Italia published by Quadrille.  Photograph: Alastair Hendy
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Cassata Semifredda

Sicilian Ice Cream

This is the easier ice-cream and candied fruit version of cassata, as opposed to the elaborate, rich sponge, which is more time consuming. My former head chef, Andrea Cavaliere perfected this cassata recipe. It is semifreddo, with a superb soft texture.

Serves 8-10

200g egg whites (about 4)
70g caster sugar
100g ricotta cheese (best quality)
20ml milk (plus a little extra to soften ricotta if needed)
400ml double cream
100g thin honey, warmed
100g mixed candied citron and orange peel, chopped
50g pine nuts, toasted
50g dark bitter chocolate, chopped
80g skinned pistachio nuts
8-10 red candied cherries

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in 50g of the sugar. In another bowl, fluff the ricotta with a fork, adding a little milk to soften if it is too firm. Whip the double cream in another bowl until thick.

Fold the honey into the whisked egg whites, followed by the whipped cream and ricotta. Then fold in the chopped candied peel, pine nuts and chocolate. Spoon into a 1.2 litre bowl or bombe mould, cover and chill in the freezer for 12 hours.

Before serving, whiz the pistachio nuts with the remaining 20g sugar and 20ml milk in a blender to make a sauce.

To unmould, dip the bowl into hot water for a few seconds to release the cassata then turn out on to a plate. Cut into wedges, using a warm knife.

Put a little pistachio sauce on each plate, lay a wedge of cassata in the centre, decorate with a cherry and serve.

This recipe is from:

  • Italia
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