Cassata

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 10 people

  • 400 gm firm ricotta
  • 75 gm (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 20 ml almond liqueur, plus extra for brushing
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 120 gm glacé fruit, such as cedro, glacé orange, glacé lemon and glacé clementine, plus extra cedro, shaved on a mandolin, and glacé clementines, cut into wedges, to decorate
  • 80 gm dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 60 gm pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 450 gm icing sugar
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 2-3 drops of green food colouring
  •  
  • Sponge cake
  • 40 gm butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing
  • 240 gm plain flour, triple-sieved, plus extra for dusting
  • 8 eggs, at room temperature
  • 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
01   Place ricotta in a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain.
02   For sponge cake, preheat oven to 180C. Brush two 20cm-diameter cake tins with melted butter, line bases with baking paper and dust sides with flour. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (7-8 minutes), then transfer to a large bowl. Sift over flour in three batches, folding in each batch with a large metal spoon. Fold in butter, divide mixture evenly among tins and bake until cakes are light golden and spring back when lightly pressed (20-25 minutes). Carefully loosen sides with a knife, turn cakes out onto a wire rack, remove baking paper, turn cakes top-side up, then cool completely.
03   Stir drained ricotta, sugar, almond liqueur and vanilla seeds in a bowl to combine, then add fruit, chocolate and pistachios and stir to combine. Place one sponge cake on a serving plate or cake stand, brush with a little liqueur and spread evenly with ricotta mixture. Brush base of remaining sponge cake with a little liqueur, place on top of ricotta layer and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
04   Stir icing sugar, lemon juice and food colouring in a bowl until combined. Icing should be thick but pourable; adjust consistency with water, a drop at a time, if necessary. Pour icing over cake, stand until set (1 hour), decorate with shaved cedro and clementine wedges and serve. Cassata is best eaten the day it’s made.

Note You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


Topics:

CHOCOLATE, DESSERT, PISTACHIOS, BAKING, RICOTTA, AUTUMN, CLASSIC DISH, VANILLA, ITALIAN

Recipe:

ALICE STOREY

Photography:

VANESSA LEVIS

Styling:

GERALDINE MUÑOZ

FEATURED IN

Apr 2012

Apr 2012

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