Kaf Chocolate Cassata Cake

READY IN: 1hr 50mins
SERVES: 8-12




  • 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.
  • Stir together the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • 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.
  • Assemble 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.