Planet Food Sicily – Cassata

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Cassata Siciliana is a popular traditional  celebration dessert from Sicily, Italy. This yummy dessert is made of vanilla sponge cake with layered ricotta, candied peel and chocolate filling and then covered with green colored marzipan and finally topped with sugar icing and candied fruits.

Ingredients:

Sponge:

  1. 6 eggs
  2. 2/3  cup sugar
  3. 1 teasp grated lemon or orange peel
  4. 1 cup flour

Syrup:

  1. ¾ cup warm water
  2. 5 tbsp sugar
  3. 2 tbsp orange flavoured liquor
  4. 3 cups ricotta

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  • Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan.

To make the cake:

  • Beat the eggs, add the sugar and the grated citurs peel and continue to beat until the beater leaves a ribbon like trail, about 15 minutes.  Fold in the flour by hand, one third at a time.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes later.
  • Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely.

To make the syrup:

In a small bowl, combine ¾ cup of warm water with the sugar and the liquor.  Stir the syrup till the sugar dissolves.

To form the cassata:

  • Slice the cake into 2 (1/2 inch thick) slices.  Trim the crusts from the cake then return one of the layers to the springform pan.
  • Spoon half the syrup over the cake then spread a layer of ricotta on top.
  • Repeat, carefully placing another layer of cake, drizzling with syrup then spread the ricotta.
  • Decorate with candied fruits.

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Candied fruits by Marc