A Cake Throughout the Years

It all began around 10 years ago.

I don’t remember what inspired me to make this cake.

It has such a peculiar and funny  name, “zuccotto”.

It’s from a Martha Stewart recipe anthology I purchased many years ago – when she was publishing those books. They were a bound collection of all the recipes from the magazine in that given year. A real godsend, if you ask me. It saved me the trouble of filing away the recipes myself but also it’s a terrific resource. I was lucky enough to purchase three of them – and I still use them for reference today.

But back to the recipe.

It’s nestled away in one of the anthologies and for the novice baker, it can be an incredible complex cake to make. But over the years and after a dozen variations, I seldom glance at the recipe anymore. It’s a recipe and procedure that once you understand you’ll master forever. Like making buttercream.

Zuccotto Cake

The cake is comprised of four ‘elements’: cake, syrup, filling and ganache. What’s special about this cake is that there is not one element that outshines the other. Each one supports the other to create the perfect bite. You could even say that each element supports the other. The syrup brings the cake together (literally) as well as adding flavour and moistness. The filling is held in by the cake and in it suspends surprising mix-ins. The cake acts as a support but also provides a base for the rich and luxurious ganache that envelopes the cake. To say that one element is better than the other diminishes the cake as a whole. One bite, and you’ll understand.  But as a baker it’s comforting to know that these four components will seemingly step up to cover another’s deficiencies. Like when my cake was too thin – a stellar filling made it unnoticeable. Or when my ganache was too runny, it only added to a moist cake.

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Categories: cake


Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!


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