An Italian typical ricotta cake

Today your advisors of Mediterranean Diet present you an Italian typical ricotta cake

The Cassata siciliana recipe

HISTORY

One of the sweetest Italian typical ricotta cake date back to Arabic domination of Sicily (IX-XI century). The Arabs introduced in Palermo sugarcane, lemon, lime, bitter orange, mandarin, almond. All these foods, together with ricotta, wich was produced in Sicily from the prehistoric times, were all the ingredients of this Italian typical ricotta cake, which initially was only a shell of pastry stuffed with sweetened ricotta and then fired. *

Today Mediterranean Diet explains how to prepare this Italian typical ricotta cake

Let’s see what are the ingredients:

– 1 sponge
– 200 g almond flour
– 200 g of sugar
– 50 g of water
– Green food coloring
– 1/2 pound of fresh ricotta
– 300 g of sugar
– 50 g of zuccata into cubes
– 4 tablespoons of dark chocolate drops
– 1 vanilla bean
– 150 g of icing sugar
– 1/2 cup of rum

to decorate, choose your favourite candied fruit: pumpkin, cherries, oranges, pears, tangerines.

I imagine that few of you know what the zuccata is.

The zuccata is a typical product of the Sicilian pastry made with candied pumpkin mainly used to decorate this Italian typical ricotta cake. *** If you can not find the zuccata we can replace it with candied fruit.

But where are the candied fruit from? Are they part of our tradition?
No … the pumpkin and candied fruit came from the Arabs, who used them very often in sweets because their kitchen was very spicy, while the Romans used honey to sweeten **.

Preparation and method for real dough:

Heat the water in a saucepan and let the sugar dissolve inside. When the sugar starts to melt with the green dye, combine almond flour with it. Mix them very well and put the dough on a marble wet. Cool down until you can handle it. Lay out the dough with a rolling pin and get a layer of about 8 mm. Cut them to obtain rectangles with which cover only the edges of the mold.

Preparation and procedure for the cheese cream:

Mix the ricotta with sugar and the seeds obtained by cutting the vanilla bean lengthwise.
Let stand the ricotta for an hour and after this time sift it. Combine the pumpkin and chocolate chips. At this point we compose the cake cutting the sponge cake into 3 layers, wet it with a liqueur obtained by dissolving sugar in water and add off the heat 1/2 cup of rum. Put the first disc of sponge on the bottom of the pan. Cover the edges with marzipan and a sponge cake of the same height. Pour the cheese cream into the mold and cover it with the remained sponge. Let stand for one hour. At this point, turn upside down on a plan the cassata and prepare the icing sugar dissolving over low heat 150 g of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of water until it becomes transparent, then put it on the cassata, gentle leveling even on the sides. Decorate this Italian typical ricotta cake as you like with candied fruit.

* http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassata_siciliana 
** ” Ars culinaria ” Donzelli editore, Antonietta Dosi and Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio
*** http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccata

The team of Mediterranean Diet invites you to the next article to find out the benefits of the Mediterranean diet recipes.
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