Saturday, December 12, 2009

Say Cheese

Since I have a camera now, I was hoping to display here a glorious picture of my chocolate ricotta cake and I'm disappointed that it's just not going to happen. First off- dark, dense chocolate does not really make a beautiful picture- using kitchen lighting no less. But I worked that problem out and got two decent shots. Now it's locating my photos (that are uploaded somewhere) in my Picasa file that's been giving me a problem. Before I started this blog, I bought a book called Google Blogger for Dummies and it helped me get started. I may have to invest in one for Picasa (for dummies) if they actually have one.

On to the cake. I was recently cleaning out my fridge and had a few lemons and a container of ricotta cheese that needed attention. I went to Mike's Table and found his recipe for lemon ricotta pound cake. It was easy. And it was yummy. So then I began experimenting with a chocolate version. I am apologizing in advance for the two sticks of butter, but it just isn't the same without them. And it does make me feel a bit better that this recipe makes a very large cake. So pull out your biggest loaf pan, like the one for Nigella's chocolate cake, and treat yourself to a little chocolate decadence.

Chocolate Ricotta Pound Cake

2/3 cup AP flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oats ground in spice grinder
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup Splenda Blend)
1/2 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup Splenda Brwon Sugar Blend)
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup brewed cold coffee
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare large loaf pan with cooking spray
In medium size bowl, combine flour, cocoa, ground oats, baking powder and salt. Stir with whisk or fork to incorporate. Set aside
In large bowl mix butter, sugars, ricotta, coffee and vanilla
Add the eggs
Add the dry ingredients
Fold in the chips
Pour into prepared pan
Bake 15 minutes, lower temp to 325 and bake 45 minutes more
Let cool before removing cake from the pan
Dust with powdered sugar

A little background- I tried sifting the dry ingredients. Not necessary. I also dusted the loaf pan with cocoa one time and flour another. The cake was actually easier to remove from the pan when I used only cooking spray. I did take the eggs and ricotta out of the fridge ahead of time and let them come to room temperature. The original recipe suggested you rotate the pan 180 degrees before you lower the temp. I never did that. And I've been tempted to bake it at 350 the whole time, but haven't tried that yet. I've been omitting the powdered sugar, but it is a very good option.

The Re-Mix: I think this is as good, if not better than the original. If you like orange and chocolate together then you'll like this re-mix. Zest one large orange and extract the juice. You'll get about three tablespoons of liquid. Add these to the butter/sugar mixture and eliminate the brewed coffee. I made this last night and it's really a winner.

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