There is a thousand inches of water just about everywhere I look in Chicago. And everywhere there isn’t, there is a thousand pounds of dog crap, mainly because I am only looking in my backyard right now. Awesome.
This however, means spring is finally f’ing here. I can smell it (though not in my yard). I want to open the windows just a crack to let that fresh air in. And my kids, who have been behaving worse than caged animals at the zoo, want to put on shorts, tanks tops and flip flops…the baby just asked me if I think it’s gonna be time to open the pool next week. Wtf.
Strawberries are coming around too. Good looking ones and thank god because nothing else seems to be around, the apples are sad, the oranges are sadder and the green beans…just…no.
This ricotta cake is great breakfast/dessert cake and the addition of strawberries lightens the whole thing up. It is not a very sweet cake making it ideal at breakfast, yet the ricotta adds a heaviness to the cake making it a nice finish to dinner.
This recipe was in my Bon Appetite for this month, using raspberries. I had some ricotta cheese I had to use up and strawberries on hand, so I substituted, and though, I probably would like raspberries or even blackberries better, the strawberries were great, and I find that I don’t use strawberries enough any way in my baking, so this was a good opportunity to make more use of them.
Vanilla Ricotta Cake with fresh strawberries (from Bon Appetite Magazine)
1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1½ cups ricotta (I use whole milk ricotta for everything)
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make sure a rack is in the center of oven.
Line an 8 inch-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray and flour.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by 1 cup strawberries, gently, you don’t want to crush the strawberries. Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining strawberries on top.
Bake for around one hour and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 30-40 minutes before taking out. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.