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Recipe request - Italian Casada cake

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello;
Does anyone out there have an authentic recipe for an Italian Casada cake ? Thanks.

Tim

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post #2 of 8
Hi wtdedula
i don;t have one handy, but the spelling is cassata - you might be able to find some recipes with that spelling. The home version is different from the bakery version, which is somewhat elaborate, and requires almond paste and cooked fondant frosting, and is nicely decorated. I believe you line a bowl with almond paste (better homemade, unless youcan get good quality paste without artificial flavorings) and then filled withvery good quality, fresh sheep-milk ricotta (it's richer, creamier than cow milk ricotta), chocolate chips, sugar and candied fruits. Then you put sheets of spongecake on top, weigh it down and let it set. Then unmold, and cover in fondant andn then decorate with large candied fruits, and these usually decorated with white dots.

here;'s a link, in italian, but with nice pictures.
La cassata siciliana
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the spelling correction, Siduri ! That's why I didn't originally get any results when I did a search. Now with your spelling, I get lots of recipes. Thanks. Tim
post #4 of 8
post #5 of 8
This is one of the most classic Sicilian cakes, and though some people link it to the island's Arab period because of the candied fruit that goes into the ricotta cream, among other things, it's actually much older: The word Cassata derives from the Latin Caseus, which means cheese. In other words, Cassata is one of the world's first cheesecakes. It comes as no surprise that there are a great many variations throughout Sicily; this particular recipe is from Trapani. You'll need:
Prep Time: 2 hours,

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 cups (280 g) sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Half a lemon
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • Marsala
  • 1 1/8 pounds (500 g) fresh sheep's milk ricotta (you can use cow's milk ricotta if you must)
  • A pinch of vanillin, or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces (50 g) finely diced zuccata, which is candied melon peel
  • 2 ounces (50 g) bitter chocolate, in shavings
  • 9 ounces (250 g) blanched peeled almonds
  • 3 drops of bitter almond extract
  • 5 cups (500 g) powdered sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Potato starch (you may find this in the Jewish section of your market)
  • Green food coloring
  • Butter and flour for the cake pan
  • Strips of zuccata and assorted candied fruit
Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 360 F (180 C).

Whip 6 egg white to firm peaks with a pinch of salt. In another bowl, beat 6 yolks with 3/4 cup of the granular sugar, until the mixture is frothy and pale yellow. Sift the flour with the baking powder and slowly add it to the beaten yolks, together with a couple of tablespoons of egg white and the grated zest of the lemon; finally, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture. Turn the batter into a buttered and floured pan (9 inch square) and bake it for a half hour; remove the cake from the oven and let it cool before removing it from the pan.

In the meantime, grind the almonds in a food processor, using short bursts to keep them from liquefying. Add 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, the bitter almond essence diluted in 1/4 cup water, and blend until the mixture is homogenous. Dust your work surface with the potato starch before turning the paste out onto it (you can also turn it out onto a sheet of wax paper), and incorporate a few drops of green, diluted in a few drops of water. Work the paste until the color is uniform and then wrap the paste in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator.

Put the ricotta through a fairly fine wire mesh strainer and combine it with 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the vanillin, the chocolate, and the diced zuccata. Next, roll the almond paste out 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick and as wide as the cake pan. Line a 10-inch (25 cm) diameter pudding mold with slanting walls with plastic wrap, and lay the almond paste over it. Next, line the bottom and sides of the mold with half-inch thick sheets of the cake you baked; make a syrup by diluting some Marsala with a little water and a little sugar, and sprinkle it over the cake. Fill the box thus obtained with the creamy ricotta mixture and cover it with more of the cake, sprinkling again with the Marsala syrup.

Lay a dish over the cassata, press down gently, and chill the cassata for several hours in the refrigerator. At this point turn the cassata over onto the serving dish and remove the mold and the plastic wrap. Beat the remaining two whites and sift the remaining powdered sugar into them, beating all the while to obtain a thick, homogenous cream. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the glaze and spread it over the cassata. Let the glaze set for a few minutes, decorate the cassata with the remaining candied fruit, and chill it for several more hours before serving it.

Note: Purists will shudder, but you can greatly speed the production of a cassata if you use commercially prepared pan di spagna (or poundcake if that is what is available where you live) rather than bake the cake as well.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(168 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #6 of 8

Strawberry Cassata Cake – Cleveland Style

Cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large egg yolks at room temperature
8 large egg whites at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Bake the cakes:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. (Set the pan on top of the parchment paper, and run a knife around the bottom to cut out your circle – always fits!)

Sift together the flour, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, and baking powder into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat together the yolks, water, oil, lemon, and vanilla until smooth. Stir into the flour mixture.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and beat on high until the peaks are stiff but not dry. (Make 100% sure that the bowl is clean – any water or oil or, in my case, left over batter from the yolk mixture will cause the whites to not peak.)

Gently fold about a quarter of the fluffy egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites. Gently! The harder you mix, the less fluffy the cake. When the egg white mix is no longer visible, stop mixing.

Pour the batter into the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes. Check the centers with a toothpick to make sure they’re done.

Let the cakes cool and then flip them out of the pans. Use a knife to loosen them from the edges before flipping.

Use a sharp, thin knife to level the tops and to slice each cake in half. Clean craft wire or unflavored floss works really well, if you don’t have a steady hand for the knife. (It is easier to cut the cakes when they have been refrigerated for a while – but not impossible if you don’t have time for that.)

Wrap up the cakes and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the rest.

Custard:
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups half and half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the custard:
Whisk together all of the custard ingredients in a saucepan, bringing to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. After it boils, turn down the heat to simmer and continue to whisk constantly until thick.  This should take 1-2 minutes, as it turns from a liquid to a pudding-like consistency. Spoon into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap – not tupperware with a lid or anything, the plastic wrap is important! Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as a couple days.

Strawberries:
3 lb. strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar


Slice the strawberries thinly and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the 2T. sugar, and slightly mash with a strawberry/potato masher. Just enough to squish them up, but not so much that they become more liquid than slices. Cover the bowl and let it sit for at least an hour (overnight is fine). You’ll end up with a juicy mixture.
Whipped cream:


3 cups chilled heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

Whip them together until stiff. (If using a stand mixer, use the actual mixer attachment, not the whisk one – the consistency is just plain better that way.)

Putting it all together:
Start with one layer of the cake. Spoon some of the strawberry liquid evenly around, then the chunkier strawberries, then a generous heaping of the custard. Smooth it out, put down the next layer of cake – squish it down just a tiny bit – and repeat. Cover the entire cake with the whipped cream icing and place some freshly cut strawberries on top. If you’re feeling ambitious, as I was, melt a bit of white chocolate and drizzle it all over the top of the cake.

Refrigerate for at least a couple hours before serving.

Some prefer to let the cake warm back up to room temperature before serving – I prefer it still cold. (Like straight out of the fridge with a fork kind of cold!)

Enjoy!!

 

Cake recipe is slightly (just a tiny bit) modified from Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake recipe.
Eventually I found Sweet Amandine’s recipe for this exact cake (after I had made the cake – what are the odds!). Custard, strawberries and icing are slightly modified from hers.

 

post #7 of 8

i submitted two recipes for the cake, i believe both are modified.  the cleveland cassata cake with strawberries has mario batalia's stamp of approval.  being from cleveland the food in that city is always delicious, home cooks are the best as well :)

post #8 of 8

The cassata you get at the pastry shops has a boiled fondant frosting.  it's nice and chewy and adds something special

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
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