Chocolate Cassata




The traditional version of this Sicilian dessert, often served at Easter, is made from a light-textured sponge cake stuffed with rum-ricotta filling laced with candied orange peel. Here I provide a version more suited to most Americans' taste: dense chocolate cake, filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, and iced with creamy fudge frosting.


Chocolate Cassata

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients:


Cake:
  • 1 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, preferably at room temperature for easiest mixing
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder, optional, to enhance chocolate flavor
  • 2/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling:
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, part-skim preferred
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips preferred
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup or vanilla syrup, to brush on cake, optional

Frosting:
  • 1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, preferably at room temperature for easiest mixing
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions:

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, and cocoa to make a sandy, somewhat clumpy mixture. Don't worry; the eggs will smooth things out.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl midway through this process.

Add half the flour to the bowl, beating at low speed to combine.

Add all of the milk, beating at low speed to combine.

Add the remaining flour, beating gently just until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top may look a tiny bit damp; that's OK. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the center will register 210°F to 215°F, while just under the top will register about 198°F to 200°F.

Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges, wait 10 minutes, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Store completely cooled cake well wrapped, at room temperature, until ready to fill and frost.

To make the filling: Stir together the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the frosting: sift the cocoa, confectioners' sugar, and espresso powder into a bowl.

Bring the cream to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave, and whisk into the cocoa mixture. At first the mixture will look grainy; continue whisking for a minute. You'll see the lumps disappear as the sugar dissolves and the cocoa hydrates. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Place the butter, salt, and sifted confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the cocoa mixture a spoonful at a time until it's all incorporated. Scrape the bowl, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute.

To assemble the cake: Split the cake in thirds lengthwise, to make 3 layers. Brush the cut side of each layer with simple
syrup or vanilla syrup; this will help keep the cake moist.

Place the bottom layer on a serving plate. Spread with half the ricotta filling. Top with the second layer, and spread with the remaining filling. Place the third layer on top.

Ice the cake — top and sides — with the frosting.

Serve immediately; or refrigerate, well-wrapped, until ready to serve, preferably not longer than 24 hours. Cut in crosswise slices to serve.


Tips:

As with any cake, refrigeration will dry it out. If not served immediately, this should be refrigerated, and is best served within a day of preparation. When wrapping, stick a couple of skewers or toothpicks into the top, to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the icing.

10 Easy Steps to Succeed in Your Online Classes

Congratulations Youve made up our minds to pursue your upper schooling, and doing so online is how to pass if you have an interest in a versatile, studentcentered educating manner. Studying online permits you to pursue different pursuits and attend to different responsibilities whilst nonetheless operating your method towards some extent. However, it will now and again imply that its clean to get distracted. Here are 10 clean steps to verify luck on your online categories.

  1. Connect together with your instructors once conceivable. Even in case you are doing smartly within the category, its extraordinarily vital to increase a rapport together with your trainer. When you do that early on, you temporarily understand what the priorities are within the route, what expectancies the professor has of you and youre going to be motivated to prevail, surer of whats forward and higher ready to do smartly with the impending subject material.

Valuable questions to invite your trainer come with the next

How versatile are you with time limits How versatile are you with grownup freshmen What applied sciences do you employ within the route How to be had are you through e mail and different sorts of verbal exchange How do you put up an internet neighborhood and what are the expectancies for participation in it In addition, since instructors are to be had to lend a hand all over the classes, its all the time just right to have had private touch with the trainer early on. This method, when you wish to have lend a hand, its more straightforward to achieve out and get the help you wish to have.

  1. Confirm the technical necessities of the route. Online categories can also be very advisable for college kids with busy schedules, however provided that they are able to simply get right of entry to the fabrics. It is vital to obviously perceive what the technical necessities are. So, ahead of the route begins or as quickly thereafter as conceivable, youll want to test that your pc will paintings with the entire online equipment, and that you understand how to navigate them. This will be sure that you dont must spend time all the way through the route attempting to determine the generation.

three. Create a time table and stick with it. Quality online instructors create classes which might be clean to navigate and feature transparent expectancies. Having that roughly easytodealwith framework in position will make learning and succeeding that a lot more straightforward. However, although the framework and necessities of your category arent as transparent, youll create a time table and construction, which is able to very much fortify your probabilities of luck within the route. Using equipment equivalent to Google Calendar is a good way to start out. Knowing how your weeks and months glance and scheduling blocks of analysis time for each and every activity or module will will let you stick with a time table.

four. Ask questionsall the time. When you dont perceive, ask questions. When you do perceive, ask additional questions. Instructors recognize scholars who take part, and if theres a participation or dialogue part a part of the grade, then asking high quality questions is helping guarantee your grade on this space. Even if there isnt a participation part, its all the time helpful to invite inquiries to remember to perceive the fabric and are transparent on what is needed of you.

five. Be arrangedand keep arranged. Students whore taking conventional, campusbased classes most often have a constant time table to observe each and every week, through which study room instruction is adopted through assignments out of doors the category. However, for online classes, scholars will have to search out their very own techniques to stick on most sensible in their paintings. It is crucial that you just be arranged from the start of the semester with the intention to achieve success in an internet route. For instance mark task due dates on your calendar, discover a submitting machine for each online subject material and bodily subject material that is helping you stay monitor of the whole lot simply, and shed light on find out about schedules that duvet sections of the route one by one so youve got an arranged tactic to protecting the semesters subject material as you pass alongside.

  1. Have a blank, quiet, and constant workspace. One factor online and inclass classes have in not unusual is that scholars all the time want a spot to review or whole assignments this is blank, quiet, and constant. You can select the place that is for youwhether or not its at a espresso store, a college library, a devoted place of business, or at house. Wherever you select to review and whole assignments, you must make it a constant location that doesnt have out of doors distractions. It is basically key that where is quiet and lets you focal point in your paintings with out distractions.
  2. Do no longer procrastinate. Successful distance freshmen hardly procrastinate. They dont do away with assignments or wait till the final second to write down their papers. Successful online scholars experience freedoms that come with operating at their very own tempo and the facility to finish their paintings in as a lot time because it takes them. On the opposite hand, they know that finishing their assignments is best performed early and on time cramming merely doesnt paintings, and it doesnt will let you retain knowledge longterm. Get began early on getting a success.

eight. Work in your studying comprehension. Successful distance freshmen generally tend to have just right studying comprehension abilities. Most conventional, campusbased scholars concentrate to lectures and take notes, and a few online classes additionally require this. However, the vast majority of distance freshmen are anticipated to grasp subject material thru a large amount of studying. Although far finding out classes be offering video recordings and audio clips, maximum systems require scholars to hide and grasp a considerable amount of written knowledge. If it is a problem for you, it could be very useful to first sign up in a studying comprehension route there are lots of assets online that will help you do that. This ability by myself could make a huge distinction on your luck.

nine. Establish and admire routines that be just right for you. If, for instance, youre employed best within the morning or in brief bursts, then set find out about routines that can help you find out about within the prelunch hours when your mind is contemporary. If, then again, you do best through learning at evening or at the weekends when youll devote nightowl hours or longer blocks in your learning, then make it some degree to take action. Consider how and whilst you paintings best, and enforce a find out about plan that respects the routines that be just right for you.

  1. Connect together with your friends. Establishing sturdy connections with friends and professors is a very powerful facet of tutorial luck, in addition to skilled development. One of essentially the most rewarding reports in schooling is finding out thru collaboration. Forming significant relationships together with your friends and professors can can help you be told extra, keep motivated, and feature an outlet to specific your personal working out of subject material. So, keep attached thru message forums, chat rooms, e mail, and different digital assets. And take note lots of the other people you meet in faculty shall be conceivable process assets down the road so determine connections and keep in contact

Florida National University gives a wealth of tutorial and professional online classes. Check out the entire choicesyour long run is ready