Rhubarb season only comes around once a year. Enjoy the most of it with this lightly sweetened almond scented Rhubarb Ricotta Almond Cake.
After our Italy trip last year I was obsessed with eating all Italian foods. You’d think I would be sick of it all but I was so immersed in the culture and food that I didn’t want the trip to end. Most of the time when I get home from vacation I’m ready for things to get back to normal, not that time. Italy has that special effect on you, if you’ve been I think you can agree with me on that.
Living in the great city that I do, it was easy enough to find those imported Italian goods at rock bottom prices. Sure there’s Little Italy in Manhattan but there’s nothing much left of it these days for the real experience you need to head up to the Bronx or way out in Brooklyn. There’s no other choice in the matter but oh, it’s worth it, it’s so so worth it.
Since I really wasn’t going to hike all the up to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Brooklyn shopping it was! We tackled a lot of shops, none of which disappointed, from imported pasta to homemade pancetta and buffalo mozzarella – Italy had come home.
There was one tiny little shop in particular that stood out the most though, it wasn’t because of way they carried but what they baked. The one and only thing that I wanted while in Italy was ricotta cheesecake but I learned ricotta “cheesecake” in Italy is not like the American version. It has flour and more cakey like texture, I never did get to try it until I ended up at this shop. One tiny piece later and I still think about that cake. The texture, the slight almond flavor, it was all perfect.
I’d like to say this cake is that cake but it’s not. . . although after my first bite memories flooded back of trying a piece at the tiny little shop last year. It’s certainly close, simply put this is a ricotta cake that needs to be made.
Nothing fancy but absolutely special. I used my standard cake recipe again because why break what isn’t fixed? Swapped out the milk for fresh ricotta (it’s the key!) and studded it with rhubarb. The rhubarb remains tart and still has some bite after baking for 40 minutes but it’s the perfect contrast to the rest of the tender cake.
Turning on your oven in the summer is the worst but it’s worth it to enjoy a slice of this cake.
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose four
- ½ cup almond meal/flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup cane sugar + 2 tablespoons
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1½ cups (15 ounce container) fresh ricotta
- ½ tablespoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- ¾lb (about 4 medium stalks) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan.
- Combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and airy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the ricotta, then the almond and vanilla extracts.
- Mix in the flour in two parts, scraping down the sides in between. Be careful not to over mix.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared cake pan and stud the top of the cake with the rhubarb pieces.
- Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top and then the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the center is a tad under baked. Continue to cook for 2 minute intervals, do not cook longer than 45 minutes otherwise the cake will be over baked.
- Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
- Serve with a dollop of fresh whip cream.
- Store the cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Original article: Rhubarb Ricotta Almond Cake
©2015 The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.