Have you been enjoying Elizabeth Minchilli’s recipes on Instagram? I for one am obsessing over her strawberry ricotta cake, a modification of her fig cake using an Ina Garten ricotta cake recipe. So I guess it is a collaboration effort.
If it is one thing this lockdown has afforded me, it is the time to watch and hang out with Elizabeth Minchilli and her daughter Sophie. They too are starting to emerge from lockdown from the most gorgeous villa in Umbria.
If you are unfamiliar with the Minchilli’s and you love all things Italy and food…then my friend you are in for a treat! It is a bucket list dream of mine to join them on their week long food experiences but I’ll settle for a food tour as well. I know, I am obssessed with food tours!
Lockdown has definitely taken its toll on me. I am very aware that international travel might not be until the world has developed a vaccine. In fact, I don’t see a world without one. Everything we’ve worked for will be lost if we open our borders to countries, states and provinces who’ve done things their own way – for better or worse – too soon.
This has made me watch and read my favourite travel shows and blogs with a terrible pit in my stomach. The freedom to travel has been taken away. Not by governments but by this terrible virus and our world’s incapacity to work and coordinate together.
But I am bumming myself out. Let’s get back to Minchilli’s strawberry ricotta cake.
After a manicotti dinner and a light vegetarian lunch, I still had about a cup of ricotta left over. As I mindlessly swiped Instagram one morning I found Minchilli’s IGTV video showcasing a quick and easy cake recipe with ricotta and strawberries – not quite in season here in the Okanagan. In fact, June is typically our berry season. My son loves strawberries so we have some flavourless ones with overly white centres from California on hand. Even he is starting to notice their lack of sweetness. I noticed when he dumped a chopped bowl onto the floor this morning.
Always looking for something to do these days, other than clean up after my son, I decided to give it a go.
I had a slice of cake with some coffee the following morning but if you’re looking to make your day even more special – and who isn’t these days? – pair the strawberry ricotta cake with sparkling rosé. I personally love Summerhill’s Cipes Brut Rosé, a winery located around the corner from my house.
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1 1/4 stick of butter (I used salted) EM used unsalted
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese (I used Bari brand)
2 tbs plain full fat greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (optional if you used salted butter)
12-14 large strawberries – cut/sliced in half
2 tbs light granulated brown sugar (I used brown sugar I had on hand)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F
- Butter and flour 9″ spring form pan
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating until incorporated
- Add ricotta, yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest and mix well
- Mix dry ingredients together. Add them to the wet gently incorporating. Do not over beat.
- Pour dough into your prepared cake tin and level out with an offset spatula. Place your sliced strawberries on top of the batter sliced side up. Get creative and design it how you want!
- Sprinkle cake with brown sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven). The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the centre.