Saturday, December 26, 2009

cannoli cake

6 lg. eggs, separated
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Vanilla extract
2 lg. oranges
2 tbsp. orange flavor liqueur, optional
1 (32 oz.) container rictotta cheese
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
Confectioners' sugar
Semisweet chocolate mini pieces
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 tbsp. milk
2 c. heavy or whipping cream
1 8oz cream cheese
pinch of cinnamon

In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beating at high speed, gradually sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition until sugar completely dissolves and whites stand in stiff peaks.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat egg yolks, flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons water until blended. Gently fold one third beaten egg white mixture into yolk mixture, then fold yolk mixture into remaining whites. Spoon batter into ungreased 10 x 3 inch springform pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until cake is golden and top springs back when lightly touched with finger. Invert cake in pan on wire rack, cool completely. Grate enough peel from oranges to measure 2 teaspoons peel, set aside. Squeeze enough juice from oranges to measure 1/3 cup juice. (If not using liqueur, increase orange juice to 1/2 cup). Stir orange flavor liqueur into juice, set aside, peel, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini pieces.

With metal spatula, gently loosen cake and remove from pan. With serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush orange juice mixture evenly over cut side of both layers.

Place 1 cake layer, cut side up, on plate. Spoon ricotta cheese filling on center of cake layer. Spread some filling out ot edge, leaving center rounded to achieve a dome effect. Cut a wedge out of remaining cake layer, arrange wedge and rest of cake layer over filling. (Cutting wedge will allow cake layer to bend, without cracking, to fit over dome shape.

In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter, milk, 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth, adding more milk if necessary until frosting has an easy spreading consistency. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat heavy or whipping cream until soft peaks form, fold confectioners' sugar mixture into whipped cream. Spread frosting over top and down side of cake.

In 1 quart saucepan over low heat, heat 1/3 cup chocolate pieces until melted. Spoon melted chocolate into small decorating bag with small writing tube. Pipe chocolate on top of cake in s spiral design, starting in center and moving to edge of cake. Before chocolate hardens, quickly with tip of toothpick or small knife, draw lines in spoke fashion. Refrigerate cake until filling is firm, about 3 hours.

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