Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Ricotta Pound Cake

I had a hankering for some chocolate cake on Monday, which happened to be Halloween.  I think it was a backlash from all the non-chocolate desserts I have been baking lately.  This recipe looked interesting to me on a few levels.  I had some left-over ricotta in my fridge.  I also wanted some chocolate.  But mainly, the recipe looked like it could be delicious.  It turned out that I did not have quite enough ricotta for this recipe so I opened a half package of cream cheese that had been sitting in my cheese drawer for a few days and used that up as well.  I probably shouldn't do stuff like that but I can't help it.  I have the need to use what is in my fridge.  So, sue me!  At first, when D tried the cake he said it had a "funny taste".  In fact, he said, all my recent cakes and baked goods have it.  I realized that it is the "eggie" taste that comes from pound cakes.  When you use more than two eggs in a recipe, they tend to have that taste.  The next day, the cake tastes great.  My mom loved it.  She praised it to the heavens.  And this is from a woman who does not really love chocolate all that much.  So try this cake if it appeals to you or if you have some extra ricotta in your fridge that needs to be used up.  I didn't have the Dutch processed chocolate, so I used a substitute of 3 tablespoons of regular chocolate with 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda as recommended on many websites.  It seems to work just fine.  

Chocolate Ricotta Pound Cake
makes one 6-cup fluted cake mold

4-1/2 Tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder (or 3 Tbsp Dutch-processed + 1-1/2 Tbsp black cocoa)
4 Tbs boiling water
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups All-Purpose flour (~220 grams)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
13 Tbs butter, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta (300 grams)
1 cup sugar (210 grams)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour the cake mold.  Set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water until thoroughly combined.  Let cool to room temperature.
3. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
5. In a mixer bowl, cream together on medium to medium high the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add the egg mixture and dry ingredients in three stages, alternating wet and dry.  Mix until combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes total.  About twenty minutes into baking, cover the cake with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil.  Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and let cool, turning the cake out onto a wire rack after about ten minutes.  Let cool completely.  Top with a light dusting of powdered sugar.


The Creative Cook