I do pine for ricotta cakes because I never get to make them. The Weather Man, otherwise open minded food-wise, has a peculiar bias against some foods and, weirdly, it’s mostly about the words themselves.
He won’t touch semolina. Not that it’s a particularly appealing food article on its own, but mention a semolina cake and he’ll recoil. The closest he will get to the luckless grain is when it’s involved in pizza dough making. But then the word ‘pizza’ magically opens doors.
He has issues with polenta as well; God knows why as otherwise all things Italian usually meet with unquestioning approval. But cleverly I’ve taken to calling it ‘cornmeal’ and that seems to have worked a treat, thus allowing me to make the wonderful lemon and polenta cake among other things.
Stews – he’ll run a mile, but casseroles are okay. Pilchards (no way!) are commonly called sardines everywhere these days so we’re saved there too.
And then there’s ricotta.
No, I can’t call it cream or curd cheese cause that makes it even worse (cream cheese red light alert). He’s not adverse to savoury employment of ricotta but definitely has a thing about cheesecakes. So I have to adopt the coaxing approach, pointing out the ricotta content is next to invisible and by the way, one of his all-time favourites is the hazelnut ricotta torte (which it is).
This cake didn’t require much lobbying as it has other virtues: wholemeal cake! sugar-free! with poppy or chia seeds for crunch! He’s quite a hipster these days you see, is the Weather Man…
The recipe comes from the NY Times Cooking.