Homemade Cassata Siciliana
Cassata Siciliana Casalinga
When the special cassata mold is not available, the cassata
can be built in layers like a layer cake. The
taste will be as good as that of a store brought cake, since the materials used are the same traditional
elements utilized in making the cassata Siciliana.
To make the
sponge, use your recipe or our Pan di Spagna recipe otherwise buy it already made.
shopping and preparation ahead of time, it will make the final task easy and simple.
cassata on a dish in layers or use a cardboard cake circle; even better, make it in layers into a round mold,
and store in the refrigerator for a few hour or overnight.
To finish the
cake, turn it upside down, glace it and finish with candied fruits.
Serves 8 to 10
For the Cake
1 ½ lb. Pan di Spagna, a sponge cake made without fat.
2 lb. of ricotta
1 cup of sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 drops of cinnamon oil or 3 pinches of cinnamon powder
1 drop of vanilla essence
¼ lb. diced candied citron
¼ cup of chocolate chips or bitter-chocolate shavings
9” round mold (2” deep)
For the Glaze
1 cup confectionary sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
zest of 1 medium lemon
1 tablespoon of butter
For the Decorations
candied whole fruits
12 candied cherries
Day ahead bake or purchase the sponge -Pan di Spagna- and in a large bowl, mix well the
ricotta and sugar until smooth. Blend in the zest of orange, cinnamon and the vanilla, store in the refrigerator
The following day prepare a 9" mold by lining it with a film of plastic wrap, extending it a few inches over the
Mix the ricotta cream with a wooden spoon to aerate and make it silky-smooth.
With a sharp serrated knife slice the sponge cake into 3 layers and place one slice at the bottom of the mold, to
cover it completely.
Spread 1/2 of ricotta cream over the sponge, sprinkle over it 1/2 of the citron and 1/2 of the
chocolate chips or shavings.
Repeat with the sponge, cream, citron, chocolate and finishing the last layer with the sponge
Lightly press down, cover with a large dish and place some weight on top to compact.
Store overnight in the refrigerator, to allow the ricotta cream and the pan di Spagna to join together their taste
and for the cassata to get firm.
Whisk all the ingredients in a heat resistant bowl to form a thick and uniform paste. Cook it
for a few minutes, at a very low heat or in a double boiler, turning continuously, until smooth and
Place a dish or a cardboard on top of the mold and turn the cake upside down, carefully removing
the mold and the plastic wrap.
Pour over some glaze and with the help of a spatula spread a thin layer of it, to cover the cassata completely.
Decorate with candied fruits: place a whole fruit in the center of the cassata, all around make a crown with
candied cherries, cut some fruits in four pieces and display using your imagination.
# 1 Variation
Make the cassata as per above directions; let it rest overnight in the refrigerator and the next day, cover it
completely with a thin layer of green marzipan, as for the following illustration.
# 2 Variation
Reserve a full spoon of ricotta cream.
Finish the cassata with glaze only on the top and spread the ricotta cream all around on the side.
Make some crumbs with cookies, biscuits or sponge cake or use toasted, chopped pistachios or
sliced nuts and coat the side of the cake with it, pressing lightly to make it adhere. Finish with the cassata with
In Palermo, we rarely use a syrup to drizzle on the sponge; at all times, we store the cassata overnight to
allow the ricotta cream and the pan di Spagna to join together their taste and allow the solution from the ricotta
cream to be adsorbed by the pan di Spagna. However if the cassata is made and served the same day, it is acceptable
to lightly brush or drizzle the sponge with a syrup or fruit juice.
For the Syrup
½ cup of water boiled with
2 tablespoon sugar, coolit and add
1 teaspoon of orange zest and
¼ cup orange juice or maraschino, cherry, orange, mandarin or any other