Pear and Chocolate Ricotta Cake
Classic Italian rich cake with crisp skin on the outside and moist chocolate middle. Mellow pears are brining gentle moisture. Ricotta brings out the richness of chocolate and slightly tangy twist but is mellow enough and does not overpower the rich chocolate flavour. It’s definitely not a chocolate cheesecake but rather a proper moist chocolate cake.
Best enjoyed warm, straight from the oven.
We love chocolate (doh!) - check out our other recipes for chocolate cakes:
Italian Pear and Chocolate Ricotta Cake (Aunt Marianna's Recipe)
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 20 minutes prep + 45-50 minutes baking
Tin: 23cm round form with removable base (or sprig form)
- 1 and 2/3 cup* (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
- 350g Ricotta, room temperature
- 25g unsalted butter
- 200g chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) natural yogurt
- 4 medium pears
*cup = 250ml cup
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking tin with parchment paper and lightly grease sides.
2. Prepare chocolate and pears: Melt chocolate with butter. Set aside. Wash pears, cut in half, core and slice thinly.
3. Prepare dry ingredients: Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Prepare wet ingredients: In your main mixing bowl beat egg yolks with 3/4th cup (150g) sugar until pale and creamy (3 minutes at high speed). Beat egg whites with the remaining 1/4th cup of sugar to form firm meringue - 2-3 minutes at high speed (the meringue is to be firm but not too dry). Make sure Ricotta is at room temperature.
5. Combine cake batter: Add sifted flour (from step 3) and Ricotta to creamy egg yolks - alternating in 3 turns - flour/ricotta/flour/ricotta/flour/ricotta. You can mix using hand-held mixer on low speed (few seconds only) or using spatula. Don't over mix. Once mixed, gently fold in egg whites (use spatula or wooden spoon), add chocolate melted with butter and gently stir. The cake batter will be thick. As a last step add 2 Tablespoons natural yogurt and mix until just combined. Pour the cake batter onto the baking tin, place cut pears on top, gently pressing into the cake batter.
6. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 160C and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Check with chopstick if fully baked through. Once baked, remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
1. Chocolate - it’s up to you what chocolate you are going to use here. With milk chocolate the cake comes out more delicate and sweater. Dark and rich in cocoa chocolate (>60%) makes the cake more dense, rich and more tangy (glass of good full bodied red wine comes to mind as a good pair up).
2. Use eggs and Ricotta at room temperature. If using fresh Ricotta make sure to remove excess liquid before baking.
3. Don’t over mix cake batter. You can mix flour with Ricotta at low speed using hand-held mixer (only few seconds between each additions) but use spatula to gently fold in egg whites, chocolate and natural yogurt.
Jazz it up:
1. Fruit - you can use raspberries, cherries, blackberries instead of pears. We would not recommend mixing fruit into the cake batter.