With the lockdown the internet has gone crazy. So many people are cooking and baking in a way that we have never seen before, at least in our lifetime and basic foods like flour and eggs and other staples seem to have disappeared from the shelves. In particular, flour and yeast seem to be the hardest ones to find.
I am of course cooking more than usual too, with all the family in the house all day long we have proper delicious lunches as well as dinners, the Italian way of course 🙂 We made gnocchi and fresh pasta and several cakes too. We are doing fine and we are all well and healthy and that's what's really important now. I hope you are all keeping healthy too.
My parents in Italy are well. I have been worrying about them but they are indoors and they are safe. It was quite upsetting to see how badly Italy has been affected by the virus with so many deaths every single day so far. Thank goodness the numbers of people infected daily are starting to slow down now as they seem to have reached a peak. Not in the UK yet as we are at least a couple of weeks behind Italy. We can only hope for the best and continue to stay at home, this time will pass.
Baking certainly helps lifting the mood. Chicks and eggs.. I love Easter. I made this easy and moist chocolate ring cake with ricotta and a grated apple. You won't be able to tell that there is an apple in the cake. This is a trick my friend Rosetta has taught me. It makes the cakes moist and delicious. You can add a grated apple to many cakes.
If you don't have vanilla or orange essence, just use orange or lemon zest, they will work just as well. You can also use another baking tin if you don't have one with a hole in the middle.
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 35 minutes
- Yield : 6
- plain flour (gluten free if you wish) - 270 g - 2 + 1/4 cup
- eggs - 3
- ricotta cheese - 250 g - 1 + 1/8 cup
- butter - 80 g - 3/8 cup
- sugar - 150 g - 2/3 cup
- apples - (1 large or two small ones) 220 g
- baking powder - 2 tsp
- dark chocolate chips - 80 g - 1/2 cup
- vanilla essence - 1 tsp
- orange essence - 1 tsp
- to decorate:
- chocolate - 50 g - 1/3 cup
- roasted chopped pistachios - 2 tbsp
- butter - large knob or 1 tbsp
Put the butter in a pan and let it melt over a gentle heat. Peel, core and finely grate the apples.
Whisk the egg yolks with 3/4 of the sugar until creamy. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar. The eggs need to be at room temperature.
To the egg yolks add the vanilla and the orange essence, the apples, the ricotta and the sifted flour with the baking powder. Mix well and add the melted butter and the chocolate chips. Mix well and gently incorporate the egg whites.
Grease a mold with a ring in a middle (or a normal round baking tin if you don't have one) with oil or butter and pour in the mixture levelling it well.
Bake at 180c or 350F for approximately 35 minutes. After 30 minutes test the cake with a toothpick to check if it is ready. If there is wet batter on the toothpick than leave it in the oven for a little longer.
When it is cooked remove it from the oven and let it cool down for a few minutes. Remove it from the mold and let it cool down completely.
In a pan melt a tbsp of butter and then add the chocolate.
Brush the cake with the melted chocolate, sprinkle it with the pistachios and decorate with mini chocolate eggs.
HAPPY EASTER! BUONA PASQUA!