Today's dessert comes from Florence. It's called Zuccotto, and is a dome-shaped dessert. It's a very easy dessert to make, and the result is very beautiful to look at.
You line a bowl with pieces of purchased pound cake that have been sliced, then cut into triangular pieces. It you do it right you'll end up with a really pretty pattern on the outside of the dessert. You sprinkle the pound cake with a liqueur mixture (Cognac, Maraschino liqueur, and Cointreau). You then toast some almonds and hazelnuts, and chop some semi-sweet chocolate. Next, whip heavy cream. Stir in the nuts and chocolate, and spread half of this mixture into the pound cake-lined bowl, making a well in the center. Then you melt some chocolate, and stir that into the other half of the whipped cream. Fill the well in the center of the bowl with this chocolate whipped cream. You finish by lining the top with more pound cake. Refrigerate for a few hours, unmold, and that's it.
The result was a very light-tasting but rich concoction. As with most Italian recipes, the ingredient list is short, and the flavors of each come through. So be sure and use good liqueur, good chocolate, etc. You'll impress your guests with this one.
(This is not a very good photo, but we were all in too big of a hurry to taste it!)