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Thanksgiving and a Sicilian Cassata for dinner

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, desserts, Easy Thangsgiving recipes, Holidays, La Dolce Vita, special occasions, and Uncategorized

Oh yes, that time of the year is here and of course pumpkin pie is not far from everyone’s mind but if you want to ‘think out of the box’ this Holiday a Sicilian Cassata makes a yummy replacement..

Thanks to Barbara in Liberty Missouri for asking for this ..here it is

From

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm

book series

copyright 2012 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Sicilian Cassata

(photo credits:http:// www.granorolo.it)

Ingredients

1 lb sponge cake (store bought or homemade)
2 cups water
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange flower water
½ cup candied fruit for decorating such as candied orange, cherries, figs, candied or citron sliced finely with a peeler for decorating
Ricotta filling
2 lbs firm fresh ricotta, drained well
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup candied orange peel, chopped finely optional, if you don’t like orange peel, use 1 tbsp orange zest and add in some candied fruits chopped
6 ozs. dark chocolate, chopped
Glaze
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk

Preparation

Slice the sponge into three layers of ½ “ thick slices. Grease and line a 12” spring form cake pan. Using the cake pan as a guide, cut out two circles the size of the base of the pan. With the other slices of sponge, cut into strips of 3” wide to cover the sides of the cake pan so that you almost completely line the pan with sponge cake with a disk of sponge left over for what will be the base.
In a small heavy based saucepan, over a moderate temperature, dissolve the sugar, orange flower water, lemon juice and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until it resembles a light syrup. Remove the syrup from heat and leave to cool for about 15 minutes. Using a pastry brush, moisten the sponge on the base and sides of the pan, reserving a small amount of syrup for the top of the cake.
For the ricotta filling, ensure that the ricotta is well drained and quite dry. To drain the ricotta, place it into a colander or fine sieve in the fridge over a bowl for a couple of hours or overnight for a perfect consistency. Use a fork to combine the ricotta with the sugar, powdered sugar, orange peel and fold in the chopped chocolate. You can also add ½ cup of liqueur, usually cherry.
Spoon the ricotta filling into the sponge and smooth over the top. Brush the remaining layer of sponge with the syrup. Lay the layer sponge, syrup-side down, onto the ricotta. Press the sponge down gently and place a piece of baking paper on top. Place a plate over the top and weigh down the sponge with pans or a heavy weight. Place the cassata in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
For the icing, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and add milk. Stir well until a smooth and thick white paste forms. Invert the cake onto a large plate. Pour the icing over the cake, spreading it with a wet spatula to glaze the top and sides allowing the icing to spill over the cake. The icing should be slightly thick and very smooth. Leave to set for 1 hour in the fridge. Decorate the cake with the extra candied fruit and serve.

Eat this quickly it is best for 2 days…But it will be gone before 2 days!

Copyright 2012 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Don’t forget to look for Black Friday specials on my Facebook Page and for more recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition, ebook version available exclusively at Kindle

cover- book 2nd edition-001

*December 7yh see you at Cardinal Hollow Winery in Lansdale Pa for a Holiday wine pairing dinner and cooking demo.For more info email us at : events@marialiberati.com reservations are limited

*December 8th Wendell August Forge in Exton, Pa-Holiday Open House and Book signing with recipe sampling. 12-4PM

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