Monday, February 04, 2008

Baked Ricotta Cakes with Red Sauce

There are so few really good dessert recipes that don't use white flour and sugar, but here's one. These cakes are delicious, but if you're trying to loose weight, you might want to use less honey and add stevia.

These honey-flavoured desserts take only minutes to make from a few ingredients. The fragrant fruity sauce provides a contrast of both colour and flavour. The red berry sauce can be made a day in advance and chilled until ready to use.

Serves 4


250 g/9 oz/generous 1 cup ricotta cheese
2 egg whites, beaten
60 ml/4 tbsp scented honey, plus extra to taste
450 g/1 lb/4 cups mixed fresh or frozen fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries


1) Preheat the oven to 180 c/350 f/gas 4. Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the beaten egg whites and honey, and mix thoroughly until smooth and well combined.

2) Lightly grease four ramekins. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the prepared ramekins and level the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the ricotta cakes are risen and golden.

3) Meanwhile, make the fruit sauce. Reserve about one-quarter of the fruit for decoration. Place the rest of the fruit in a pan, with a little water if the fruit is fresh, and heat gently until softened. Leave to cool slightly and remove any stone (pits) if using cherries.

4) Press the fruit through a sieve (strainer) (or puree in a processor), then taste and sweeten with honey if it is too tart. Serve the sauce, warm or cold, with the ricotta cakes and decorate each serving with the reserved whole mixed fruit.

Cook's Tip:
If using frozen fruit, you will not need to add extra water, as the fruit usually yields its juice easily on thawing.

This recipe is from Italy's 500 Best-Ever Recipes, edited by Jeni Wright.

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