Sicilian cassata

Yield: 10 Servings

Measure Ingredient
5 \N Egg whites
1 pinch Of salt
1 cup Sugar
5 \N Egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Sifted flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder Filling:
2 pounds Ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons Confectioners' sugar
1 cup Mixed candied fruit, chopped fine
4 ounces Good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
½ cup Brandy, Maraschino liqueur or rum Frosting:
1 cup Heavy cream, whipped
3 tablespoons Confectioners' sugar
1 ounce Bittersweet chocolate
½ cup Maraschino cherries
⅓ cup Pistachio nuts

Serves 10-12

Sponge cake:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.

To prepare sponge cake, beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Sprinkle salt and sugar gradually over whites; continue beating until mixture is stiff. Fold in egg yolks and vanilla and blend well.

Sift together flour and baking powder and gradually sprinkle over egg mixture, folding in well after each addition. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 35 minutes). Cool on a rack in pan for 5 minutes, then unmold and continue to cool.

To prepare filling, combine ricotta, confectioners' sugar, candied fruit, chocolate and liquor of choice. Refrigerate until needed.

To assemble cake, grease sides of a 3½ to 4 quart straight sided bowl or pot and line bottom with a round of tinfoil. With a serrated knife, cut cake into ½ inch slices. Line bottom of bowl with a layer of slices and then line sides with cake. Spread about 1 ½ cups of filling on top and then set two more slices of cake on top of filling. Continue to layer in this way two more times, ending with remaining three or four slices of cake on top. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, loosen sides with knife and invert bowl onto serving plate. Remove aluminum foil and frost.

To prepare frosting, combine whipped cream and confectioners' sugar.

Spread mixture on top and sides of cake. Shave chocolate on top of whipped cream and decorate with cherries and pistachio nuts.

Posted by: Bill McGimpsey

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