Sicilian cassata with mini PandoroDec 20, 2015
Cassata Siciliana di Natale con Pandorini
This is an extremely simple dessert to make at Christmas time. Inspired by the quality of the ricotta now available in Melbourne, I could not think of anything better to do than have a miniature Christmas tree as a gorgeous and not too sweet, not too heavy dessert to have on Christmas day. For those who love cassata this is a great way to make a version of this very popular Sicilian dessert with very little effort. You can prepare the individual trees early in the day so you will be free when your guests arrive.
Ingredients for 4 people
400 gr baby Pandoro (4 packs) Use the Bauli brand which have a beautiful Christmas tree shape.
A few tbs Grand Marnier or other liqueur with orange flavour.
For the stuffing:
400 gr of the freshest and best ricotta you can find, drained for about an hour
50 gr of caster sugar
100 g of candied fruit (such as cedro, 2 glazed cherries, glazed citrus fruit peel and preserved cherries
1 tbs of grated dark chocolate
For the topping:
Candied fruit for decoration, red cherries, a few Amarene di Fabbri, some of their syrup and icing sugar.
Cut the Pandoro in slices about 1 cm thick, you should cut each Pandoro in 5 slices, you will need to discard the bottom part as it could be uneven, start cutting the slices from the top part (narrow end).
Sieve the ricotta and mix with the sugar to obtain a very soft and smooth cream, it should be foamy.
Chop the candied fruit in very small pieces all the same size and grate the chocolate, blend the fruit and chocolate with the ricotta mixture and transfer to the fridge. Rest in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the flavours to blend.
Using a pastry brush slightly wet the slices of Pandoro with the liqueur, making sure each slice is wet enough on each side. You could add a few drops of Amarene syrup to each slice as you layer the Pandoro cassatas.
Place the widest slice of cake at the bottom of each plate, using a piping bag add a layer of the ricotta mixture to each serving, try and balance the same amount of mixture for each portion, add another slice of cake and more ricotta, finish with a slice of cake, the narrowest slice.
Drizzle with Amarene Fabbri syrup all over.
Decorate each Pandoro cassata with 2 red candied cherries and one Amarena di Fabbri, sprinkle with icing sugar and drizzle with some more of the Amarene syrup.
Buon appetito e Buon Natale!