|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.|