The cassata siciliana consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese, candied peel, and a chocolate or vanilla filling similar to cannoli cream. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is finally topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily.

Makes 6 servings:
  • 250 g natural almond marzipan
  • 100 g madeira cake
  • 3 tablespoons of marsala wine
  • 100 g mascarpone
  • 100 g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 peaches chopped
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 25 g candied peel
  • 40 g chocolate, chopped

Boil 50 ml wine and 50g of sugar, add the sliced peaches and leave to cool in the liquid.

Line a shallow round dish with cling film.

On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out 2/3 of the marzipana and line the bottom and sides of the tin.

Slice the cake into 1/2 cmm slices and line the bottom. Mix the marsala with 3 tbsp liquid from the peaches then sprinkle half or it on the cake.

Mix the ricotta and mascarpone with the sugar and vanilla, then mix in the cooled chopped peaches, chocolate and chopped candied peel.

Spread evenly over cake, then top with the rest of the cake and sprinkle with remaining marsala.

Roll out the remaining marzipan and lay it on top. Pinch to seal, neaten the edges.

Chill at least 4 hours. Can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Invert into a serving platter and dust with icing sugar.

Let your imagination go wild and decorate with the extra candied peel.