You will need a jumbo muffin to make this recipe and circle cookie cutters that are 2 3/4-inch and 3 1/2 inch. You’ll have a little left-over filling and cake scraps, which can be used to make a mini trifles.
32oz.ricotta cheesedrained in cheesecloth overnight
1cup6 oz. mini chocolate chips
1/2cup2 oz. chopped pistachios
Zest of one orange
3/4cup150g granulated sugar
2tablespoonsmilk or buttermilk
Powdered sugar for dusting
Green gel food color
Yellow food color
Glaze and decors
1cup113g confectioners’ sugar
Juice of one lemon
Milk or creamif needed to thin
6candied orange peel strips
1/4cupcandied chopped citron
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the drained cheese, sugar, chips, pistachios and orange zest. Mix well until combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix again. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 17x11 jelly-roll pan with flour-based baking spray. Alternatively grease the pan with shortening and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer for 5 full minutes - set a timer. Properly whipped eggs will lighten in color considerably and have the appearance of yellow cake batter. With the mixer still running, slowly add sugar and oil to the whipped eggs. Next, add buttermilk or milk, and vanilla extract. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the liquid ingredients. Mix until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to distribute batter evenly. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Check at 12 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when pressed with fingers. Let the cake cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut six 2 3/4-inch round circles from the sponge. Cut six 3 1/2-inch round circles from the sponge.
Knead together the marzipan, a drop of green food color and a drop of yellow food color. Add more food color as needed for a brilliant grassy green color. When color is consistent, dust a work surface with powdered sugar and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into six 2x10-inch strips (roughly).
Lightly dust the cavities of a nonstick jumbo muffin tin with powdered sugar. Line the edges of each cavity with an overlapping strip of marzipan. Press evenly into the pan; trim off excess marzipan. Place the smaller circles of sponge cake into the bottom of the pan. It’s not necessary to tamp them completely down; just place them in the bottom. Fill each cavity with the ricotta filling within 1/4 inch of the top edge. Top each cavity with the larger cake circles. Press firmly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl whisk while dribbling milk into the bowl a little at a time. The glaze should be opaque white and thick enough to hold in the whisk, then fall into the bowl in a ribbon. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small (#2) round piping tip. Turn cakes out onto a parchment sheet. If cakes want to stick, tap the pan on the work surface and they should fall out. If cakes are dusty with powdered sugar, lightly brush them with some almond extract using a soft bristle kitchen-dedicated art brush.
Pipe glaze onto the top cake rounds until covered. Add a cherry, orange peel, and a sprinkle of citron to the top of each cake. Pipe single line swags around the top edges of the cakes. In between swags add three dots of glaze. Refrigerate cakes until ready to serve.