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11 June 2012

Almond Cake, Ricotta & Cherry Trifle

We choose to share every important milestone we go through with our families.  The familiar faces staring at you with encouraging & proud eyes are enough to take away the heaviness of fear to take a step forward one after the other.   We are cocooned in the warm embraces of these people we have been sharing our whole lives with on every significant change we go through.  

I spent a splendid weekend sharing two milestones with my husband's family.   My family, I should say, for the past decade. 

A big family is almost impossible to gather in one place at one time, especially when everyone comes from different parts of the country.  But sometimes, it happens.  And it leaves us with so many pleasant hours of catching up.  That's what made this weekend special.  There had been a wedding to celebrate, a 60th birthday and most of all, a big family of 27 (one didn't make it),  all 3 generations, gathering in one place to stay together after so many years. 

The wedding was at an unforgettable old villa along the Via Appia Antica (Old Appian Way). The Old Appian Way gave us a long moment of hesitance in the car.  Being an ancient Roman road from 312 B.C., we wondered why it was open to vehicles. My husband didn't want to take the car there even if the directions said so.  I didn't want to either but with high heeled shoes, thinking of maneuvering my way through the 200 m. road on the big cobblestones then through a massive lawn, I had to antagonize this "preserve the historical road" idea.   

Via Appia Antica (Old Appian Way) is a 200 km. stretch of straight road done by the ancient Romans from Rome to Capua (Brindisi, southern Italy).  I walked on a portion of it closer to Rome once and I remember the eerie feeling of walking along a road full of brutality in its history.  During the revolt of the slaves in 71 B.C.,  more than 6,000 men were crucified along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome.

History aside, let me show you some pictures of Villa di Fiorano.  It swept me away as I entered the gate and walked through the lawn (with my heels sinking).  There was live music serenading us the whole night, buffet tables of antipasti and cocktails, dinner, desserts, all set on the garden beside the pool.  It was beautiful and such a long night.  Italian weddings are always long.   We went back to the house almost 12 hours after we left it. 

Now let's jump to this delectable trifle I put together using what was left from the Mini Almond Cakes with Ricotta, Pears & Cherries.  It's the third dessert I did on that long day of marathon cooking at home.  Being an offshoot of the cake, I didn't get to measure any of the ingredients.  My suggestion is to make this trifle using the scraps of the mini cakes, like what I did.  That way, you don't end up with any leftovers.   

If, on the other hand, you just want to compose this one, use any other cake you already have (But almond is delicious!),  mix a bit of ricotta with sugar and sprinkle with quartered cherries.  Measure by eye.   Feast with your eyes.

Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend like I did.  Let's look forward to a good week ahead of us.  

Almond Cake, Ricotta & Cherry Trifle

Recipe comes from my previous post,  Mini Almond Cakes with Ricotta, Pears & Cherries, which can be seen here.

Serves 4
  • 150 g. ricotta
  • 35 g. icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup cherries, pitted & quartered + 8 whole for garnishing
  • 125 g. cream, whipped
  • almond cake (or any other type of cake), diced (refer to this link for the recipe)
  • mint leaves (optional)
  1. In a bowl, mix the ricotta and the sugar.  Let it pass through a strainer with a fine mesh by pushing it with the help of a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon.  - See more at:
    In a bowl, mix the ricotta and the sugar. Let it pass through a strainer with a fine mesh by pushing it with the help of a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Add the cherries and the whipped cream, folding gently with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate for an hour.
    1. In a bowl, mix the ricotta and the sugar.  Let it pass through a strainer with a fine mesh by pushing it with the help of a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. 
    2. Add the cherries.
    3. Add the whipped cream and fold gently with a rubber spatula.  
    4. Refrigerate for an hour.
    - See more at:
  2. In a glass, spoon some ricotta & cherry mixture.
  3. Sprinkle the diced almond cake.
  4. Garnish with a cherries & fresh mint leaves.  
  5. Serve cold.