Eating cherries by the bowlful at the beginning of summer is one of life’s small pleasures. Baking a cherry and ricotta cake on a Sunday morning – and eating it warm, over a cup of tea or a nice cappuccino – is another one.
Normally, the first cherry cake of the season would be a simple genoise with handfuls of cherries thrown in. But I had some ricotta hanging around in the fridge, so I decided to put it to some good use. The addition of the ricotta gives the cake more structure, but it also keeps it moist and beautifully light. I have also added a few drops of almond extract – just because it goes so well with the flavour of cherries. Would have been nice to add some toasted almond flakes on top at the very end – but that would be something for the next time.
The recipe below is for a 25cm Non-Stick Loose Base Cake Tin – so for a 20cm tin I would suggest you reduce all quantities for the main ingredients from 6 to 4. You’ll probably only need 500g cherries instead of 750g. I have used a stand mixer for my recipe. If you’re making the batter by hand the preparation time will possibly be slightly longer.
Cherry and Ricotta Cake
Ingredients for a 25cm Non-Stick Loose Base Cake Tin
- 6 eggs yolks and whites separated
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp plain flour
- 6 tbsp ricotta cheese drained
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 drops almond extract
- 750 g cherries pitted
- 1 knob butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven at 180°C.
- Grease the cake tin with butter and dust with flour. Shake to remove excess flour.
- Place the egg whites in the stand mixer bowl.
- Whisk to soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at the time, while continuing whisking.
- Add the egg yolks one by one and continue whisking on medium speed.
- Add the almond extract and then the olive oil.
- Switch the whisk with the flat beater attachement.
- gradually add the ricotta cheese.
- Add the baking powder and then the flour, one tablespoon at the time and continue mixing on medium/low speed.
- Stop mixing, add the cherries and gently stir them in with a spatula.
- Transfer the batter into the baking tin.
- Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool slightly.
- Serve with plenty of icing sugar on top.
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