Over the weekend I had friends around. We had a super mega party with tons of food and so much laugh that I was in tears! This is what happens when you are with good genuine friends you feel totally at ease with: all Italians who have been living in England for a long time so we had lots in common and lots to talk about.
My friends brought the starters over: different dips, mini sandwiches, focaccia and prosciutto. I made a zucchini and speck lasagna as a first course and Mediterranean salmon in orange sauce with rosemary potato wedges as a second course. Then we had strawberries and watermelon and finally a super rich chocolate cake which I made especially for hubby's birthday. I felt so lifted on the evening.. being with good friends and people you feel good with is highly therapeutic! Better than any medicine in the world!
Last week I made another chocolate cake but a less laborious one suitable for any day of the week and quicker to make. Ricotta is just so good in cakes, it makes them moist and delicious and it is light too. Very often I make tiramisu' with it, I swap mascarpone for ricotta for a much lighter version of this fabulous dessert.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 35 minutes
- Yield : 6
- For the chocolate layer:
- plain flour - 250 g - just over 2 cups
- baking powder - 2 tsp
- eggs - 3
- ricotta cheese - 125 g - just over 1/2 cup
- sugar - 120 g - 1/2 cup
- cocoa powder - 40 g - 3/8 cup
- lemon zest - of 1 lemon
- orange essence - 1 tsp
- milk - 60 ml - 2 fl oz or extra if needed
- olive oil - 3 tbsp
- For the white layer:
- ricotta cheese - 375 g - 1 + 2/3 cup
- powdered sugar - 50 g - 3/8 cup
- egg - 1
- vanilla essence - 1 tsp
- cocoa powder - to sprinkle
In a bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar, add the ricotta, the olive oil, cocoa powder, the orange essence and the lemon zest. Stir well then add the sifted flour and the baking powder. Mix well to combine all the ingredients. Add enough milk to get a smooth consistency.
Grease well a round baking tin measuring 20 cm or 8 inch and pour in the chocolate mixture. Level it well with the back of a spoon.
Let's make the white ricotta layer.
In a separate bowl mix the ricotta with the vanilla essence, the egg and the powdered sugar. Mix well and pour it onto the chocolate layer. Level it well.
Bake at 180C oe 350F for 35 to 40 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
Let the cake cool down, remove it from the mold and dust with cocoa powder.
I am entering this cake to the monthly challenge We Should Cocoa hosted by Choclette over at Tin & Thyme