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Traditional Cassata Siciliana

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
Pasta Reale
200 gr Almond flour
200 gr Sugar granulated
50 gr Water
Green coloring for food
Ricotta Cream
500 gr Sheep Ricotta
300 gr Sugar
50 gr Zuccata cut into small cubes
50 gr Dark Chocolate flakes or drops
Vanilla bean seeds
Other ingredients
Half a glass Rum
as much as needed Sugar
as much as needed Water
for decoration Candied fruit
35cm x 40cm Sponge Cake

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Traditional Cassata Siciliana

  • 24 Hrs
  • Serves 6
  • Hard

Ingredients

  • Pasta Reale

  • Ricotta Cream

  • Other ingredients

Directions

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Same as many of other Sicilian recipes, it is thought that the Cassata is of Arab origin (from the Arabic word quas’at, ” bowl”), and has been created between the ninth and the eleventh century. The Arabs, in fact, introduced in Sicily the sugar cane, lemon, bitter orange, mandarin and almond – and it with the combination of these wonders (plus ricotta!) was born the queen of Sicilian Pasticceria!

In this recipe, you will need to have a sponge cake. You can buy it ready-made, or cook it yourself, the important thing is that you can then make 3 disks of the same size (approximately 20cm in diameter) out of it.

You can read more about the story of Cassata here.

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Steps

1
Done

Pasta Reale

Take a small saucepan and place the water and sugar inside. Stir over low heat until the sugar begins to spin.

2
Done

Add the almond flour and the dye to the two main ingredients. Mix well, until you reach a certain homogeneity, then pour the result on a marble surface previously cleaned and moistened with plain water.

3
Done

Let cool and then work with your hands until you get a soft and smooth dough.

4
Done

The last step involves flattening the royal pasta with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 8 mm.

5
Done

This sheet of pasta reale should be done in pieces: many small rectangles as long as the edge of the mold.

6
Done

Ricotta cream

Drain the ricotta to remove most of the whey. If necessary, help yourself with something heavy to put on top and especially do this the night before, so you can leave the ricotta to drain overnight and find it thicker in the morning.

7
Done

When the ricotta is quite dry, add the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Mix well and let it rest for about an hour in the fridge

8
Done

After the hour has passed, take the sieve and use it to process the ricotta cream. Finally complete by adding the zuccata and chocolate.

9
Done

Assembling the Cassata

Take the sponge cake and divide it into 3 disks. One will go on the bottom of the pan, which should be round with flared edges.

10
Done

At this point dissolve the sugar in the water, flavour the mixture with rum and wet the sponge cake with this syrup. Be careful not to "drown" the sponge cake. Take the second disk and cut it into rectangles of the same size as those prepared with the royal pastry.

11
Done

Place them on the edge of the pan, one on each side. The rectangles, which will form the edges of the cassata, must be one of sponge cake and one of Pasta Reale, alternating. In this way you will begin to get a chromatic variation.

12
Done

Now it's time to pour the ricotta cream into the mould. Do not crush it too much and cover it with the remaining circle of sponge cake. The cassata has taken shape. Let it rest for about an hour.

13
Done

Turn it upside down on a round cake mitt and devote yourself to the icing. Weigh 150 grams of icing sugar and melt them over low heat in a small ladle of water until the sugar becomes stringy and transparent. The glaze is ready to go!

14
Done

Pour it still hot over the cassata and spread the edges well, then pour the still-hot glaze over the cassata and pay special attention to the edges. Help yourself with a spatula so as not to miss any piece.

15
Done

Let cool and then decorate with candied fruit, following your creativity.

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