We've taken the elements of cassata and made them into an ice-cream sandwich. Use the freshest ricotta you can get your hands on for the creamiest gelato.
- 400 gm honey
- 1 litre milk (4 cups)
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 4 egg yolks
- 50 gm caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange, juice of ½
- 450 gm firm ricotta
- 50 gm each glacé orange (peel or slices), cedro and glazed figs (see note), diced
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 150 gm raw caster sugar
- Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean or ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 190 gm plain flour
- 70 gm butter, melted and cooled
- 1Boil honey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until caramelised (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, carefully add milk (take care, hot caramel will spit), cinnamon and vanilla, then return to heat and whisk to combine. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale (4-5 minutes), then add rind and juice, and whisk again. Pour milk mixture over, whisking continuously, then return to pan and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon (4-5 minutes). Strain into a bowl (discard solids).
- 2Process ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Gradually add 300ml of the custard and process to combine, then whisk ricotta mixture into remaining custard and refrigerate until chilled (2-3 hours).
- 3For sponge cake, preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (5-6 minutes). Sieve flour over in 3 batches, folding in with a large metal spoon after each addition, then fold in melted butter. Spread in a 23cm square cake tin that's buttered and lined with baking paper and bake until golden and the centre springs back when lightly pressed (30-40 minutes). Cool in tin, then remove and trim the top flat. Halve cake horizontally and set aside.
- 4Churn ricotta gelato in an ice-cream machine. When thick, add glacé fruits and churn to combine.
- 5Place a sponge rectangle in the base of a 21cm square cake tin lined with baking paper. Spoon ricotta gelato evenly over and smooth top (it's easiest with a palette knife). Place remaining sponge rectangle on top, press gently and freeze until firm (3-4 hours).
- 6To serve, remove ricotta gelato slice from tin and cut into rectangles. Serve drizzled with extra honey if desired.