Cannoli Cake

Adapted from the June 2007 issue of Canadian House & Home magazine.

Ingredients for cake:

6 large eggs, separated

1 large egg yolk

pinch of salt

1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. almond extract

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. cold water

finely grated zest of one orange

Ingredients for filling:

125 g. cream cheese, softened

225 g. ricotta cheese

2 tbsp. Nutella

1 tsp. Grand Marnier (optional)

1 tsp. Frangelico (optional)

1 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

icing sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the pinch of salt. Beat whites until foamy. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating the whites while gradually adding 1 cup of the sugar. You want the whites to beat into soft peaks (donít overbeat). Set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg yolks with remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the flour, the baking powder, the vanilla and almond extracts and the cold water until smooth. Add the orange zest. The mixture might appear stiff or very thick but donít worry.

Gently fold in the egg whites until you have a well mixed batter.

Spoon the batter into the springform pan and bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes. The top of the cake will be golden and it will spring back when pressed.

Remove the cake to a wire rack and cool completely before releasing the cake from the springform pan.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, the ricotta, the Nutella, the Grand Marnier and Frangelico (if using), until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and then stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

Carefully divide the cake into two equal layers. Set the bottom layer on your cake tray or serving plate. Spread the filling over the cake bottom. If itís a bit loose, refrigerate the cake bottom for about 10 minutes to firm up the filing. Top the filling with the second layer of the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, dust the cake with icing sugar.

Enjoy!