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Italian Ricotta Torte

Italian Ricotta TorteA spectacular four-layer chocolate almond torte filled with a luscious ricotta cherry filling and frosted with cocoa whipped cream.

Recipe Ingredients:

8 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar - divided use
1 1/2 cups ground blanched almonds
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Ricotta Cherry Filling:
1 cup cold whipping cream
1 3/4 cups (15-ounces) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cocoa Whipped Cream:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
2 cups cold whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Candied cherries or sliced almonds (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Cake: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease bottoms of two 9-inch round baking pans; line with wax paper. Grease wax paper lining, leaving sides of pans ungreased.
  2. Beat egg yolks in large bowl on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating another 2 minutes.
  3. Stir together almonds, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with water to egg yolk mixture, beating on low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. Carefully fold chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
  6. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
  7. With long serrated knife, cut each layer in half horizontally to make 4 thin layers. Refrigerate layers while preparing filling and whipped cream.
  8. For Ricotta Cherry Filling: Beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff. Beat ricotta cheese and powdered sugar in large bowl until smooth. Fold whipped cream into cheese mixture just until blended. Stir in candied cherries and almond extract. Makes about 4 cups filling.
  9. Cocoa Whipped Cream: Stir together 2/3 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa in large bowl. Stir in 2 cups cold whipping cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat just until stiff. (Do not overbeat.) Makes about 4 cups frosting.
  10. Place one cake layer on serving plate; spread with one-third (about 1 1/3 cups) Ricotta Cherry Filling. Top with another cake layer. Repeat procedure with remaining filling and cake layers.
  11. Frost sides and top of torte with Cocoa Whipped Cream.
  12. Garnish with candied cherries or almonds, if desired. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company.