May 15, 2010


My first time to San Francisco three years ago, I stumbled upon this little Italian bakery in North Beach called Stella Pastry. I had this cake there that was amazing! The best way to describe it is a tiramisu without the coffee and chocolate.

When I was recently in San Francisco, I wanted to go back to this bakery because I forgot the name of the cake. I had the cake again and it was still amazing. This time I wrote down the name, it's called sacripantina. As soon as I got home, I searched for a recipe. I found one from Food Network, but somehow, it didn't seem right.

The cake is basically a genoise with a zabaglione filling. So I decided to create my own recipe. I used the zabaglione and pastry cream recipes (with some alterations) from Daring Baker's Tiramisu challenge. I thought about making my own genoise, but I was too lazy, so I used store bought ladyfingers. I created a simple sugar syrup to dip the ladyfingers in and sacripantina.

The results? It's a bit too sweet for me, but over all it's very good!! I think if I made my own genoise (stupid lazy me), I wouldn't have needed the sugar syrup, and then the cake would be perfect. The filling is really good, so I wouldn't change it. Of course, Stella's is much better, but this will hold me over until my next trip to San Francisco. heehee =P


For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/8 cup of marsala wine
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract

1. Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.

2. In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala wine, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.

3. Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.

4. Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Vanilla pastry cream
1/8 cup sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

1. Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this, add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.

2. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)

3. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Whipped cream
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

Simple sugar syrup
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp marsala wine

1. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow dish.

75g mascarpone cheese
24 ladyfingers

1. Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.

2. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

3. Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the simple syrup, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.

4. Spoon one-half of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
Repeat with the other layer, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake overnight.

5. To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the cake with crumbled bits of ladyfingers.


Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

This sounds amazingly delicious and I think it would work well anytime of year--for any occasion. :)

Helena Havelock said...

I discovered Stella's Sacripantina in 1997 when a couple brought it to their intimate wedding reception at the restaurant I was working at in Point Reyes. I was coordinating the reception and was responsible for cutting and plating the cake. Needless to say, it was love at first bite and it became an immediate obsession of mine. In the twenty years since then every time I'm in the city I stop at Stella's for Sacripantina to go and most often I also take a slice or two of their Tiramisu, which, IMO, is among the very best Tiramisu I've tasted and almost as superb as the Sacripantina.

Next time you're in North Beach, if you haven't already, you should also check out Liguria Bakery; Liguria being the region in Italy where Sacripantina originated. This bakery makes one thing: Focaccia and it is fabulous. Do try to get there early because they usually sell out fairly early and then close the store. Another of my favorite spots in North Beach is Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store which is diagonally across Washington Square from Liguria Bakery. My standby at Mario's is Polenta and Italian Sausage, which never disappoints, after which I head on up Columbus to Stella's.

Happy trails!

kk said...

Thank you so much!! I will be in San Francisco next month and will definitely try to hit those spots!!

Crazybaker said...

Thank you! I made this over 10 times already and came out excellent each time! I am making one right now for my coworkers birthday! If you have a good recipe for genoise please share.

Crazybaker said...

Love this recipe

kk said...

I am so delighted to hear that you love the recipe. Makes me want to run to the kitchen to make a pan myself. If I come across a good genoise recipe, I'll post it. Happy baking!!

kk said...

I am so delighted to hear that you love the recipe. Makes me want to run to the kitchen to make a pan myself. If I come across a good genoise recipe, I'll post it. Happy baking!!

Annette Batson said...

I had Stella's sacripantina about 35 years ago and never forgot the name or the taste.
I have never been able to find a recipe for it. I remember the cake part being made of meringue, not cake. Anyway, good to have found this recipe. Maybe I'll just make it with a meringue layer!


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