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Il Diplomatico

When I've read about Giuliano Hazan's (yes - Marcella's son) cooking classes, I see that he makes this dessert often.  I've always wanted to make it and I finally got around to it.   Imagine my surprise when I saw that he uses a store bought pound cake for this!  I couldn't believe it, but hey - it works.  This cake is sliced and brushed with an espresso/rum mixture, filled with chocolate mousse and finished with whipped cream.  It's really delicious.  Use whatever berries look good to you. 


Il Diplomatico


(Rum and Coffee Flavored Chocolate Mousse Cake)
from "How to Cook Italian" by Giuliano Hazan

for a printer friendly recipe click here



  • 1/2 cup espresso (or strong coffee)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used chips)
  • 1 store bought pound cake, about 12 ounces (I used the Family size large Sara Lee)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Assorted berries


Make the coffee and mix in 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the water and rum. Set aside to cool.

Place a saucepan half filled with water over medium heat. Cut the chocolate into small pieces (or use chips) and put it in a small metal bowl. Put the bowl over the saucepan. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the pot from the heat but leave the bowl with the chocolate over it.

Slice the pound cake lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices and line the bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan with the cake. Use a pastry brush to generously brush the pound cake with the coffee mixture. The cake should be soaked through but not so drenched that it falls apart.

Separate the eggs. Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and the whites in a separate bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar to the yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth, pale yellow and forms ribbons. Add the melted chocolate and mix well. Whip the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks, then carefully fold them into the chocolate mixture. To make folding easier, mix in a spoonful of egg whites first to soften the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the lined loaf pan. Cover with a layer of the remaining sliced pound cake and dab with the coffee mixture. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, whip the cream with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar until it forms soft peaks. Unmold the cake onto a flat plate, tapping it gently to loosen it. Frost it with the whipped cream and decorate with the berries. Serve chilled.

For another dessert made in a loaf pan, you might also like Stracciatella Tortoni Cake:


On a lighter note, my son came home from college last night and this is what we end up doing:

We are so plugged in. . .


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Reader Comments (10)

Isn't that a GREAT book! I love it. I have it at my apartment in the City and in the country.

March 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

That looks awesome and easy.

March 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Food Hunter

I love chocolate mousse! And pound cake, mmmm.

March 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

What a handsome bunch of guys you have there Elaine! I'm so stopping by my Sara Lee outlet store to pick up a couple of poundcakes, this looks terrific! Have fun with your son!

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterProud Italian Cook

Love your site. Had a question, not related to this post, but to "your amazon store". How can I get to your Amazon store? I couldn't find a link on your blog. It's probably there somewhere, but I couldn't seem to locate it.

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

This would be a perfect dessert to serve to company... fancy looking, easy and tasty!

March 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

What a lovely cake! How great is it that you can use store bought cake too!

Giuliano Hazan and his parents live right here in Sarasota. He hosts a monthly cooking class at our local Italian store. I've met them, but never have taken a class. I'll have to sign up for one!

March 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStickyGooeyCreamyChewy

Such an interesting lesson on how to make such a dramatic dessert! Thanks for showing us the steps!

March 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZoomie

That sure looks good, store-bought cake and all. Hazan gives cooking classes in Sarasota, but I'm never there when he is.

March 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterARLENE

Hi There:

I came across your recipe and I would Love to add it to our upcoming Website and App..
We will be launching in a few weeks
Would you like us to include your recipe in our website and App?
Please let me know if you are interested in us promoting you for FREE.

Thanks So Much,


August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDean

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