Chocolate Cannoli Cake

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Chocolate Cannoli Cake – this is definitely a winner, very extremely light to taste. The cake stayed very moist without drying while left on the counter. This is a nice dessert for company or a special occasion.
Ingredients:

Cake:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder, optional, to enhance chocolate flavor
2/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups  Flour
3/4 cup milk

Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese, part-skim preferred
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips preferred
2 tablespoons simple syrup or vanilla syrup, to brush on cake, optional

Frosting:
1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, preferably at room temperature for easiest mixing
pinch of salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
1) To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, and cocoa to make a sandy, somewhat clumpy mixture. Don’t worry , the eggs will smooth things out.
3) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl midway through this process.Add half the flour to the bowl, beating at low speed to combine.Add all of the milk, beating at low speed to combine.Add the remaining flour, beating gently just until the batter is smooth.
4) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5) Bake the cake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top may look a tiny bit damp , that’s OK.
6) Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges, wait 10 minutes, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.Store completely cooled cake well wrapped, at room temperature, until ready to fill and frost.
7) To make the filling: Stir together the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
8) To make the frosting: sift the cocoa, confectioners’ sugar, and espresso powder into a bowl.
9) Bring the cream to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave, and whisk into the cocoa mixture. At first the mixture will look grainy , continue whisking for a minute. You’ll see the lumps disappear as the sugar dissolves and the cocoa hydrates. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
10) Place the butter, salt, and sifted confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.With the mixer running on low speed, add the cocoa mixture a spoonful at a time until it’s all incorporated. Scrape the bowl, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings.

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