Cassata alla siciliana, also known as cream tart sicilian is a delicious treat for any occasion.
Strain ricotta through wire sieve to refine. Add sugar; mix thoroughly. Add chocolate and almond extract; blend until custard-like consistency is obtained. Set aside in cold place until ready to use.Cut plain sponge cake in 3 layers. Put bottom layer in large round dish. Spread about ½ inch thick with filling. Top this with another layer of cake, then another ½ inch of the filling. Top layer should be sponge cake. Set aside in the refrigerator until this frosting is ready:
Gradually mix 1 cup of sugar with egg white; beat with spoon until smooth. Add flavoring and lemon juice; blend with more sugar (about ½ cup) until thick enough to spread.Cover sides and top of cassata evenly. Place cherry in center. Distribute glazed fruit on top to form an attractive design. Sprinkle with nuts and citron if desired. Serves 10 to 12. For a special idea, place these tarts in nice baskets for beautiful (and delicious) cookie gift baskets.