baking therapy: chocolate cake with ricotta filling

Posted on April 17, 2011

Even after making the linguini with ricotta dish earlier in the week and eating it for lunch the next day with extra ricotta, we still had quite a bit of cheese left over. With the leftovers,  I wanted to make a recipe that would respect the effort I’d put into making the cheese from scratch and not overpower its milky flavor.  Well, the King Arthur Bread Flour Company was on my side! Their weekly email featured a recipe for a chocolate cake with a ricotta filling based on a traditional Italian Easter dessert; I drew inspiration from that recipe for this cake.

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Ricotta Filling

For the cake

I used the same Ina Garten recipe that I used for Jordan’s birthday. The secret ingredient in this cake is 1 cup of fresh coffee, which intensifies the chocolate flavor and makes a very moist cake.

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 inch round pans.

Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir to combine. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Add the coffee. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Cool before frosting.

For the filling
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Mix the cheese, sugar and vanilla until combined. Once the cakes have cooled, spread a thick layer of cheese between the layers and serve. After serving, refrigerate any leftover cake well-wrapped in plastic wrap.

-Emily