I was introduced to Chocolate Zuccotto in Kona, Hawaii of all places. The wonderful people at the Four Seasons Hualalai invited me to join them for dessert at their Beach Tree restaurant. It was amazing! I asked for the recipe and finally got around to recreating it!
Of course at the restaurant, they can’t make a huge dessert like this. It was made in a single serving bomb with chocolate cherry ice cream and a huge chocolate curl on top. Check out all the desserts I got to try on my Instagram feed. I’m kinda wishing I made a big chocolate decoration for the top, but honestly, all the fun stuff was inside!
Zuccotto is also called a Bomb Cake and I made one a few years ago on Pint Sized Baker. As you can see, I’ve come a long way since I’ve made that cake, that’s for sure.
I loved the little cubes of cake and the mousse in the middle was fantastic.
The mousse wasn’t too sweet, in fact, I wish it were a bit sweeter. However, with the ice cream and the Luxardo cherries, it was wonderful! The bittersweet chocolate used is not sweet (as the name implies) and the little crunchy bits of cookies along with the sweet cherries was so good.
I’d like to thank Abby from the Four Seasons for welcoming me to the hotel and treating me to dessert for dinner! It was an amazing experience! The next time you’re in Kona, Hawaii, I highly suggest making a reservation at the Beach Tree or at Ulu at the Four Seasons. I got to try the Double Chocolate Cherry Zuccotto, the lemon crostata with olive oil ice cream and the famous ice cream bon bons at Beach Tree with my daughter.
I went back a week later with my mom for a Mommy/Daughter date where we had a chocolate Soufflé, tumpura fried cheesecake, and a chocolate fudge dessert they called C4. Talk about chocolate overload!
Chocolate Zuccotto (bomb cake) with a light spongy cake exterior and filled with chocolate mousse and cherries served with Buttermilk Ice Cream and Amaretti Cookies.
For the Cake
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the Mousse
- 12 oz bittersweet chocolate (64%)
- 24 oz Heavy Cream (divided)
- 1/2 c sugar
For the Zuccotto
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and move the rack to the lower half of the oven.
- Grease an 18x13 inch jelly roll pan. Grease the bottom, then add parchment paper, then grease the paper.
- Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- In your electric mixer, beat the 5 eggs. Gradually add sugar. Whip until very thick and frothy. This may take up to 8 to 10 minutes. Then add in vanilla.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. (I used a little strainer as my sifter and it works out great. You basically don't want lumps to form.)
- Then fold the egg and flour to combine. No stirring or mixing! Fold gently. You want to keep all that air in the mixture as possible.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- While it's cooking, prepare parchment paper in the counter greased with some shortening.
- When done, immediately flip the cake over on to the parchment paper. (This was the most difficult task) and let it cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 1-inch squares. I found that a pizza cutter worked great for this
To For the Mousse
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a large glass bowl.
- Bring 12 oz of cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute to melt the chocolate then whisk until smooth. Leave it at room temperature for at least an hour to cool.
- Whip the remaining 12 oz of cream, gradually adding the sugar, until soft peaks form. When the chocolate is cool enough, fold in the whipped cream to make a mousse.
- Line a 1½ quart bowl with plastic wrap leaving excess over the edges.
- Line to bowl with the cake squares being sure to pack them tightly, no gaps should be seen. Add ¼ of the mousse to the bowl then crumble 8 amaretti cookies and add ¼ cup of Luxardo cherries and juice. Cover with the ½ of the remaining mousse and add another layer of cookie crumbs and cherries. Cover with remaining mousse and smooth with an off set spatula.
- Cover and freeze overnight to set.
- Invert the bowl over a serving platter and carefully use the plastic wrap to umold the zuccotto. Let it thaw for an hour in the fridge, top with powdered sugar and serve.
by Karyn Granrud
Get the recipe for homemade Amaretti Cookies HERE.
Get the recipe for the Buttermilk Ice Cream HERE.