nonstick cooking spray
3/4 C. all-purpose flour, plus some to dust the pan
1/4 C. cornstarch
6 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
1 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/3 C. water
1/3 C. orange liqueur
1/2 gallon ice cream, slightly softened (see note)
2 T. confectioners' sugar
1 T. cocoa powder
Heat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12 x 15 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Line the pan with foil or parchment, and coat with
cooking spray. Dust with flour and set aside.
On waxed paper, mix the 3/4 cup flour and the cornstarch; set aside.
In a mixer bowl, beat the egg whites and salt at medium speed until
foamy, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to high. With the
machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and beat until
soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted, about 3 minutes. Set
In a second bowl, without washing the beaters, beat the egg yolks
with 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until thick and
light in color, about 4 minutes. Fold in half the egg-white mixture.
Fold in the remaining egg whites and the reserved flour mixture.
Pour the batter in a wide swath down the center of the pan. With a
spatula, spread it to the sides of the pan. Bake until golden, about
8 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Lift the
foil from the pan. Gently remove and discard foil. Cool cake
completely on rack.
Place remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the water in a glass
measuring cup. Microwave until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Add the liqueur; set aside.
Use an 8- to 10-cup freezer-safe bowl (preferably with no lip) as a
mold. Prick the cake all over with a fork. Brush with reserved
liqueur mixture. Place the bowl upside down on the cake. With a
sharp knife, cut around the rim of the bowl to make a circle.
Line the bowl with a large piece of plastic wrap. Cut the remaining
cake pieces into sections and place in the bowl, soaked side down,
to line the bowl completely, trimming as needed.
Spoon the ice cream into the bowl, smoothing it after each addition
to be sure no air holes remain. Top with reserved cake circle,
soaked side up. Press down gently to seal the seams. Cover tightly
with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight or for several days.
Thirty minutes before serving, remove the plastic. Invert a serving
platter over the bowl and, holding tightly with both hands, invert
the bowl so the zuccotto slides onto the platter. Remove bowl. Set
zuccotto aside until the cake softens. Carefully remove plastic
wrap. Dust with confectioners' sugar and cocoa.
To serve, cut into wedges with a serrated knife.
Note: Neapolitan ice cream is a good choice for the filling. Or
select 4 of your favorite flavors of ice cream, using a pint of
each, instead of a half-gallon of one flavor.
Makes 12 servings.