Italian Cream Cake

Are you looking for a festive, easy, consensual cake that works, has proven itself for almost a century and remains very trendy? I have it for you! A layer cake with custard and chocolate typical of Abruzzo (and especially Teramo) although there are similar versions in other regions, as in the case of zuppa inglese. And, don’t laugh… this cake is called pizza dolce!


° 6 eggs (300 g without the shell)
° 160 g flour
° 160 g sugar
° 1 pinch of salt
° 75 cl fresh whole milk
° 25 cl whipping or whole liquid cream
° 60 g flour or a mixture of flour and corn starch
° 100 g sugar
° 8 egg yolks (160-180g)
° 2 plump vanilla pods
° 40 g dark chocolate
° 1 C. cocoa
° 16 cl Italian espresso coffee
° 10 cl rum
° 10 cl maraschino (sour cherry liqueur)
° 80 g dark chocolate, chopped
° 50-100 g flaked almonds
° Morello cherries in syrup or Morello cherries (optional)
° 60 g sugar


Prepare the sponge cake (even the day before or the day before). Preheat oven 170 ° C (hot air). Butter and flour two 18 cm diameter molds.

Pour the whole eggs into a large bowl (or the bowl of a food processor, even better). Start whipping at low speed then add the salt and a third of the sugar. Continue to whisk on medium speed for at least 5 minutes until the eggs begin to puff. Then add another third of the sugar and whisk for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar and continue beating until a very airy, light yellow, supple mass forms that forms a ribbon (the dough falls gently when lifted). If you have a food processor, you can also add all the sugar at the same time and wait 15-20 min.

Incorporate half of the sifted flour (imperative 🙂 very delicately using a skimmer (if yes) in circular movements from bottom to top. Then add the rest of the flour and mix again. You must try to keep the incorporated air.
Carefully pour this dough into two 18-20 cm molds (buttered and floured or with baking paper). Smooth it out with a spatula or a horn (or even a spoon). Cook for about half an hour. The dough should swell and turn golden.

She is ready when:

  • it is flexible in the center (by pressing with your finger, the shape should disappear)
  • the tip of a knife threaded into the dough must come out dry
  • the edges have crusted and are starting to pull away from the walls.
    Let cool slightly then unmold. Store at room temperature.

Prepare the pastry cream. Open vanilla lengthwise. Place the seeds in a bowl with the egg yolks, sugar and flour. To mix together.
Place the empty pods in a saucepan with the milk and cream. Bring milk & cream to simmer. Remove the pods and pour half over the egg mixture to dissolve the sugar. Return everything to the saucepan with the rest of the cream and milk and bring to the boil again, stirring constantly. The cream must bubble for min & thick Turn off (if the cream is not completely smooth, you can give it a little blender).

Take a third of the cream and add the chopped dark chocolate and cocoa. To mix together. Cover the two creams with cling film on contact and let them cool in the fridge for at least two hours (they will firm up).
Meanwhile, prepare the “soaks”. Mix the coffee with 2 tablespoons of rum. Separately, prepare a syrup with 12 cl of water and 60 g of sugar until it is dissolved. Turn off and add the rest of the rum and the maraschino
Cut the two sponge cake in half in the middle using a saw knife (you will need only three parts, freeze the fourth or use it in a cake, a verrine as a base for tiramisu).
Proceed with the assembly. Place a sponge cake on a dish, soak it with half the rum and maraschino syrup. Spread half of the vanilla pastry cream. Add a few sour cherries. Soak the second sponge cake with the coffee and rum mixture, then place it on the cream and spread the chocolate pastry cream on top. Soak the third sponge cake with the rest of the syrup, place it on the chocolate pastry cream then spread the rest of the vanilla pastry cream on top.

Cover with cling film and keep cool for at least two hours (you can also keep it for a dozen hours, this is ideal, but in this case it is better to add the last layer of cream after resting just before finishing) .
Decorate with almonds and chocolate shavings and serve.

Enjoy !

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