Monday, June 20, 2011

Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake

Did you guys have any big plans for Father's Day?
Ours was pretty low-key.
Each of the kids gave Nate a gift
(which was not a surprise because they told him about it last week after we bought it),
and we had dinner together (Nate's choice).
Since we didn't have any major plans, I wanted to at least make a fabulous dessert.
I found this recipe from Martha Stewart that looked promising.

It's called "Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake".
Nate lived in Italy for a while and his favorite dessert is cannoli.
The center of a cannoli is a mildly sweetened ricotta cheese filling.
This sounded somewhat similar, and since I love to experiment, I thought we'd give it a try.
Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate (do not use chips)
  • 2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers (about 44 cookies)

Directions

  1. Prepare pan: Remove sides from a 9-inch round springform pan (see note, below). Place a sheet of waxed paper over bottom, leaving an overhang; lock sides onto bottom, firmly securing paper. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray; line sides with a strip of waxed paper 28 inches long and 4 inches wide.
  2. Make chocolate-ricotta mixture: Break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. Place in a heatproof medium bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl. Add warm chocolate; blend until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.
  4. Assemble cake: Arrange half the cookies in an overlapping pattern to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half the chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. Cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, and smooth top. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
  5. Before serving, release sides of pan and remove waxed paper from sides. Using bottom piece of waxed paper, pull cake onto a platter; with a metal spatula, lift cake and remove waxed paper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut cake into 10 slices (wipe off knife, and dip in hot water after each slice).

And here's the verdict:

We loved it!
There is no added sugar (other than the sugar from the semi-sweet chocolate) so the filling isn't overly sweet.  In fact Nate wanted to lick the spoon (and the bowl) because it reminded him of cannoli filling.  Layering it with the oreos definitely sweetened it up though.

It was actually really easy to make, and impressive to look at.
When I finished it, everyone's reaction was, "wow...".
Even better, you can make it in advance because it needs to freeze anyway.
I should give the disclaimer however, it is very rich.  Very.  A small slice is enough to leave you wanting a large glass of water.

But...this is definitely a recipe that I'll make again!
Do you have any favorite Father's Day recipes?

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