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* Note: See the "Pan Di Spagna" recipe which is included in this collection. For the rum syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally; cool and add the rum. For the Crema Di Ricotta, press the ricotta through a fine sieve or strainer into a mixing bowl. Sift the confectioners sugar over it and beat it in, by hand, with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy duty mixer fitted with the whip. Continue beating the ricotta and sugar until it is very light. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and rum, then stir in the chocolate and candied fruit. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed. Butter a 12-inch pan or spring form pan, depending on the size of the Pane Di Spagna layer, and line it with plastic wrap. Cut two thin, horizontal slices from the Pane Di Spagna, using a long, sharp, serrated knife. (This is easier when the cake is chilled.) Cut the remaining Pane Di Spagna into 1/2-inch thick vertical slices. Place one of the layers in the bottom of the springform pan and moisten it lightly with the rum syrup, using a brush. Use the vertical slices to line the side of the pan and moisten them from the inside. Pour the filling into the lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Moisten the other round layer lightly and invert it onto the filling. Press gently with the palm of the hand to adhere the layer to the filling and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cassata to make the filling firm again. Reserve any remaining syrup for finishing the cassata. While the cassata is chilling, prepare the apricot glaze. Combine the preserves and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. At the boil, strain the glaze into another pan and reserve it, covered loosely, at room temperature. For the Pasta Reale, cut the almond paste into 1-inch cubes and place in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the sugar and corn syrup and mix on low speed until the Pasta Reale is beginning to mass around the paddle. In the food processor, pulse the mixture on and off about 10 times. The mixture will remain crumbly. Turn the mixture out on a clean work surface and add a drop of green color. Knead the Pasta Reale smooth by hand. Form the Pasta Reale into a thick sausage shape and double-wrap in plastic wrap and reserve it in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature. To unmold the cassata, remove the plastic wrap from the top of the springform pan and invert a platter or disk of cardboard on it. Invert the pan onto the platter or cardboard and unbuckle the side of the pan. Lift it off carefully, then lift off the pan base on the dessert and peel off the plastic wrap. Moisten the outside of the cassata with the remaining syrup, using a brush. Return the apricot glaze to a boil over low heat and brush it all over the outside of the cassata. Unwrap the Pasta Reale and knead it smooth by hand, shaping it into a 5-inch disk. Dust the work surface and the Pasta Reale very lightly with cornstarch. Roll the Pasta Reale to a thin 18-inch disk, moving the Pasta Reale often and adding cornstarch to the work surface to prevent sticking. Slide both hands under the Pasta Reale and center it on the cassata, allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Press the top smooth with the palm of one hand and press the Pasta Reale against the side of the cassata, easing it into place to prevent pleats and tears. Trim away the excess at the base of the cassata with a small, sharp knife. To decorate the cassata, cut the chocolate finely and place it in a small, heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of hot, but not simmering, water and stir until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the oil. Make a small cone from parchment paper, fill with the chocolate, fold the top to seal it and cut a small hole in the pointed end with a sharp continued in part 2
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