Chocolate and Ricotta Cassatelle
A traditional Sicilian sweet dough shaped into half-moon pastries, filled with ricotta and chocolate. These are usually deep-fried, but they can also be baked. Sprinkled with icing sugar.
- 250 g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 small lemon, finely grated zest, and 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Marsala liqueur, white wine, or brandy
- 250 g ricotta
- 50 g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1 small orange, finely grated zest
- 50 g dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped
- Make the filling, Tip the ricotta into a cheesecloth and suspend the ricotta over a bowl to catch any liquid. Leave to drain while you make the dough.
- Combine the flour, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl, then make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, oil, lemon juice, and Marsala.
- Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and bring them together. Add enough water to make a pliable dough. ( 1-3 tablespoons)
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and silky. Divide dough into 4 equal balls, flatten each one slightly, then wrap in cling wrap. Chill for 20 minutes.
- Lightly squeeze the ball of ricotta, to release any excess moisture, then pass through a sieve 3 times until smooth and creamy. Stir in the icing sugar, orange zest, and chocolate chips. Cover and chill the mixture until ready to use.
- Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out very thinly or you could use a pasta machine. cut out a 10cm round cutter, cut out three rounds. On half the round place 1 teaspoon of filling (a little less if using small rounds), fold over the empty half and seal the edges with water then use a fork seal around the edges to hold it together. then repeat with the remaining dough, to get a total of 12 cassatelles altogether. Chill for 20 minutes.
- Heat the deep fryer to170C/338F. Cook the cassatelles in batches for 3-5 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until cooked through and golden. Lift each batch out of the oil and drain on a paper towel. Repeat until all are cooked.
- If you want to bake these preheat oven 180C/350F for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.
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