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Chocolate Cannoli Cake

By 6:12 AM , , ,

I was looking through a Redbook magazine while on the treadmill awhile back and  the words "Chocolate Cannoli Cake" grabbed my attention. Ironic timing, right?

Anyways, they didn't list the recipe, but directed readers to their website to check it out and suggested that it would be a great Easter dessert. The picture on their website - which I checked out after getting off the treadmill, haha, looked too pretty to pass up.

Overall, there were a lot of steps to this cake - which I'm perfectly fine with, but I just don't know that the end result was worth all the time and the various steps.

The directions call for baking the cake in one pan and then taking a long knife and cutting the cake into three layers. I'm not a big fan of doing that, so when recipes call for that I always divide the batter up equally and bake however many layers the recipe should result in. In this case, the batter equaled a little less than 6 cups so each pan got a little less than 2 cups. This method worked really well for me.

While this cake was very rich, both Hubby & I felt like it wasn't very sweet at all. I really loved the combination of pistachios and the dark bittersweet chocolate. The cake itself though, was kind of disappointing. I felt like it didn't really stand up to the chocolate ganache and the pistachios. The "cannoli" filling was okay. Personally, I think a cream cheese mixture with the chocolate chips would be so much better.  And, if you aren't a rum fan, you either need to omit the coating of each layer of the cake with the rum syrup, or just not make this, because the rum flavor is pretty prominent.

So, I'm thinking that I might retool this recipe a little and try it again some time soon, because I do like the idea - the bones, of this recipe.

Chocolate Cannoli Cake

Sponge Cake:

1 cup(s) cake flour
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
1 cup(s) granulated sugar
1/4 cup(s) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt

Rum Syrup:

1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
3 tablespoon(s) water
1/4 cup(s) rum

Cannoli Filling:

3 cup(s) whole-milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
2 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon(s) grated orange zest

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup(s) heavy cream
3 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
2 tablespoon(s) light corn syrup
8 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup(s) chopped unsalted pistachios
Sponge Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan; line bottom of pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper. Spoon cake flour into a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until very foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Raise mixer to high speed and continue to beat until stiff yet billowy peaks form; transfer whites to a large mixing bowl. Add yolks to bowl of mixer (no need to wash) with remaining 1/2 cup sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt and beat on high 3 minutes or until thick, light in color, and fluffy.

Scrape yolk mixture onto whites; sift 1/3 of the flour over bowl and fold in. Sift in remaining flour, in 2 additions, folding after each addition, until incorporated. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake 30 minutes or until top of cake is golden and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven; run a knife around sides of cake to loosen. Remove pan sides and invert cake onto a wire rack; peel off parchment. Cool cake completely.

Rum syrup: While cake is baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in rum.

Cannoli Filling: With a rubber spatula, press and scrape ricotta through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in sugar, chocolate, and zest.

To assemble: With a long serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into three layers. Cover cake plate with 4 strips of waxed paper. Place one layer on bottom of cake plate; brush with rum syrup. Spoon half of the filling over the layer and spread evenly. Top with another layer, brushing with syrup and spreading with remaining filling. Brush cut side of remaining cake layer with syrup, then place on top, cut side down. Brush outside of cake with any remaining rum syrup.

Chocolate glaze: Heat cream, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan until simmering; remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour glaze into a glass measuring cup and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spread glaze over top and sides of cake. Press chopped pistachios into glaze on sides of cake. Refrigerate until glaze sets. Carefully remove waxed paper strips from under cake.

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