Thursday, 9 June 2011

flourless almond mandarin ricotta cake

Winter has arrived in Melbourne, and what better way to celebrate it than with cheesecake? But not just any cheesecake. A light yet soothing gluten-free mandarin ricotta cheesecake, studded with almond slivers, perfect as an almost-guilt-free treat with a hot cup of tea on a lazy afternoon. Alternatively, you may prefer the indulgent route, and have it with stewed fruit and fresh cream or ice cream, perhaps with the finishing touch of a drizzle of honey or syrup...

baked almond and mandarin ricotta cake.

Alright, so some of my almonds look almost a little too brown, and some of my cake didn't quite extricate itself completely from the bottom of the loaf pan. No matter. It was still delicious, and I can assure you that this is a great dessert option if you're looking for something that's relatively healthy and not too heavy. The crumbly baked ricotta, infused with the delicate citrus perfume of mandarins and laced throughout with the nutty, aromatic crunch of toasted almonds is quite a delight. If you're keen on a richer version, I would suggest that you could experiment by adding a little butter or cream to the mix.

sweet, sweet ricotta: fruity, nutty, and ready to be baked in the oven...

mini flourless almond mandarin ricotta cake
(mini loaf pan dimensions: 18cm (l) x 10cm (w) x 5.5cm (h) exterior, 15 x 8 x 5.5cm interior.)
(serves 2 - 4)


1 cup ricotta (approx. 250g or a little less), drained of excess liquid
1 large to extra large egg (55 - 65g)
1 very small and preferably organic mandarin (approx. 5 cms/2 inches in diameter)
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds
a pinch of salt
oil or butter, for greasing/brushing

Toast slivered almonds by dry-frying them in a pan till golden brown, moving them around frequently to prevent them from burning. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F fan forced (or 200°C/390°F normal).

Prepare a petite loaf pan by brushing the inside with oil or melted butter. You may also use ramekins or a mini cake pan, and I dare say it could work with cupcake or muffin trays as well.

Peel the mandarin and remove any seeds. Blend or process egg, mandarin peel, mandarin flesh, sugar and salt, then add to ricotta and combine well. Stir in toasted almond slivers. Pour into the greased loaf pan and smooth the surface of the mixture with the back of a spoon.

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then turn the loaf pan over onto a plate or chopping board. Tap it to release the baked ricotta cake.

Slice and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container. If for some ridiculous reason you can't devour this lovely flourless cake the same day you make it, it will keep in the fridge for a few days.

I particularly adore this ricotta cake when it's still warm and moist after emerging from the oven, though it also tends to be more fragile at this time. But honestly, do I really care if my freshly baked ricotta falls apart a little when I'm shoving it into my mouth? No. I'm too busy shoving it into my mouth...

warm, freshly baked mandarin almond ricotta cake, sliced and ready to be consumed.

34 comments:

  1. Perfect Autumn recipe, a bit out of season here in Germany, but I'll bookmark it for future reference..

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  2. Thanks lacaffettierarosa! If mandarins are not in season, you could potentially try it with the flesh of say 1/3 of an orange, and some orange zest... :)

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  3. Yum, this sounds so delicious! Orange almond cake is one of my all-time favourites, and this would definitely be fabulous too!

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  4. This sounds great, i have never had all that much success baking with mandarins. I love sweet treats that i don't feel too guilty eating :)

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  5. Thanks Maria! I definitely have a love for citrus cakes.

    Muppy, this is pretty easy! And I have to confess I felt so little guilt eating this I ate most of it very quickly... :p

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  6. Looks really dense and hearty. :D

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  7. :O The texture looks so swoonworthy!

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  8. Michelle, it may look a little dense, but the texture is actually quite light! It sort of just falls apart in the mouth... :D

    Thanks Zo! I'm really pleased with it... and I hardly had to do anything! :)

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  9. oh wow this is just stunning!!! well done:)

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  10. mmm, baked ricotta. the Mr's family is Maltese and his grandmother recently made a ricotta-almond cake. i love your addition of citrus to lighten it up!

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  11. Yum! Reminds me of an Italian Grandma I lived with.

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  12. Thanks blackbookkitchendiaries! :)

    Ooh Yasmeen - did you get his grandmother's recipe? :D

    Thanks PFx! I can definitely use some Italian grandma cooking skills. ;)

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  13. Looks so decadent and delish! And I love that it is flourless - good for those of us who cannot eat wheat.
    Thanks so much,
    Erin

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  14. Can never resist cheesecake! I sure that the mandarin balances off the richness of cheesecake and makes it more refreshing =)

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  15. Thanks FOOD! Ricotta is naturally low in fat so this cheesecake isn't the typical rich one. That said, the mandarin definitely makes it even lighter and brighter! :D

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  16. This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

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  17. This looks like my kind of cheese cake. Simple and to-the-point. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  18. Zomg, there's nothing like cake that's still warm from the oven. Awesome!

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  19. Bags the crispy stuck-to-the-pan bits! Bags mine, bags mine!

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  20. Thanks Aarthi, Sue, Agnes and Hannah! :D
    (Oh and yes, warm cake and their crispy brown bits are the best!)

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  21. This definitely no ordinary cheesecake! Looks delicious.

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  22. Yum! I want a piece with my green tea please!

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  23. Cheesecake is the best way to celebrate anything in my opinion! This looks delicious!

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  24. Cheese cake has always been my fav and this looks delicious.

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  25. That looks delicious. I love anything with orange and nuts.. and this with the added ricotta.. YUM!

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  26. Cake just baked is priceless. I might actually use this recipe this weekend. Long weekend = baking time!

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  27. Thanks everyone!

    Adrian, I wish you lots of success baking and eating!! :D

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  28. I am with you. don't mind shoving crumble soft oven warm cake into mouth

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  29. It's hard to beat baked ricotta! Actually, I am on a big ricotta kick at the moment. All the calcium has to be good for me, right?

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  30. This sounds superb. Ricotta is one of my all time favourite ingredients.

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  31. Totally, Foodycat! Mmm, calcium-rich cheese. ;)

    Thanks Sherilyn! :)

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  32. There needs to be more gluten free recipes. Thanks for your efforts.

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