At what point in your life did you have the A-HA moment that the adult you were always trying to act like, you have suddenly become and it’s not nearly as “cool” as you thought it would be? Was it your first raging hangover celebrating your 21st birthday? Were you standing in a room and looked around and realized you were a good 10 years older than the next oldest person? Was it the first time you had to do your own taxes and you owed money? Or was it the first time you cooked your own meal and you made the things you wanted to eat, not what someone else wanted you to eat?
While I suppose I have had a few A-HA moments over the years, my most recent car crash of reality happened two separate times in the past 2 weeks. That’s just not fair (as I shake my geriatric fist heavenward), even once a month to be bitch slapped with oldster reality is really quite rude of the Universe. It’s kind of like when a bird craps on your head, it goes one of two ways. You either realize the reality of the bird crap (aka your age versus the age of everyone else in the room) and hope that you’re the only one who sees it. Or you don’t see the bird crap on your head, but everyone else sees it and feels bad for you. Then you’re left feeling stupid later.
I had the opportunity to be a guest lecturer, at USC, these past couple of weeks. Mom was so proud that I was putting my college degrees to work, instead of just working on that silly computer stuff. I didn’t have the heart to explain to her that it was more about the computer stuff than my college edjumacation. Sometimes it’s just better to let sleeping dogs lie (know what I mean?).
It was fun being on the other side of the desk, but even though it was for grad students (and a few seniors). Thankfully, they didn’t look at me (or act like) I was the second coming of Mathuselah (clearly their parents taught them to respect their elders). But that didn’t stop me from driving home and opening up a bottle of wine (that only adults of a certain age would enjoy) and cranking up my 80’s tunes – LOUD! Then I decided I was going to make a decadent cake. Wine, cake and 80’s tunes is the mind numbing heroin of those of us who like to pretend that an 8 ball is something you ask questions of and it answers them with all of the intelligence of the universe and a good shake.
Earlier in the week, I had made a batch of homemade ricotta cheese for a vegetarian lasagna. Since I still had enough ingredients left to make more ricotta cheese, I knew I was going to make this Torta di Ricotta (aka ricotta cheese cake). This really is a ricotta cheese cake, and not a ricotta cheesecake. The difference being, a Torta de Ricotta is an Italian cake with ricotta cheese as an ingredient in it. But it’s still a cake with nice crumbs, like you would expect from a “regular” cake recipe. Even though this is no “regular” cake.
I found this ricotta cake recipe on an Italian food blog and knew that I would be making it one day. And that one day was right now!
A ricotta cake recipe can be as simple as adding ricotta cheese to a pound cake, adding it to a coffee cake recipe or going all out and making a rich and creamy ricotta cheesecake. But turning it into a Torta di Ricotta is something a little more special. And you’re definitely worth something special! But remember, the better the cheese the better tasting the cake. I can’t recommend this enough…homemade ricotta cheese is what you need to make this cake taste its best.
This ricotta cheese cake is as delicious as it is decadent. It’s filled with wonderful things like butter, hazelnuts, black walnuts, dark chocolate and homemade ricotta cheese. How could it not be fantastic tasting? It doesn’t need any icing, glaze, fruit purée or whipped cream to accompany it on your plate. The only thing you need to eat this with is a fork and you’re “I’m only as old as I feel” attitude.
Those who don’t remember history are bound to repeat it.
So this is why you’re not married. Thanks Listerine for clearing that up for us.
Recipe: Torta di Ricotta (Ricotta Cheese Cake)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 8.11 Ounces Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 7.05 Ounces Ricotta Cheese (I used the Epicurious recipe)
- 10.58 OuncesFlour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2.82 Ounces Unsalted Butter (melted)
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Frangelico
- 4 Ounces Chopped Dark Chocolate
- 7.05 Ounces Chopped Nuts (I used hazelnuts and black walnuts)
- Turbinado (Raw) Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper over the base plate of a 9″ spring form pan. Attach the side ring to the paper covered bottom and make sure that the base is in securely and evenly.
- Coat the inside of the pan (bottom and sides) lightly with butter then dust with flour. Dump out excess flour.
- Beat eggs and sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
- Beat in the ricotta.
- Gradually add in the flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed (but don’t over beat).
- Add in the butter, milk and Frangelico to the mixture and beat until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate and nuts.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the top with Turbinado Sugar (the amount is up to you…this gives the top a nice crunchy and sparkly touch)
- Place in oven.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I always slide a cookie sheet on the rack below the spring form pan to catch anything that may leak out of the pan.
You could use different nuts in this cake. If you use almonds, use Amaretto in place of the Frangelico.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: Italian