Thursday, June 25, 2020

How to make Torta paradiso - Italian Paradise Cake with Milk Cream

Pillowy-soft cake filled with rich and velvety milk cream. 
Just what heaven might taste like
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the other day in my stories, this very slice of cake being devoured in a few bites. If not, make sure TO FOLLOW ME here ... so next time you won't miss any Manuela-vs-Cake action ;)
Anyways, as promised, here it is! I finally made time to write down the recipe to share with you, so maybe this weekend you can try it too. 
And don't forget to share with me if you do. I always love to see your photos and get your comments or feedback!  
In Italy we call this cake "torta paradiso". It's a soft and light sponge cake flavored with a touch of lemon zest and vanilla. Sliced in half and filled with a rich and simple crema al latte (milk cream) made with whipped cream and condensed milk.  
As you can see, it really looks like a slice of heaven. And I promise, it tastes at least twice as good as it looks.
This cake is  perfect for breakfast, snack or after dinner dessert. It's so light and not too sweet that it will take some self control not to eat it all in one sitting. 
The good news, it's not that hard to whip up, especially if you have a mixer that helps you along the way. So you can make this again and again. And again!


YIELD:  a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) cake cut into 12 bars
    • 4 eggs, divided 
    • 1 cup (200 gr) sugar 
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 oz (115 gr) unsalted butter, soften
    • 1 cup (130 gr) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup (80 gr) corn starch
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
    • zest of 1 lemon 

  1. For the cream:
    • 1 1/2 cups (340 ml) whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup (115 ml) condensed milk
    • powdered sugar for decorating


TIME: 30 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to bake, 1 hour or longer inactive
    Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). 
    In a bowl add the 4 egg whites, saving the yolks for later.  With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites for a few minutes until doubled in size. 
    Add the cup of sugar and beat a few more minutes.  Add the egg yolks while beating. Beat in the teaspoon of vanilla extract and the butter (soften).
    Sift in the flour, corn starch and baking powder. 
    Add the finely grated zest of one lemon. 
    And beat until just combined.
    Grease or line with parchment paper a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking pan. Pour the batter and level with a spoon.
    Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until done.
    Remove from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the milk cream.
    In a large bowl, add the whipping cream and the tablespoon of powdered sugar. Whip to stiff peaks (possibly using a whisk attachment to an electric mixer)
    Add the vanilla extract and condensed milk, and whip some more.
    When cold, cut the cake in half horizontally. 
    Place the top half,  top-down back in the pan with parchment paper. The paper will help you to remove the cake from the pan later.
    Add the cream and level with a spatula.
    And carefully top with the bottom half of the cake.
    Refrigerate for at least an hour, or until ready to serve.
    Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into your desired size.
    I made 12 rectangular bars. Each about 2 by 4.5 inches, but you're welcome to cut these as you wish.
    Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

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