June 28th, 2012
Now that I am baking commercially, I am trying to come up with a few things that other bakers might not sell. It is important to me that my baking is different to others. I am very fussy about ingredients and use only the best french butter, free range organic eggs, Callebaut 70% dark chocolate and all the fruit is fresh and bought at local markets. Hopefully you can taste this in my baking and will notice the improved taste. It is a pleasure to work with such fine ingredients. They inspire me.
This week I bought some cherries. Usually I would not buy a product from overseas but this time they looked so beautiful I succumbed to their charms. I carefully took the seeds out of the whole cherry and baked them on top of my ricotta and almond cake mixture with chopped pieces of canned cherries in the ricotta mix. These will be for sale at Bread and Butter on the weekend so if you want to give me some feed back, I would love to hear from you.
3 Cups All-purpose Gluten Free Flour (or you can use normal flour)
2 Cups Almond Meal
1 Cup Castor Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
250 grams of unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 Large Egg
500 grams of Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Castor Sugar
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Pitted Cherries
3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chunks or Chips
Fresh cherries with pips carefully taken out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 11 inch (28 cm) spring-form or tall sided tart pan with removable bottom or use a cupcake pan as I did with papers in each.
Combine the flour, almond meal, castor sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse.
Add the butter cubes and pulse just until the mixture turns into crumbs the size of breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until mixed throughout (your mixture will still be very crumbly at this time but you should be able to press it together with your fingers).
Divide the crumb mixture in half and place in two separate bowls.
Add the ricotta, sugar and egg to the food processor and pulse just until combined.
Add the chopped cherries and chocolate and pulse until the fruit and chocolate are still lumpy but well mixed into the ricotta mixture.
Take half your crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of your prepared pan and about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches up the sides or in a layer at the bottom of the cupcake paper.
Spoon in your ricotta mixture and smooth it evenly over the bottom crust.
Sprinkle the other half of the crumb mixture over the ricotta filling, pressing it gently into the ricotta.
Into this place the pitted fresh cherry with the stem.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden. If you decide to make the cupcakes. It will be only thirty minutes or so for the cupcakes.
The center may still be a little soft when pressed with your fingertips, but the outer edges should be firm.
Allow the cakes to rest in the fridge .
Store leftover cake well wrapped in the refrigerator.