Guys Love Cooking weekend recipe: Ricotta pear cake
The Guys try to bring peace to the weary warriors of Black Friday in this installment of our weekly collaboration. Now, Guys Love Cooking want to know what could be better than a ricotta and pear cake to restore harmony to mankind? I am not sure about you but my Facebook page is filled with countdown pictures getting us ready for Christmas. I love this time of year, but the excess of it once used to overwhelm me and make me upset. Now I just find it funny. We will be spending our Christmas break abroad, and for that reason we put up our Christmas tree last weekend already. We can still enjoy the cozy feel of our flat for a few weeks before heading off to visit family. We had just finished watching the news and the Black Friday images of people fighting to get the latest TVs. To us, the clips were just hilarious, and we felt blessed we were at home, with our heating back on. We were slightly tipsy, of course! The mulled wine helped unleashing our creativity, I think, and the final result was great. Our living room looks like the Christmas Grotto of a department store now. You must excuse us this week, as we have prepared another dessert recipe. We had some pears at home that were screaming to be eaten, and that’s what we did.
The recipe for today takes us back to beautiful Italy; a dish that originates from Campania region, specifically from the Amalfi coast. If you happen to visit that stunning part of the world you should treat yourself to this easy and delicious cake. The ingredients of are emblematic of the people from the region: humble like the pears and strong like hazelnut.Ricotta pear cake (Torta ricotta e pere)
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes Yield: 8-10 servings
Walnut or hazelnut: 100 g (3.5 oz) Flour: 50 g (1/3 cup) Sugar: 100 g (1/2 cup) Butter: 75 g (2.65 oz), small squares Egg white: 4 Pear: 500 g (18 oz), peeled, 2-cm (0.8 inch) pieces Vanilla pod: 1 or vanilla extract: 2 tsp Cream cheese: 50 g (1.8 oz) Golden caster sugar: 125 g (3/5 cup) Ricotta: 250 g (8.8 oz) Whip cream: 100 ml (2/5 cup) Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F), then toast the walnuts/hazelnuts for 10 minutes and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, grease a 20-cm (7.9 inch) round tin with butter and line its base with baking paper. Finely blend the nuts (in food processor), transfer to a mixing bowl, and add the flour, sugar, butter. Beat with a spatula until its combined. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then carefully fold into the mixture using a spatula. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 25 minutes. Take out and leave for five minutes, then remove the tin, baking paper and let the cake cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, add the pears, 75 g (1/3 cup) golden caster sugar into a pan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways to remove the seeds, and add all into the pan. Alternatively use vanilla extract. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 15 mins. Then pour through a sieve into a glass and let cool, reserving the syrup.
Whisk the remaining sugar, cream cheese, ricotta and whipped cream till combined, then add the cooled pears and fold to combine. Slice the cake horizontally into two even halves. Place the first half on an even plate. Pour and spread the ricotta pear cream evenly across the half, place the other half on top, and dust with icing sugar. Store the cake in a freezer about four hours, but remove from the freezer about 30 mins before serving. Slice the cake into 8-10 pieces and top with the reserved syrup