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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 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, add 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.
Prep time: 30 Min; Cooking time: 45 Min; Total time: 1 Hr 15 Min
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell
Ricotta Cake photographed on a lemongrass Fiesta cake plate.