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Cassata alla Siciliana (Ricotta Layer Cake)
  • 1 Butter Pound Cake (about 9x3)
  • 1 pound Calabro Ricotta Whole Milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Grand Marnier Liquor 
  • 3 tbsp. coarsely chopped unsalted Pistachios
  • 2 0z. coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • Chocolate Frosting: 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, 3/4 cup brewed espresso coffee, 1/2 lb. unsalted butter. 

**This is a quick assembly version of this cake and could be eaten same day.  But, for the Grand Marnier to soak in, cake should "cure" overnight in the fridge to reach the desired flavor. Perfect make ahead dessert.**

Cut the pound cake into aprox five 1/2 inch slices to make the layers.  Put Ricotta through a sieve to "cream" it.  Add sugar and Grand Marnier, blending all by hand with a wooden spoon. Fold in Pistachios and chocolate. 

Center one slice of the Pound Cake on a platter.  Sprinkle on the cake slice one tbsp. Grand Marnier.  Generously spread the cake slice with ricotta mixture.  Place another slab of cake on top, and repeat this procedure until Ricotta mixture has been used up.  End with plain slice of cake on top.

GENTLY press the loaf together to make it as compact as possible. Cover tightly with foil, chill for two hours in fridge. When cold, spread frosting over the top and sides. Cover tightly with foil (making a tent on top not to smudge icing),  return to fridge for 12 hours to "ripen". Serve decorated with mint leave or crystalized ginger or edible flowers such as violets. 

Chocolate Frosting

In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 12 0z. semi-sweet chocolate that has been cut into small pieces with 3/4 cup brewed espresso coffee. Stir constantly until chocolate has melted.  Remove from heat. Beat in, one tbsp. at a time, a total of 1/2 lb. unsalted butter. Continue beating until mixture is smooth. Chill until it thickens to spreading consistency. Frost cake.