CONTRIBUTED BY KATELYN HARDWICK

Learn to make Osteria Mattone's cassata dessert

Osteria Mattone

1095 Canton Street, Roswell.

678-878-3378, http://osteriamattone.com

The cassata served at Osteria Mattone in Roswell is one of the best desserts ever! Would you ask the chef to share this recipe? Every dish I have had there is delicious, but since baking desserts is my favorite cooking activity, I would enjoy making this at home. Thank you. — Patricia Broyles, Duluth

Osteria Mattone owners Ryan and Daniel Pernice and their pastry chef Vivian Lee took their Cassata Cake recipe and tweaked it for home cooks. “We translated it from weights to volume and tested to ensure it comes out just right! Also, please note that the Pistachio Jell-O Pudding Mix is incorporated in this version to make it as easy as possible for the home cook (plus is less expensive than pistachio flavoring),” they wrote when they sent in the recipe.

The cassata at the restaurant is baked in a sheet pan and that’s what’s pictured here. But you’ll be baking a traditional round layer cake.

<<Read: The 4 best dishes at Osteria Mattone

The restaurant frosts the cake with Italian buttercream, a frosting made from egg whites beaten with a heated sugar syrup, cooled and then with butter beaten in. Use your favorite buttercream recipe to complete the cake.

Osteria Mattone’s Cassata

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for flouring cake pans

1 (3.4-ounce) package pistachio pudding mix

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/3 cups milk

2 teaspoons plus 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, divided

2 3/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

5 eggs

1 egg white

2 cups whole milk ricotta

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped candied lemon peel

1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel

Pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line with pans with circles of parchment paper. Lightly dust the cake pans with flour and shake out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking powder and salt. In a 2-cup measuring bowl, combine milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the egg white and mix well. Make sure to stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often.

Lower the mixing speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with 2 parts of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until it is evenly incorporated. If the batter has a curdled appearance, increase the speed to medium and mix for another minute until it is thick and fluffy.

Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans. Smooth the batter so it fills the pans evenly. Put the pans in the oven on the center rake and bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through, rotating the pans after 20 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove the cake pans from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and cool on a wire rack, top side up.

Make ricotta filling: In a large bowl, combine ricotta, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Refrigerate if not using right away.

To assemble the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a flat serving plate. Use several 4-inch wide strips of parchment or waxed paper around the edge of the layer, to keep the plate clean. Using a metal spatula, spread the ricotta filling over the first cake layer, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Place the second cake layer top side up on the first, aligning the layers evenly. Spread a generous layer of your favorite vanilla buttercream around the sides and top of the cake. Slide the pieces of paper out from under the cake and discard. Serves: 16

Per serving (without frosting): 526 calories (percent of calories from fat, 39), 9 grams protein, 73 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 23 grams fat (14 grams saturated), 126 milligrams cholesterol, 333 milligrams sodium.

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