Cassata is traditionally iced with royal icing. For ease, we have iced ours with store-bought fondant.
- 6 eggs
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- ½ lemon, zested
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
- 500 g almond paste, to ice
- icing mixture, to roll out marzipan and fondant
- 500 g store-bought fondant, to ice
- 1 egg white, to glaze
- 750 g fresh ricotta, drained
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 80 g 80% dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 60 g candied clementine or other candied fruit, finely chopped
- 60 g glace fruit, finely chopped, plus extra to decorate
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 15 minutes
Chilling time 2 hours
Keep iced cake up to 4 days refrigerated, surface covered with plastic wrap.
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease and line two swiss roll pans with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla for 5 minutes or until pale and thick. Fold in sifted flour in 2 batches until combined. Divide sponge mixture equally among swiss roll pans and bake for 18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes.
To make filling, beat ricotta and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add chocolate, clementine and glaced fruit and stir until combined.
Grease and line base of a 24 cm round spring form cake pan with baking paper. Roll almond paste on a work surface dusted with icing mixture until 2 mm thick then line base and side of cake pan. Trim overhanging edges.
To assemble, cut sponge into two 5 cm x 30 cm strips to line side of pan, and into pieces wide enough to cover base of pan twice. Line side and base of pan with sponge pieces; any holes may be filled with trimmed cake. Spoon ricotta filling into pan ensuring top is level. Cover with remaining sponge cake pieces, pressing lightly to compress layers together. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Shape fondant into one ball then hit with a rolling pin, turning occasionally, until softened. Lightly dust work surface with icing mixture then roll out to 3 mm thickness. Invert cake then brush with beaten egg white. Cover top and side of cake with fondant, smoothing with floured hands. Trim excess fondant and decorate with extra candied fruit.