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22 February 2013

Ricotta and Lemon Cake With Mascarpone Limoncello Cream

I always say that I am not a baker because I am really not but I do try.  A few times I fail, but sometimes I also come out triumphant after an episode of baking a cake.  Two of my favorite ingredients in making my cakes soft and moist are ricotta or mascarpone.  With this lemon cake, I thought of using the ricotta in the cake batter like what I did with this Ricotta and Pear Cake and this Torta di Uva Fragola & Ricotta (Ricotta & Concord Grape Cake).  An example of a super moist and soft cake where I used mascarpone in the cake batter was Apricot & Mascarpone Cake.  It was marvelous!

Since I had some fresh ricotta that I just bought, I felt rushed to use it immediately.  I couldn't decide between something savory or sweet.  When my husband gave me his lemon tree's latest yields, I found the answer.  I thought of ricotta and lemon cake with mascarpone cream.  Then at the last minute, I thought, why not add something more lemony special to the cream?  Limoncello!

The cake is not really a wonderful work of art but what's important is that it tasted great!  It tasted even much better after it rested in the fridge for a couple of hours.  And you know what?  I think this is my favorite cake among the rest (not that there are a lot anyway) that I made.  The subtle hint of lemon made this cake so pleasant and refreshing.  And it reminds me so much of spring. 

Let me leave you with this cake for the weekend.  I will be going around Rome taking pictures the whole weekend.  I hope to take home some good shots to share.  

Have a wonderful weekend!


Ricotta and Lemon Cake With Mascarpone Limoncello Cream

For 3 springform round pans of 10 cm. in diameter or a springform pan of 24 cm. in diameter
  • 250 grams flour 00
  • 350 grams ricotta
  • 16 grams lievito in polvere (baking powder)
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds taken out
  • 1 untreated lemon, zest 
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 grams mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons Limoncello
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200 grams granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons for caramelizing 
  • 100 grams confectioner's sugar + more for dusting
  • fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 - 2 lemons for decorating, sliced thinly (optional)
  1. In a bowl, beat the granulated sugar with the ricotta.  Add the vanilla seeds.  Add the eggs one by one and continue beating the mixture.  
  2. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, add the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1/2 lemon to the mixture.  Add the sifted flour & baking powder and stir carefully until the the mixture becomes smooth. 
  3. Pour the batter to the baking pans that have been previously greased with butter & covered with flour. 
  4. Bake at a pre-heated oven of 180°C for 30 minutes at the lower rack.  Check if the cake is cooked by inserting a toothpick or knife at the center of the cake.  If it comes out clean, then take it out of the oven.  If it doesn't come out clean, then leave it in the oven to cook some more.  In case the surface of the cake darkens too much and it is not cooked yet, cover the top part with an aluminum foil and bake until cooked.
  5. When cooked, let it cool.
  6. Meantime, prepare the mascarpone and limoncello cream.  In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and confectioner's sugar.  Add the mascarpone and limoncello.  Keep on beating until it becomes creamy.
  7. Put one cake on a serving plate.  Spread some mascarpone cream on top.  Put another cake on top.  Spread some mascarpone cream on top.  Then put the last cake and spread the remaining mascarpone on top.
  8. Refrigerate for about two hours.
  9. Before serving, decorate with slices of lemon and fresh mint. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.