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Spoilt for a treat…

May 20, 2012

Cassata cake, Paleo style

One of my favourite places to visit in Melbourne is Brunetti Cafe in Faraday Street, Carlton. It is a cake and coffee paradise. Amongst the vast array of decadent delights is my all time choice, Cassata Cake. Since giving up sugar & grain, it would seem that a visit to Brunetti should be a thing of the past but I decided to revisit “by remote” and reinvent this classic Sicilian confection at home.

Cassata cake generally consists of vanilla sponge moistened with liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese that has been garnished with candied peel, dried fruits and/or chocolate.  It is covered with a shell of marzipan and decorated with candied fruit characteristic of Sicily.

My version is a sponge based on coconut flour and filled with cottage cheese, dried fruit and dusted with cocoa. The filling can be varied with chocolate or cacao nibs or different fruits, just make sure they are cut quite finely or the cake will not slice well. It is also best to leave it for a few hours to absorb the flavours. Taste the filling as you make it, you may want to add more or less sweetener depending on your taste, and of course, feel free to use sugar if you prefer. As this is made from coconut flour, it is very filling so resist the urge to cut yourself a big piece and start with a smaller one! I like to think that smaller pieces add up to less calories (NOT!)

75g coconut flour
4 eggs
80g butter
2 tabs honey
1 teas baking powder
Blend together on SP 5 for 5 seconds until smooth. Spread the batter in a lined 7″ x 11″ tray. If it is too stiff add a little water or milk. Bake in a moderately slow oven until just cooked –  about 20 minutes.
30g dried cranberries
40g dried organic figs
zest of one orange
zest of one lemon
30g dried apricots
2 tabs stevia powder
1 tab honey or maple syrup
750g smooth cottage cheese or ricotta or a mix
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
1 slurp of liqueur – I used kirsch – or more to taste!
Chop fruit finely on SP 8 for 4 – 6 seconds. Add other ingredients and mix filling on SP 4 REVERSE for about 6 seconds until well mixed. Carefully split the sponge cake horizontally ad sprinkle with orange juice (or liqueur). Fill with the cheese cream and top with the remaining sponge. Press down and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Dust with raw cocoa before serving.

The green flecks in my filling are dried pomelo peel which is hard to get in Australia but you can use any dried or candied fruit although candied fruit is FULL of sugar, so adjust accordingly.

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