domingo, 27 de febrero de 2011

My cassata is your cassata

Time flies. And it seems that from post to post many things happens, and a lot of time passes by, but the time is always the same, we are the ones who change. And in between, from post to post, there have been more trips to BCN (I'm back in some days), another visit to gorgeous Lisbon (I will have a whole post on this matter later on) and more time to spend with family and friends, which is always welcome.

And to carrying on with the blog, it's time now to publish a sweet post, and this is, a very flavloursome one. A sicilian cassata cake.

It's a sponge cake with a wonderful filling, a ricotta cream, softened with a little liquor and mixed with candied fruit and dark chocolate pieces. And because it's an italian dessert, I guess you can be sure it will be very tasty. The filling is quite similar to the delicious "cannoli". The term "Cassata" is refered also to another type of sweets and ice cream, but in this case I'll stick to the sponge version.


For the sponge

240gms plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
180gms softened butter
3extra spoonfulls melted butter
180gms sugar
4 or 5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
splash of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a big bowl or food processor mix the butter with the sugar until it becomes a pale mixture, add the eggs, one at a time, the lemon juice and the vanilla. Sieve the flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. Pour the mixture in a greased cake tin (24cms). Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until a skewer comes away clean.

350 g of fresh ricotta
100 g icing sugar
vanilla powdered flavour (not essence)
50 g of dark chocolate chips
80 g of candied citrus peel
200 g of sponge cake
sweet liqueur, I used Grand Marnier, my favorite
For the icing:
150g icing sugar
2 or 3 tablespoons water

To prepare the filling: mix ricotta with icing sugar until it turns into a smooth cream. Add a drop of any white sweet liqueur (optional). Add chocolate chips and candied citrus peel. When the sponge is cold cut it in half and fill it with the ricotta mix, and top with the other layer of sponge cake to seal.

Ice the cake by mixing the ingredients and decorate with thin slices of the candied fruit. Refrigerate for at least an hour.