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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tera Mi Su Sheet Cake


A  Birthday Cake for Friends David, Nancy,& her Mom Bonnie

All three planned to celebrate their 60th  Birthday at a combined gala to be held at David & lynette's  home.

What a perfect reason to make a cake!!! Not that it's one of my favorite hobbies , but also to honor their day with a homemade delicious creation!

 I immediately compiled a list of cakes and possible fillings and frostings then submitted them to Nancy for a selection.  She was given the choice as her birthday is closest to the party date.

 Have you ever looked at a dessert tray arranged with beautiful luscious looking  to die for creations.

How do you select just one when you really want all of them!

After , which I am sure was pure frustration  for her to make a choice , Tera mi su  it is .

I have posted the recipe for this dessert before, which there are probably endless variations, this one is adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Componets:  lady finger sponge layer 2 needed . Note this is a 1/2 sheet cake
                     2 quart containers whole milk ricotta
                     2 quarts heavy whipping cream
                     2 10 oz. bags + 4oz. Gheridelli 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips
                    1 + 1/3 ( approx.) (25oz.) bottle Florio brand sweet Marsala wine
                    2 cups granulated sugar
                   12 large eggs , for cake layers
                   16 yolks from large eggs, for custard  ( save whites for breakfast)
                   1 envelope unflavored gelatin (to make stabilized whipped cream )

Stabilized whipped cream: will hold it's shape and not break down:
 to a 1 cup bowl add 1/4 cup  cold water, sprinkle on 1 pkt. gelatin let bloom 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add 1/4 cup boiling water to gelatin in bowl, stir to dissolve completely.
 Put mixture into a container or small jar with a air tight lid, place in fridge.
When needed remove 1 tablespoon and melt in microwave safe bowl 3-4 seconds at a time till melted, DO NOT BOIL.
 Whip 2 cups heavy cream when it is almost at the desired consistency slowly pour in melted gelatin continuing to whip till desired consistency.


 Make 2   1/2 sheet Lady finger sponge layers,  link to recipe:

Recipe link for custard , I  increased the quantities by 1/3rd for each single batch


 Need 8 cups chocolate sabayon (egg custard)   make 2 double recipes

single recipe:
 4 large egg yolks
 4 TBS sugar
 51/3 oz. sweet Marsala : 1/2 cup +2 Tbs +2 tsp   ( 1 oz. =2 tbs =6tsp , 1/3 of 6 =2  )
 6 oz. .melted  chocolate chips

 (1 +1/2 cups ricotta ) for this sheet cake need 2 quarts ricotta (8 cups total)
1+1/2 cups heavy cream
in heat  proof bowl over simmering water beat egg yolks and sugar till light and thick,  and hot to the touch (170) do not boil! or they will scramble.
add the 1/2 cup  + 2  Tbs  +2tsps. of  Florio Sweet Marsala and continue beating till very thick, remove from heat
add the  melted dark chocolate to the egg mixture, fold in well set aside to cool to room temperature



gently fold into the  chocolate  egg custard  when at  room temperature, set aside

to the 1+1/2 cups of ricotta add 1/4-1/3 cup strong coffee , I use freeze dried coffee 1+1/4 tsp and water , it's quick and simple, blend well set aside




whip heavy cream to soft peaks,add the Tbs sugar and whip to stiff peaks


  NOTE: you will need to make 4 recipe quantities for a 1/2 sheet cake, easiest to make 2 double batches . RICOTTA USE 2 QUARTS, AND 1 QUART HEAVY CREAM , PLUS 1 QUART FOR FOSTING AND PIPING


  after brushing cake with about 6-8 oz. of Florio sweet Marsala, spread on 4 cups of the coffee flavored ricotta 

 spread on 4 cups of the chocolate sabayon (egg custard)  the kitchen knome watches carefully!  

then cover with 4 cups whipped cream

Top with second sponge layer and again brush on 6-8 oz. of the Marsala
repeat process with ricotta, chocolate custard then whipped cream.
At this point place in fridge to firm up.
 while you whip the second quart of cream. I found whipping 2 cups at a time worked best for me.
NOTE: don't forget to stabilize the cream!

 frost cake as desired, pipe base border and top border, many instructional videos on you tube for this. Place in fridge let set. this type of cake is better if you can wait 2-3 days before serving, in this case  it was assembled  1 day in advance. Although the ricotta and custard can be made in advance just allow the custard to come to room temperature before using. 


 The finished cake,  David is a musician  ,singer, song writer, Nancy is an artist and author, her mom Bonnie an avid gardener. Roses, electric guitar, palette, brushes and garden tools  are made of tinted white modeling chocolate.
link to making modeling chocolate:
The cake was delicious, but the moisture from the whipped cream softened the chocolate, would have been best to add just before serving. If a cake is frosted with Swiss meringue buttercream they would be fine.
Swiss Meringue butter, recipe from Gretchen Price at Woodland bakery Blog.
I changed the cooking temperature of the egg whites from 115* to 140-150 degrees


Swiss Style Meringue Buttercream Yield 6cups
(enough to ice 30 cupcakes, or fill and ice 1- 8″cake
***THIS RECIPE CAN BE STORED 4 days room temp, 2 weeks fridge, 2 months freezer

Fresh Large Egg Whites 180g (6 Large)
Granulated Sugar 300g  (1 + 1/2 cups) or less
Confectioners Sugar 240g (2cups) -was too sweet use ½ -1 cup  or none
 Solid Vegetable Shortening 170g (3/4 cup) **See Note Below
Unsalted Butter 454g (2 cups)
Vanilla Extract Or Vanilla Paste 1 Tablespoon

  • Over a double boiler, in a large metal   stand mixer bowl  whisk with handheld beater together the granulated sugar and the egg whites stirring constantly until the mixture reaches approximately 150 degrees F and the sugar grains have dissolved and are not longer gritty to the touch.
  • place metal bowl of your stand mixer in an ice bath to  help cool down whisking to help. When  cool whip add to stand mixer,  with the  whisk attachment  whip on high speed until it is thick, glossy and white in color.  The peaks should be as firm as firm can be.
  •  If using, In the meantime you can sift your confectioners sugar, and once you have achieved STIFF peaks meringue, add the confectioners sugar all at once with the mixer on very low speed to avoid having a snow shower of sugar all over your kitchen!
  • Once all of the sugar has been incorporated you can turn the mixer speed to med-high until it is all nicely mixed in.
  • Do not add butter ,shortening if whites are warm!!! must be cool!! or butter will melt!
  • Be sure your butter and shortening are at room temperature and they are the same consistency. Add it in about 2-3 additions, but FAST Additions.
  • Continue to whip till smooth, it will appear curdled at first, keep whipping.
  • May be flavored ,colored etc.
    To flavor add chocolate 8oz. melted cooled or cocoa powder ¼ -1/2 cup
    Add about 1 cup canned pumpkin and spice for pumpkin cake frosting.
  • try caramel, or flavored liquors.
 Thanks for visiting!     Comments welcome!








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