Sicilian Cheese and Chocolate Cake
(Cassata alla Siciliana)
- 1 (16 ounce) container dry ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped mixed candied fruit
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners' sugar
Chocolate Mocha Frosting
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- Filling: Prepare Sponge Cake. Beat ricotta cheese, sugar, milk, liqueur and salt in small mixer bowl until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in chocolate chips and candied fruit. Cut cake into 4 (10 1/2 x 3 3/4 inch) rectangles.
- Alternate layers of cake and ricotta filling, beginning and ending with cake.
- Frost with Chocolate Mocha Frosting.
- Sponge Cake: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 jellyroll pan with aluminum foil or wax paper; grease generously.
- Beat eggs in small mixer bowl on high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes.
- Pour eggs into large mixer bowl. Beat in granulated sugar gradually.
- Beat in water and vanilla extract on low speed.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt gradually, beating just until batter is smooth.
- Pour into pan.
- Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; invert on towel sprinkled generously with confectioners sugar. Carefully remove foil or wax paper. Trim off stiff edges if necessary.
- Cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
- Chocolate Mocha Frosting: Beat confectioners' sugar, butter and chocolate in small mixer bowl on low speed.
- Dissolve instant coffee in water. Add coffee gradually; beat until smooth and creamy. If necessary, stir in additional water, a few drops at a time.
Yields 12 to 14 servings.