Cassata Zucotto Cake
Giada De Laurentiis
- Nonstick cooking spray
1 (14 ounces to 1 pound) loaf pound cake
- ¼ cup Amaretto liqueur
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup chilled whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- 2 cup whole milk ricotta
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Reserved ricotta filling, for frosting
- Amarena cherries, for garnishing
- Chopped pistachios, for garnishing
- Extra mini chocolate chips, for decorating, if desired
For The Chocolate Layer:
For The Whipped Ricotta Cream
- Spray a 2 to 2 1/2-quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bowl with plastic wrap. Cut the pound cake crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice diagonally in half, forming 2 triangles. Line the bottom and sides of the prepared bowl with the cake triangles. Brush some of the Amaretto liqueur over the cake triangles lining the bowl. Reserve the extra triangles.
- For the chocolate layer, stir the chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of whipping cream in another large bowl until it is thick and fluffy. Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Fold half of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the chocolate cream over the cake, covering completely and creating a well in the center for the ricotta filling. Cover and refrigerate if not assembling cake right away.
For the whipped ricotta cream, in a clean large bowl, add the 1 1/2 cups of cream, the 2 cups ricotta, and almond extract. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy and thickened - this can take several minutes. Reserve about 1 and ½ cups of the whipped ricotta cream for decorating the cake later, and place in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use. To the rest of the whipped ricotta cream in the bowl, fold in the mini chocolate chips. Spoon the cream mixture into the center of the well of the filling.
- Brush the remaining cake slices with Amaretto and arrange them, brushed side down, over the cake, covering the filling completely and trimming to fit if necessary. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- Invert the cake onto a platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Take the ricotta filling that was set aside for decorating, and using a spoon or a small offset spatula, cover the exterior of the cake in the mixture. Decorate as desired with cherries, chopped pistachios or chocolate chips.