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Lucca, Tuscany

5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
Walk to village with 4 restaurants & grocery.
30 minutes beaches.
August dates available £7395 pwk
Book today


So, this week I've been thinking a lot about what to serve as dessert at Christmas.  My usual Christmas dessert is Zuppa Inglese.  It's become something of a tradition in our family but I feel it's time to shake things up a little.  

I found this wonderfully named Amore di Natale (Love of Italy) on cookingwithnonna.com and it's definitely a strong contender to replace the Zuppa Inglese this year.  Although I might have to try making and tasting it a few times before I decide….

  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries chopped
  • zest of one large orange
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2lb panettone, cut into 2 round discs from base of cake and the rest sliced lengthways into 1 inch slices
  • 1 cup Moscato wine
  • cocoa powder for dusting

  • Mix together half the ricotta with 1/2 cup sugar until creamy. Then fold in 1/4 cup of chopped dried cherries, half of the orange zest, 1/4 cup of flaked almonds and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Set aside.
    In another bowl, mix the remaining ricotta with the remaining sugar and cocoa powder until creamy. Then stir in the remaining cherries, zest, flaked almonds and chocolate chips. Set aside.
    Line an 8 or 10 inch bowl with plastic wrap, leaving quite a bit of excess around the edges. Line that with the slices of panettone. Using a pastry brush, brush about three-quarters of the moscato wine on the cake slices. Fill with the white ricotta mixture, which should half-fill the bowl. Take one of the round panettone discs and place over the top and press gently, then drizzle over some of the moscato. Fill with the chocolate ricotta mixture and cover with the other panettone disc, then drizzle with the remaining moscato.
    Bring up the draping plastic wrap sealing the zuccotto into the bowl. Using a plate that will fit into the bowl, set 5lbs of bagged sugar or flour onto the plate weighting down the zuccotto and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Overnight is best.
    Remove from the fridge, take off the weight and the plastic wrap over the top. Turn upside-down onto a cake plate. Carefully remove the bowl and peel off the rest of the plastic wrap. Dust all over with lots of sieved cocoa powder and serve.

    - See more at: http://www.cookingwithnonna.com/italian-cuisine/amore-di-natale.html#sthash.HpC5IOh9.dpuf

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