I hope this morning finds all of the East coasters well. We are lucky to have seen the worst of Irene already, and glad that we were as prepared as we were. Hopefully people get their power back soon and the flooding does not cause too much damage. Luckily our lights only flickered once and we have some branches down behind our townhouse. Thoughts and prayers to those cleaning up. I teased you last week on my Facebook page with this cake so here it is!
I may be a tad biased but I think my wedding caterers are pretty much the best in the industry. Cescaphe who catered my wedding at the Atrium at the Curtis Center has weddings down to a science. Two years ago they made the whole process go so smoothly and had many contacts with other vendors to make planning a breeze. When we met to pick out our menu, they have many different options, but the one great thing is that they have pictures to show you the different dishes. We all know the importance of a good photograph in the food blogging community.
When all was said and done and we had picked out our menu, Dana wanted to make sure that we got everything we wanted to eat on the day of the wedding. She made special notes to give to the Maitre’D so he could cater exactly to our tastes. When talking about desserts, cannolis popped up on the screen and Blair immediately responded to them. He wanted a whole plate of them delivered to our sweetheart table after dinner and he got his wish that day. When I saw this in one of my magazines I just knew I had to make it for his upcoming birthday. I showed him the recipe and told him to decide between this cake or his traditional Funfetti cake. He decided to mix things up this year, and I am so glad he did! This was my first attempt at making a pretty cake and I think I succeeded.
The cake layer is a french vanilla cake that can be made from scratch or you can use your favorite box mix. The ricotta layer is flavored with cinnamon, almond, and chocolate chunks, and then spread on top and between the layers of the cake. This is all garnished with a mascarpone whipped frosting that you will want to lick off the spoon. In the end, it did not necessarily taste like a traditional cannoli, but had all the elements of one and absolutely delicious nonetheless.
1 box French vanilla cake mix or homemade recipe (click here)
For the filling:
1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the frosting:
2 cartons ( 8 oz. each) Mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp. mini semisweet chocolate chips
What you’ll do:
Grease and flour 2 9-inch round baking pans. Prepare and bake cake mix according to the package directions. While the cakes are baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 10x sugar, cinnamon, and extracts. Stir until combined, fold in the chopped chocolate. In another bowl, cream together Mascarpone cheese, sugar, milk, and extracts until smooth. Cover and refrigerate both until frosting reaches a spreading consistency and cakes are completely cooled.
When cakes are done baking, allow them to cool for ten minutes in the pans, transfer to a wire rack & cool completely. Once cooled, place one cake layer on a serving plate, spread 1 cup of filling over it evenly. Top with the second cake layer and top with remaining filling leaving a 1 inch edge around the cake. Frost sides and edges of the cake with frosting reserving some for decorative purposes. Press the almonds into the side of the cake; pipe swirls of remaining frosting and sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: Taste of Home, August & September 2011