Cassata of the aeolian islands

cassata of the aeolian islands

The staff of Filippino reveals the secrets to prepare the authentic Cassata of the Aeolian Islands, the traditional Easter dessert of the archipelago.
Unlike the classic Sicilian cassata (sponge cake filled with sweet ricotta and candied fruits), this dessert is lighter thanks to the absence of the almond paste and of sugar icing.

Ingredients (4 servings)
for the Pan di Spagna (sponge cake)

4 eggs
100 g sugar
100 g starch
A dash of vanilla

for the Ricotta cream
700 g ricotta (sheep milk cheese)
300 g sugar
50 g dark chocolate
50 g zuccata (candied pumpkin)
70 g almond brittle
50 cl punk for the desserts with maraschino (a liqueur obtained from the distillation of Marasca cherries)

for the decoration
Candied fruits: 1 mandarin, a few cherries, 1 orange
Syringe or piping bag


PREPARATION FOR THE SPONGE CAKE: In a bowl, beat egg yolks with the sugar until obtain a light cream, then add the sieved starch and mix. Beat separately white eggs until stiff and add them to the dough mixing delicately. Pour everything into a buttered flat and put in the oven with moderate temperature for about 30 minutes. Let cool and cut the sponge cake so as to obtain three circles.

PREPARATION FOR THE RICOTTA CREAM: With a food mill or a sieve, filter the ricotta with the sugar. Take half of the obtained ricotta cream and add the dark chocolate, the sugar and the almonds brittle.
Cover the bottom of a nonstick round flat with the wet sponge cake with the punk of the maraschino. Pour a layer of ricotta cream already mixed with the sugar, the almonds and the dark chocolate. Level and repeat the operation for another layer.
Let rest the cake for a few hours in the fridge then turn over the flat on a tray. Cover the top with the rest of the ricotta cream, sliced candied fruits and cherries. Decorate the external part with the syringe or the piping bag.