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Ricotta and Pear Cake

Posted in: Baking, Italian, Cakes,

Description

The official name for this fantastic dessert is Ricetta Della Torta Ricotta e Pere. It may be easier to just take a trip to the Amalfi Coast of Italy and just buy this cake, but you will love this traditional dessert. This is a more involved recipe than what we usually present, but if you want to play chef for a day and turn out something truly remarkable, this is your opportunity.

Ingredients

Ricotta and Pear Cake

For the Hazelnut Sponge Cake :
 5 whole eggs
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half

Once you have reached a ribbon stage add :
 ¾ cup double 0 flour or all purpose flour.
1 and ½ cups hazelnut flour
1 lemon zest
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of melted butter.
 
 
For the Ricotta Mousse  :
 1 and ½ cups ricotta
¾ cup sugar
½ cup heavy creamy, lightly whipped
¼ cup warm milk
1 and 1/4 gelatin sheet Note: you can use 1 tsp of powdered gelatin dissolved in one ounce of warm water.
1 vanilla bean, split in half

For the pears:
8 whole pears, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar

For serving:
powdered sugar for dusting top of cake

Instructions

To make the Hazelnut Sponge Cake :
1. Stir with a whip on a double boiler for 2 to 3 min. and then poor the egg-sugar mix into a kitchen aid bowl with a whip attachment.
2. Once you have reached a ribbon stage add flour, hazelnut flour, lemon zest, baking powder and melted butter.
3. Bake in two equal 9 inch baking pans at 325 f convection oven for 16 min. [19 to 20 min. for a regular oven]

To make the Ricotta Mousse:
1. Mix together the ricotta, sugar and then add and mix the heavy cream, lightly whipped.

To make the pears:
1. Place sauté pan on high heat, add butter, then sugar and then the pears.
2. Heat and stir until the sugar has all melted and the pears become soft but not mushy.

To finish the cake:
1. After the sponge cakes have cooled, line a large cake pan with plastic wrap and place 1 sponge cake onto the bottom.
2. Layer 2/3 of the Ricotta Mouse onto top of sponge cake, add 2/3 of the pears, layer the rest of the mouse and add the other sponge cake on top.
3. Wrap the whole cake in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
4. Serve with powdered sugar on top, and carmalize sugar with a heated torch if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Fortunato Conte, Pastry Chef, Restaurant Dante, 2011.

About The Cook

Fortunato ConteFortunato was born in Salerno Italy, just 30 minutes south of Naples. He began working as a baker In1992 for the Pasticceria Pantaleone, one of the oldest Pastry Shoppes in Italy. (A pasticceria is a

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