Can you tell that I love ricotta?
Even a few years ago, when my lactose intolerance was at it’s worst, I would still eat fresh ricotta when my dad would drop it off at my house every Saturday from the cheese store (my stomach would kill, but I felt like I had to take one for the team’ ;)).
I think that’s the reason I have a few recipes on the blog that are ricotta based:
Like, these ricotta balls (you can get the recipe here):
And, this ricotta Easter Pie is a family favourite (get the recipe here):
What is a Torta Di Ricotta?
So, torta means cake and we all know what ricotta is so you would think torta di ricotta is ricotta cake. But, it depends on what part of Italy you’re from. This one that I’ve made is my grandmothers recipe but many will change the ratio of ricotta to flour so it becomes almost like a cheesecake. Something like the ricotta cheesecake my grandmother used to make every Easter (the photo is below and the recipe is in the cookbook).
It’s really delicious…you need to try it!
What is a Ciambella?
This cake that I’m showcasing here is a delicious cake and is very traditional in many Italian households. It is a dry cake that is perfect to have with your morning espresso and is often baked in a tube pan (that’s why many of the recipes you’ll find for this cake are called ciambella, which means it’s baked in a circular, bundt-type pan).
There are only a handful of ingredients that go into this cake (many of which I’m sure you already have in your pantry!!)…
It comes together quite quickly and is the perfect accompaniment to your morning cup of coffee or tea.
What Can be Done with our Leftover Ricotta?
Since many of you may purchase a tub of ricotta from the store to make this cake, you’ll notice that you’ll be left with extra ricotta. I know many of you will eat it right out of the container (I’ve been known to do that!!). But, you can also use it a few other ways:
- Add a few tablespoons to your next pasta to make it a bit creamy!
- Spread some on some thickly sliced, seeded toast and sprinkle with some salt and pepper for a filling breakfast!
- Speaking of breakfast, my fave way of eating it is spread on toasted pumpernickel bread, sprinkled with brown sugar and placed under the broiler (tastes like cheesecake on toast!!).
- Spread a good helping on your favourite sandwich instead of mayo
- Dollop some on your pizza before baking
- Sweeten it with honey and vanilla and serve it alongside your favourite cake (uhhum, like this one!!)
The possibilities are endless!!
This cake can also be sliced and toasted…you’re not going to believe how decadent this tastes with some homemade jam!!!!
Let’s do this!!
Nonna’s Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake (Torta alla ricotta e cioccolato)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powderpinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla or you can sub in almond extract
- 1 cup ricotta (make sure it’s smooth and not watery)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp course sugar optional
- additional ricotta if you bought a container (optional)
- honey optional
- additional vanilla optional
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set asideIn the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the eggs and granulated sugar until light in colour (about 3 minutes).; add the vanilla and ricotta and mix again.
- Add a spoonful of the flour mix to your chocolate chips (this helps the chocolate chips from sinking) and then add the dry/flour mix to your wet bowl and mix for 20 seconds (you should still see some flour bits); add the chocolate chips and mix again (do not overmix)
- Spray a cake pan or springform pan with cooking spray (or coat with additional butter) and spread batter into the pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar; bake in the middle of your over for 30 minutes.
- Once your cake is done (the middle should be firm when pressed), remove from the oven and let cool.
- If you’d like a little something extra, mix about 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, a splash of vanilla and honey to taste; serve of the side of you cake with a cup of hot tea!