You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead to press and chill the cassata.
- 500 gm marzipan
- 450 gm mixed glacé, candied and dried fruit, such as orange, cedro, amarena cherries, golden raisins and apricots, finely chopped (see note)
- 300 gm lightly beaten egg (about 6 eggs)
- 220 gm caster sugar (1 cup)
- 250 gm plain flour (1 2/3 cups)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 950 gm firm ricotta
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 280 gm goat’s curd
- 30 gm dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely grated
- 1For sponge cake, preheat oven to 160C. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed until thick, pale and tripled in volume. Meanwhile, sift flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Carefully fold dry ingredients into egg mixture in 3 batches. Spoon into a 24cm x 34cm x 5cm-deep cake tin lined with baking paper, smooth top and bake until sponge is golden and springs back when lightly pressed (20-30 minutes). Cool completely in tin.
- 2For ricotta filling, process ricotta and sugar in a food processor until smooth, add goat’s curd, pulse to combine, stir in chocolate, pulse to combine and set aside.
- 3Line a 22cm-diameter springform cake tin with plastic wrap, leaving edges hanging over sides, and set aside. Roll out 320gm marzipan to a 35cm-diameter round on a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Line base and sides of cake tin with marzipan, pressing it into tin and leaving edges hanging over sides.
- 4Trim top of sponge level, and trim edges (discard trimmings). Halve sponge horizontally and cut a 22cm-diameter circle from one end of each half. Cut remaining sponge into 4.5cm x 3cm fingers and set aside. Place a sponge round in marzipan-lined tin, trimming to fit if necessary. Line sides with sponge fingers, then brush Marsala all over sponge. Spoon in ricotta mixture, smooth top, place second sponge round on top and brush with Marsala. Trim marzipan, cover cake with plastic wrap, weight with a flat plate that fits in tin, place food cans on top to weight further, and refrigerate to press and chill (overnight).
- 5Remove sides of cake tin, invert cassata onto a plate and remove plastic wrap. Add a drop or 2 of food colouring to remaining marzipan to achieve a delicate green, knead well to soften slightly, dusting with icing sugar if required to prevent sticking, then roll out to 35cm x 12cm x 2mm thick on a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Cut into two 35cm x 6cm strips, then press each piece against sides of cake to form a collar, pressing short edges to seal.
- 6Combine chopped fruit in a bowl, scatter over cake, cut into wedges and serve.
Note At Rosetta, the outer layer of marzipan is coloured with pistachio paste, available from Chefs' Warehouse and specialist cake-decorating shops. Cedro is the glacé fruit of the citron tree, available from Simon Johnson, David Jones food halls and select delicatessens. Amarena cherries are sour cherries; the candied version is available from Simon Johnson (you could subsitute regular glacé cherries).
Drink Suggestion: 2008 Fattori Motto Piane Recioto Di Soave, Veneto. Drink suggestion by David Lawler