|½ teaspoon||Grated orange rind|
|1½ teaspoon||Orange juice|
|3||Squares semisweet chocolate|
|1 cup||Ricotta cheese|
|2 tablespoons||Chopped red & green glace|
|¾ cup||Heavy cream|
|¼ cup||Powdered sugar|
|¼ teaspoon||Almond extract|
|½ teaspoon||Orange extract|
|Whipped cream frosting|
Preheat oven to 325. Line 9X9X2" square baking pan with wax paper.
Coat with cooking spray. Prepare cake: Beat yolks in small bowl until thick & pale. Gradually beat in sugar until light & fluffy. Stir in rind & juice. Fold in flour until well blended. Beat whites in a small bowl until stiff. Stir ¼ of the whites into yolk mixture.
Fold in remaining whites. Pour into pan, spreading level. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool cake in pan on wire rack.
Prepare fillings: Melt 1½ squares of the chocolate in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Cool. Chop remaining chocolate into small pieces. Divide cheese in half between 2 bowls.
Stir melted chocolate into one of the bowls. Stir chopped chocolate & cherries into the other bowl. Beat cream in small bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in ¼ cup powdered sugar until stiff. Fold half the whipped cream & the almond extract into the melted chocolate ricotta mixture. Fold remaining cream & orange extract into chopped ricotta mixture. Line 8 1/2X4 1/2X 2 ⅝" loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting about 2" overhang long sides. Turn cooled cake out onto work surface; remove wax paper. Cut cake in half horizontally with serrated knife.
Then cut cake in half crosswise to make 9 X 4 ½" layers. Place one layer in bottom of prepared loaf pan. Spread with half the melted cheese finning. Place second layer of cake in pan. Spread with half the chopped choclate cheese filling. Top with third & fourth layer, alternating with remaining fillings. Cover top of cassata with overhanging plastic wrap. Refrigerate one day for cake to set. At this point, you can frost cake & serve, or refrigerate cake up to 3 days, or freeze, tightly sealed, up to one month. To serve, loosen the sides of the cake with a thin knife. Pulling ends of wrap, carefully lift cake out onto serving platter; remove wrap. If cake is frozen, thaw in refrigerator a day before serving. Pipe or spread whipped cream frosting over sides & top of cassata. Decorate with glace cherries if you wish. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Whipped Cream Frosting: Beat 1 cup heavy cream in small bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 2 Tbls. confectioners sugar until stiff. Stir in ¾ tsp. vanilla & 1 Tbls. orange flavored liqueur if you wish.
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