I have used ricotta cheese in the past — easy lasagna (ricotta cheese in place of bechamel sauce) or stuffed jumbo pasta shells (with either spinach of broccoli). But I’ve never tried using ricotta cheese for sweets recipes. A few browse of some published internet recipes made me decide to try one cake that stands out, Lemon Ricotta Cake. With Calabro Cheese 3 lb Ricotta Cheese, there’s plenty of ricotta cheese for both savory and sweet creations.
Other ricotta manufacturers use the whey that has been drained off when making other cheeses, in a way, making it a cheese by-product. Ricotta in Italy means “cooked again, recooked or cooked twice”. Per Morena Febbo of Calabro Cheese, Calabro ricotta is made from the very best fresh milk instead of leftover whey, gum, or stabilizers that most manufactures use.
Ricotta has mild, slightly sweet flavor and is creamy and has somewhat grainy texture. It’s great with sweet berries, croissants, muffins, and can be used as stuffings, spreads and fillings.
I gave up on 2 recipes I tried after I got the same results — the middle of the baked cake sank down. Could be one of these — too much wet ingredients, oven temperature too low, type of flour used (cake vs. all-purpose flour), and so on. Finally I had much better results with my 3rd try, guess, it’s another case of 3rd times a charm. And here’s the recipe…
LEMON RICOTTA CUPCAKES WITH DRIED MANGOES
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Calabro ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sour milk (1 tablespoon lemon juice plus enough milk to equal one cup)
1 cup snipped dried mangoes (available at Costco or Sam’s Club)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 texan muffin pans with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt using low speed of electric mixer to aerate. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and ricotta cheese until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest. Add flour mixture and sour milk, beating until just combined (don’t overmix). Fold in snipped dried mangoes.
Divide the cake batter in 12 prepared muffin pan holes. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until done (wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean). Place in a wire rack to cool. Either dust with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle lemon glaze (1 cup of confectioners’ sugar thinned with enough fresh lemon juice).
Yummy….Morena Febbo, Vice President of Sales of Calabro Cheese gave this recipe a thumbs-up.