Fig Orange Chocolate and Almond Zuccotto
After recently eating Zuccotto, a traditional Tuscan dessert (though originated in Florence), I was intrigued how this Zuccotto was so different to others I had eaten previously…in which were also apparently ‘traditional Zuccotto’.
This led me to investigate the dessert further, in which resulted in finding lot of different variations…though all featured some sort of cream, cake, nut, fruit and alcohol in a dome shaped tin (or pumpkin shape ala ‘little pumpkin’ in Italian).
Whether it be cream, ricotta or ice-cream, almonds, macadamia or hazelnuts, figs, cherry or raspberry, the recipes always had a fruit, nut and cream component.
After playing around with a few variations from other ‘traditional’ recipes I ended up with this recipe, in which is my favourite combo of flavours by far from a few combined recipes.
I’ve opted for fig, orange, chocolate, cream and almond.
- 2 tsn plain flour
- ½ tsn bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsn cream of tartar
- 4 eggs
- 150g caster sugar
- ½ tsn vanilla essence
- 125ml orange liquor
- 180g 70% dark chocolate
- 600ml thickened cream
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- 120g almonds, toasted
- 125g dried figs
- Cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 190c degrees and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
- Place the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar in a 250g cup.
- Top the cup up to the brim by adding the necessary amount of cornflour to fill the cup.
- Sift the flour mix 3 times.
- Beat the eggs, vanilla essence and sugar with electric beaters until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour to the egg mix and beat for 20 seconds on low or until just combined.
- Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake for 20 mins or until the cake bounces back after touching the top.
- Place the cake on a cooling rack until cold.
- Meanwhile, line a 6-cup pudding tin with 2 pieces of overlapping plastic wrap, spraying with oil spray firstly to hold the wrap in place.
- Cut the sponge in half horizontally to have 2 sponge layers.
- Cut one of the sponge layers into a circle shape the same size as the tins top, set aside.
- Cut the remaining sponge layer into eight wedges and starting from the middle of the base line the bottom and sides of the tin.
- Fill any cake gaps with any remaining sponge and trim the top to make the cake flush with the top of the tin.
- Place the orange liquor in a bowl and using a pastry brush evenly brush the liquor onto the sponge cake in the tin as well as on the set aside circle piece of sponge.
- Whip the cream and icing sugar in a bowl with electric beaters until firm peaks form.
- Chop the figs and almonds into small pieces and stir through the cream.
- Divide the cream mix into 2 bowls.
- Place 130g chocolate into a bowl over simmering water on the stove and stir until just melted, smooth and silky in texture. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile chop up remaining 50g of the dark chocolate and stir through one bowl of cream mix.
- Spoon the chopped chocolate cream mix into the bottom and sides of the sponge in the tin, leaving the center empty in a well shape.
- Using a hand whisk beat the melted chocolate into the 2nd bowl of cream mix until well combined.
- Spoon the melted chocolate cream mix into the center of the well over the chopped chocolate cream until the tin is 90% full.
- Place the set aside circle sponge over the top of the cream mix, liquor side down, cutting the sponge to fit snug.
- Pull the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and onto the top of the cake, covering the top.
- Push a plate over the top of the tin to compact the cake slightly.
- Place the tin in the fridge for 4+ hours to set.
- To serve, invert the cake onto a plate and remove the plastic wrap.
- Dust with cocoa powder and slice into wedges.
NOTE: I used Cointreau for the liquor but you can use any orange liquor such as Curacao, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec.