, cherries or peel
a teaspoon of cocoa powder for presentation
25ml of brandy or another fruit spirit

1.5 litre bowl


Line the bowl with a double layer of clingfilm

Very thinly slice the madeira cake and tesselate a layer of cake around the bottom and inside of your bowl, trying not to overlap or leave gaps. A thick layer makes for a stodgy dessert, this isn’t a summer fruits pudding.

Use a pastry brush or your finger or something to dash brandy evenly across the cake.

Roughly chop your nuts, not too small, you’re aiming for interest and crunch without breaking people’s teeth. Take a third of the choc and finely chop it, a coarse grater would do.

Loosely whip your cream so that it forms soft peaks, but they sink back down again after a couple of seconds. Split the cream into two approximately even portions.

Into the first half of the cream, whisk in the chopped nuts, fruit or peel.

For the second half, melt the remaining x00g of choc in the microwave or bain marie and whisk it into the remaining cream.

Take the white cream and dollop it into the bowl, spreading it up around the edges and leaving a hollow in the inside that you can fill up with the chocolate cream.

Make a lid with more slices of cake, top it with clingfilm and then put it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours with a heavy plate on top.

To serve, carefully turn it out onto a plate and very lightly dust half a teaspoon of cocoa powder over it with a small sieve or tea strainer.