Looking for a lighter dessert alternative to cheesecake? The Italians have an excellent one: Ricotta Cake. These cakes don't pack the wallop of richness of a New York Cheesecake. Instead the ricotta cheese is lighter, allowing more subtle flavors of fresh fruit and aromatic spices to come forth.
Our recipe is for a traditional Ricotta cake, however you can experiment with additional extracts, fruits, spices and crusts to create your own perfect cake. Presenting this cake to guests on a warm Summer day will cement your reputation as both a dessert chef and an entertainer.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the berries with 1/4 cup of sugar. Let the berries rest at room temperature and macerate while you make the cake.
In a food processor, dd the ingredients in the following order, pulsing briefly after each addition: remaining sugar, egg yolks, ricotta, mascarpone, flour, baking powder, orange zest, orange blossom water and fleur de sel. After all ingredients have been added, blend until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and set aside.
Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until just short of stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into ricotta mixture.
Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Bake until center of cake springs back when touched, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before releasing sides of pan. Meanwhile drain berries in a colander. Serve cake immediately at room temperature topped with berries. Makes 6 servings.
Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell
Online Since 1997
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