6
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sponge cake

  • 6 eggs, medium, at room temperature
  • 180g of caster sugar
  • 180g of self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, natural

Ricotta cream

  • 700g of ricotta, sheep's milk
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 50g of dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of Amaretto, rum, or other preferred liqueur

Marzipan

  • 100g of almonds, peeled and finely ground
  • 50g of icing sugar, sifted
  • 25g of caster sugar
  • 25g of water
  • green food colouring

Icing

  • 200g of icing sugar
  • lemon juice

To decorate

  • candied fruits

Method

1
Before beginning the cake, it is important to thoroughly strain the ricotta before using – just place the cheese in a colander for 1–2 hours before you prepare the cream
2
To make the ricotta cream, combine the ricotta with the sugar in a mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour – this step is important as the sugar needs to be completely dissolved
3
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease a round cake tin and dust with flour
4
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
5
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack
6
to finish the ricotta cream, pass the sweetened ricotta through a sieve. Mix in the chocolate and liqueur with a spatula and set aside
7
To make the marzipan, place the water and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil for 5 minutes until you have a syrupy consistency. Allow to cool
8
Combine the icing sugar and almond flour in a bowl. Add enough syrup to obtain a soft dough and add a small drop of green food colouring, mixing well to incorporate. Wrap in cling film and set aside
9
Line the cassata tin with cling film. Roll out the marzipan to a 1/2cm thickness and cut into strips as wide as the edges of the pan. Cut the strips into 3cm wide pieces
10
Cut the sponge into 1cm thick slices and the cut the slices into pieces the same size as the marzipan
11
Use the sponge pieces and marzipan pieces to line the edges of the cassata tin
12
Cover the base of the tin with other sponge cake stripes and brush all the sponge cake – base and edges – with liqueur
13
Add the ricotta cream and level the surface
14
Cover the ricotta with the rest of the sponge strips. Brush with the liqueur, cover the cake with the overhanging cling film and leave to refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight
15
Turn the cassata out onto a serving plate and carefully remove the cling film
16
Prepare the icing by mixing icing sugar with some drops of lemon juice, adding water as necessary to obtain a fluid consistency
17
Spread the icing on top of the cake to create a smooth, even layer of icing
18
Cut the candied fruits and use to decorate the cassata in your desired design