Joined Dec 4, 2001
There is this Italian bakery in San Francisco's North Beach district called Stella's and they make what must be the world's best Sacripantina. It's like eating a deliscious cloud, it is so light yet so full of flavor.

I tried a search on Google and got a bunch of hits, mostly from Italy and in Italian. The Google translator didn't do a good enough job for me to be able to make Sacripantina so I wondered of anybody has a recipe?

There is one ingredient that is common to all the Italian recipes that I've never heard of. It is Pan of Spain. I don't think it means bread - does it?

Any help would be appreciated.


Joined Jan 11, 2002
:lol: :lol: :roll:

Pandispagna (your "Pan of Spain") isn't bread, but just the Italian word for "Pate Genoise". BTW, I cannot understand why we Genovese call "Spanish" something that everybody in the world call "Genovese":D

I'm very familiar with Sacripantina as it comes just from Genoa! It's not a traditional, but a rather modern recipe, born about in 1930, and there are two famous Genovese pastry shops both claiming that they have invented it.

Basically, it's made of alternate layers of Pandispagna, moistened with marsala, and a creamy filling made of butter, icing sugar, coffee and liqueur. Half of the filling layers also contain cocoa powder. Everything is packed into a dome mold lined with plastic wrap, and refrigerated. Finally, Sacripantina is unmolded and covered with Pandispagna crumbs before serving.

This is, as far as I know, the traditional recipe. I also found, however, other recipes calling for eggs into the filling, which becomes more like a custard. Is this the case of your Sacripantina? (I could hardly define the Sacripantine I'm used to eat "light like a cloud"...). Ask me what kind of recipe you like more, and I'll post it:)

Joined Dec 4, 2001
Thank you very much Pongi. I was hoping you would pick this one up :)
I am guessing that this recipe does not include eggs (although all the Italian recipes that I found on the Google search had egg yolks) because it was so light. However, I am a sucker for any kind of custard so I might like that version also.
I don't want to put you to any trouble so, whatever you can send me will be greatly appreciated. Your description of the original cake sounds really good :bounce:
Genoise eh? another mystery solved. Thanks again :bounce:

Joined Jan 11, 2002
Please forgive me for using metric doses!


-500 gr genoise
-200 gr butter
-180 gr icing sugar
-25 gr bitter cocoa powder
-1 small cup of concentrated coffee (possibly Italian-style espresso or moka-machine coffee)
-1 small cup of rum
-marsala wine

Note: with "small cup" I mean the cups we use to drink could call them, perhaps, "espresso cups"

Work butter, softened at RT, until creamy, then add 150 gr icing sugar and beat until soft and fluffy. Add rum, then divide this cream in half and complete the first half with coffee and the second half with powdered cocoa.

Put aside 100 gr of genoise. Cut the rest in slices, about 1/2 inch thick, and brush them lightly with marsala. Line with plastic wrap a small dome mold, then cover the bottom and sides with genoise slices.

Put aside few spoons of the cocoa cream, then divide the rest into three parts. Divide also the coffee cream into three parts.

Fill the mold with alternate layers of chocolate cream/genoise/coffee cream, ending with genoise. Cover with plastic wrap, put a load on in order to pack well the cake, and refrigerate it at least for 3-4 hours.

(This is the recipe I got. I have had many times, however, Sacripantine made of a smaller number of thicker filling layers, so you'd like more to divide your fillings only in two parts each)

Unmold the cake and spread the remaining choc cream on the surface.

Dice the remaining genoise in very small cubes and scatter them over the cake until it's completely covered, then sprinkle it with the remaining icing sugar.


Joined Dec 4, 2001
Thank you very much Pongi. I will try this and let you know how it turns out :)

Joined Dec 12, 2003
When I made this cake I put the Marsala right into the sponge cake, made french (yolks only) buttercream in espresso & chocolate. The top was covered in crumbled Amaretto cookies instead of spongecake. I think this came from Chocolatier Magazine. Although it is high in calories it was so light to eat perhaps because the cake is in such thin layers & French buttercream melts when it hits your tongu. I may have to find this recipe & make it again soon. :D
Joined Mar 31, 2004
This recipe sounds fabulous, but I'm not familiar with genoise. Do you buy it or make it yourself?
Joined Dec 12, 2003
Genoise is a basic french spongecake. Most tortes & cakes are made with it. :lips:


Joined Oct 24, 2004
Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 12 servings

For the meringues:
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon amaretto
2 teaspoons white vinegar

For the Genovese Butter Cake:
7 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Zabaglione Filling:
8 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cream sherry
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 sheet gelatin (9 by 2 1/2 inches) or 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to medium-soft peaks

For the Cream Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy

For the Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream sherry

For Assembly:
1 cup amaretti cookie crumbs
Cocoa powder for dusting

For the meringues: Preheat the oven to 200 to 250 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Lower the speed and gradually beat in the sugar. Add the amaretto and vinegar and beat at medium speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes longer. Using a large kitchen spoon and your barely damp fingers, shape the meringue into twelve 4x3-inch ovals on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Store in a tightly closed plastic container at room temperature.

For the Genovese Butter Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan.

In a large metal bowl, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until tripled in volume, about 7 minutes.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of water, bring the water to a simmer, and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes to warm the eggs slightly. Remove from the heat.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mixture. Transer one-eighth of the batter to a small bowl and whisk the melted butter into it. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. (The cake can be made a day ahead if tightly wrapped in plastic.)

For the Zabaglione Filling: Make a water bath by filling a large deep pot half-full with water. Combine the yolks, cream sherry, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl (preferably copper, to get more volume). Place the bowl over the water and, while whisking the eggs vigorously, bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and is light and fluffy. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool. (Leave the water bath over low heat.)

Place the gelatin sheet, if using, in cold water to soften. When soft, squeeze out the excess water, then whisk into the egg mixture. Or, for powdered gelatin, put 2 tablespoons cold water in a small dish and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand for 1 minute to soften, then whisk into the egg mixture. Return the bowl of egg mixture to the simmering water bath and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the gelatin is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the eggs, as they may curdle, and make sure when whisking to bring all of the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl. Refrigerate until cold, whisking occasionally, then fold in the whipped cream.

For the Cream Frosting: In a medium bowl whip the cream with the sugar, vanilla, and brandy to stiff peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator.

For the Simple Syrup: Over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup water and the sherry.

To Assemble: Place the cake on a cake stand. With a long sharp knife, trim off the very top (about 1/8 inch) of the cake. To slice the cake into 3 equal rounds, score 2 evenly spaced lines all around the sides of the cake. Cut into the score lines about 1 inch deep all the way around the cake, then make a clean cut all the way through the cake to separate it into three layers. With a very sharp knife, trim off the outer brown edges of each layer.

Place the top layer of cake on a flat serving plate. Place the cake ring around the cake. Dip a pastry brush into the simple syrup and brush it generously onto the cake layer to moisten it. Spread about half of the zabaglione on top. Add the next layer of cake, brush with the syrup, and top with the remaining syrup and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to set.

Remove the ring from the cake. Frost the whole cake with the cream frosting, spreading it very evenly and smoothly. (Use a cake comb if you have one.) Sprinkle the amaretti crumbs on top. Dust the tops of the meringues with cocoa, then press them lengthwise into the sides of the cake, spacing them evenly. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve, or overnight. :bounce:

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