I was checking out one of my new favorite reads, Hummingbird High, and I saw that Michelle has a series in which she kind of does meta blogging. Ha, sorry. She provides a cookie recipe–and who doesn’t always want one of those?–and then she talks about some aspect of blogging that might not be obvious to readers. She calls it Blog & Cookies. In one post, she addresses the writing of posts, and admits that sometimes, there just isn’t that much to say about a recipe besides, It was so good my face melted off. There’s only so many times you want to hear, “This was sooo good I just HAD to share it with you.” Because, um, duh.
Here’s a little cake that I don’t have much to say about, except that it was DELICIOUS (ha!), and I used it to try to get nice people at the In the Words of Womyn Writing Circle to be my friends, and it might have worked. Even my main man likes it, and he’s not that convinced about ricotta in general. The olive oil gives the cake some richness, but the fluffy ricotta keeps it from being too heavy and adds some cheesecake-y tang. The ricotta isn’t overbearing, though, and the sauce is so delicious I drank some (fur realz…purple drank…my Houstonians know what I’m talking about). The recipe is from (where else, I’m on a roll) Smitten blasted Kitchen.
What was I doing this time last year, you ask? I had just been to Southie (and apparently struggled with lighting), made orecchiette with Brussels sprouts and cherry tomatoes, AND I talked a lot about pizza and made yet another pasta dish.
Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Blueberry-Plum Coulis
Adapted from Deb’s Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Concord Grape Coulis in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Makes a 9-inch cake and 1 ½ cups of sauce
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
⅓ cup olive oil (the cooking variety, not the fancier stuff)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon lemon zest (I don’t like eating wax and pesticides, and couldn’t find lemons that weren’t suspect, so I omitted this zest and used about 1 Tablespoon of juice. Alternately, ½ teaspoon of lemon extract could work, although I haven’t tested it.)
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (my change from AP flour)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
Blueberry Plum Coulis* (It’s just sauce, people! Don’t be scared.)
⅔ cup water
1-2 Tablespoons honey (depending on sweetness of your plums and berries)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 ⅓ cups blueberries
⅔ cup diced plums (peels on)
*I changed this sauce more than I altered the cake: Deb uses 3 Tablespoons sugar instead of honey, and instead of blueberry and plum, she uses 2 cups of Concord grapes. Do as you wish (for some reason, I’m saying that in my head with the voice of the scary Snow White queen).
Oven 350 F
Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and grease the entire pan.
1. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, olive oil, sugar, and lemon (zest, juice, or extract–your choice). Whisk in eggs one at a time. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, directly over the bowl of wet ingredients. (Fewer dishes! Weehoo!)
2. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs (no gooeyness). Let cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn out onto a plate, using the double plate flip method [link].
Umm, that was really easy. Your cake needs no more attention. I’m serious. That was it–one bowl. Don’t let your head explode.
3. Meanwhile (there’s always a meanwhile!), simmer all coulis ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, mashing down with a potato masher or other device you finagle. Cook 3 – 5 minutes, waiting for skins to burst and juices to release. Pour through a fine mesh strainer.
The sauce keeps in the fridge for a week or so, and I had it on ice cream, in yogurt, and atop cake, cake, and more cake, of course. The cake keeps on the counter for a few days, but mine disappeared in less than 48 hours anyway.