Here’s a confession. I’m really not a great cake baker. Sure, I’ve baked enough of them, but there’s something about cake that I find so intimidating. Cupcakes are much friendlier and way more forgiving. They don’t generally fall apart and if you bake one batch a bit too long, you can just pop another batch in the oven. Frosting cupcakes is also much more straightforward and if you mess up on one, just move on to the next. Cake? Not so much. It’s much more of a commitment, too. I bake cupcakes for fun all the time, but I never bake cakes unless it’s for a special occasion.
Like birthdays. While scouring the internetz for a cake to make for my mom’s birthday last month, I landed upon this Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake from Martha Stewart. After my parents went to Italy a couple years ago, they came back raving about the ricotta pie they tried. Ricotta is probably on the bottom of my “I love cheese” list, but when I tried the pie, I loved it, too. However, we are very much a chocolate family. So, when I spotted a chocolate ricotta cake from Martha, I knew it was going to be a winner. I made some alterations and added a couple ingredients to give the cake more depth (seriously, the original recipe only had 4 ingredients!) and the final product was perfection. Enormous bonus points to the fact that this cake was SO easy to make. No baking; just waiting while it chills. I can handle that.
- 12 oz. semisweet chocolate (not chocolate chips), plus more for shaving on top
- 2 containers (15 oz. each) part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 t espresso powder
- 2 T vanilla
- 3/4 C heavy cream
- 1 package (9 oz.) chocolate wafers
Start by preparing your 9-inch springform pan. Remove the sides and place a sheet of waxed paper on the bottom, leaving an overhang. Lock the sides in to secure the paper and spray the inside of the pan with cooking spray. Then line the sides with a strip of waxed paper (28 inches long and 4 inches wide).
I chose to use semisweet Scharffen Berger chocolate because I knew it would make an absolutely decadent cake.
Break up the chocolate and melt it in a double burner, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.
Blend the ricotta in a food processor until it’s nice and smooth, about one minute.
Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Mix in the espresso and vanilla, too.
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer (or whisk) to beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
Then fold in the chocolate-ricotta mixer.
Place half the wafer cookies in an overlapping fashion on the bottom of the springform pan.
Spoon half the chocolate ricotta mixture over the cookies.
And arrange the remaining cookies on top of the chocolate ricotta mixture.
And put the remaining ricotta mixture on top, smoothing it out as much as possible.
Now comes the waiting game. Cover the cake n plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. You see? It’s the best cake ever since you can make it 2 days ahead of time and not be stressing at the last minute!
When you’re ready to serve, release the sides of the pan and peel away the waxed paper from the sides of the pan. Life cake onto a platter and remove the waxed paper from the bottom as you’re lifting the cake.
Obviously put some candles on it if you’re celebrating a birthday. And sing a little happy birthday, too
This cake was pretty incredible, especially considering how easy it was to make! Honestly, I would make this cake again even if it was a whole lot more difficult to make. It was delightfully creamy and chocolatey, with a little bit of crunch from the cookies. Basically heavenly.
If you enjoy a ultra rich cane with lots of depth, definitely try this out. And don’t wait for a special occasion either. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to just have this chilling in the fridge to help you get through a long week. Am I right?
Twitter Party with Angelo Surmelis and O.co and a GIVEAWAY!:
Are you free Wednesday night and a fan of HGTV? I’m not going to lie- I spend a lot of time watching HGTV, even though it makes me insanely jealous. Especially when I’m watching house hunters and see how much cheaper houses are pretty much everywhere in this country than in the Boston-area. It’s seriously depressing. But I still continue to watch. And many of HGTV’s other shows give me major inspiration for SOME DAY when I have a house… or an area of space that’s large enough to furnish. So, when Justine emailed us and asked if we wanted to join a Twitter party with Angelo Surmeli
Or possibly this one:
And definitely this one:
If you can’t attend the Twitter party or just feel like having another chance to win, we’re also giving away a $30 O.co gift card here. All you have to do to win is tell us which piece of Angelo Surmelis furniture or decor is your favorite and follow O.co on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Leave a comment here by Friday, October 14 at 11:59 p.m. for a chance to win!
Good luck and have a happy week