Being Sicilian I am obsessed with sweets that come from my beautiful Sicily.
This cake that I am proposing is filled with distinct Mediterranean flavors, from pistachio grain to ricotta cream which is a must-have in many Sicilian desserts. Such as the Sicilian cassata, cannoli, and many other desserts that decorate the fantastic and delicious pastries of the island.
This cake has long been in my plans to share with you all, and finally, here it is. It is the best-tasting Sicilian cake I’ve ever made. The cake can be used to celebrate a birthday, with its gratifying appearance and an indescribably good taste it will satisfy the guests and host. The sponge cake is soaked in a coffee dip which makes this cake even more delicious. And if you don’t like coffee, don’t worry you can just simply replace it with fruit syrup!
Why is this the best Sicilian Cake for me?
1) Soft, scrumptious Sponge Cake: to get a very soft sponge cake you have to follow my recipe to the letter which you can always find on this blog by clicking on this word 👉🏻 superb …
The basic ingredients are: 00 flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla or other flavoring, potato starch.
Remember to use eggs at room temperature for a better final result.
As you will notice, there is no yeast in the recipe. In fact, yeast is not needed because the secret of this soft dough lies precisely in the processing of the eggs since they help retain a lot of air bubbles which in turn allows the sponge cake to rise during and after cooking.
2) Ricotta: Ricotta is undoubtedly one of the most versatile ingredients used for sweet recipes like the very tasty cassatelle of western Sicily. It is also widely used in savory recipes, do not forget the forever tasty, pasta with ricotta. Sheep or cow ricotta gives the dish an added value and represents a flavor that goes well with every other flavor on your plate.
Ricotta could affect the success or failure of the recipe. In fact, the misuse of this ingredient especially in desserts can compromise the success of a good dessert.
One of the most frequent mistakes is not draining out the ricotta. The ricotta should be placed in a colander for at least an hour before its use. The reason? To eliminate the excess liquid that will make the cake too moist which compromises the final result. Always keep in mind: humidity is often the antagonist of sweets.
- 150g pistachio grain (0.4 pounds)
- 5 medium eggs (room temperature)
- 130 g flour 00 4.6 oz
- 30 g potato starch 1.1 oz
- 150 g sugar ⅔ cup
- 1 grated lemon peel
- 1 scraped vanilla bean
- 1000 g ricotta ~ 5 cups
- 400 g powdered sugar 2 cups
- grated orange peel
- dark chocolate chips
- 250 ml of espresso coffee (1 cup)
- 40 ml of water (~3 tbsp)
- 80 g of sugar (3 1/4 tbsp)
- Mix the eggs with the sugar.
- Beat the mixture in a mixer for 15-20 minutes at medium speed.
- Add the sifted flour and starch potatoes with a spatula from the bottom to the top to obtain a homogeneous consistency.
- Put the mixture into the cake pan (24 cm in diameter - 9-inch round and 1 1/2 inch deep) properly greased and lightly floured.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 40-50
minutes, never open the oven before 35 minutes.
- Do the toothpick test to check cooking, insert it in
centers, and has to come out clean.
- After the time necessary to allow it to cool and remove it from the mold.
- Allow the sponge cake to cool completely before slicing.
- Drain overnight la ricotta.
- Work it incorporating the powdered sugar.
- Add dark chocolate chips and orange peel.
- Prepare the coffee and set it aside
- In the meantime put the sugar water in a saucepan and place it on the stove.
- Make sure the heat is low and mix the sugar and water solution until it comes to a boil.
- When you notice that the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has thickened, turn off the heat.
- Add the coffee and continue stirring and let it cool.
- First, let the sponge cake cool completely, my advice is to prepare the sponge cake the day before and then cut it and stuff it the next day.
- Use two types of knives, one-pointed and sharp and the other long with a smooth blade.
- Basically, there are two steps in cutting the sponge cake:
- Take a serrated knife and carve a line along the circumference of the cake which will guide us when cutting the cake in half horizontally.
- By following this it will be easier to have two equal and level discs.
- Take the long knife and start cutting from the guideline that you have created, and place a hand on the top of the cake so that you can feel the movement of the knife.
- Before soaking the sponge cake, make sure that the sponge cake and the coffee syrup are completely cold.
- Once the syrup has cooled, you can use two different strategies to wet your sponge cake (both layers).
- The first is to pour the syrup into a plastic bottle with a spout: this method is suitable for the more experienced.
- The risk is not having control of the liquid that comes out and its quantities (you might soak it too much).
- The second alternative is to leave the syrup in a bowl, dip a kitchen brush into it and wet the sponge cake: pass the wet brush several times over as many as necessary to soften the layers of the cake.
- Spread half of the ricotta on top of the lower disc of the sponge cake (now soaked in coffee)
- Cover with the other half of the disc and spread the rest of the ricotta cream leftover on the entire surface of the cake and the sides.
- Decorate the cake by covering it with granule pistachios.