It’s The Bombe!

About 5 yrs ago, coming home from a conference in Quebec, the Husband brought me a French version of this book and I drooled over the zucotto on the front cover. I tried a few things from it and decided I had to find it in English b/c my French was too rusty. The truth is that many of her recipes are what I call ‘cheater’ recipes and this one is also — the recipe calls for Cool Whip and instant pudding in the center. I wasn’t satisfied with that and I’ve been thinking (for several years!) of ways to make it differently. Mental baking experiments are so much less fattening that the real thing! πŸ˜‰ I also used a different chocolate cake and I decorated it differently (hers is prettier, I think). So, essentially, I just used the photograph from this cookbook to inspire me to make something similar!

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Easter dinner here always includes a fantastic chocolate treat, often some new creation, so this is a perfect Easter Cake, in my opinion.

For the cake, I used my favorite Sour Cream Chocolate Cake recipe. Because I was expecting close to 20 adults, I wanted it bigger than a 9 inch cake so I made enough for a 10 inch. I doubled this recipe to make two 10-inch layers plus a few cupcakes. For some reason when I thought I bought some bitter chocolate, I came home with a bar of Nestle 53% cocoa (which would be closer to semi-sweet chocolate) so the cake wasn’t quite as dark as I had intended.

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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

2 c. flour

2 c. sugar

1 c. water

3/4 c. sour cream

1/4 c. shortening

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch pans.

Beat all ingredients on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 3 minutes. Pour into pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool.

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I read several recipes for Zucotto online and there is quite a bit of variety . . . for the liqueur some use kirsch, some curacao, some brandy and I decided I didn’t want to buy a new liqueur that would sit in my cabinet after using a small amount and just used some orange liqueur I had on hand. For the center, some use whipping cream, some use ricotta, some are chocolate, some are white and I decided I wanted a mixture.

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After the cake layers were cooled, I spread some plastic wrap into a slightly dampened domed bowl and pressed one cake layer into it. I poured about 1/2 cup of orange liqueur over the cake.

For the filling:

1 c. whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla

3-4 Tbsp. orange liqueur

3/4 c. vanilla yogurt

2 oz. bitter chocolate (this really was bitter b/c I had a few squares in the cupboard), melted

Whip the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add the liqueur and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the yogurt. Slowly fold in the chocolate. The chocolate will harden when it hits the cold cream mixture. You could achieve the same result by shaving the chocolate but this is easier πŸ™‚

Spread cream mixture over the cake layer in the bowl. Top with the remaining layer and freeze for several hours or overnight.

Invert the zucotto onto a platter. Pour chocolate ganache over the top and smooth. I can’t tell you an exact ganache recipe as I just put a little heavy cream and some dark chocolate in the pan until it seemed like the right texture. I made a couple of truffles for the Husband with the leftover. πŸ˜‰

The light brown frosting you see on this is a sour cream frosting. I melted 1 c. of chocolate chips with 1 cup of sour cream, added vanilla and several cups of powdered sugar until it had a good texture. I used some of the cooled ganache to add the dark ‘beads’ to the bottom border and the flower petals to the top.

This is my entry to Julia’s Easter Cake Bake.

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7 Responses

  1. Yummy!!! Thanks so much for entering.

  2. Very pretty and impressive–good job!

  3. Don’t you just love crafting your own concoction? Great job!

  4. I think that cake looks pretty fantastic!

  5. Julia: Thank you for hosting this fun event.

    Glenna, Ovens to Betsy & Brilynn: Thank you!

    I think it ended up tasting good too. The guy next to me at the table commented that it made him want to get a chocolate orange — it had a similar flavor.

  6. Oh my…that is absolutely amazing! Beautiful cake.

  7. Holy Moly!! That is some cake!! That is just simply incredible looking.

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