Week : 1 , Day: 4
Theme: Classic Combos
Country : Italy
Day 4 of the Mega Marathon with Buffet on the Table I have a very popular combo. cake and Ice cream. Normally if I were to have this combo I would make Chocolate Cake with Vanilla ice cream. I haven't done so, I have made a vanilla cake , and served it with chocolate ice cream ! Reverse!
Well going with the theme of combos we also have to make it from a specific country, so I chose Italy for today. The cake is Sicilian Cassata , but before I move on any further I want to wish Dad a very very Happy Birthday !
Happy Birthday to you Dad ! God Bless you!
It's been a while since he's been gone but his memories are always fresh and cherished. After he left us I just could not accept the fact that he is no more , but with time we learn to accept and now I pray for his pious soul.
I do not want to create a sad atmosphere here, no , not at all. So let's smile and wish Dad ! Those of you who have been blogging with me for a while now would know that some how I have been wishing him with a cake every year. Strangely when I was searching for a cake , I landed on this Cassata Cake. I did not think at all, and immediately finalized it. Dad loved Cassata ice cream, which was my Ode to him. And now it was a Cassata Cake. Wow ! I was so happy. I paired it with a chocolate ice cream , another of his favorite.
And now coming to Cassata Siciliana, it is a traditional sweet from the areas of Palermo and Messina , Sicily , Italy. Cassata also refers to a Neapolitan ice cream, containing candied or dried fruits and nuts. The cassata cake consists of a round sponge, which is moistened with zesty sugar syrup and liqueur. Of course I did not use the liqueur. The cake is filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips. I made a two layered cake and filled home made ricotta. Traditionally the sides are lined with Marzipan, but since it was a two layered cake I decided to use the marzipan for leaves only. The cake is normally topped with candied fruit peel and candied cherries characteristic of Sicily.
Actually this cake did not need a pair, but the theme demanded and so I paired it with a simple three ingredient chocolate ice cream. I wanted to make the Italian gelato, but it required a ice cream maker, so I made a basic ice cream. I hardly make these, though I love to make the Indian ice cream, the Kulfi, but for today it is a lovely dusky Chocolate Ice cream
Let me start with the Cassata Cake
300 gms vanilla cake flour
60 ml oil
100 ml water
Mix water and oil to the cake flour , beat until light and fluffy.
Line and grease a round mould .
Pour the batter and bake at 180 deg for 25 minutes or till done.
Else you could make the cake according to the directions at the back of the cake mix.
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar or sugar to taste
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Beat the ricotta cheese along with sugar till smooth.
Add in the chocolate chips.
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
Warm the water.
Add sugar and zest.
Let cook for 4-5 minutes.
Cool and keep aside till required.
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Food color as required
Place a pot of water to boil.
Switch off the gas.
Add the almonds and let them be for 10 minutes.
Drain the water.
Peel the almonds.
Pulse the almonds to a fine powder.
Add sugar and pulse again till a dough is formed.
Remove and store in an air tight box.
Add food color as required.
1 cup icing sugar
Just enough water to dissolve
Place the icing sugar in a pan.
Add water very slowly and go on stirring.
You will require very little water so be careful.
As soon as you get a paste of sugar, place the pan on fire.
Cook for 2-3 minutes till the sugar has slightly melted.
Grease the mold and line it with icing sugar.
Cut the cake in three slices.
Place one slice into the mould.
Sprinkle the soaking syrup on it.
Fill in the filling of ricotta and chocolate chips.
Sprinkle the soaking syrup on the. Second slice of cake.
Place the second slice , soaked side down on the ricotta filling.
Sprinkle syrup on the top of the slice too.
Fill in the ricotta again.
Repeat with the third slice.
So we have two ricotta fillings sandwiched between three cake slices.
Once this is done upside down the cake on a plate.
Get the sugar glaze ready and spread it immediately on the top .
Drizzle some on the sides too.
I dressed the cake with a sugar paste rose , marzipan leaves which had some edible glitter,and lastly a few glazed cherries.
Refrigerate the cake overnight to get the perfect flavors.
I did not put a good layer of sugar glaze as it would have made the cake very sweet.
I have to admit that this is one of the best cakes that I have tried as yet. it had absolutely amazing flavors, and it the sweetness was quite mild.