A Sicilian cassata recipe from Planeta
GUIDE TO THE THINKING TRAVELLER
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 sponge cake (use your own recipe or follow the one provided at the bottom of this page*)
- 1 kg / 2 lb. 2 oz. sheep’s milk ricotta
- 200 g / 7 oz. almond flour
- 200 g / 7 oz. confectioners’ sugar + extra for the icing
- 300 g / 11 oz. granulated sugar
- 70 g / 2 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate
- 150 g / 5 1/2 oz. pistachios
- 1 vanilla pod
- whole candied fruits for the garnish
- green food colouring
- vegetable oil to grease the cake tin
Difficulty 4/5 | Preparation time 1 hour (plus 2 hours for the cake to rest in the refrigerator)
For the marzipan, combine the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl, add the pistachio flour (made by finely grinding and then sifting the pistachios), and a few drops of the food colouring to obtain a mint-green colour.
Knead the dough until the marzipan is soft and compact. Use a rolling pin to roll out the marzipan dough, then cut it into wide strips long enough to line the sides of a cake tin. Line the sides of the greased cake tin with the marzipan strips. Cut the sponge cake into thin strips and use them to line the bottom of the pan.
To make the cream filling, strain the ricotta, then blend in the sugar and the vanilla. Chop the semisweet chocolate into pieces the size of coffee beans, and add to the ricotta cream. Spread the ricotta cream evenly on top of the cake, leaving enough room for another thin layer of cake on top.
Refrigerate the cassata for a few hours. Turn the cake upside down onto a serving plate, and top with icing made from confectioners’ sugar and a small amount of water. Let the icing dry and then garnish with candied fruits.
Enjoy the cassata with a glass of Planeta's Passito di Noto DOC
*Sponge cake recipe (from Great British Chefs)
- 6 eggs, medium, at room temperature
- 180 g of caster sugar
- 180 g of self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, natural
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease a round cake tin and dust with flour. Whisk the eggs with the sugar, vanilla extract and salt for 10–15 minutes, until the batter forms a ribbon when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. At this point, fold in the flour in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.
We've teamed up with our friends at Planeta to offer a great variety of Think Experiences throughout Sicily. You could try a hands-on cooking lesson at their La Foresteria Resort, head out to one of their six vineyards for a guided wine-tasting, or even take part in the olive harvest. Find out more here >>