I recently discovered a recipe that I loved so much, I made it twice within the space of three days! I found it in my newest cookbook, Honey & Co: The Baking Book. The moment I laid eyes on that glossy, glorious, fruit and nut-laden cake, I knew I had to give it a go. I’m not the hugest fan of heavily iced cakes, so cakes that are stunning without icing really appeal to me.
The book delightfully compares this recipe to a game of Chinese whispers, in that it changes with every person who it passes through. I’ve certainly made quite a large number of modifications on the published recipe, including switching from ground hazelnuts to ground almonds (cheaper and more readily available!) and experimenting with different toppings. I think the options for this cake are endless, which is big draw card for me.
I topped the first cake with hazelnuts, almonds and blueberries, which was similar to the published recipe. The recipe said to sprinkle over demerara sugar, I didn’t have any, but normal raw sugar worked out pretty well. The second edition was topped with nectarines, blueberries and almonds. The raw sugar seemed to melt into a syrup with the more liquidy topping of the second cake, which was nice.
I think you could top this cake with anything that took your fancy…. maybe choose other fruit and nut combinations depending on the season. Chocolate might be nice too.
The cake itself is lovely and moist, thanks to the ricotta and ground nuts. The published recipe added ground ginger, which had a pretty subtle flavour. For my second cake, I swapped this for vanilla, which was also nice. I think cinnamon would also be delicious.
So, I’ll leave it to you to come up with all sorts of amazing combinations (suggestions welcome too!).
Mix & Match Ricotta Cake
- 115g butter, softened
- 125g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 35g flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of: ground ginger OR vanilla essence
- 140g ground almonds (or hazelnuts)
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 150g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Suggestion 1: 2 nectarines, finely sliced + a handful of slivered almonds
- Suggestion 2: 100g hazelnuts (or other nut), roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons raw or demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC, fan bake/180ºC, conventional bake.
- Line a 23cm cake tin with baking paper.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add flour, salt, lemon zest, ginger/vanilla and ground nuts, and mix until combined.
- Fold in ricotta and half of the blueberries.
- Pour into the prepared tin. Top with fruit and nuts, either randomly scattered, or in a nice pattern if you like. Sprinkle demerara/raw sugar over the top.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until cake has set, blueberries have burst and nuts are golden. You can cover the tin with tinfoil midway through to prevent the nuts from burning if necessary.
- Allow to cool in the tin, then store in the fridge. Bring cake to room temperature to serve.