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Sicilian cassata cake - Cassata siciliana PDF Print E-mail

Cassata siciliana

Ingredients: sponge cake; ricotta cream; marzipan; 150 gr (6 oz) icing sugar; water;  glass of vermouth; candied fruit: mandarins, orange, pers, plums and candied pumpkin; for sponge cake: 10 eggs; 300 gr (12 oz) sugar; 250 gr (10 oz) soft flour; butter; a pinch of vanilla; for ricotta cream: 300 gr (12 oz) ricotta cheese; 150 gr (6 oz) sugar; a pinch of vanilla; a tbsp plain chocolate drops; for marzipan: 100 gr (4 oz) almond flour; 200 gr (8 oz) sugar; a pinch of vanilla; 1 tsp of honey; 5 drops of almond essence; a few drops of food colouring.

Make the marzipan: Put into a large bowl the almond flour, sugar, honey, a pinch of vanilla, almond essence and food colouring dissolved in a little bit of water. Mix well and then knead with hands until obtaining a homogeneous dough ball. You have to get a smooth and soft dough because otherwise the marzipan will tend to break.

Make the ricotta cream: Mix well with a fork in a bowl, ricotta, sugar and vanilla, adding a few sips of milk if the ricotta is a bit dry. Leave to rest for about 12 hours. Sieve at least twice so as to make the cream smoother. Add the chocolate drops and mix one more time.

Make the sponge cake: Divide egg whites from the egg yolks by putting them in two separate bowls, whip the egg yolks with half of the sugar using an electric whisk until obtaining a frothy, swollen and pale yellow mixture. Beat now the egg whites and after about 5 minutes, when they are already quite swollen and white, add the remaining sugar and continue to mount for a few minutes. Mix the mounted egg yolks with the mounted egg whites  and, at this point, add the flour and a pinch of vanilla, pour into through a sieve to make sure that no lumps are formed. Mix everything with a wooden spoon until mixture is homogeneous, being careful not to dismantle it. Grease and flour well for a round baking pan and pour the mixture in the center of the mold leveling well. Do preheat the oven to 180 °C (356 °F) and bake your cake pan for at least 35-40 minutes without ever opening the oven in the first half hour of cooking. Remove the baking pan from the oven and cool the cake in the mold before opening it.

Make the cassata: Cut your sponge cake in 3 discs and drenched them in a bowl where you poured a glass of vermouth, water and sugar. Use a disk soaked to make up the outer part of the cassata slicing it of height of the mold. Coated inside your mold with film paper and put down the squares of marzipan on the edge of it, alternating with slices of sponge cake of the same size. Place a disc of soaked sponge cake on the bottom of the mold and pour the cream ricotta that you have previously prepared. Close the cake with the third disc of sponge cake and let sit for half an hour. After this time you can turn the mold, remove the film paper that has helped to hold together the cake without having it stick to the mold and cover the box with the icing that have been prepared by dissolving sugar in water in a saucepan over low heat. Let stand the glaze until it will become clearer and, at this point, cover the top of the cassata decorating it with candied fruit and candied pumpkin to your taste. Put the cassata in the refrigerator and wait at least 2 hours before serving.


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