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Chocolate, Cherry And Marsala Cassata


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  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 5 tablespoons Marsala
  • 1 can dark sweet pitted cherries in syrup (17 oz), drained, and syrup reserved for frosting
  • 1 containes ricotta cheese - (15 oz)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 whole pound cake - (16 oz)
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/4 cup Marsala
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter - (2 sticks) cut into pieces


Servings 6


Step 1

For Filling: Combine dried currants and 2 tablespoons Marsala in small bowl. Let currants macerate 15 minutes. Cut cherries into eighths and drain on paper towels. Drain currants.

Puree ricotta cheese, sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons Marsala and whipping cream in processor until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Gently mix in currants and cherries.

Peel any loose crust from pound cake and discard. Cut pound cake lengthwise into 3 horizontal layers. Place bottom layer on serving platter. Spread half of filling over. Place second pound cake layer atop filling. Spread remaining filling over. Arrange third pound cake layer atop filling. Smooth sides with rubber spatula. Refrigerate cassata until filling is firm, about 2 hours.

For Chocolate Frosting: Combine 1/2 cup reserved cherry syrup, semisweet chocolate and Marsala in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add unsalted butter a few pieces at a time and whisk until melted. Refrigerate frosting until thickened to spreading consistency, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Slide sheets of waxed paper under edges of cassata. Transfer 1 cup chocolate frosting to pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Spread remaining chocolate frosting over sides and top of cassata.

Pipe frosting in pastry bag in swirls on long sides and in rosettes along upper edges of cassata. Refrigerate until set. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.) Let cassata stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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