Zuppa Inglese II

This fabulous Zuppa Inglese II (zoo-pah ing-glay-say) is truly a compliment to English cooking! It makes a superb ending to a fairly light meal.

1 teaspoon butter

4 oz. mixed glace fruit,

2 tablespoons brandy

3 tablespoons cornflour

5 oz. sugar

14 fl. oz. milk, hot

6 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

5 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly whipped

4 fl. oz. rum

1 X 7-inch Sponge Cake, cut across INTO 4 slices

6 oz. Meringue Suisse

With the butter, grease a medium-sized baking sheet and set aside.

Place the glace fruit in a small bowl and pour over the brandy. Set aside for 1 hour.

Place the cornflour and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and gradually stir in 12 fluid ounces of the milk, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Set the pan over moderate heat and cook the custard, stirring constantly, until it is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230CC).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining milk. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the hot custard into the egg yolk mixture until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Return the mixture to the pan. Set the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard becomes thick. Add the vanilla essence. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the custard back into the bowl and chill in .the refrigerator until it is cold.

Remove the custard from the refrig-erator and fold in the cream. Sprinkle the rum over the sponge cake slices. Sand-wich the slices of sponge cake together with the custard and place the cake on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the glace fruit over the top layer of the cake. Secure the layers with wooden cocktail sticks or skewers.

Using a spatula, spread the meringue mixture over the top and sides of the cake to cover it completely. Remove and discard the cocktail sticks or skewers. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.

Serve Zappa Inglese II as a fabulously rich dessert accompanied by some liqueur and coffee.

Using two fish slices, transfer the cake to a serving dish and cut it into wedges before serving.

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