Cassata alla Siciliana
This is no-bake!
from Bon Appetit October 1977
1 9x5-inch pound cake
2 c. ricotta cheese
4 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate (I used 4 oz of semisweet mini chips).
1 t. orange extract
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam ( an 18 oz. jar will do the trick)
2 c. chocolate frosting or whipped cream.
Toasted whole almonds (optional garnish)
Bake or buy a pound cake. Chill for one hour. Sara Lee frozen pound cake works great. No need to chill. Just slightly thaw. Trim edges and uneven places so that cake is level on all sides and top. Slice the cake horizontally into 1/2-inch slices and place base layer of the cake on the serving platter.
I used 2 Sara Lee pound cakes and cut them in half to make a total of 4 layers. I wouldn't recommend doing this. Stick to the recipe.
Force cheese through a sieve into a bowl. Beat until smooth. (OK this is so 70's). I found my ricotta cheese to be so smooth I didn't need to do anything to it. I beat it but it looked the same. If yours isn't so smooth, use a food processor.
Chop chocolate into fine bits in blender or food processor. (Not necessary with mini chips.) Mix chocolate bits with jam and orange extract. Spread the base layer with a portion of the ricotta cheese and spread cheese with the raspberry-orange-chocolate mixture. Repeat using all layers of cake, all of cheese and all of the raspberry mixture, ending with a top layer of plain cake.
As you can see, the jam mixture dripped down the side quite a bit. I am wondering if it is because I used a generic jam. I am going to use name brand the next time. The next time I need to put on weight that is.
To hold the cake together I stuck in 2 bamboo kabob sticks. Then found out later I couldn't get it into the fridge so I had to break them off at the top. Whole lotta not smart goin on.
Press the filled cake gently. Use a spatula to even up sides. Cover with plastic wrap. Just poke the plastic through the sticks. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Before serving, frost cake with a favorite chocolate frosting or whipped cream. Garnish with almonds if desired.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
I add 1 t. butter flavor OR replace the shortening with butter flavored shortening.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 to 3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 t. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk
Makes about 3 cups of icing. For this cake, this is enough to frost it and decorate it on one side with over the top flourishes for blog purposes.
Stiff Consistency: In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Darker Chocolate Icing: Add an additional 1/4 cup cocoa (or one additional 1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, melted) and 1 additional tablespoon milk to Chocolate Buttercream Icing.
For Thin (Spreading) Consistency Icing: Add 3-4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.