Easter passed again. So fast, but with more memories to keep. This year, as all years before, we celebrated Easter with my husband’s family. They live in an area that preserved most of the old traditions and culture, an area worth visiting by foot. Maramures helps you fill your energy glasses every time.
My little girl loves it, she loves the wildness and the mountains, she loves the smell of fresh air.
Besides the traditional foods, one prepares for Easter, a cake was mandatory, so I chose one that we all love: a Cassata. It is more wintery like, but I am so in love with cinnamon that I cannot limit it to the cold season only.
For the cake
280 g flour
8 g baking powder
some salt – if using unsalted butter
8 eggs, separated
200 g sugar
10 ml vanilla extract
112 g melted butter (cooled before using)
Preheat the oven at 175 degrees. Butter 2 24 cm pans and line their bottoms with parchment paper.
In a clean bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale and double in volume (about 5-8 minutes). Add the vanilla and then the butter. Mix in the flour – do not incorporate it completely.
Whisk the whites until stiff peaks are formed. Fold the whites into the previous mixture, taking care to not deflate it.
Divide the butter between the 2 pans and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Tip: to avoid domes forming you should:
a. butter the sides of the pan vertically
b. before baking the cakes, rap the pans on the counter (it should eliminate air bubbles)
c. bake the cake at a lower temperature for a longer time.
After baking the cakes, let them cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, them let them cool completely on a wire rack.
For the syrup
Make a syrup from water and sugar – adjust the sugar according to taste. Boil it and when it cools slightly add rum. Other times I brushed it with Grand Marnier syrup or with Marsala.
For the chocolate pistachio cream
750 g mascarpone and cream cheese or ricotta
100 g bitter sweet chocolate grated
50 g pistachios, chopped
50 g candied orange peel, candied cherries or lemon peel (optional – I did not use it this time)
140 g powdered sugar
cinnamon (as much as you like)
Beat the cheese with the sugar and cinnamon until creamy. Add the chocolate and pistachios and beat until evenly distributed.
Assemble the cake
Cut each cake layer in half.
Brush with syrup. Spread 1/3 of the cheese cream. Repeat with the rest of the layers. Place the cake in the fridge to allow it to set (wrap it to avoid drying).
Frost the cake with the whipped cream and decorate as you see fit – for this I used grated chocolate. Other times I used chopped pistachios or a mixture of chocolate and pistachios.