I adore special desserts during December and although old favorites are often on the menu, I also enjoy trying new things. Some of which become favorites like this recipe for Cassata. An Italian dessert it’s an easy dessert for it starts with a boughten pound cake and then it’s just put together. But for as little effort as it takes, it is a “wow” dessert.
2 c. Ricotta cheese
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. liqueur (sherry, brandy, Amaretto, I used Maraschino liqueur)
1/4 c. finely chopped candied cherries
1/4 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 pound cake (I used Sara Lee frozen)
1 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 t. instant coffee dissolved in 1/4 c. boiling water
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, chilled
sliced almonds for garnish
Combine ricotta, sugar, liqueur and mix until silky. Fold in candied cherries and 1/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips. Set aside.
Cut pound cake in half horizontally using sharp serrated knife. Cut each half again horizontally. Place pound cake on serving platter. Spread 1/4 ricotta mixture evenly over cake. Repeat procedure twice. Top with remaining cake layer; press lightly to compact layers. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile heat 1 c. chocolate chips and coffee in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Add butter pieces, one by one, stirring constantly, until all butter is added and melted. Remove from heat; let cool to spreading consistency, about 2 hours. Spread top and sides of cake with chocolate frosting. I garnished the cake with sliced almonds on top.