The recipe of the Sicilian cassata by Pietro Adragna of "MasterChef" – Italian Cuisine

One of the most beloved characters of the MasterChef 11 public comes out: the Palermo-born Pietro Adragna, to whom we asked for the recipe of the Sicilian cassata

Two surprise eliminations during the eighth episode of MasterChef 11 – 556 thousand average spectators and 2.04% share despite the Sanremo Festival – aired last night on Sky Uno / + 1 and on demand: the judges Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Giorgio Locatelli they asked Dalila and Pietro to remove their aprons following the Invention Test and the Pressure Test. "I can summarize my participation in MasterChef in three words: emotion, adrenaline and great joy", declares the Sicilian competitor Pietro Adragna (42 years old) who leaves the television cooking show produced by Endemol with only one regret: «I was unable to prepare the cannoli and cassata at least once. To make up for this lack, we reached him by phone to ask him for his very personal recipe for a perfect one Sicilian cassata to do at home.

Sicilian cassata by Pietro di
Sicilian cassata by Pietro of “MasterChef”.

The recipe of the Sicilian cassata of MasterChef

For the sponge cake
3 eggs
45 g starch
45 g 00 flour
90 g sugar
A pinch of cinnamon

Whip egg whites and yolks separately, slowly adding 45 g of sugar to the mixture during the assembly; gently incorporate the two masses with a marisa taking care not to dismantle the mixture. Combine the buckets and sift them. In small doses, integrate the sieved buckets into the mass and mix with a marisa delicately from top to bottom. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured baking pan and bake in a preheated static oven at 180 for about 30 minutes.

For the ricotta cream
500 g sheep ricotta
100 g granulated sugar
50 g dark chocolate in pieces

Allow the ricotta to dry well and then add it to the sugar, giving it time to absorb it and dissolve completely in the fridge. Add the chocolate cut into thick and fairly consistent pieces.

Pietro Adragna.
Pietro Adragna.

For the marzipan
100 g almond flour
100 g pistachio flour
150 g granulated sugar
50 g egg white

Mix all the ingredients and mix them until you get a solid and chewy consistency, then let it rest in the fridge. The pistachio flour will allow to offer the mixture a natural color without resorting to the use of dyes, as well as giving a more decisive and particular taste to the marzipan.

Dark sugar for icing
500 g granulated sugar
75 g glucose or honey
150 g of water

Boil the ingredients in a pan up to 115 degrees, then transfer to a planetary or work by hand on a marble or steel surface with two spatulas until it becomes white and solid (from this moment it can be sealed and stored for a long time) . To bring it back to a liquid consistency, while maintaining the opaque white color, it will be sufficient to heat it in a water bath, if necessary with the help of just half a teaspoon of water.

For the royal icing for decorations
300 g powdered sugar
20 g egg white
A few drops of lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients and once the consistency is obtained insert into a pastry bag with a very small outlet.

For the wet
50 g Marsala wine
50 g of water


In the specific cassata pan line the walls with icing sugar. Cut a sphere of sponge cake the diameter of the lid of the pan and place it. Always with the sponge cake obtain trapezoidal shapes. Spread the marzipan with the help of the icing sugar and create mirror shapes to the trapezoidal ones just made with the sponge cake. Line the edges of the pan alternating the trapezoids of marzipan and sponge cake, in inverted positions. Once the pan is lined, use the syrup and with a brush let it absorb into the sponge cake. At this point, fill the cassata with the ricotta cream and line the base with another sphere of sponge cake, or with pieces of it enough to cover the whole base. Let it rest in the fridge. Once allowed to rest, proceed with the glazing; after dissolving the dark sugar and quickly using a spatula, coat the cassata of the same, pouring the sugar from above and carefully leveling all the parts. Once the icing has cooled, finish as desired by decorating with royal icing.

The judges of
The judges of "MasterChef".

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