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Cassata Cake

Sue Fleischl

The Great Kiwi Bake Off

Episode 9 - Finale

Ingredients


Ricotta:
4 ltr Lewis Road Creamery Non-homogenised milk
2 teaspoons of Sea salt
200ml white vinegar

Pistachio marzipan:
125g raw pistachios
125 grams Pams Icing Sugar
27g egg white lightly beaten Pams Free Range
½ tsp Brandy
Queen Green Food Gel colouring

Sponge:
6 whole Pams Free Range eggs, room temperature
180g Pams Caster Sugar
180g Pams Self-raising Flour
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon Queen Madagascan Vanilla Bean Extract

For the Cassata filling:
Ricotta
Mascarpone
230 grams caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of Queen Natural Vanilla Bean Extract with Seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes and drained
1/3 cup candied orange and lemon peel, cut into small dice

Icing:
450g Pams Icing Sugar
90 mls water, plus more if needed

Royal Icing for piping:
1 egg white Pams Free Range
250g Pams Icing Sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Candied lemon slices:
2 small lemons, ends removed and thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 cup Pams Caster Sugar c
Pams Icing Sugar for dusting

To assemble:
1/5 Cup Grand Marnier
Cranberries
Candied lemon slices
Piped royal icing

Method

  • 1

    Pour the milk in to a large deep saucepan and place over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and stir until dissolved.

  • 2

    As the milk comes to the boil, small bubbles will appear on the surface, at this now is the time to stir the milk gently with a wooden spoon. Remove the spoon and pour in the vinegar. Small lumps (curds) will start to rise to the surface as the milk curdles.

  • 3

    Using your spoon, gently draw the curds to the centre of the pan to make room for more curds to rise to the edge. Once the mixture starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave for 15 minutes.

  • 4

    Line a large strainer with 2 – 3 layers of cheesecloth or muslin. Place the strainer over a large bowl. Remove the lid from the pan and all ow the steam to escape. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the curds out of the pan shaking the spoon to remove excess liquid.

  • 5

    Place the curds into the strainer. Leave to sit and strain for 15 minutes. Wrap the cheesecloth around the curds and gently squeeze to remove most of the liquid. It should be slightly moist and not too dry. Chill.

  • 6

    The Marzipan: Place the pistachios in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade and grind till as fine as possible. Add the icing sugar and grind to combine. Add the egg white and the brandy and pulse to combine.

  • 7

    Tip on to a bench and press the mixture together. Add enough green colouring to produce a pretty green marzipan to contrast well against the sponge. Knead in to the marzipan.

  • 8

    Wrap in gladwrap, roll to slightly flatten and leave till ready to use. Roll the marzipan to about 5 mm thick. Use icing sugar to roll if the mixture is too sticky.

  • 9

    Cut a long strip, 6 cm high to line the inside edge of your cake tin. The remaining marzipan can be used to decorate your Cassata cake. Set aside until ready to use.

  • 10

    The Sponge: Grease a 23cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper Pre heat oven to 170 fan bake

  • 11

    Beat together the eggs and the castor sugar in a mixer on high for 10 – 15 minutes until it is at ribbon stage. Add the salt and vanilla essence and combine.

  • 12

    Gently fold in the flour in 2 to 3 lots and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before turning out

  • 13

    The cassata filling: Weigh your ricotta add enough mascarpone to have 650g in total, you want roughly 150g of mascarpone. Add lemon zest, vanilla and sugar in to the bowl of your mixer and beat until smooth and creamy.

  • 14

    Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

  • 15

    Royal icing for piping: Whisk egg white until frothy. Gradually add the icing sugar. Finish with the lemon juice.

  • 16

    The lemon slices: Preheat the oven to 120 fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bring the water and sugar to boil in a pot.

  • 17

    Add the lemon slices and reduce the heat to a bare simmer for 20 minutes until the pith is translucent. Drain in a mesh sieve and cool for 5 minutes. Spread the lemon slices on to the baking paper in a single layer, not touching each other.

  • 18

    Bake for 15 – 30 minutes until they have dried out but not coloured. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Dust with icing sugar and set aside.

  • 19

    To assemble: Slice the sponge cake into 2 discs about 1cm thick. This will become the top and bottom. To assemble the cassata, use a baking tin that measures about 23cm diameter across the bottom. Line the baking tin with gladwrap.

  • 20

    Wrap the marzipan around the inside edge of your tin. Place a disc of sponge cake on the bottom of the tin and brush with Grand Marnier. Top the sponge with the ricotta mixture, using a spatula to cover all the way to the sides and smoothing the just below the top of the marzipan to allow room for your sponge.

  • 21

    Place the 2nd sponge disc on the top and brush with Grand Marnier then cover with plastic cling wrap. Place a small flat plate that fits just inside the width of the tin on top and weigh the cassata down in order to keep the cassata pressed. Chill to set.

  • 22

    Remove the plastic wrap and place a flat serving plate over the top of the cassata, then carefully upturn the plate and remove the tin.

  • 23

    Prepare a sugar glaze by combining the powdered sugar and water in a small saucepan and heating to a simmer. It should be thick but still runny - add water as needed, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the right consistency.

  • 24

    Tip the hot sugar glaze out onto the top of the cassata cake inside the marzipan rim. Decorate your cassata cake as beautifully as you can with lemon slices, piped royal icing and left over marzipan.