Sicilian Ricotta Cake

Serves: 10
Total Calories: 682


1 recipe Sponge Cake (2 layers)
1 pound whole or part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peels

4 ounces almonds paste
2 or 3 drops green food coloring
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar
candied fruit or dried fruits, such as cherries, pineapple, or citron


1 Prepare the sponge cake, if necessary. Then, in a large bowl with a wire whisk, beat the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth and creamy. Fold in the chocolate and orange peel.

2 Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread the ricotta mixture on top. Place the second cake layer over the filling.

3 For the decoration, crumble the almond paste into a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add one drop of the food coloring. Process until evenly tinted a light green, adding more color if needed. Remove the almond paste and shape it into a short thick log.

4 Cut the almond paste into 4 lengthwise slices. Place one slice between two sheets of wax paper. With a rolling pin, flatten it into a narrow ribbon 3 inches long and 1/8-inch thick. Unwrap and trim off any rough edges, reserving the scraps. Repeat with the remaining almond paste. The ribbons should be about the same width as the height of the cake. Wrap the almond paste ribbons end to end all around the sides of the cake, overlapping the ends slightly.

5 Gather the scraps of almond paste and reroll them. Cut into decorative shapes, such as stars, flowers, or leaves, with cookie cutters.

6 Prepare the icing: Whisk the egg whites, lemon zest, and juice. Add the confectioner's sugar and stir until smooth.

7 Spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake. Decorate the cake with the almond paste cutouts and the candied fruits. Cover with a large overturned bowl and refrigerate until serving time, up to 8 hours. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 10
Total Calories: 682
Calories from Fat: 58

This Sicilian Ricotta Cake recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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