Ricotta Berry Cake

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I was always one of those people who preferred seconds to sweets/dessert. When I'd hear someone say "sweets are my weakness" I would often scoff and reply, "seriously? get a real weakness, pal". But then I got pregnant. And somewhere at the start of my second trimester, after a shameful episode of craving hot pockets, which luckily passed as soon as I had a hot pocket, I started craving cheesecake. If you're thinking what an upgrade, hot pocket to cheesecake? You are right, and no one was more relived than the husband, who was utterly disgusted with me for months after I ate the hot pocket, even though I was carrying his child.

But, back to cake. It started with cheesecake, then once I satisfied my craving with several slices, I forgot all about it, until month 7 or 8, when I wanted cake, ALL THE FREAKEN TIME. It wasn't that I wanted one sort of cake. Instead I ate whatever cake came my way (and by came my way, I mean whatever the husband decided to pick up on the way home, after me asking him several times throughout the day, "are you getting cake?" And then following up with "yum, cake" texts).

Then we had the baby, and I was pregnant no more. I was hopeful I'd also want cake no more. But, that didn't happen. And I still wanted cake, ALL THE FREAKEN TIME. There came a point where the husband would refuse me, "It's Tuesday, we can't just have cake. It's not even anyone's birthday." I was obviously mad about this sort of logic. I had given him a child, the least he could do is get me cake, everyday. I made sure he was aware of this reasoning, and he often caved, bringing me a slice of some sort on his way home.

Eventually, cake just got expensive. A slice from Whole Foods several times a week wasn't good for the wallet, especially with all these new baby expenses. So, I decided if I wanted cake, I should bake it, hoping my hate of baking would prevent me from eating cake all the time. And it has! I am proud to say, I now eat cake occasionally, although still more often than I probably should since discovering this simple and delicious recipe for ricotta berry cake, which is almost not really baking at all.
 This guy knows what's up.
This cake is so easy, and it's super good, and almost impossible to mess up. The last time I made it, I ran out of ricotta and just added sour cream instead, not even measuring. Then the husband and I had "communication issues" and forgot adding the baking powder at the right time. And still the cake was good. You should probably follow the recipe for the first time, but this cake leads itself to some interpretation, should you feel tempted down the road.

Now I'm going to take a moment, share some Viggo pics, and ask: how is this baby of mine ALREADY eight months old?! Have I really been eating cake for over eight months??? Sigh.
It's been fun cooking for and feeding this guy. I'm only confused by one thing, who does not like avocados?
Teeth peaking through. Teeth!!!
And he's crawling.
Feel free to stop growing now. Ok, thanks!
Ricotta Berry Cake
via Bon Appetit

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1½ cups ricotta
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup frozen raspberries or blackberries, divided (I’ve only used fresh berries. Blackberries and strawberries)
1 tbsp lemon zest or dried orange peel (this is my own addition, which I think adds a nice freshness)

1)  Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9”-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
2) Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3) Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, zest (if using), followed by ¾ cup raspberries, taking care not to crush berries.
4) Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining ¼ cup raspberries over top. Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.

Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

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