Zuppa Turca with Chocolate Custard

Kahvelı Supangle

Preparation info

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  • Serves


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By David Dale and Somer Sivrioglu

Published 2015

  • About

The Italians use the term zuppa inglese (English soup) for a dessert made with custard and sponge finger biscuits (known to the English as trifle). The French use the term crème anglaise for what the English call custard. In Turkey, the dish called supangle (pronounced ‘soup anglais‘) is made with slices of sponge and chocolate custard. Therefore I feel entitled to torture the language further by calling my mixture of chocolate custard and coffee-soaked biscuits zuppa turca.


Zuppa Turca

  • 2 teaspoons Turkish coffee
  • 50 g ( oz) sugar
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) mastic liqueur (or white Sambuca)
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) Kahlua
  • 12 sponge finger biscuits (also called ladyfingers or, in Turkey, cat’s tongues)

Chocolate Custard

  • 500 ml (9 fl oz/2 cups) milk
  • 110 g ( oz/½ cup) sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 tablespoons dark cocoa
  • 150 g ( oz) dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa)


  • 1 tablespoon ground pistachios
  • ½ tablespoon shaved coconut
  • 12 roasted coffee beans


First make a Turkish coffee in a cezve or small saucepan with 70 ml ( fl oz) of water, the Turkish coffee and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Place a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) in a tea strainer. Strain the coffee through the muslin four times, to remove all the grains.

Now make a sugar syrup. Stir the remaining sugar and 80 ml ( fl oz cup) of water together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

Combine the coffee with the mastic liqueur, Kahlua and sugar syrup. Spread the sponge fingers in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour over the coffee mixture and then rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the topping, warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar to 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the warm milk mixture in a bowl and whisk in the egg yolks and two flours, until smooth. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan, stirring constantly. Add the cocoa. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Shave the chocolate into the mixture and stir. As soon as the chocolate has melted in, turn off the heat.

Place a layer of soaked sponge fingers in the bottom of four pudding bowls (glass, ideally). Pour the chocolate mixture over the top.

Chill the bowls in the fridge for 1 hour. Decorate with shaved coconut, roasted coffee beans and pistachios, and serve.