Amaretto Cassata Cake

Rosie's Amaretto Cassata Cake
Cassata cake is Sicilian sweet which consists of chiffon sponge cake moistened with liqueur and layered with a filling of ricotta cheese, candied peel, chocolate & vanilla. Traditionally, it is covered with marzipan, green icing and candied citrus fruits, however in this "Cleveland Cassata" inspired recipe I have used whipped cream, cherries, almonds & chocolate to make it more gateau-like. In this recipe I have use plenty of amaretto to give this gateau a marzipan taste. This is an excellent choice for a Sunday-afternoon desert!

Ingredients (UK Recipe)
Makes 16 slices

For the Filling:
500g ricotta, drained
250g icing sugar
50g plain or dark chocolate, grated
100g candied peel, finely chopped
½tsp cinnamon
1½tsp vanilla extract

For the Sponge:
150g plain flour
2tsp cornflour
1tsp baking powder
½tsp salt
175ml milk
1tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated
225g unsalted butter
400g caster sugar

For the Syrup:
8tbsp amaretto or amaretto flavoured coffee syrup

For the Topping:
600ml whipping cream
1tbsp icing sugar
Morello/glace cherries
Flaked almonds
Grated chocolate

Start by making the filling. Make sure you have drained any excess water from the ricotta. Combine all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl, cover with cling film, then cool in the refrigerate for later.

Preheat the oven to 170°C and base line 2 x 23cm cake tins with baking paper.

Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Measure the milk and vanilla into a jug.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, gradually pour in half of the caster sugar whilst whisking.

Now in a large bowl, cream together the butter and the remaining sugar, then mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients about a quarter at a time. Finally, gently fold in the meringue using a metal spoon until well combined.

Split the mixture between the two tins and bake for 27 to 30minutes, or until the cake is bounces back when pressed. Leave the cakes to cool for a few minutes before carefully turning them out upside-down onto a wire rack.

Now to assemble the cake. When the sponges are cool, use a large knife to slice the layers in half horizontally so that you have 4 layers in total. As you are assembling the cake, drizzle 2tbsp of the syrup into each layer, followed by a layer of the ricotta filling.

Finish the cake off by whipping the cream with the icing sugar until thick, then pipe or spread it onto your cake. Decorate with cherries, almonds & grated chocolate.

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