I’ve never been much of a ricotta fan. Too many buy one get one free spinach and ricotta “Be Good To Yourself” Sainsbury’s pizzas consumed whilst at university scarred me I think. Always a little bland to be the star of the show yet somehow always stealing the leading role. Clearly I was missing something that others could see.
But despite my rocky relationship with ricotta I’ve been holding onto this recipe from Waitrose Food Magazine for the past 6 years. Raspberry and ricotta cake. Clearly my subconscious must have known there was more to ricotta than its spinach pizza coupling was letting on. Or I just like the pretty contrast of red raspberries with white ricotta all baked into an intriguing looking cake. You decide…
It turns out that when you bake ricotta into a cake though, it becomes a creamy, fluffy base. One that’s perfect for tart, fresh raspberries to snuggle up to and one that can happily be and enveloped into a buttery, crumbly cake.
So perhaps I did underestimate you, ricotta. That said, without the addition of lemon, vanilla, and honey, I fear it wouldn’t have shone so brightly. It remains, to me at least, a cheese that should be in the supporting role or one that at least needs a little help from the make up department to really shine.
But regardless of whether you’re a ricotta lover or hater you will enjoy this cake. In fact, I suspect many wouldn’t even realise it was filled with ricotta…I’m pretty sure the Perky Kebab didn’t know as he tucked in – he’s a fervent ricotta rejecter and enjoyed this dessert thoroughly.
It’s a great end to a meal, particularly a rich one, as it’s not too sweet nor heavy. It looks beautiful too when paired with some extra berries and a good dollop of cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Bonus marks also result from the fact it’s relatively quick and easy to make and, whilst infinitely better eaten on the day, any leftovers will keep for a day or so. So with spring and summer fast approaching for you Northern hemisphere dwellers, this could be a perfect cake for you to make. Enjoy!
Raspberry & Ricotta Cake
Adapted From Waitrose Food April 2011
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g caster sugar
185g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon, grated zest only
3 tablespoons icing sugar
Ice cream or cream to serve
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl using an electric whisk for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir to combine. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°c/160° fan/Gas 4/350°f. Lightly grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
- In a bowl stir together the honey, lemon zest, ricotta and vanilla. It will look pretty lumpy but fear not, it bakes into a delicious creamy filling!
- Divide the dough into 2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half of dough to fit the bottom of the tin. It’s a very soft and fragile dough so be gentle and don’t worry if it breaks – just patch it up.
- Press one round into the tin and scatter half the raspberries on top, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Spoon the ricotta filling on top and then scatter the rest of the raspberries on top. Place the second dough round on top and gently press the bottom and top halves together.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and set on top. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then gently remove to cool fully on a wire rack. Once cool dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream or cream.