The second sweet item for the inaugural barbeque was a chocolate and cherry ricotta cake. I adapted it from a recipe on taste.com.au which was for a Chocolate and Raspberry Baked Ricotta Cake. Essentially, it's the same, except I used cherries instead of raspberries (der).
I had long ago eaten my frozen berry stash from last summer, but I did have a jar of cherries that I bought in a moment's madness in Aldi. We hardly ever go there, but whenever I do I'm always amused by the weird stuff you can buy. Last time we were there, you could buy a petrol generator, or a portable foozball table, in case you needed more than just groceries and alcohol! Totally random, and that randomness must've influenced me to buy a jar of cherries that I didn't need.
The cake itself is a contender for the ugliest thing I've ever baked. It was so ugly it was beyond ugly. It was fugly. I found the "batter" very thick, and had trouble smoothing it down. When I pulled it out the oven, I had concerns that it would be dry – it certainly looked dry! After we dished it out though, I was happy that my fears were unfounded. It had quite a dense texture, and you could certainly taste the tang from the ricotta. I didn't think it was quite sweet enough, or taste chocolaty enough but it was still tasty. I would love to play around with the recipe and try it with some melted dark chocolate.
Chocolate and Cherry Ricotta Cake
Adapted from Taste.com.au
Ingredients (serves 8)
3/4 cup (165g) ricotta cheese
2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup caster sugar
100g butter, melted
1 cup hot water
1 cup pitted cherries (I used ones from a jar)
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup pitted cherries
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line base and sides of a 6.5cm-deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan with baking paper.
2. Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add sugar, butter, water and ricotta. Mix well. Gently fold through cherries. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto wire rack to cool.
3. Make cherry sauce: Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Add cherries. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes.
4. Cut cake into wedges. Place on plates. Spoon over cherry sauce & serve.