Dolce Memories

Dolce Memories, by Irene Ritter, is a wonderful collection of Italian desserts.  Victoria came in town for a little over a week, and while she was here, her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Rush came by to visit.  I served homemade pizza and for dessert, I made the Sicilian Cassata from this cookbook.  Excellent choice!  This Sicilian cake was delicious.  This cake is normally served for weddings, birthdays and Easter.  

As usual with my posts, the recipe was altered slightly to suit our tastes and adapt to what I had available in the pantry.

Sicilian Cassata

Cake:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup half and half or milk

3 egg yolks, well beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups cake flour

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 (15 oz) container whole ricotta cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons half and half

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup shredded coconut

3 tablespoons Amaretto

1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Semisweet Chocolate Frosting:

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup brewed strong black coffee or espresso

1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9X5-inch loaf pan.  For cake, in a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar.  Add milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and nutmeg until creamy.  Gradually add cake flour, cream of tartar, and salt and mix until well combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until wooded toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cake cool for 20 minutes, then invert to remove cake from pan.  Allow cake to cool.

For filling, using an electric mixer, mix together ricotta cheese, half and half, powdered sugar, coconut and Amaretto  until smooth and well combined. 

To assemble, using a serrated bread knife, slice the cake two times, horizontally so that you have a top, middle and bottom piece of cake.  Spoon half the filling onto the bottom piece of cake.  Place the middle piece of cake on top of filling.  Then spoon remaining filling on top of middle piece.  Top with the top cake piece.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to “ripen” in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

For frosting, about an hour before serving, melt semisweet chocolate chips with coffee in a saucepan.  Add one slice of butter at a time, mixing with a whisk until melted.  Beat until mixture is smooth.  Refrigerate frosting until thickened to spreading consistency.  Before serving, spread frosting over top and sides of cake.  Decorative swirls can be added to the top to make it fancy.  

 

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