Neapolitan cassata: the recipe for the traditional dessert with ricotta cream and candied fruit – Tale Of Travels


For the ricotta cream

well-drained cow’s milk ricotta

The Neapolitan cassata it’s a sweet Typical Campania prepared traditionally during the Christmas holidays. Inviting and delicious, today it is still possible to find it in the pastry shops of Naples to be able to enjoy it all year round. It is the light version of the Sicilian cassata from which it differs in certain respects both in the preparation and in the decoration.

The base of the cassata is a sponge cake made with the classic recipe: eggs and sugar whipped for a long time to create a fluffy and frothy mixture, to which add the sifted flour, without yeast and without any fatty element such as oil, butter or milk. The filling is cow ricottaunlike the Sicilian which uses sheep’s milk ricotta, and which is enriched with a mixture of candied fruit, icing sugar and chocolate chips.

After dividing the sponge cake in two, cut the base as if to create a hollow which will then house the ricotta filling. The surface of the cake is finally covered with a sort of soft frosting and creamy, different from the opaque and firm one used for the Sicilian version. Less baroque and sumptuous, the decoration of the Neapolitan cassata is just as colorful and rich in a mixture of candied fruit and crushed pistachios.

Find out how to prepare it by following the step-by-step procedure and tips. If you liked this recipe, don’t miss the roccocò, the mostaccioli, the struffoli, the raffiuoli and all the other characteristic specialties of the Neapolitan tradition.

Cassata: origins of the ricotta cake

The name broken, rather than a specific candy, indicates a category of candies: those made with ricotta. The origins, however, are uncertain: between the 9th and 11th centuries, a cheese-based dessert was introduced to Sicily, thanks to the Saracens, and it is said that it was the rounded shape that gave the preparation its name: in Arabic, in fact, the circle is called quas’at, then “cassata”. For others, the name derives from Latin Cheese which in Italian means anything prepared with milk.

Credit for so much kindness seems to go to the pastry chef Mario Scaturchio who was the first to create a simpler and lighter variant of the Sicilian cassata. This new version then spread throughout Naples, becoming the quintessential Christmas dessert.

Neapolitan or Sicilian cassata: what are the differences?

In the Neapolitan cassata, cow’s milk ricotta is usually used instead of sheep’s milk, although it is a personal choice: many, in fact, cannot give up the sweetness and taste. more decisive of the latter. In the Sicilian cassatathen, the sponge cake is cut into strips and used to cover a mold whose edge is lined with strips of marzipan. The ricotta, worked with sugar and enriched with chocolate chips and candied fruit, is poured in the center and covered with sponge cake crumbs. Once turned over and deformed, it is covered with royal or almond paste, and many baroque decorations.

The Neapolitan cassataHowever, it is not spilled and the sponge cake is the basis of the dessert: it is moistened with a liqueur syrup and filled with ricotta, mixed with sugar and chocolate chips, to which candied fruit can be added. Finally, it is covered with a sugar glaze, also called “naspro”, or another ricotta cream, then decorated with dark chocolate, candied fruit and chopped dried fruit.

How to prepare Neapolitan cassata

Crack the eggs into the bowl of the stand mixer 1.

Add a pinch of salt 2.

With electric whisks, beat the eggs for a few minutes 3.

When they are semi-whipped, add the sugar 4.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is fluffy, clear and frothy 5.

Sift the flour and add it to the dough 6. Incorporate the flour with the spatula with delicate movements from bottom to top so as not to disassemble the compound.

Pour the sponge cake mixture into the buttered and floured mold 7.

Level the surface with the spatula so that the sponge cake keeps a regular shape during cooking 9.

Bake the sponge cake at 180°C for about 30 minutes ten. Check for doneness with a wooden toothpick which should come out perfectly clean and dry.

Bake the sponge cake 11.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least half a day 12.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling for the Neapolitan cassata by collecting the ricotta in a bowl 13.

Add icing sugar 14.

Mix with a spoon or, for ease, you can use an electric whisk 15.

The ricotta cream should be smooth and without lumps. 16. Reserve less than half that you will then need to cover the Neapolitan cassata, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

To the part of ricotta intended for the filling, add the mixed candied fruits, cut into small pieces 17.

Mix the chocolate chips 18.

Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients 19. Cover with transparent film and transfer the ricotta cream to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Prepare the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water until it boils, then add the liqueur 20 and let cool.

Cut the sponge cake in half 21.

Dig the base an inch from the edge, creating a kind of hollow 22.

Soak the base with the liqueur syrup 23.

Pour the ricotta cream on the bottom of the sponge cake 24.

Spread it evenly 25.

Cover with the other disc of sponge cake, adjusting it perfectly to the underlying base 26.

Pour the reserved ricotta cream 27.

Decorate the Neapolitan cassata with a mixture of candied fruits 28.

In the center of the cassata you can place a candied cherry and all around the orange zest in a radial pattern 29. You can garnish by adding chopped pistachios, chocolate chips and candied citron. Place the Neapolitan cassata in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve the Neapolitan cassata at the table 30.

storage room

The Neapolitan cassata keeps well covered in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days.

Sursa articolului in engleza: Neapolitan cassata: the recipe for the traditional dessert with ricotta cream and candied fruit – Tale Of Travels

Leave a Comment