Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Musings and The Cannoli Cake

So, I've just discovered that I live in a town that is on the National Historic Registry. That's kinda cool. Oh and we've got Shasta County's first legal marijuana cooperative. That's just interesting. As long as everything sold there is locally grown I really don't care, but I'm all for supporting the local farmers. :-)

Speaking of locally grown, Miss Nancy brought me about 25 lbs of Roma's from her sister in laws garden yesterday, enough to make about 8 quarts of delicious sauce. Aren't they beautiful!

Yesterday was my cousin Liz's 70th Birthday. We were supposed to go up to her place for a birthday bash on Saturday but that got canceled so my mom thought having her down would be a good idea, and it was. We had great fun! My brother's birthday was last week so it was a dinner for him as well, old man.
Mom did all the usual favorites Meatball and sauce with pasta, eggplant, garlic bread. Then she decided that we also needed some North Carolina BBQ Pork, so she did a cheater version. There was tons of food.
Mom insisted that I make a cake so I decided on a cannoli cake and it was DELISH. I wish I'd taken a picture of it after it had been cut. For the first time out I was very happy with it, but there will be changes. Sponge cake, split and filled with cannoli filling then topped with this amazing light whipped cream butter cream frosting. it was sooo yummy. Things I was not happy with, I personally think the sponge was a bit heavier than it needed to be but I think that was operator error and I'll have to look into to. My niece refused to even try it because she thinks Ricotta cheese is disgusting. My mom said she likes the traditional Cassata cake better so I may have to do a Cassata/ Cannoli cake taste off down the road doing a full compare and contrast. The cool thing about the recipe from last night is that I have leftover filling AND frosting and I think I'm going to fill some cupcakes!!!! Maybe I'll get pictures of those!

Here's the recipe I used.

Jun 16, 2005

This delicious Cannoli Cake has a thick layer filled with ricotta and cream cheese flavored with orange and liqueur and iced with Vanilla-Cream Frosting.

SERVES 12 (change servings and units)


* 6 large eggs, separated
* 1 cup sugar (divided)
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


* 2 large oranges
* 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (optional)


1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate, mini pieces
* 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (for feather- design on top of cake)


* 3 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups whipping cream

FOR THE CAKE: Begin early in day or day ahead to make Cannoli Cake.
Preheat oven to 375°F In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar, beating until sugar completely dissolves and whites stand in stiff peaks.

In large bowl, using same beaters and with mixer at low speed, beat egg yolks, flour, baking powder, salt, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 Tablespoons water until blended. With rubber spatula, gently fold beaten egg whites into egg-yolk mixture, one-third at a time.

Spoon batter into UNGREASED 10 inch by 3 inch springform pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until cake is golden and top springs back when lightly touched.

Invert cake in pan on wire rack; cool completely in pan.

FOR BRUSHING CAKE LAYERS: From oranges, grate 2 teaspoons peel (use the rest of peel for the filling) and squeeze 1/3 cup juice (IF NOT USING LIQUEUR, INCREASE JUICE TO 1/2 CUP). Stir liqueur into 1/3 cup juice; set aside.

FOR THE FILLING: In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat ricotta, cream cheese, rest of the grated orange peel, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup semisweet-chocolate mini pieces.

With metal spatula, loosen cake from edge of pan; remove pan side. Loosen cake from pan bottom; remove pan bottom. With serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush orange-juice mixture evenly over cut side of both layers.

Place bottom cake layer, cut-side up, on cake plate. Spoon ricotta-cheese filling on center of cake layer. Spread some filling out to edge, leaving a center rounded to achieve a dome effect.

Cut a small wedge out of remaining cake layer; and gently rest cake layer over filling. (Cutting wedge will allow cake layer to bend, without cracking, to fit over dome shape.).

PREPARE VANILLA-CREAM FROSTING: In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat 3 Tablespoons margarine or butter, softened, 3 Tablespoons milk, 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth, adding more milk if necessary until mixture has an easy spreading consistency. In large bowl, using same beaters and with mixer at medium speed, beat 2 cups heavy or whipping cream until stiff peaks form; fold confectioners’-sugar mixture into whipped cream. Spread over top and down side of cake.

In a heavy small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining 1/3 cup mini pieces, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.

Into waxed-paper cone, spoon melted chocolate. (Or, use small decorating bag with small writing tube.) With chocolate, make feather design.

Refrigerate cake until filling is firm for easier cutting, about 3 hours.

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