When most people hear Italian Cream Cake, they think of the pecan, coconut layer cake with cream cheese frosting. And while I’m familiar with this delicious version, it pales in comparison to Italian Cream Cake LaFuria Style. When my aunts (on my mom’s side) first introduced me to this amazing dessert, I made a futile attempt to tell them that it was not an Italian Cream Cake. Well, I lost! And I was reminded that we are Italian, and what they made was an Italian Cream Cake. Think of a rich layer of vanilla cream (vanilla pudding), and a rich layer of chocolate cream (chocolate pudding), sandwiched between a butter crust with a crisp cinnamon sugar top! That’s right all of my favorite things all together.
For dessert, at the lodge this week, this was the decadent choice. It’s so rich that an 8″ square pan, was dessert for 8, for 2 days. A small piece is even enough for a dessert fanatic.
Italian Cream Cake LaFuria Style
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 TBSP sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 sticks chilled butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 extra large egg yolk
- 6 TBSP cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 extra large egg yolks (reserve whites)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 4 TBSP butter
- 4 tsp vanilla
- Chocolate chips or small pieces of semi-sweet chocolate
- Cinnamon and sugar
- In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add butter, pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal.
- Add yolk. Continue processing until dough starts to come together.
- Turn onto large piece of plastic wrap. Work into a disk of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in fridge, if it's too soft to work.
- This is where I need to tell you that this dough is hard to work with. However, it is very forgiving. So no matter how awful or torn it gets, it looks beautiful in the end. I mess with the dough and pat it into an 8" square pan, bringing the dough up the sides. For the top crust, I sandwich it between plastic wrap and parchment. Then I hit it with the bottom of a heavy frying pan, until I get it the size I want it. I chill both top and bottom crust before placing filling in it.
- Heat oven to 375.
- In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
- Whisk in egg yolks.
- Slowly whisk in milk.
- Add butter.
- Heat and whisk on medium until mixture breaks a boil and thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Spread 1/2 of the cream mixture on the bottom crust. To the other 1/2, stir in chocolate chips, until you get the right amount of chocolatiness for you. I used about a 1/2 of a bag.
- Gently spread the chocolate on the vanilla cream.
- Place the top crust over the cream, and join all the edges.
- Whip the egg white well. Brush the entire top with egg white (you'll have a lot left over - make an omelet!).
- Sprinkle well with cinnamon and sugar. Prick top all over with a fork.
- Bake for about 1/2 hour or until golden. Bring to room temp and chill.