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Cakes and puddings

Cakes and puddings

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CASSATA SICILIANA

Ingredients for 10 servings:

  • 1 26 cm diameter sponge base
  • 400 g of almond paste, 2/3 of which
  • Coloured with food colouring

Filling:

  • 300 g of sheep’s milk ricotta
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 100 g of dark chocolate

Shell:

  • 350 g of icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • A few drops of food colouring
  • 100 g of candied fruit

Syrup:

  • 2 heaped tbsp of sugar
  • Grated lemon rind

Sieve the ricotta (or beat in the blender). Add the icing sugar and the chocolate, cut into little pieces. Mix to a smooth paste. Prepare the syrup by boiling the 2 tbsp of sugar with 200 ml of water and the grated lemon rind down to half volume. When the syrup is cool, add two tbsp of maraschino liqueur. Prepare the shell for the cassata by mixing the egg white, icing sugar and lemon juice in the electric mixer to obtain a smooth paste. Coat a circular dessert mould of the desired size with cling film. Roll out the coloured almond paste (which will form the tip of the cassata) in such a way as to obtain a disc that is a couple of centimetres wider than the bottom of the mould, then place it on the bottom of the mould. Using a rolling pin, roll the coloured almond paste out into rectangular sheets the same length as the mould 4 cm wide. Do the same with the non–coloured paste.

Cover the walls of the mould, alternating the coloured almond paste with the white paste. Cut the sponge into irregular shaped pieces and soak with the syrup. Place the sponge pieces inside the mould, the fill up with the ricotta cream . Cover the mould with clling film and leave to rest overnight. Turn the mould over and turn out the cassata. Finally, cover the cassata with icing sugar and decorate with the candied fruit.

CASSATINE EASTER with ricotta

Casing:

  • 500 g of 00 flour
  • 50 g of margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 1 sachet of yeast
  • Milk as required

Filling:

  • 2 kg of fresh ricotta
  • 500 g of sugar (approx.)
  • Cinnamon to taste

Place the flour in a mound with a well in the centre. Gradually add all the ingredients and the milk as required.

Knead the mixture for a few minutes to obtain a smooth, pliable consistency. Spread the mixture out onto a thin sheet. Cut out discs of about 10–15 cm in diameter (a coffee cup saucer can be used).

Form little crown shapes, pinching the edges of each disc. Fill with ricotta, sugar and cinnamon. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 10–15 minutes. When they are golden brown, remove from the oven and dust with cinnamon.

GRANITA SICILIANA

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • ½ lt of water
  • 400 g of sugar
  • 6 large lemons

Granita Siciliana

Put the water on the boil. In the meantime, squeeze the lemons and remove the seeds. Once the water boils, add the sugar and boil for about 10 minutes. Switch off and leave to cool.

Add the lemon juice, mix well and place the mix in an airtight container in the freezer for 24 hours. Break the ice and mix in the blender for a few minutes to melt the ice and make the granite creamy. Return the mix to the freezer and mix in the blender again after a few hours.

Put the granite back in the freezer for a further hour before serving.

RICOTTA MOUSSE WITH FIG JAM

For 4 people:

  • 400 g ricotta cheese
  • 180 g icing sugar
  • 4 empty cannoli (hard pastry)
  • Fig jam
  • Ground lemon rind (1 lemon)

Ricotta mousse with fig jam

Use a blender to mix the ricotta, the sugar and the lemon rind until you achieve a mousse with a smooth, creamy texture. Place the mousse in a pastry bag and leave it in the fridge for at least half an hour. Put a pastry cutter on a large plate and fill it with ricotta.

Spread a few spoonfuls of fig jam on the mousse and add the grated pistachios.
 

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