July 14, 2011

Zuppa Inglese (aka a delicious Italian dessert!)

I love doing 'theme' meals, I mean you can't really serve a country apple pie with fettuccine alfredo, can you? I'm always on the lookout for great Italian desserts. I'm not sure how authentic this is, but it is soooo good. You can use a 9x13 baking dish, but it's best displayed in a large glass bowl or trifle dish.

1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix

2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies

1 pint heavy cream

1 teaspoon white sugar

2 ounces almonds, lightly toasted

In a small bowl, drain cherry juice and add almond extract; set aside. In separate bowls, prepare the vanilla and chocolate puddings, according to package directions. Allow to set up 5 minutes. Divide your ladyfingers into 3 separate groups (you'll need 3 layers of cookies for this). Place a layer of cookies on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (or trifle). If needed, cut a few of the cookies in order to create a tight fit. Sprinkle cookie layer with 1/3 of the cherry juice mixture. Spoon vanilla pudding over the cookies, spreading to the edge of the pan. Repeat steps with cookies, cherry juice and chocolate pudding. Make final layer with cookies and remaining juice. In a medium bowl, whip cream and sugar together until soft peaks form. Top dessert with whipped cream, sprinkle with almonds, and garnish with whole cherries. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more before serving. Best served the same day (it will get runny). Serves 12

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