Zuppa Inglese (Italian for "English soup") is an italian custard-based dessert.
Recipes for this sweet first appeared in the towns of Bologna, Forlì, Ferrara and Reggio Emilia, all in the Emilia-Romagna region, in the late 19th century. Its origins are uncertain and one theory states that it originated in the 16th century kitchens of the Dukes of Este, the rulers of Ferrara who had frequent contact with England, when they asked their cooks to try to recreate the sumptuous "English Trifle" they had enjoyed at the Elizabethan court.
To make Zuppa Inglese, pan di spagna (sponge cake) or soft biscuits known as savoiardi (ladyfingers) are dipped in Alchermes, a bright red, extremely aromatic Italian herb liqueur and alternated with layers of crema pasticciera which is a thick home made egg custard cooked with a large piece of lemon zest (removed afterwards). Often there is also a layer of crema alla cioccolata made by dissolving dark chocolate in a plain crema pasticciera. Rarely topped with cream, meringue or almonds in Italy.
Zuppa inglese is usually home made but it can also be bought in pasticcerie (cake shops), and is a favorite cake for children's birthday parties. It is also a popular Gelato flavor.
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Zuppa Inglese, en.wikipedia.org
Zuppa Inglese, a 4-layer sponge cake with pastry cream layers and meringue icing!, www.newitalianrecipes.com
Zuppa Inglese, www.itchefs-gvci.com