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Thread: So what is Giada's Zuccotto supposed to be like anyway?

  1. #1
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    So what is Giada's Zuccotto supposed to be like anyway?

    I made a cute lil mini test run of this in preparation for an event in a couple of weeks. Lovely presentation, but I had some issues with the chocolate layer, which maybe isn't supposed to be like chocolate mousse afterall, which is what I was expecting? After melting and slightly cooling the chocolate and whipping the cream, I folded a small amount of cream pretty well into the choc., as directed, but did not mix it thoroughly, i.e., did not deflate all that air. Then folded in the rest of the whipped cream for that part. Dregs in the bowl for licking were moussey. Put the rest of the bugger together. After 2 hours in fridge, the chocolate layer had some bitsy flecks of "congealed" chocolate, was still whippy, daggum thing was mighty tasty though. Had to get it out of the house before total consumption, so my guinea pigs at work and I had at it for an afternoon snack. The chocolate layer was very crumbly and the whipped cream was almost undetectable! Was a mess to cut with the crumbliness of the chocolate. Do ya think that's the way it's supposed to be, or was my folding technique not up to zuccotto snuff? I know several on the BB have made this, so how did your chocolate layer turn out overnight? The guinea pigs loved it anyway, poopooing my dismay at how different it was from the night before. And BTW, isn't whipping of cream just the most rewarding thing?! Take that liquid and end up with all that fluffy goodness! Thanks for any input, folks!

    Zuccotto (Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis)

    Nonstick cooking spray
    1 (12-ounce) loaf pound cake
    1/4 cup brandy
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    2 cups chilled whipping cream
    1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled (I used fewer almonds)
    Unsweetened cocoa powder

    Spray a 1 1/2-quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bowl with plastic wrap. Cut the pound cake crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice diagonally in half, forming 2 triangles. Line the bottom and sides of the prepared bowl with the cake triangles. Brush some of the brandy over the cake triangles lining the bowl. Reserve the extra triangles.
    Stir the chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of cream in another large bowl until it is thick and fluffy. Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Fold half of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the chocolate cream over the cake, covering completely and creating a well in the center. Cover and refrigerate if not assembling cake right away.
    In another clean large bowl, add the remaining 1 cup of cream and almond extract. Using an electric mixer with clean beaters, beat on medium speed and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold in the nuts. Spoon the cream mixture into the center of the well of the filling.
    Brush the remaining cake slices with brandy and arrange them, brandy side down, over the cake, covering the filling completely and trimming to fit, if necessary. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
    Invert the cake onto a platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.
    I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Sorry, I don't have an answer for your question Joanie. I saw Giada making this dessert and it looked good, even my 4-year old drooled and asked if we could make it sometime!
    I just wanted to say Hi!! How is everything going at yout farm? I believe you must be getting a nice summer bounty right now!
    I really enjoyed meeting you and all the girls at the Southern Season, maybe we should talk about a new reunion! hehe!!
    Hope someone chimes in and help you out with the Zucotto question!
    Ana

  3. #3
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    I've made this numetrous times and yes the chocolate layer is supposed to be mousse-y and the layers were pretty pronounced.

    I'm not sure where you went wrong-maybe you overwhipped your cream?

  4. #4
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    Kristi, major thanks for the clarification on moussey. That's what I wanted it to be, but as tasty as it was, not what I got overnight. I had the 2 layers for sure, the almondy one was still nice and fluffy under the crumbly chocolatey layer. What kind of chocolate do you normally use for this? I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet, in the 4 oz bar from the baking aisle, and used 3 oz for half a recipe (nibbled the other 2 oz away). Do you get down & dirty mixing in the lst dollop of whipped cream really, really well w/the chocolate? Maybe I didn't get the whipped cream globules incorporated w/the chocolate molecules very well (I sound like AB!), or maybe I underwhipped, overwhipped, ack! I was stingy w/the brandy on the cake (I was taking it to work afterall ), wonder if the cake could have pulled the moisture from the cream part of the mixture...but it didn't do that to the almondy cream...Back to the testing parlor! Big thanks again for your input.

    Hi, Ana! We are eating corn and tomatoes and green beans as fast as we can, 3 meals a day almost!, from DH's efforts on the "farm." Sure does help at the grocery checkout! Loving these meatless dinners several times a week. Would like to get together w/the Triangle Gang again as well before the commitments of Tar Heel football & basketball season get here. Hope your cute little guy and DH are well. I pop into your blog every now and then to see how what you're up to cookingwise! Hugs!
    I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred.....

  5. #5
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    On a related note, there was a great looking recipe in Everyday Food: It was made with chocolate, ricotta cheese, and chocolate wafers...it looked sort of like the zuccotto.

  6. #6
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    I haven't made this yet, but my guess is that your chocolate was too warm when you incorporated it. It then siezed in the refrigerator.

    This recipe does look good. I'm going to have to try it.
    If loving me is wrong, you don't want to be right.

    Don't touch the hair!
    JB

  7. #7
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    Insert smiley face w/lower lip stuck out HERE.
    I'm turning in my beaters....I failed again with the chocolate/whipped cream transformation into smooth, fluffy chocolatey goodness. I was careful as Kristi mentioned not to overbeat the whipping cream, had soft peaks, and made sure the melted chocolate was quite cool, like mbrogier warned. Mixed a bit of cream well w/the chocolate, then folded in the rest. Within 10 minutes in the fridge, the flecks of chocolate had appeared. Now after 3 hours, the mass is still soft, but there are lots of flecks of chocolate in a bite, you almost want to chew the mixture, the "grains" of chocolate are quite distracting. Still mighty darn tasty, tho. Short of using Cool-whip to blend with the melted chocolate ala Semi-not-homemade, I am a zuccotto dud... the science of that chocolate mixture eludes me.

    Will take the never-fail CL Choc. Eclair and the BB's Double lemon bars to that party now. Nanner nanner, Giada.
    I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred.....

  8. #8
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    Gosh I can't figure out what's happening

    The brand of chocolate I use is Lindt or Scharffen-Berger.

    It's funny how certain dishes are duds for people. I will always mess up a boxed cake or brownie mix but I can make them just fine from scratch-which is what I should be dong anyway. Go figure.

  9. #9
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    I have a 70% Lindt Excellence bar, if I can drain 1/2 c. cream outta that carton, I may try one more time, Kristi. Maybe I should just sprinkle cocoa and powdered sugar in to make the chocolate layer, melted chocolate be darned!! I am envious of your zuccotto mastery, my dear. Thanks again for your input, and to mbrogier, too.

    Is the EF issue Canice mentioned a current edition, anybody know?
    I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred.....

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