3 egg whites
1 pkg. Pillsbury Plus White Cake Mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup whipping cream
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 can Pillsbury ready to spread vanilla frosting supreme
1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
enough sifted powered sugar to thicken the frosting
5 maraschino cherries halved (5 to 6)
Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. In small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, about 1 minute: set aside.
In large bowl, combine remaining cake ingredients at low speed until moistened: beat 2 minutes at medium speed, fold in egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 15 minutes then remove from pans. Cool completely.
In small bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form; set aside. In large bowl combine ricotta cheese and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth.
Add canned frosting and whipped cream; mix until smooth. (If this seems not stiff enough for you…I found it wasn’t for me…add some sifted powered sugar to make the consistency you like).
Divide in half. To half of frosting, stir in chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped cherries (make sure to drain well and squeeze out extra juice) ; blend well.
To assemble cake, split each layer in half horizontally to form 4 layers (this works best by taking a piece of string or thread and wrapping it around the middle of the cake then pulling together until you reach the middle inside of cake).
Spread 1/3 of the cherry-chip filling between each cake layer. Frost top and sides with remaining half of frosting. To garnish, sprinkle walnuts on top; place halved cherries around top edge of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until serving time. Store in refrigerator.