Sicilian Cassata Tartlets

Sicilian Cassata Tartlets

© Lena Staal / Staal & Johs

Sicilian Cassata Tartlets

Sicilian Cassata Tartlets

© Lena Staal / Staal & Johs

For the sponge cake

Ingredients (Serves 4)

50
g
plain flour
75
g
caster sugar
3
eggs
pinch
salt

For the ricotta

Ingredients (Serves 4)

500
g
ricotta, drained overnight in a colander lined with muslin and weighted to remove moisture
150
g
icing sugar

For the Alchermes syrup

Ingredients (Serves 4)

125
ml
water
75
g
caster sugar
30
ml
Alchermes liqueur (available online)

To finish and serve

Ingredients (Serves 4)

150
g
marzipan
icing sugar, to dust
250
g
candied fruits: chinotto orange, mandarin, pumpkin, candied lemon peel, Morello cherries, coffee beans

Preparation:

  • For the sponge cake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a deep rectangular baking sheet with baking paper.
  • In a heatproof mixing bowl, briefly whisk the eggs and sugar and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the water) and whisk constantly until the mixture is foamy, light and pale and doubled in volume, 6–8 minutes.
  • Sift in the flour and fold in carefully.
  • Spread the batter 3cm thick on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until springy to the touch. Leave to cool.
  • For the ricotta, blend the ricotta and icing sugar in a food processor (or in a mixing bowl using a whisk) until smooth.
  • For the syrup, bring the water and sugar to the boil, add the liqueur and remove from the heat. Set aside.
  • Cut the cooled cake into 4 discs using 7–8cm dessert rings. 
  • Dust the marzipan with icing sugar and roll out to a thickness of 3mm. Cut into discs using the dessert rings. Wrap in cling film and set aside. 
  • To assemble, place a layer of cut-out sponge cake inside a dessert ring; carefully spoon over some syrup and let it soak in. Layer the ricotta on top then chill for a few hours.
  • Remove the cakes from the rings, top with the marzipan circles, then decorate the tops with the candied fruit to serve.

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