There's still time left for Zuccoto Summer Pudding from Say it with Cake (Kyle Books USA, August 2013) by Edd Kimber, a self taught British baker.
Edd was the winner of BBC2's The Great British Bake Off in 2010.
Zuccotto Summer Pudding
Summer pudding is a stalwart of British cooking. Normally made with stale bread, it is a classic that is very easy to put together. My version crosses the British classic with an Italian classic, zuccotto, which is similar in presentation except that it is a cake filled with a cream or ice cream mixture. My dessert combines the best of both worlds.
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra butter for greasing
4 large eggs
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
heavy cream, to serve (optional)
For the fruit filling
11/4lb summer fruits (such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants, blackberries, and cherries)
⅔ cup superfine sugar
2 tbsp crème de cassis
For the cream filling
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Preheat the oven to 350°F, then line a 10 °— 15in high-sided baking sheet with parchment paper, greasing the parchment too. Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just warm to the touch.
Remove from the heat and, using an electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes on high speed, then reduce the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. By this stage the mixture should have tripled in volume, and when the beaters are lifted from the bowl they should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.
Sift in the flour and gently fold together making sure all the ingredients are combined but trying to keep as much volume as possible. Take a large spoonful of the batter and add to the melted butter, then mix together (this will lighten the butter and help to incorporate it into the batter). Gently fold this into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and very gently level out. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cake is risen; a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the filling, put all the ingredients in a medium pan and cook over medium heat until the fruit has softened slightly and there is a vibrant syrup in the bottom of the pan. Drain the fruit and set aside, reserving the syrup.
To make the cream filling, whisk all the ingredients together until the cream holds stiff peaks. To assemble the pudding, line a 1-quart bowl with plastic wrap, making sure there is an overhang to help remove the pudding later. Cut out two discs of cake, one to fit the bottom of the bowl and one to fit the top. Cut the remaining cake into thin strips.
Dip all the cake into the reserved syrup and use all but the top piece to line the prepared bowl. Spread the cream filling across the bottom and up the sides of the bowl, covering all the cake. Pour the fruit into the bowl and seal with the larger disc of cake. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the top of the pudding and put a small plate on top. Put a weight, such as a can of beans, onto the plate to weight it down. This helps to seal the pudding so that it holds its shape. Chill for 4–5 hours before serving.Remove the weight and plate, and turn the bowl over onto a serving plate. Use the overhang of plastic wrap to tease the pudding from the bowl. Serve on its own or with a little extra cream.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Say it with Cake' by Edd Kimber -published by Kyle Books USA, August 2013- photography by Georgia Glynn Smith)