CHRISTMAS RICOTTA CAKE WITH RUM, SPICES AND DRIED FRUIT
I use ricotta a lot in my baking – I love the creaminess and gentle tang it lends. With warming spices and rum, sweet dried fruit and textural almonds, this cake is a modern take on a traditional fruit cake. It’s quite dense, but beautifully moist.
For the cake
180g butter, softened
180g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 free range eggs, separated (keep the whites for another recipe)
300g ricotta 1⁄3 cup rum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1⁄2 tsp nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp cardamom
200g ground almonds
100g all purpose white or spelt flour
3 tbsp candied orange peel, finely diced
70g flaked almonds, toasted
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1⁄2 cup Turkish dried apricots, diced
For the decorations
Drizzle of honey
Handful Turkish dried apricots, diced Handful cranberries
Handful almond flakes, toasted Fresh flowers (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160°C on fan bake. Grease and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale, light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the ricotta, rum and spices and gently mix.
- Next, add the ground almonds and flour and mix until just combined. Take care not to overmix. Finally, fold through the orange peel and dried fruit.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and spread out to the sides. Bake for approximately 50 minutes
- or springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Once the cake is cool, decorate with a drizzle of honey and a scattering of dried apricots, cranberries, almond flakes and flowers, if using.
- Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.