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Zuppa Inglese
Here is the procedure for the Zuppa Inglese (literally translated, English Soup). I hesitate to call it a recipe because it really is just a guideline. The quantities listed are really just a suggestion. You can alter the quantities based on your taste, availability or the size of the bowl you use for a mold.
Ingredients:
  • 1 # pound cake cut into long strips. (store bought is fine)
  • 16 oz pastry cream or sweetened mascarpone
  • 2 oz candied fruit (orange, lemon, raisin...)
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate in small chunks
  • 20-25 lady finger cookies
  • 12 oz sweet marsala
  • rum simple syrup ( 8oz sugar, 16oz water 2 fresh orange, 2 limes 3 lemons boiled and chilled---add rum)
  • FOR MERINGUE:
  • 5 egg whites
  • 12 oz sugar (you might need to use more, depending on the humidity and size of eggs--believe it or not, that makes a big difference)
Lay the stips of poundcake end to end to entirley cover the bottom of a bowl ( a 9' round x4" deep is a good size for 10-12 people). Use a pastry brush to apply the rum simple syrup evenly and generously to the bottom layer. Add a about 1/4 of the pastry cream and sprinkle candied fruit and chocolate pieces on top of the pastry cream. If you have pound cake left, use it to cover the pastry cream, other wise use lady fingers that have been dunked in sweet marsala for a couple seconds until soft (but still firm enough to be handled). Continue to alternate pastry cream and fruit and chocolate with lady fingers until the mold is filled to the top.

Refrigerate for a couple hours.

Invert onto a serving platter and apply meringue. Burn the meringue in a very hot oven or with a small (creme brulee style) blow torch.

MERINGUE:
Whip until stiff shiny peaks are formed (if the result looks at all foamy, add more sugar until the result is shiny).

Make sure the the egg whites are completely yolk free and the bowl and whip are very clean as any fat at all will keep the whites from aerating.

Don't be afraid to overwhip this but once you've stopped whipping, don't leave the meringue in the bowl for any extended length of time (a few minutes is ok but too long and the meringue will fall).

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