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CANNOLI CAKE

6 large eggs, separated
sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
vanilla extract
2 large oranges
2 tablespoons orange-flavor liqueur (optional)
32-ounce container ricotta cheese
8-once package cream cheese, softened
confectioners' sugar
semisweet-chocolate mini pieces
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups heavy or whipping cream

In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft
peaks form. Beating at high speed, gradually sprinkle in 1/2 cup
sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition
until sugar completely dissolves and whites stand in stiff peaks.
Preheat over to 375F. In small bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat
egg yolks, flour, baking powder , salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon
vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons water until blended. Gently
fold one-third beaten egg-white mixture into yolk mixture, then
fold yolk mixture into remaining whites. Spoon batter into ungreased
10" by 3" springform pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until cake is
golden and top springs back when lightly touched with finger.
Invert cake in pan on wire rack, cool completely.

Grate enough peel from oranges to measure 2 teaspoons peel, set
aside. Squeeze enough juice from oranges to measure 1/3 cup juice.
(If not using liqueur, increase orange juice to 1/2 cup.) Stir
orange-liqueur into juice, set aside. In large bowl, with mixer
at low speed, beat ricotta cheese, cream cheese, grated orange
peel, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup semisweet-chocolate mini pieces.
With metal spatula, gently loosen cake and remove from pan. With
serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Brush
orange-juice mixture evenly over cut side of both layers. Place
1 cake layer, cut-side up, on plate. Spoon ricotta-cheese filling
on center of cake layer. Spread some filling out to edge, leaving
center rounded to achieve a dome effect. Cut a wedge out of
remaining cake layer, arrange wedge and rest of cake layer over
filling. (Cutting wedge will allow cake layer to bend, without
cracking, to fit over dome shape.)

In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter or margarine,
milk, 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
extract until smooth, adding more milk if necessary until frosting
has an easy spreading consistency. In large bowl, with mixer at
medium speed, beat heavy or whipping cream until soft peaks form,
fold confectioners' sugar mixture into whipped cream. spread
frosting over top and down side of cake. In 1-quart saucepan over
low heat, heat 1/3 cup semisweet-chocolate mini pieces until melted.
Spoon melted chocolate into small decorating bag with small writing
tube (or, use paper cone with tip cut to make 1/8-inch diameter
hole) Pipe chocolate on top of cake in a spiral design, starting
in center and moving to edge of cake. Before chocolate hardens,
quickly with tip of toothpick or small knife, draw lines in spoke
fashion. Make spokes about 1 1/2 inches apart around edge of cake,
alternate direction of each spoke, first from edge to center of
cake, then from center to edge to make feather design. Refrigerate
cake until filling is firm for easier cutting, about 3 hours.
Makes 16 servings 490 calories per serving.

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