"Recipes are meant to be shared"

It is my intention to add a couple of recipes here every week. Although between working and playing with my daily blog 'Thibeault's Table', I'm not always successful.

Cassata Cake (Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake)

Cassata Cake (Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake)
Source: Bonnie Stern, Toronto

Cake Base

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice (Brandy, Orange Liqueur or Amaretto)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Cream butter until light and add sugar gradually.
Beat eggs in one at a time. Add vanilla and flavorings. Stir or sift dry ingredients together and stir into egg mixture quickly. Pour into pan and bake 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 hours.

Note: This cake improves with age and freezes well.

Filling, Icing and Final Assembly

1 pound ricotta cheese
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces of liqueur (Orange, Cognac, Amaretto, your choice)
2 oz. semisweet chocolate grated
1/4 cup candied fruit


2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
2 oz liqueur (use the same as above)

Beat the sugar into the cheese. Add vanilla, liqueur, fruit and chocolate.

Slice the cake into 3 or 4 layers and spread each with some of the cheese mixture reshaping the cake into a loaf as you proceed. Finish with a layer of cake. The cake will keep, well wrapped, two days at this point.

A few hours before serving whip the cream until light and add the sugar and liqueur. Continue beating until quite stiff.

Spread a coating of cream over the sides and top of the cake. Place the remaining cream into a piping bag and decorate the cake. It could be garnished with pistachio nuts , chocolate curls or strawberries. This cake is very rich so serve thin slices.

Notes: This cake can also be iced with chocolate icing and it can be made into a round instead of in a loaf.

My Notes: I usually add extra chocolate to the filling and leave out the candied fruit.


Anonymous said...

Realized too late that there's no rising agent in the cake recipe! Came out like a brick :(

Thibeault's Table said...

Anonymous, the recipe is correct.

Like a traditional pound cake this cake doesn't need baking powder or baking soda.

If your cake was heavy, it might be because you didn't cream the butter and sugar sufficiently.

I'm sorry that your cake didn't turn out well.


Sharon Wegner said...

I'm going to make this for Easter. Quick question - - why does this cake have to bake for so long? Is it dense like a pound cake?

Thanks in advance

Thibeault's Table said...

Sharon, Yes it is like a pound cake. I was thinking of making this cake for Easter too.


Unknown said...

This cake looks really good but I'm sorry that's not a cassata, or at least not for us Italian. I hate cassata, but I'll eat that cake in the picture every day

NadiaintheSky said...

Sorry but this is not a Sicilian Cassata, cassata has canditi and marzapane in it, no cream (panna) and/or liquor are in the real caabout. I'm sure this dessert is really delicious but please don't confuse people calling it cassata. I'm Sicilian , I know what I'm talking about, my grandma would be very upset to see this presented as cassata :) - I hope you will accept my comment .

Thibeault's Table said...

Danyla and Nadia, thank you for taking the time to comment. You are not the first that has pointed out that this is not a "Cassata" based on your standards. But I've been making this cake for many years and the recipe is titled Cassata. It is not my recipe. The recipe comes from a well respected cook book author and founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking. So maybe if you have a problem with Bonnie Stern's use of the word Cassata you should take it up with her. In the meantime I will happily continue to make this delicious dessert. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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