The other weekend I had grand plans to make a fancy dessert for Sunday Supper. But then I went to a friend’s wedding on Saturday and spent my Sunday afternoon recovering and napping instead. Needless to say, I never got around to making an elaborate dish. With just an hour before dinner, I needed to make something and make it quick. In moments like these, I usually turn to the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Deb has never let me down. Her ricotta and olive oil cake sounded interesting, looked easy to make and I had all of the ingredients on hand. Sold.
I made the cake, brought it to Sunday Supper and it was delicious. The olive oil and ricotta made it moist and not too sweet. It was a perfect way to end a meal with friends. It was pretty great for breakfast for the next day as well. The original recipe for the cakes tops it with a grape coulis, but I made a blueberry sauce since I had blueberries in my fridge. I want to make this cake a few more times this summer and use whatever fruit I find at the farmers market or in my CSA bag for the sauce. I think blackberry, cherry or strawberry would all taste great. Roasting the fruit could also make a great topping.
Smitten Kitchen Ricotta and Olive Oil Cake
1 cup full-fat ricotta
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch springform pan. You can also use a nonstick cooking spray or oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, olive oil, granulated sugar and lemon zest.
Add the eggs one by one, whisking well after each addition.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, right over the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until combined.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Unclasp the pan and flip the cake onto a plate. If you’d like, you can dust the top of the cake with confectioner’s sugar.
For the sauce, you will need:
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon)
Pinch of salt
2 cups fresh fruit
While the cake is baking you can make the sauce. Bring all the ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook for 5-10 minutes, crushing the fruit with a spoon or fork. Stir occasionally. Add more water if needed. When the sauce is thickened, take the saucepan off the stove and let the sauce cool.
When you are ready to serve the cake, cut into pieces and top with sauce. Enjoy.