The sweet flavours of Sicily are all here in one cake. Pistachio paste for the sponge can be difficult to find in small enough quantities for the home kitchen; a 200gm jar made from the famed Bronte pistachios from Sicily can be found online, however, at lario.com.au. Start this recipe a day ahead to drain the ricotta.
- 110 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
- 110 gm almond meal
- 90 gm eggs (about 2)
- 60 gm egg yolks (about 4)
- 2 tbsp pistachio paste
- 200 gm eggwhites (about 6)
- 70 gm caster sugar
- 90 gm plain flour
- For brushing: almond liqueur, such as amaretto
- For dusting: Dutch-process cocoa
- 450 gm firm ricotta
- 120 gm caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond liqueur, such as amaretto
- 150 gm candied fruit, such as orange, cedro and pear, diced
- 50 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
- 1For ricotta filling, place ricotta in a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain. Process ricotta in a food processor until smooth, then add sugar, vanilla and liqueur, and process to combine. Stir in candied fruit and chocolate, and refrigerate until required.
- 2Preheat oven to 180C, and butter and flour a 23cm-diameter cake tin. Beat icing sugar, almond meal, egg, egg yolk and pistachio paste in an electric mixer until pale and frothy (8-10 minutes), then transfer to a large bowl.
- 3Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer to soft peaks (3-4 minutes), then add sugar a little at a time, whisking well between additions, until glossy. Add to pistachio mixture, sieve flour over and gently fold to combine. Spoon into prepared tin, smooth top and bake until golden brown, and centre springs back when gently pressed (25-30 minutes). Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- 4Halve sponge horizontally with a serrated knife and brush cut sides with liqueur. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over sponge base and sandwich with top. Refrigerate until required. Dust with cocoa just before serving.
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