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- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Italian Custard Cake

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Courtesy of Weezie Mott

Weezie Mott ran a cooking school in Alameda.  She and her husband, lived in Italy for several years and later led European culinary tours for years. When Weezie served me this cake, it was love at first bite. I immediately asked for the recipe and promised my undying loyalty. It’s a little labor intensive, but you will receive so much praise for your effort that you won’t mind in the end.

What I especially like about this cake is that you can serve it any time of year. Use a strawberry or raspberry sauce or fresh fruits with it in the spring and summer and serve chocolate it sauce with it during the autumn and winter.

Ingredients & Instructions

1 10-inch angel food cake (homemade or purchased) cut or torn into pieces approximately 1-1/2 inch square. Put them into a very large mixing bowl and set aside.

Oil a 10-inch tube pan or 9 x 13 x 3 inch rectangular plan. Set aside.

Custard Sauce
In a small bowl put 1/2 cup cold water. Sprinkle 1 envelope (1 tablespoon, 7 grams) unflavored gelatin over the water and set aside.

In a medium size bowl add 6 extra large egg yolks and beat slightly. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup Sherry or dry Marsala wine, and 1/4 cup water.

Transfer mixture to a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until custard thickens (thermometer should read 170 degrees). Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and immediately strain into a clean bowl. Gently blend in the softened gelatin. Set mixture aside.

Put 2 cups whipping cream into a large bowl, and beat until cream begins to thicken. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon Rain’s Choice pure vanilla extract plus 1 tablespoon Marsala or Sherry. Beat until creamy-thick. Refrigerate.

Place the bowl of warm custard sauce over a larger bowl with ice covering the bottom. Stir gently with spatula until the custard sauce becomes cold and begins to thicken. Remove custard sauce from ice and fold in the chilled whipped cream.

Pour half of the custard cream mixture over the angel food cake. Using a large spatula, fold the cream into the cake. Add the remainder of custard cream and continue to fold until all the cake pieces are well coated.

Pour into the oiled pan. After half the mixture has been transferred, tap the pan to settle the contents to ensure no air holes are present. Add balance of mixture.

Cover and refrigerate the dessert cake until fully set (6-8 hours or overnight). The cake must be used soon after because the gelatin may not hold more than a day or two.

To Serve:
Whip 1 cup heavy cream (1-1/2 cups if using the rectangular pan) with 1tablespoon Sherry or Marsala and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.

Unmold the custard cake onto a serving platter and ice with whipped cream mixture. Garnish the cake with seasonal berries and mint or geranium leaves, or grated chocolate.

Serve with a pitcher of strawberry-raspberry sauce or a high quality chocolate sauce.

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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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