Cannoli Cream Cake
Cannoli is something my guy and I both really love as a special treat and we often pick up a couple when we are out at our local Farmer’s Market. So when his birthday rolled around I thought that a Cannoli Cream Cake would be not only delicious and pretty, but also something a little different for a birthday cake for him. Now let me tell you, I have had some cake disasters in my day, but I really loved how this came together so easily! There are a few steps, but they are all so simple and the end result was completely worth it. Not only did he love it, but our dinner guests thought I had bought it from a nice bakery! I made the cakes one day before the event so they could cool completely, and prepared the filling and ganache, and assembled it all the morning of. Breaking up the steps like this made it totally stress free.
CANNOLI CREAM CAKE
2/3 Cup Butter softened
1 3/4 Cup Sugar 2 Large Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/4 Cup Milk
1 1/2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 Cups Marscapone Cheese
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
Zest of one Lemon
1 Tbsp Vanilla Real Vanilla Extract
1 Cup mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks (Chocolate Chips or any Chopped Dark Chocolate is fine)
Chopped unsalted pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a stand mixer or with hand mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each. Add in the Vanilla Extract until combined. In a seperate bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder and blend together until combined. Slowly add your flour mixture into the wet mixture, alternating with the milk, continue until all the ingredients have been added. Divide the mixture into three greased and floured 9″ cake pans and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center out clean. Allow cakes to cool and gently remove from pans, allow to cool completely before filling.
In a stand mixer or with hand mixer, whip together ricotta cheese and marscapone cheese, add in powdered sugar slowly until the mixture creamy and light. Add in lemon zest, vanilla and chocolate chips until all combined. If mixture seems loose, you can refrigerate it for an hour or so to firm it up, I found the consistency to be just right and spread it immediately on the completely cooled cake layers.
Place 4 parchment paper strips under the sides of the first cake layer to protect your serving plate, this is very important as during the ganache step you may have some spillage. Evenly spread the filling on the first layer, you’ll want to use almost half of the filling, top with next cake layer and spread almost all the rest of the filling, leaving just a bit to give the top a light coat. Place the third layer on top and spread the remaining amount evenly over the surface, it should be just a light coating, as you will pour the ganache over top of this. Place cake in refrigerator to cool while making the ganache topping.
In a bowl over top of a pot simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) melt your chocolate chunks with your heavy whipping cream, stirring slowly until all combined. Let the mixture cool but not harden, you want it pourable still but not so runny that it runs right off the cake. I suggest leaving it to sit at room temperature for 30 min to 1 hour. Once it is pourable but cooled and slightly thickened you will want to pour it directly on the top of the cake until it is covering the centre but not all the way to the edges, it will spread and you can help it along with a rubber spatula or offset spatula, pushing it just to the edges so that it drips down the sides. DON’T FORGET the parchment paper under the cake, it will save you a lot of clean up! Once you are satisfied with the ganache topping, evenly sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and gently remove the parchment pieces from under the cake. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!