Thursday, January 28, 2010

Worlds Best Zuccotto Recipe

Hello friends,
Worlds Best Zuccotto Recipe may be a tall order, but Chef Jules always lives up to his promises. There are many Zuccotto Recipes out there, every time I make this one, there is never any left over. This famous Italian dessert gets its name from the resemblance of a cardinals skullcap, or " zuccotto", in Tuscan dialect.This zuccotto recipe is basically liquer flavoured sponge, covering chocolate hazelnut mousse and ricotta fruit cream. It is adapted from my "nonnos" recipe and is one which I make on special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter. So without further pomp and ceremony here goes.
There are 3 elements to my Zuccotto recipe,which I have tried to keep as easy as possible. The orange syrup, hazelnut chocolate mousse and ricotta fruit mixture.
Zuccotto Recipe Ingredients
500g plain unfilled vanilla sponge cake
Orange Syrup
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 cup of orange juice
60 ml Strega or Galliano
Take a saucepan and boil above ingredients, excluding sponge, for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
Hazelnut chocolate mousse
500g of your favourite chocolate mousse recipe
60g hazelnuts place on a tray and gently toast, cool, place in a plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin
40ml frangelico liquer (optional)
Mix above ingredients and refrigerate.
Ricotta fruit mixture
800g ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
100g candied orange and lemon peel
60g glace red cherries, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix all the above well and refrigerate till required
Method
Take a 22cm (2.5 litre) glass or stainless steel bowl, cut the sponge into 3 cm strips. Line the bowl, botttom first, then the sides. Trim the sponge to the level of the bowl. Spoon the orange syrup on the sponge as in the above photo.
Spread the ricotta cheese mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the sponge and leave a hollow in the middle. Quickly add the hazelnut chocolate mousse to the hollow, cover with more sponge to completely encase the filling and tightly cover with cling film. Refrigerate overnight.
To Serve
Take a flat serving platter, remove cling film and turn the zuccotto upside down onto the plate, remove bowl, dust with cocoa powder and serve.
Chef Jules Tips
You can prepare the orange syrup, Hazelnut chocolate mousse and ricotta fruit mixture well in advance.
Savoiardi biscuits can be used but I think the sugar coating adds too much to the overall sweetness of the dessert.
I usually candy my own organic citrus fruit, also organic  for the orange juice.
If you get stuck on the chocolate mousse, email me for my own recipe.

I hope you enjoy my very special, worlds best zuccotto recipe.
In my next posting I will be talking about a real slice of Kiwiana. A method of cooking that you can do in your backyard that simulates the way our indigenous people cooked, called "Hangi". I trialled this for diveplanet and was very impressed with the results.
Ciao for now !

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chef Jules is back !

Hello Friends;
welcome to Chef Jules blog  for 2010. My appologies for the technical difficulties experienced in gaining access to my blog at the beginning of the year, but it's all sorted now and I'm ready to go, bigger and better with more frequent postings. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and your new year is going well. I have been busy working with Dive Planet and the site has been generating a lot of interest. The new look site should be on line soon, once the re-linking has been done.
For myself Christmas was spent with family and friends at Lake Pupuke, in Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland. A freshwater crater lake, formed approximately 150,000 years ago with a circumference of 4.6km, depths of 58 metres plus and enjoyed recreationally by many people. Trout are released periodically and other species include Perch, Rudd and Carp. As you can see the weather was stunning, as was the food.
 In my next posting I will share a Zuchotto recipe from my "nonno". A traditional Italian dessert which I have adapted to make it as easy as possible for you to make. Most of you will be familiar with the Guylian seashell chocolates. There is also a New Zealand company operating from Mangawhai, north of Auckland making high quality chocolates, which my sister brought on Christmas day, http://www.bennettsofmangawhai.com/  a husband and wife team, Belguim trained. The seashore collection particularly appealed to my love of seafood. Ciao for now.
Red Cherries on Foodista