March 16, 2012

Cassata Torte

Cassata is an Italian torte, made with Ricotta cheese, pecans and chocolate in a flavourful combination, all covered in  a cream frosting. Rich and satisfying, so cut into thin slices.

I made this cake for a potluck lunch I recently attended. I have been asked for the recipe so here it is.
It takes a bit of time to make it but it is worth the effort.
Enjoy!

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Cake layers:
1-1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups vegetable shortening
4 eggs
1 tbs. vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-1/4 cups milk
 
Filling:
1 lb. (450 gr.) dry cottage cheese
1 –15 oz. box (450 gr.) Ricotta cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
7 oz. (200 gr.) milk chocolate, grated
1 tbsp. lemon rind
 
Frosting:
2 cups whipping cream
1 tbsp. icing sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding
Chocolate, grated   for garnish
 
 
Syrup:
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
 
Directions;

To make cake layers, place shortening in a large bowl and beat with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

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      The batter ready to be put into the pans.


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Spoon  into three, 9 inch, greased and floured, round baking pans. (Batter is quite thick; spread with a knife to smooth top).  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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         The baked cakes, out from the oven.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; let to cool completely.
 
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For filling, in a large bowl, beat together, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar and vanilla, until smooth.

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Fold in pecans and chocolate. Set aside.

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For syrup, place water and sugar into a small pot; bring to a boil; remove from heat; add vanilla.

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Cut each cake in half. Place one bottom layer on a serving plate; brush layer with syrup,
(don't soak it or may soften too much and be harder to handle)...

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… and spread with about 1 cup filling.

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Repeat layers four more times. Top with remaining, last cake layer.
In a large bowl, beat whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla instant pudding until stiff peaks form.

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Spread over top and sides of cake. Put the remaining whipping cream in a piping bag and decorate the cake. Garnish with grated chocolate, or chocolate curls.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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Yields: 12-16 servings.
 
Leia’s Culinary Treasures

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