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Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian cake recipe for cassata

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 8
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You will need to begin this recipe 1-2 days ahead.


  • 5 eggs
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • For brushing: almond liqueur, such as amaretto
  • 2 drops green food colouring
  • 500 gm fondant icing (see note)
  • For dusting: icing sugar
  • To serve: cedro, shaved with a peeler (see note)
  • To serve: candied oranges or clementines (see note)
Ricotta filling
  • 450 gm ricotta (2¼ cups)
  • 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 (see note)
  • 50 gm good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped


  • 1
    Place ricotta into a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs for 2 minutes, add sugar and whisk for 10 minutes or until pale and thick enough to form ribbons of mixture. Stir in vanilla, then gently fold through sifted flour. Pour mixture into a 23cm-diameter lined and greased cake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and centre springs back when lightly pressed. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 3
    For ricotta filling, process drained ricotta, discarding liquid, in a food processor until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla and almond liqueur and blend to combine, then stir through candied fruit and chocolate. Refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    Halve cake horizontally and brush cut sides with almond liqueur. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over base and sandwich with top. Refrigerate until required.
  • 5
    Add food colouring to fondant icing and knead to combine colouring evenly. Roll out icing to 4mm thick on an icing sugar-dusted work surface, then cut out a 30cm-diameter circle, place over cake to cover and trim excess. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Decorate with cedro and candied orange and serve.


Note Fondant icing is available from supermarkets. Cedro is the candied fruit of a citron tree and is available, along with other candied fruit, from Simon Johnson and David Jones Foodhalls.

  • Author: Rodney Dunn