Pronunciation: [kah-SAH-tah]

A traditional Italian dessert served at celebrations such as weddings. The word cassata means "in a case (or chest)." One version of this dessert has a rich filling of ricotta, candied fruit and grated chocolate encased by thin slices of liqueur-sprinkled sponge cake. The cake and cheese mixture may also be layered. The dessert is chilled, then decorated with whipped cream, ricotta cheese or chocolate frosting. Another version, cassata gelata, is made by lining a mold with layers of ice cream of contrasting colors, then filling the center with a ricotta-whipped cream-candied fruit mixture. The mold is frozen completely before serving.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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