Cassata Parfait Torte
These light, fruit-studded tortes can be made ahead of time and frozen until just before they are served; let them warm up just enough to make the cutting easy. This dessert seems to multiply — two cakes quickly become four tortes, with 40 servings! However, you could make the cakes and freeze them, then use only one cake at a time (making 2 tortes, enough for 20 servings). If you decide to do this, cut the filling ingredients, fruit, and garnishes in half. Even after you have made the tortes, you can bring out just one at a time; the other can safely stay in your freezer, sealed up, for a week or more before you use it.
- Chocolate Genoise
- Eggs - 7
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Flour - 1/2 cup
- Cocoa - 4 tablespoons
- Cornstarch - 3 tablespoons
- Grated Lemon Rind - 2 teaspoons
- Parfait Filling
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 3 cups
- Egg Yolks - 9
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Vanilla - 2 teaspoons
- Grated Lemon Rind - 1 teaspoon
- Glaceed (Candied) Fruit, - 1/4 cup, diced
- Maraschino Cherries - 1/3 cup, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Maraschino Cherries - 40, whole
To make the genoise: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Place a disc of parchment paper in the bottom of each and butter the paper. Lightly dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
In the top of a double boiler, mix the eggs and sugar. Place over simmering water and stir constantly until warmed to 110 F. Remove from the heat and whip 8 to 12 minutes with an electric mixer on high speed, until very light and fluffy. Sift the flour, cocoa, and cornstarch together three times. Carefully fold the flour mixture and lemon rind into the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared pans and bake about 25 to 30 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched. Remove from the oven and invert on cake racks; remove the pans and let the cakes cool completely.
To prepare the filling: Whip the cream to stiff peaks and put in the refrigerator. Whip the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla for 7 to 9 minutes on high speed, until very light. Fold in the lemon rind. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream. Set aside in the refrigerator.
To assemble the cakes: Cut waxed paper or parchment paper into four 9-inch circles and place in the bottoms of four 9-inch cake pans. Spoon filling evenly into the cake pans, just covering the bottoms. Sprinkle glaceed fruit and cherries on top of the filling. Spoon the remainder of the filling over the fruit. Split both baked cakes horizontally and place one split cake on top of the filling in each pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least overnight.
To serve: Beat the cream until frothy. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar and continue beating to firm peaks. Unmold the tortes, placing the cake layer at the bottom. Peel off the paper. Pipe whipped cream decoratively over the tops of the cakes. Garnish each with ten whole maraschino cherries. Keep frozen until ready to serve.