Friday, October 2, 2015

Ricotta cake



Ricotta cake

I was in Delhi recently but instead of haunting familiar places (for ingredients, need I say) I was down with a severe cold. Luckily my husband got some of the stuff that I needed and the outcome is this cake. 
We are heading towards cooler weather now and I'm so much looking forward to growing more tomatoes and  a few other vegetables this year. Right now the ground is still very soggy with the heavy rain that made so many lives miserable in our flood-prone city. The few months of kinder weather will surely bring out the best in us...out of us..so cheers to that.
We were meeting up to celebrate my sister's birthday and sharing a cake like this was just right. I had wanted to bake it right after seeing it SBS Food Safari. Better late than never. 
I made quite a few changes and the main was the quantity of ricotta. The recipe asked for 1.2 kg ricotta and I did worry about the proportion but went ahead anyway.

For the pastry:
21/2 cups flour
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
3 tbs icing sugar
1 large egg
Transfer the flour and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter. With the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the mix until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the egg and bring the dough together. If you feel at this point that it needs a bit more moisture, sprinkle some iced water. Make it into a ball, flatten it and then wrap it in clingfilm. Chill it for at least 40 minutes.
(Mine rested overnight and this is the usual quantity that I make preferring to have some left-over dough for maybe a quick hand pie for later).
A springform tin was used in the original recipe but I used a deep (deeper than my usual ones) tart tin.
After the dough has chilled roll out a round disc a little bigger than the size of the tin. Place it on the tin, press the edges and trim off the overhanging dough. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients...
1/3 cup sultanas
250 grams ricotta
250 gram mascarpone
2/3 cup fine sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs lemon zest
2 tbs plain flour
Soak the sultanas in water till they swell up. The original recipe had sultanas soaked in marsala overnight.
Ricotta cake

Mix the mascarpone and ricotta in the food processor. Mix in sugar and combine well. Add eggs one at a time ensuring that each egg is well-beaten. Add vanilla, flour and the lemon zest and mix. Fold in the sultanas. Pour the batter in the pastry-lined tin and bake at a preheated 160C oven for an hour or until it turns golden brown. Turn off oven and let the cake cool in it. Leave the door slightly ajar. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight. To serve, dust with some icing sugar.
While serving I did leave out the sugar bit and the flawed surface on the cake came from using grease-proof paper to stop it from browning further. Despite the look, the cake tasted really delicious. And as I type this, only a tiny bit remains. Not even a proper wedge. Everyone went for seconds and that made me feel that it was well worth the effort.
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