|A true Sicilian Cassata|
The original recipe for a Cassata Siciliana consisted of a round sponge cake, moistened with liquid from liqeuer-lacerated strawberries and layered with ricotta cheese, candied orange peel and a chocolate filling similar to cannoli cream. Then the whole cake was covered with a layer of marzipan, pink and green pastel icing and decorative designs made with candied fruit depicting cherries and citrus native to Sicily. The “Cleveland Cassata” was created in the 1920s by LaPuma Spumoni and Bakery which had been around since 1893. Apparently the children of the owners didn’t like the traditional cake so the recipe was
|Cleveland’s Cassata from LaPuma Spumoni and Bakery|
altered to the one on which Julie Richardson based her recipe. Sadly, LaPuma Spumoni has closed. So we are left with Julie’s take on their recipe. Except that Julie herself changed the LaPuma recipe by opting to make Lemon Chiffon instead of Sponge Cake. She did away with the candied fruit on top and substituted fresh berries. She also omitted the candied orange in the cake and substituted orange zest. She reinstated the use of chocolate shavings replacing the chocolate chips the Cleveland contingent used in their recipe. However altered the recipe, the most important thing to know about this cake is that it is a complete show-stopper. It tastes every bit as good as it looks. It is the perfect opportunity to use this Spring’s first strawberries, the perfect cake to serve at a dinner party as it serves up to 18 people, and above all, it tastes absolutely fantastic. Here is the recipe:
1. Combine the ricotta, sugar, zest, and vanilla gently until smooth.
1. Drain and reserve the juice from the strawberries