Cassata alla Siciliana
Cassata alla Siciliana, as its name suggests, is a cake of Sicilian origin. Like Panforte, this very ancient dessert makes use of the local ingredients-- fruits, nuts, eggs and cheese—that were available to people living along the Mediterranean centuries ago. As such, Cassata is one of the world’s first cheesecakes, although the ricotta filling, similar to cannoli filling, is sandwiched between two layers of golden sponge cake rather than baked. This sponge cake, called Pan di Spagna in Italian, can also be layered with gelato or spumoni and frozen for an Italian ice cream cake.