Chocolate Zuccotto

Chocolate Zuccotto with Christmas Vanilla & Glace Fruit Ice Cream

Zuccotto is a traditional Italian chilled desert, originating in Florence.  Domed in shape, Zuccotto used a liqueur infused sponge to enclose rich chocolate creams, to which fresh fruits, nuts or alternative ingredients can be added. Left to set in the fridge overnight, slices of zuccotto can be served with fresh cream or ice cream as desired.

This recipe uses an orange base, and left over christmas pudding mixed into a layer of the cream for that festive touch, however you could use chocolate muffins, fruit cake, fresh berries or leave the additions out completely.  The options are endless.  What you will have is a dessert which won’t fail to impress everyone who tries it!

Serves 8-10


  • 2 * 1lb Madeira Cakes, or similar sponges
  • 5 tbsp Dark Rum
  • 5 tbsp Orange Liqueur, such as Aranchello
  • 5 tbsp Fresh Orange Juice
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 500ml Double Cream
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 175g Dark Chocolate (good quality, 70% cocoa solids), finely grated
  • A handful of left over Christmas pudding, cake, Chocolate muffin or fresh berries (optional)


  • Trim the crusts off the Madeira cake (save these to eat later!), and slice into 1.5-2cm thick slices.  NB: you’ll probably only need 1 1/2 loafs
  • Line a 2lb Pudding Basin with cling film
  • In a bowl, mix together the rum, liqueur and orange juice.  Dip in some of the slices of cake and line the base and sides of the basin
  • In yet another bowl, whip up the cream until stiff, sift in the icing sugar and Fold gently.  Set about 1/3 of this to one side, and add half of the grated chocolate to the remaining 2/3 in the bowl
  • Add the seeds from the vanilla pod and the crumbled Christmas pudding (or alternative, if using), and fold well until mixed through
  • Use the chocolate-cream mixture to plaster over the inside of the sponge.  You should be left with a hole in the centre when done
  • In a small pan, carefully melt the remaining grated chocolate.  Remove from the heat and mix in the retained cream.  Pour this into the hole in the centre of the zuccotto and smooth off to leave a flat surface
  • Take some more of the sliced cake, again soaked in the orange liqueur mixture and carefully patch the top of  the zuccotto
  • Cover with cling film, press down slightly and refrigerate for 24 hours
  • When ready to serve, turn out of the bowl onto a serving plate and carve.  Serve with cream or freshly made ice cream
Last of the sponge on the top, ready to be chilled


After 24hrs, turn out
Ready for serving

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