Christmas zuccotto

by Ginny Grant | Cuisine issue #155
Serves: 10-12.

Hazelnut sponge
90g butter, melted and cooled
200g caster sugar
6 eggs
100g flour
75g hazelnuts or almonds roasted and finely ground

Preheat oven 180°C.

Line a large baking dish approx 24 x 35 or (use 2 smaller Swiss roll tins), and a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. Grease with some butter and use a dust with flour. Set aside.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a mixer until very light and fluffy. This will takes around 10 minutes. Sift in the flour, add the hazelnuts and fold very gently until just combined.

Put into the tin and bake for 15- 20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Line a 10-cup capacity pudding basin or bowl with plastic wrap. Cut a small round to fit in the base and a larger round to fit the top. Cut the rest of the sponge into triangular pieces. Put the smaller base into the bottom then alternate the triangular pieces to fit the bowl. Use any off cuts to fill in any gaps. Use half of 3/4 of the Disaronno syrup to moisten the sponge pieces – setting aside the rest of the mix for use on the top.

Put the raspberry mousse into the sponge lined bowl. Take a small rounded glass or ramekin and line the outside of the glass with plastic wrap. Press it gently into the mousse (this will be used to make hole for the chocolate truffle mix). Refrigerate for 2 hours or until the mousse has just set. Carefully remove the glass and fill the space with the chocolate truffle mix. Soak the sponge top with the remaining Disaronno then place on top of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Turn out on to a plate to serve and dust with icing sugar.

Disaronno soaking syrup
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Disaronno or other nut liqueur

Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring up to the boil so the sugar dissolves. Add the liqueur and cool before using.

Raspberry mousse
2 cups frozen raspberries, defrosted
1 tablespoon gelatine powder
4 egg whites
120g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon freeze dried raspberry powder (optional)
125 mls cream

Push the raspberries through a fine sieve to get ½ to ¾ cup of puree. Set aside. Bloom the gelatine by sprinkling over 2 tablespoons of water and leaving for 5 minutes. Put into a small saucepan with ¼ cup of water and heat to dissolve the gelatine (but don’t boil). Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then add to the raspberry puree.

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then add the sugar and raspberry powder a little at a time. Add the puree and whisk well. Beat the cream to soft peaks and add to the egg white mix folding to combine.

Chocolate truffle
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150g cream

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove and allow to cool slightly but not to set.

Whisk the cream to soft peaks. Mix a spoonful of cream into the chocolate to combine then fold the chocolate into the remaining cream.

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