Zuppa Inglese, Genoese Style

Credit: Mathilde de l'Ecotais
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Ingredients (8 people)

Making the cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 5 1/4 ounces confectioners’ sugar (150 g)
  • 2 1/4 ounces flour (60 g)
  • 2 1/4 ounces potato starch (60 g)
  • 2 pinches baking powder
  • 1 cube butter

Making the syrup

Assembling the dessert

  • seasonal fruit brunoise

Preparing the italian meringue and finish

  • 2/3 cup egg whites (15 cl)
  • 10 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (300 g)


This cake, a specialty from Tuscany and Puglia which went on to conquer all of Italy, seems to have been invented in Fiesole by the Italian cook of an English family which went through a lot of biscuits. One day, as she only had stale biscuits on hand, she moistened them generously with Alkermès, coated them with a rum-vanilla pastry cream and thus invented “English soup.”

Step 1: Making the cake

Mix and sift the flour, potato starch and yeast. Break the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Place the whites in a mixing bowl and the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk yolks and sugar until the mixture triples in volume. Delicately fold in the sifted flour-starch mixture.

Beat the whites to stiff peaks, adding a little sugar. Delicately fold part of the beaten whites into the sugar-flour batter, then pour the resulting batter over the remaining whites and mix carefully.

Spread over a 16 × 24 inch (40 × 60 cm) baking sheet. One sheet should take 1 pound 8 1/2 ounces (700 g) of batter. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and bake in a 392°F (200°C) oven. Let cool on a rack and set aside.

This recipe was originally published in "Alain Ducasse’s Desserts and Pastries" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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