The love of sponge cake and custard, sponge cake and layers of cream of any kind is one of the most traditional way Italians will end their meal. It might have been the way of getting rid of that sponge cake that was too dry and was left in the corner for 3 days. So the clever housewife will turn that ugly duckling into a …… adding layers and layers of custard, deeping and moisturing the sponge into liquor, giving some colour to disguise that old look!


For the custard cream:

3 eggs yolks

130g of  caster sugar

60g of flour, sieved

500g of milk (keep a little bit on the side)

Zest of 1 lemon

A pinch of salt

About 500g of sponge cake

Alquermes liqueur otherwise cointreau with pink food colouring

For the chocolate custard cream:

The same as above but add to the recipe 2 tbsp of cocoa powder or 90g of melted dark chocolate. If using the cocoa powder add at the same time you add the flour.

Bring the milk to the boil together with the lemon zest. Once it comes to the boil, switch off the heat and let it  rest for 10 minutes.

Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale yellow and ribbons form when you lift the whisk (about 6 minutes).

Add the salt and the sieved flour. Mix until fully blended.

Add now the cold milk you put on the side. Stir it.

Add the warm milk to the mixture and mix it with a whisk vigoursly so it does not create any lumps.

Transfer it to the saucepan and bring to the boil.

Boil now for a couple of minutes or so  in a medium high heat. Then turn the heat down and keep whisking vigorously until the custard cream is formed.

For the chocolate custard proceed as above.

To assemble the cake:

Cut the sponge cake into horizontal layers and brush it with the liqueur. Place the  part you just brushed  facing the bottom of the serving dish.Now brush the top of the sponge.

Add the chocolate custard.

Add now the soaked sponge layers once again.

Add the cream custard.

Then cover with more soaked sponges and refrigerate it for few hours.