Zuppa Inglese is a dessert that is pound cake that’s soaking in a custard cream. Marcella says that it resembles the bread soaking in peasant soups, so that is why it is called a Zuppa. But why Inglese is in the title is not known. She says this recipe is based on the dense version they make in Emilia-Romagna. The recipe calls for pound cake to be drizzled with Alchermes, a lightly spicy liqueur with a flowery scent, that’s red in color and gets that color from the bodies of dried cochineal bugs. But it’s not available outside of Italy, so she suggests a mixture of rum, Cognac, Dramuie, and Cherry Heering. The pound cake is sliced, brushed with the alcohol mixutre, and placed in a deep dish. This is topped with a custard cream, and then another layer of pound cake is placed on top. You then melt some chocolate, and mix that in with the remaining custard cream. This is spread over the pound cake, another layer of pound cake is added, and then it’s topped with the last of the chocolate custard cream. You can top this off with toasted almonds if you choose. This mixture is refrigerated for at least 2 or 3 hours, and then served chilled. I made mine in individual bowls instead of one large serving bowl. It was quite good. Just make sure and use a combination of liqueurs that you like, as the flavor of the alcohol comes through quite strong.

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