When you bake a cake with enough layers that you can barely fit it on the shelf in your fridge...you know you're on a good thing. Layer cakes just say `special occasion' I think....even more-so when there's chocolate involved. Enter this chocolate ricotta and cherry ripe cake...to unofficially celebrate of 12 months of blogging, my sister's first visit back after officially moving to Tasmania...and this deliciously sunny long weekend :)
All I remember about my first post on this blog was it took me hours to format the photos and I felt all clammy when it came time to hit the publish button. Luke had to talk me into it (and helped me with the proof reading) and I just convinced myself no-one would be reading so it would all be OK!
In the time between then and now, I have
- written 113 posts...taken I don't want to know how many photos...my hard drive and iPhone are in need of a diet
- met so many interesting/inspiring/business-savvy/dessert-loving/talented people
- realised that connections via social media can expand to so much more in real life
- had a few hair-raising `what did I just click?!' behind-the-scenes-of-a-website moments
- appreciated this city of mine on so many more levels
- become better acquainted with my 50mm lens (so much more to learn here!)
- loved using this little space as a platform for which to send Q&A's to people I find interesting, and have been lucky enough to have them returned...when I build up the courage, Katie Quinn Davies & Lucy Feagins may be next!
- learned to never underestimate the power of scribbling down an idea in black and white...it's harder to turn your back on it that way...and as a result it might just actually start to become something. I need to not be afraid to scribble more...
So, I made a blogging birthday cake of sorts (like I needed an excuse!) which just so happened to coincide with family visiting from Tasmania. So there was plenty of dessert...and afternoon tea...and morning tea. This cake will last the whole of a long weekend :)
Chocolate and Ricotta Cake by Neil Perry via Good Food
9 egg yolks
365g icing sugar, sifted
12 egg whites
150g Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
dark chocolate shavings, to serve
250ml double cream
150g icing sugar, sifted
100g candied fruit*
Chocolate butter cream
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Grease and sugar 2 x 23cm round cake tins.
Whisk the yolks and 240g icing sugar to ribbon stage**.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and 125g icing sugar to soft peaks.
Fold 1/3 of the whites into the yolks, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
Before they are completely combined, add the cocoa and cornflour and fold in gently.
Divide the mixture between the cake tins.
Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (340°F) and bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes to cool, then turn them onto racks to cool completely.
For the filling, beat the cream until stiff.
Purée the ricotta and icing sugar in a food processor, adding the fruit towards the end.
Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the cream.
For the butter cream, beat the butter with an electric beater on high speed for 8 minutes, until pale and creamy.
Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for 3 minutes.
Add the milk and beat again until well combined.
Split the cakes in half horizontally.
Spread a bottom layer with one-third of the filling and repeat with 2 more layers. Top with the remaining cake.
Top with the remaining cake.
Spread the top and sides of the cake with chocolate butter cream and finish with shavings of chocolate.
* I replaced the candied fruit with 2 roughly blended cherry ripe bars. You could put whatever you want in instead...honeycomb...chopped up Ferrero Rochers...something chic-minty. Next time I would do 3-4 cherry ripes as I want that flavour to stand out more.
** I had no clue what ribbon stage was...so I whisked/blended until when the mixture dropped off the beaters, instead of just running randomly it kind've fell into the bowl like layers of thicker ribbon...I figured that was what they meant and it turned out fine.
Just quietly, I wish I had squirrelled away one last piece to have right about now. This cake is definitely going in my `make it again for sure' collection. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)