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Cream Filling For Christmas Pudding Cake

Asked by patter10. Answered on 21st December 2020

Full question

Can fresh ricotta be substituted for the marscapone in the Italian Christmas Pudding Cake? Easier for me to find on the coast of Oregon. Much else is similar to my favorite cannoli filling: chocolate, pistachios, glazed fruits.

I wonder about the mixture (approximately 1 cup) of cream, mascarpone and marsala that is reserved for the cake topping. If this mixture is saved in the fridge for a few days, won't it separate and turn to liquid?

Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Italian Christmas Pudding Cake (from NIGELLISSIMA) is a layered confection of panettone and a tiramisu-type cream that is studded with chopped marrons glacés (candied chestnuts), mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios. With the candied and dried fruits in the panettone it does have the flavours of a cannoli filling. We have seen tiramisu recipes with ricotta so we suspect that it may be possible to use ricotta instead, but make sure that it is a whole milk ricotta from a good-quality producer. The texture will be different as ricotta has a less smooth texture than mascarpone and the filling may not taste as rich as the fat content will be lower. However, as we have not tried the cake with ricotta, we are unable to guarantee the results.

Some of the filling is reserved, to be spread on top of the cake before serving. In the US heavy cream, and for some other countries whipping cream, doesn't always hold well after whipping and can separate on standing. Fortunately the high fat content of the mascarpone helps to stabilize the whipped cream and in our experience the mixture has not separated when stored in the fridge.

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