2 jars with zuppa inglese

Zuppa Inglese, 1 Colorful, Delightful Italian dessert!

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Zuppa Inglese “English Soup” is a delicious creamy Italian trifle made with vanilla and chocolate custard and wet sponge cake (you can also use ladyfingers) with Alchermes (an aromatic, herb-infused, red-colored liqueur).


For the Zuppa Inglese (Italian trifle) you’ll need:

  • Vanilla Pastry Cream,
  • Chocolate Pastry Cream
  • Sugar Syrup with Alchermes liqueur
  • Sponge cake-like a Swiss roll or Italian ladyfingers.

How to Make Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, the heavy cream, and vanilla flavoring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk fast the egg yolks and sugar then add the cornstarch. When the milk is almost boiling whisk while adding 1/3 into the egg mixture to temperate and liquefy the batter.
  • Then whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Cook the pastry cream over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, it takes about 2 minutes.
  • Off the heat, transfer to a bowl and stir for a few minutes to hasten to cool.
  • Refrigerate in a piping bag for about 1 hour before using it.

How to Make Chocolate Pastry Cream:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer.
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cornstarch.
  • When the milk is almost boiling whisk while adding 1/3 into the egg mixture to temperate and liquefy the batter. Then whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan.
  • Cook the pastry cream over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, it takes about 2/3 minutes.
  • Off the heat, transfer to a bowl whisk in the dark chocolate until melted.
  • Stir for a few minutes to hasten to cool and refrigerate in a piping bag for about 1 hour before using it.

How to make the Sugar Syrup:

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
Turn the heat to low and stir until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add the liqueur and boil it again for 1 minute and remove from the heat source.

This liqueur-flavored syrup is enough for a sponge cake about 8-9 inches (22-24 cm) in diameter.

Zuppa Inglese for 2 served in 2 patent jars

How to make the Sponge cake-like Swiss roll:

Skip this part if you use Italian ladyfingers (Savoiardi)

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Beat the egg whites and half of the sugar to stiff tops with the electric whisk.
  • In another bowl beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar.
  • Blend the dry ingredients and the egg yolk mix.
  • Blend the stiff egg whites and the egg yolk mix with the electric whisk on the lowest setting. (If you want to make it more fluffy for a cake bottom than turn in the egg whites with a spatula.)
  • Pour the mixture into the baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 7-10 mins until golden and firm.
  • Allow cooling completely before cutting the desired shapes. We made it round but you can cut it any way you want.

How to assemble the dessert:

Place a layer of sponge cake (or Ladyfingers biscuits) in a glass or a Jar. Wet with Alchermes, then cover with chocolate cream.

Place the other layer of sponge cake on top and drizzle with more liquor. Cover this layer with the pastry cream.
Decorated as you wish, chocolate powder/sprinkles, Strawberry flavored Sprinkles, Whipped Cream…
Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then serve.

If you don’t find Alchermes where you live, you can use Marsala liqueur as a substitute but what makes the Zuppa Inglese a genuine taste of Italy is the Alchermes liqueur.

Do you want to make the actual Italian trifle dessert?
Learn how to make the Alchermes liqueur at home
with our favorite homemade Alchermes recipe

Zuppa Inglese

Zuppa Inglese

Yield: 4 pcs
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

Zuppa Inglese "English Soup" is a delicious trifle made with vanilla and chocolate custard and wet sponge cake (you can also use ladyfingers) with Alchermes (an aromatic, herb-infused, red-colored liqueur).

For the Zuppa Inglese you'll need: *Vanilla Pastry Cream
*Chocolate Pastry Cream
*Sugar Syrup with Alchermes liqueur
*Sponge cake-like Swiss roll

Ingredients

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 75g Egg Yolk (about 4)
  • 1 Vanilla Bean or 5g Vanilla Powder
  • 400ml / 1 3/4 cup Milk
  • 100ml / ½ cup of Heavy Cream
  • 100g / ½ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 45g / 3 tbsp of Cornstarch

Chocolate Pastry Cream:

  • 100g / 2/3 cup Chopped Dark Chocolate. (We used 85%)
  • 75g Egg Yolk (about 4)
  • 1 Vanilla Bean or 5g Vanilla Powder
  • 500ml / 2 cups of Milk
  • 100g / ½ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 45g / 3 tbsp of Cornstarch
  • A pinch of Salt

Alchermes Sugar Syrup:

  • 100g / ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 200ml of Water (just a little less then a cup)
  • 100ml / ½ cup of Alchermes

Sponge cake-like Swiss roll:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 100g / ½ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 45g / 1/3 cup Flour
  • 45g / 3 tbsp Potato starch 
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Instructions

How to make Vanilla Pastry Cream:

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, the heavy cream, and vanilla flavoring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk fast the egg yolks and sugar then add the cornstarch. When the milk is almost boiling whisk while adding 1/3 into the egg mixture to temperate and liquefy the batter. Then whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Cook the pastry cream over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, it takes about 2 minutes. Off the heat, transfer to a bowl and stir for a few minutes to hasten to cool. Refrigerate in a piping bag for about 1 hour before using it.

How to make Chocolate Pastry Cream:

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer; in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cornstarch. When the milk is almost boiling whisk while adding 1/3 into the egg mixture to temperate and liquefy the batter. Then whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Cook the pastry cream over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, it takes about 2/3 minutes. Off the heat, transfer to a bowl whisk in the dark chocolate until melted. Stir for a few minutes to hasten to cool and refrigerate in a piping bag for about 1 hour before using it.

How to make the Sugar Syrup:

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
Turn the heat to low and stir until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add the liqueur and boil it again for 1 minute and remove from the heat source.

How to make Sponge cake / Swiss roll

1. Beat the egg whites and half of the sugar to stiff tops with the electric whisk.
2. In another bowl beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar.
3. Blend the dry ingredients and the egg yolk mix.
4. Blend the stiff egg whites and the egg yolk mix with the electric whisk on the lowest setting. (If you want to make it more fluffy for a cake bottom than turn in the egg whites with a spatula.)
5. Pour the mixture into the baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 7-10 mins until golden and firm.
Allow cooling completely before cutting the desired shapes. We made it round but you can cut it any way you want.

How to assemble:

Place a layer of sponge cake in a glass. Wet with Alchermes, then cover with chocolate cream. Place the other layer of sponge cake on top and drizzle with more liquor. Cover this layer with the pastry cream.
Decorated as you wish, chocolate powder/sprinkles, Strawberry flavored Sprinkles, Whipped Cream...
Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then serve.

Notes

If you don't find Alchermes where you live, you can use Marsala liqueur as a substitute but what makes the Zuppa Inglese a genuine taste of Italy is the Alchermes liqueur.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1129Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 648mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 164gFiber: 4gSugar: 120gProtein: 25g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Learn how to make an authentic Italian Tiramisu here

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