Torta Fedora - Sicilian Cake with Ricotta and Candied Fruit

The Fedora cake, not just a beautiful cake but also delicious in taste, is typical of Eastern Sicily, especially in Catania. It has "Baroque and Spanish" characteristics and reminds me a bit of the famous Cassata. The Fedora Cake has all the basic ingredients of great Sicilian desserts such as ricotta, candied fruit and chocolate. Made up of soft sponge cake, ricotta cream topped with knife-cut dark chocolate, candied orange peel, sugar and vanilla. It is covered with lightly toasted flaked almonds, pistachios and candied cherries.The origins of the Fedora Cake are not known; but probably invented in one of the convents. 


Sponge cake 22 cm diameter: 5 eggs at room temperature; 170 gr. sugar; 140 gr. 00 flour; 30 gr. potato starch; 1 sachet of vanillin; 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

Ricotta Cream: 1 kg of sheep's or cow's milk ricotta drained in a colander for 24 hours in the fridge; 250 gr. sugar; 70 gr. dark chocolate chopped with a knife; 70 gr. coarsely chopped candied orange peel; 1 sachet of vanillin

For the Sponge Bath: 200 gr. waterfall ; 00 gr. sugar; 5 tablespoons orange liqueur

Decoration: 200 gr. lightly toasted flaked almonds; 50 gr. unsalted pistachios; red and green candied cherries; candied orange peel fillets


Turn on the oven at 180° static; butter and flour a 22cm mould. In a planetary mixer with a wire whisk (or electric whisk) beat the whole eggs with the sugar until they double in volume and become pale; add, little by little, the sifted flours, the vanillin and, if you want, a teaspoon of baking powder. Incorporate, delicately, with a spatula, from bottom to top. Pour the mixture into the buttered and floured mould. Bake in a hot oven at 180° for 35\40 minutes depending on the oven. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the mould. 

Assembling the cake: 

Cut the sponge cake and cut two discs; fill a piping bag with 100 g. of ricotta cream for the top decoration. Place the first disc on a tray, moisten well with the syrup, cover with the ricotta cream. Place the second disc, moisten with the syrup and cover with the ricotta cream; with the remaining ricotta cream, cover the sides of the cake, spreading evenly. Create a round in the center of the cake and place the chopped pistachios. Cover the cake and the side with the flaked almonds;  with the cream in the piping bag make tufts and decorate with candied cherries and orange peels. Place the cake in the fridge and let it rest for at least 12 hours to enjoy it at its best. 

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