December: Chocolate Zucotto Holiday Dessert

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Chocolate Zucotto Holiday Dessert (Zucotto di Cioccolati)

This is a beautiful dessert presentation  for holiday time consisting of the ever popular chocolate and ice cream. It is also fast and easy to make and can be made ahead and frozen!  Think of it as a small construction project with you occupying the roles of both architect and laborer. It is so worth the short time it takes to make, and It will add an element of drama to your meal while creating a beautiful finale!

1 Recipe Chocolate Brownies
About 1/2 c. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur or Kahlua or Spiced Rum (Amount really depends on how liberal you are in your brushing)
1 1/2 Quarts Spumoni Ice Cream ( the colors make the slices so beautiful)
1 Recipe Chocolate Ganache (below)

Make brownies in longer pan so the brownies will be thinner – I substitute Espresso for the water. This gives them a dark rich flavor and cuts the sweetness a little. If brownies are thick – slice each through the middle making them about 1/2” thick)

Spray bowl (about 4 1/2 H x about 8” W approx.) with Pam and line with plastic wrap. OK to overlap.

Cut brownies to about 3” squares. You can cut these in triangles or use as squares. Brush each one with liqueur and line the plastic wrapped bowl with them, liqueur side facing up, on bottom and up the sides leaving a few pieces to seal at the top. Just piece together and cut as needed. If fit is not exact it is not problematic as the filling looks pretty if seeps through. the bowl should now be totally line with brownies.

Soften the ice cream. If spumoni is used, soften, but do not melt completely as colors will run together and not be as pretty. Gently pack the softened ice cream into the cavity all for as far as it will go. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Use the rest of the liqueur brushed brownie pieces to cover the top of the dome to “seal” it and press slightly to pack. Cover the top with plastic wrap and freeze. This can be done several days ahead of serving.

Release from mold about 1-2 hours before serving. Just remove the top plastic wrapping and invert onto your serving plate. Gently remove the bowl and the wrapping.

Chocolate Ganache
I like to make a simple chocolate ganache with a 12 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips – melted in the microwave 30 seconds at a time. Keep stirring every 30 seconds til smooth. Be careful not to burn. Heat about 1/14 cups heavy cream to just under boiling. Add the cream to the chocolate and whisk til incorporated. You can add a tablespoon or 2 of the liqueur you are using in the brushing of the brownies if you like. The result should be a lovely shiny chocolate appearance.
Drizzle the dome with the ganache letting it wander down the sides. You can use as much or as little of the ganache as you choose. Pop it back in the freezer til just before serving time.

The rest is up to you as far as decorating this beautiful dessert. Something as simple as a powdered sugar dusting is just fine or adding nuts or colored sprinkles  or cherries is fun. Drizzling the plate with the leftover ganache would be delicious and lovely as well.

Let it sit about 5 minutes out of the freezer so it is easier to slice. A glass of warm water to rinse your knife between slices is a good idea. I recommend slicing at the table as your family and guests will enjoy seeing the beautiful inside of this gorgeous dessert.

TROPPO BELLA!

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