Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lime-Ricotta Cake (with Blackberry sauce?)

In cooking, as in life, I aim to break or make as many of my own rules as possible. My grandmother once told me that if I was born in the 1600's I would have been suspected a witch. She meant it as a compliment. Suggesting that my independent nature would have gotten me into trouble. I'm relentless in that way. I was never one for "fitting in" even when it was uncomfortable not to.
So imagine my delight when I come across recipes that allot enough room for me to tailor to my own taste, or as is often the case, what I have on hand.
This cake is the perfect example of that. Originally called "Lime-Yogurt Cake," As it called for whole milk plain yogurt, I changed that to include whole milk ricotta, simply because it's what I had in the refrigerator. I'm sure the yogurt version would have been lovely, too. After making the blackberry sauce, I realized I'm not particularly fond of blackberries. That's just a matter of taste. The following day I made a strawberry sauce in its place. And was it ever delicious! I even found a use for the left-over blackberries...Ice Cream!

Lime-Ricotta Cake with Blackberry Sauce Strawberry Sauce

Recipe courtesy and Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen


1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (you can use one cup whole milk plain yogurt in its place)
1/3 cup canola oil (you can use vegetable in its place)
1 cup sugar
zest of one large lime, or two small
1/4 cup lime juice
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk (leave out the milk if using yogurt instead of ricotta)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Powdered (confectioners) sugar for sifting over cake *Optional

" Sauce:

12 ounces fresh blackberries, or strawberries, or blueberries, or pineapple (Anything you think you'd like on a pound cake, you'd love on this)
*Note: If using frozen fruit, start with half the water and add more if needed.
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

To make sauce:

Add the fruit you've chosen, water, sugar and lime juice. Pour into blender or food processor. Set to purée until very smooth. If using a seedy fruit, like blackberries, over large bowl, press puréed fruit mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Cover and refrigerate until cooled.

To make the cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch cake pan in thin layer of butter. If not using a springform pan, add parchment to bottom of pan to prevent cake from sticking.

Using a large mixing bowl, add ricotta, oil, sugar, lime zest and 1/4 cup lime juice. Stir until combined, using whisk or fork. Add eggs one at a time, mix well after each egg is added. In a separate smaller bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients, using a large spoon, mix until thoroughly combined. *As original recipe directs, dry ingredients could also be sifted directly over bowl of wet ingredients and then stirred until combined. I'm just a creature of habit.

Pour batter into the buttered springform pan or buttered and lined cake pan you prepared earlier. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake has become golden brown in color and a knife inserted into center of cake pulls out clean. Allow cake to rest in pan for 10 minutes. To loosen cake, run a knife between the cake and pan, around the circumference. Stay closer to the pan with the knife as not to cut the outer crust of cake. If using springform pan, simply unclasp the hooks.

Prepare your ingredients

Stir wet ingredients until combined. Next, add your sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined

Sift cake with powdered sugar

They are beautiful

But strawberries are my kryptonite

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