Saturday, 10 December 2011

A cake mould....some patience and a Ricotta Cheese Cake

Its that time of the year when we talk a lot about food. As we all know, Santa et. al loves cakes and pastries. (He does not need to care about the extra inches or the kilograms! Why do you think he opts for that  loose fitting red garment year after year?). 
So I decided to bake some cakes.
Honestly,I do not like to bake. I actually hate it...I find the whole process of mixing the eggs and the flour very boring...this becomes intolerable when they ask you to separate the yellow and the whites of the egg...I also do not like melting the butter separately...I cannot cut baking paper to never ever sure of the amount of baking powder to put in...can never understand if the cake is cooked yet...cannot get the cake out in one piece from the mould...etc etc etc. ..but but but...
Arno loves cakes.
plus there is a small story.........

{Start flash back}
 Two weeks back, we were roaming in the shopping streets in The Hague. As usual the husband loves to go into this "kitchen shop". He loves to cook as I already mentioned here. So we are looking at knives, appreciating high tech coffee machines, turning the pages of  new recipe books....Arno is also with us. He is roaming around the shop with a super bored look....sometimes TOUCHING something that he finds nice and attractive..and everytime he does that the parents get hyper with "dont touch THAT"!! How can a 7 yr old have an interesting time in a kitchen shop? Anyway, for a change, we did not buy anything that day from the shop. While coming out of the shop, I spot Arno near the cash counter with something in his hand. The husband (the father in him) smiles proudly.."See? He loves to come to this shop as well!!"
He goes ahead.  Yes Son, what do you have there? Arno has a silicon cake mould in his hand..looks pretty ordinary...dark red....5-6 euros? Parents are happy  that the kid has chosen something "useful" instead of the "typical" CARS 2 cars or the LEGO tank station or the green bey blades!!.
I wait outside the shop as father-son completes the transaction.
Once outside, the husband looks at me and lips "TWENTY FIVE EUROS!!" (the expression on his face is that of pure shock !!!)
{ End flash back}

Now a cake mould worth 25 euros needs to be used, you agree to that, right? My hatred for baking can take a back seat. 
I start searching the net to get a proper cake recipe..
I started google search first by saying "cake recipe"...thousands of cakes popped up....I was completely lost...what lovely pictures...what amazing recipes...what a wonderful cake world!!
The journey took quite long because choosing a recipe that fits my baking interests and capabilities is DIFFICULT....Believe me.
This Ricotta cheese cake drew my attention because the recipe started by saying, "This is the easiest cheesecake to make -- it takes just 15 minutes to assemble and doesn't require a water bath"
My dear readers,you know by now how I always go for words like "easy" or "lazy"!! The "15 mins to assemble" was like the icing on the cake (what a nice fitting expression in this case!).


    Unsalted butter  [ at room temperature for the mould]
    3/4 cup sugar      [ plus a little more for the mould]
    1 1/2 pounds fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
    6 large eggs          [original recipe asked to separate  the yellow and the whites, I didn't]
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    Finely grated zest of 1 lemon   [this really makes the difference]
    1/4 teaspoon salt
The 15 minute process:

Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
Generously butter a 9-inch cake mould. (You have voluntarily decided to make a ricotta CHEESE cake so why hesitate with the butter?)
Sprinkle some sugar.
Whisk together ricotta cheese, eggs, flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, the zest, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them all with a hand mixer. The important thing is that the cheese should not have any lumps.
TIP: first whisk the cheese to a smooth consistency before adding the other ingredients.
Pour batter into the mould and bake until center is firm and the top is deep golden brown. It took me about 45 mins.
Let it cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake. Release sides to remove from pan. 
Serve with citrus/vanilla ice cream.

It looked wonderful and it tasted delicious...I vouch for the words "easiest" and the "15 minutes assembling" time...

Easiest Ricotta cheese cake......