This weekend past I made a yummy cake for my Mother-in-laws birthday dinner party. I was going to make a chocolate almond(meal) torte, but Sam forgot to buy the chocolate when he went shopping. So, I had to rethink. I couldn't find any recipes for what I wanted, so I made up my own recipe. This is actually something I normally do, I don't often use recipes word for word, generally as inspiration. (Though I generally try to not have to use my brain at 8pm, when two kids are still up with endless energy and noise). The cake ended up being quite delicious, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. Please feel free to fine tune it, and let me know your results.
When the cake cooked it looked perfectly browned on the top, but after cooling in the tin, I realised that the bottom still wasn't cooked well enough. So, thinking that it wouldn't be very tasty, I made another cake an hour before we went to dinner. An easy, but delicious and showy chocolate roulade. I'll share the recipe another time - I have no photos, it was gobbled too quickly.
Pear, Ricotta, Cardamom + Almond Torte ::
150g softened butter (I actually used 250g, but this was too much, so will reduce it to 150g next time I cook this recipe).
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
210g almond meal (hazelnut would be tasty too)
1 cup fresh ricotta
2 cups chopped pears
2teaspoons vanilla essence
20 fresh cardamom pods, well ground
Mix butter and sugar, until well whipped and creamy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and continue beating. Add vanilla essence and cardamom. Beat in ricotta, then almond meal - until only just combined. Don't work it too much. Beat egg whites until just before stiff peaks. Add to almond mix gently - start with one third, to ease the mixture, then add the rest of the whites. Gently stir in pear pieces. Pour into a lined springform tin - line the sides as well as the base. Put some brown paper or baking paper on top of cake for the first 20 minutes or so, so that the cake doesn't get brown on top quicker than it cooks. Bake at 180Celsius for 60 minutes, or until nicely browned. Test with a skewer, keep in mind that almond meal if moister than flour, so it will cling to the skewer, bit you should be able to see little granules when it's cooked properly.
This is Ari's piece, that he didn't eat. He and Mishi had a squabble about the last four blueberries.
This is a fairly moist cake. Possibly something that kids won't like, so maybe think about making them the chocolate cake too! You could soak the pears in some liqueur - pear or almond? And serve it with a lovely pear icecream.......
Please, let me know how you go with it. I think I'll be making this again, in a few weeks, when I head down to my Dad's house for some family remembering (five years, this year) time.
(Okay, I have more 'arty' photos of the cake, where it looks a bit tastier, but blogger isn't letting me upload them at the moment. So, check back tomorrow - hopefully! Still not working, so check over here for the cake shots - this is the piece that Mishi ate, before I got to have any).