Sunday, 3 August 2014

Chocolate ricotta cake

I’ve been baking a lot with fruit and ‘lighter’ summer flavours of late.  This week I just wanted something sinfully chocolatey with that lovely rich ‘stick to the ribs’ quality.  Chocolate, ricotta and almonds – perfect!

This is almost gluten free…I know that’s not very helpful and also not possible: something is either gluten free or it isn’t.  I point this out simply because, if you needed it to be gluten free, I wonder whether you could substitute more ground almonds for the flour; it’s only two tablespoons after all?  If any gluten free bakers know whether this would work please let me know via your comments. 

Realising I knew very little about ricotta I did some research.  The first thing I learned was that ‘ricotta’ literally means re-cooked.  I think this is because of the second fact that I learned: ricotta is produced from the by-product from the production of other cheeses such as mozzarella.  It’s made from the whey that’s left behind when the curds are strained – a bonus cheese no less!

The cake is meant to be served warm; I liked it at room temperature too but the texture becomes a little heavier.  This isn’t a bad thing as, like all (almost) flourless cakes the sticky, squidgy texture is a joy.  Serving it with cream was probably an unnecessary indulgence but… I apologise for nothing! (smugly award yourself bonus marks if you know which – admittedly obscure – cartoon character I’m quoting!)


150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
150g chocolate, melted and left to cool – I used half dark, half milk
3 eggs, separated
250g ricotta cheese
100g ground almonds
2 tablespoon plain flour

To serve: thick cream


Preheat the oven to 170°C/ fan oven 150°C/325°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – do not skimp on this stage as this is your chance to get lots of air into the mix.

Add the chocolate, egg yolks and ricotta and stir until just combined.

Stir in the ground almonds and flour.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  This is best achieved by stirring a spoonful of whites into the chocolate to slacken the mix, which will make the rest of the egg whites easier to fold in.

Pour into the prepared tin – it will be quite runny.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the cake is set around the edges but retains some wobble in the centre.  A skewer will not help you here!

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before attempting to de-tin.  It will settle a little as it cools so don’t panic!

Serve the cake warm (although I liked it just as much at room temperature!) with thick cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria Baker said...

Love this recipe CC! Look heavenly and really moist! and I love ricotta!

Ulla said...

Yummy! I've been baking all kinds of fruit recipes lately and thinking of baking something with chocolate for change. This recipe will be on my list. I think using corn flour instead of plain flour will do well and make this recipe gluten free. It's worked in other recipes where is mostly ground almonds. Thanks for the recipe.

Katie said...

Oh my that looks amazing! A cross between cake and cheesecake. You could easily make it gluten free by adding more almonds, but I would suggest adding cornflour instead. This will act the same way as the flour in such small amounts.
Looks divine

Dipika said...

Oh my! This looks ace. Especially with the cream...

mr. pineapple man said...

Gosh I would love to have a bite of this right now!

Izzy said...

This looks delicious! I've made a chocolate cake with no flour just ground almonds (and olive oil surprisingly) and the texture was so good.

Izzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean said...

This looks and sounds fabulous!
I have been using Doves Farm gluten free flours with great success. Judging by the recipes I have tried from the packs of flour and their website you simply substitute their flour for normal flour and bake. So far it has worked brilliantly every time, so I bet it would be fine for this cake. I shall give it a try!

snowy said...

This cake looks so good CC. Another one to add to my list of cakes to make. Like the idea of using ricotta.

Stuart Vettese said...

That looks dense and delicious - great addition, the ricotta!

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - this looks chocolatey and fab.

Happy Homebird said...

This looks gorgeous. Love ricotta, one of my favourites.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

This sounds divine. I love a dense chocolate cake and the ricotta sounds a perfect match. It could easily be made gluten free by the alternative use of cornflour given that it is such a small amount (as Katie says), but might also be substituted with either sorghum or tapioca flours (or a combination of all three).

Lucy said...

I haven't baked anything properly chocolatey in a while... I sense this might change very soon after reading your post!

Choclette said...

Ooh yes please - I adore these squidgy almost flourless almond cakes. I've rarely used ricotta in baking, but when I've done so, it's produced a dense squidgy cake which suites me very well. OH! And I would sub the flour for buckwheat flour to make it GF.

Yankee in England said...

I made this last night with Dove Organics Glueten Free Plain Flour blend for my knitting group as on is a celiac and the recipe turned out amazing and all the ladies were raving.

Millymollymandy said...

Made it yesterday and it's divine! :-)

Lizzie said...

Made this today and boy, it is very, very yummy

Anonymous said...

Hi CC, I'm following a gluten free diet. If I want cake I use 3/4 quantity of flour in ground almonds and 1/4 in coconut flour. As the coconut flour absorbs liquid it could end up really dry so I put a couple of extra eggs in too, if I feel it needs it. I made your choc self saucing pudding with a couple of eggs and the flour substitutes mentioned above. It is now our favourite pudding!