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  • Writer's pictureSusan Russo Anderson

30 Minute Sicilian Cassata

Need to whip up a delicious dessert?

Here’s a family recipe awarded the badge of culinary delight by two of my characters, Serafina and Rosa.

Being immortal, they do no cooking. (Face it, being immortal, they don’t do much of anything except float around on clouds.) When it’s time to prepare a meal, they imagine, and the food appears. But even immortals think this recipe is easy. It involves draining, refrigeration, but no baking—a perfect warm weather dessert.


2 lbs. ricotta, drained

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (maybe a touch more)

1 cup chocolate, chopped into bits

Orange marmalade, about 1/4 of a jar

Lady fingers, 3 or 4 packages

Chocolate frosting

Whipped Topping (All right, beat heavy cream if you’re a masochist.)

Three days before serving:

Place ricotta in sieve. Set sieve in pan or bowl. Cover. A clinging see-thru wrap works well. Drain for at least 48 hours. (Cannot skip this step or you will have a weeping mess.)

Cut chocolate into bits. Place in plastic bag. Refrigerate.

One day before serving:

Discard liquid from ricotta. Place cheese in bowl. Sift powdered sugar. Use mixer to blend into drained ricotta. Should not be totally smooth. Sample. May take a little more powdered sugar to suit your taste. Mix chocolate bits into ricotta.

Line the bottom and sides of a spring-form pan with lady fingers. Alternate layers of marmalade, ricotta, and lady fingers.

Frost the top.

Refrigerate at least 24 hours.


Spring the pan.

Place cake on raised dish.

Decorate with dollops of whipped cream or topping.


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