Diplomatico Cake Dessert
  • Servings: 6-8
  • 5 tbsp rum
  • 1 lb Madeira (or pound) cake
  • 1/2 pint strong espresso coffee
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 6 oz plain chocolate
  • For the topping:
  • 4 oz plain chocolate
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp whipping cream
  1. Moisten a piece of cheesecloth with water and use it to line a cake pan so it extends beyond the edges of the pan and can be used to cover the cake later. Mix the rum, coffee, sugar and water in medium sized bowl. Slice the Madeira cake into 1/4" thick slices.
  2. One slice at a time dip the cake in the coffee and rum mixture and then use to line the cake pan - bottom and sides. Don't leave any spaces or gaps. Patch with small pieces. Do not leave cake slices in the coffee mixture for any length of time or they will become soggy and fall apart.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the teaspoon of caster sugar until they turn pale yellow.
  4. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in a double boiler and then pour it, a little at a time, over the yolks, mixing rapidly, until all the chocolate has been thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Mix a little of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture before folding the remainder in gently. Gently!
  6. Spoon this chocolate mousse mixture into the lined cake pan onto the soaked cake slices and level the top with a spatula.
  7. Cover with more slices of soaked cake and then fold the cheesecloth over the top.
  8. Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
  9. Take the cake out of the refrigerator, take the cheesecloth from the top and invert the tin over a platter, shaking if necessary to loosen the cake. Pull off the remaining cheesecloth.
  10. For the topping: melt chocolate pieces with butter in a double boiler. Stir in the cream then spread it over the top and sides of the Diplomatico. Refrigerate for an hour or so until the chocolate hardens. Top with fresh berries, nuts or candied fruit
  11. Comment: Use ready-made pound cake and don't worry too much about exact measurements as to the rum and chocolate.
  12. Use either a 9"x9" one for a flat cake, single layer, or a small loaf pan.
  13. You can substitute 1/2 pint of whipping cream whisked with a teaspoon of caster sugar for the chocolate topping if you prefer to go without the chocolate.
  14. Without the final chocolate topping, this cake will keep in its cheesecloth in the fridge for up to a week.
Italian chocolate version of the British Diplomat Pudding or Diplomate