Frozen Cassata with Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
This rich vanilla ice cream cake incorporates the flavors of Italian cannoli filling ricotta, chocolate, pistachios, and orange peel in an elegant dessert. A standing mixer with a paddle attachment is the easiest way to incorporate the ricotta and other ingredients into the softened ice cream. If you don’t have one, use a sturdy wooden spoon; a hand-held electric mixer is not strong enough for the job. Be sure to let the chocolate glaze cool to room temperature before pouring it on the cake; if it’s warm, it will melt the ice cream.
- 2 cups (10 ounces) amaretti cookie crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 15 ounces whole milk or part-skim ricotta (not nonfat)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ gallon nonpremium vanilla ice cream
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or ½ cup miniature chocolate chips
- ½ cup (4 ounces) pistachios, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced orange zest
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
TO MAKE THE CRUST:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, butter, and sugar until well combined.
- Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan.
- Bake until the crust is slightly toasted and feels dry to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Cool completely.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, sugar, and vanilla until well blended.
- Soften the ice cream (see softening tips on intro card).
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the ice cream at low speed to break it up slightly, until it looks creamy but not melted.
- Beat in the ricotta mixture, chocolate, pistachios, and orange zest. Working quickly, spread the ice cream into the crust, smoothing the top.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
TO MAKE THE GLAZE:
- Bring about 2 inches water to a boil in a saucepan or the bottom of a double boiler; remove from heat. Combine the chocolate, cream, and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl or in the top of a double boiler.
- Set the bowl over hot water and let stand, stirring occasionally with a flexible spatula, until melted and smooth, about 15 minutes. Let the glaze cool to room temperature, until thickened slightly but still fluid enough to pour easily about 20 minutes.
- Take the cake from the freezer and remove plastic wrap. Pour the glaze evenly over the top, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the freezer until the glaze is set, about 20 minutes or up to 1 day.
- To serve, remove the cake from the freezer and let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes. Run a knife along the inside rim of the pan to loosen the cake.
- Remove pan rim. To slice the cake neatly, dip the blade of a large, sharp knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting each slice. Place the cake on a serving plate and serve immediately.
Serving Size: MAKES 10 TO 12 SERVINGS
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