Cassata Alla Siciliana
|Cake flour||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Eggs||6 , separated|
|Sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Ricotta cheese||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Confectioners sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Semisweet chocolate square||1 , grated|
|Candied red cherries||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), quartered|
|Toasted slivered almonds||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Rum sauce||1 Tablespoon|
1. Measure cake flour and salt into a sifter.
2. Beat egg whites until foamy-white and double in volume in large bowl of electric mixer at high speed. Beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until meringue forms soft peaks. (Your test: Peaks will be just stiff enough to bend slightly as the beater is raised.)
3. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored in small bowl of mixer at high speed, then beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is very thick and fluffy. (Raise the beater again, and the yolk mixture should run off in a very thick stream.) Beat in vanilla.
4. Sift flour mixture into egg yolk mixture all at once, then fold in with wire whip, turning batter over and over gently from bottom of bowl until flour is blended completely. (A light touch keeps the mixture fluffy.)
5. Add egg yolk mixture to meringue, then fold in until no streaks of white or yellow remain. (Batter should be fluffy and light.)
6. Pour batter into an ungreased 9-inch angel cake tube pan. (The un greased side gives the cake a wall to climb on during baking). Run a small spatula or knife through batter to spread it evenly and bring any large air bubbles to the top. (If the air is left in, the baked cake will have tiny holes or tunnels in it.)
7. Bake cake in slow oven (325°) 1 hour, or until top springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip and cake is richly golden.
8. Turn cake pan upside down and hang the tube over quart-size bottle; let cool completely.
9. To turn out, loosen cake around edge and tube with a knife; invert onto a wire rack, then turn right-side up.
10. Combine ricotta cheese, 10 X sugar, grated chocolate, rum and vanilla in a medium-size bowl; beat with wire whip until smooth; add cherries and nuts; stir until blended.
11. Split cake into 4 layers, following directions . Place bottom layer on cookie sheet; spread with a third of ricotta mixture; repeat with layers and filling to reshape cake; garnish with candied cherries and almonds, if you wish.
12. Spoon rum sauce over cake until absorbed. Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight. Slide onto serving plate with spatula and pancake turner. If there is any leftover cake, cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator; serve within a few days.