Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cassata


 Recently, it was my friend Vanda's birthday, and a group of us went to her place for a birthday feast.  Vanda's family are of Italian origin, so I wanted to make an Italian dessert.  For ages, I had wanted to make cassata.  Someone else was bringing a cake, so I decided to make the icecream version of cassata. For the uninitiated, cassata is an icecream dessert comprising three layers, one of which is chocolate, and one which is flavoured with candied fruits and nuts.



There are many different recipes for cassata, and the more traditional ones I suspect are those that contain ricotta and marscapone.  However, I chose a recipe by the Australian Womens Weekly, which uses only cream.  The recipe refers to using a round tin, but the photo accompanying the recipe features a loaf tin, so that is what I used.  The only adaptation that I had to make is to make the layers in reverse order.

I think it turned out beautifully, and Vanda loved it:


To make your own cassata, you will need:

Almond layer

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup icing sugar
125ml pouring cream
1/2 teaspoon almond essence

Chocolate layer 

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup icing sugar
125ml pouring cream
60g melted dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Fruit layer

250ml pouring cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons red glace cherries, chopped finely
3-4 tablespoons candied fruit of your choice, finely chopped
(I used candied clementines, pear and figs)
30g roasted flaked almonds (I just used roasted chopped almonds) 

Line a loaf pan with cling wrap, as smoothly as possible.

For the fruit layer, beat the cream and vanilla extract together until firm peaks form.  In a small separate bowl, beat the egg white to soft peak stage, then gradually beat in the icing sugar.  Fold the egg whites into the cream, then fold through the fruit and nuts.

Spread the mixture into the bottom of the lined loaf tin and smooth the top.  Freeze until firm (~1-2 hours).

For the chocolate layer, beat the egg whites together until firm peaks form.  Gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream to soft peak stage, then fold the cream into the egg white mixture.  

In a cup, blend together the cocoa and water.  In a small bowl mix the melted chocolate and egg yolks together.  Stir the cocoa mixture through the chocolate mixture, then fold the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture.  Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the top of the fruit layer in the loaf tin, and freeze until firm (~ 1-2 hours).

For the almond layer, beat the egg whites together in a small bowl to firm peak stage, then beat in the sifted icing sugar.   Lightly beat the egg yolks and fold them through the egg whites.  

In a separate bowl, beat together the cream and almond essence until soft peaks form.  Fold the cream through the egg mixture, then spread the almond mixture over the top of the chocolate layer in the loaf pan and smooth the top.  Freeze the cassata for a further 1-2 hours until firm.

To serve, unmould the cassata, fruit side up, onto a serving platter, and carefully remove the cling film.  Cut into slices, and enjoy!
 

No comments: