Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's Baking Wednesday: La Torta di Ricotta

On Friday evening after work, I called my sister to tell her about my idea. The idea was to make a dinner, complete with dessert, for our parents. Next Sunday will be Father's Day, and the next day will be my mother's birthday. The idea had occurred to me while I was looking through a magazine, about none other than Italy. The magazine is called Italy, and is based out of Great Britain. Obviously, it is geared towards a British audience, however, it is still sold here in the United States. Click on the link and check out their website! If you are interested in buying a copy, I find them in Barnes N' Noble, BUT it is not always stocked.

As I was looking at the magazine, probably for the gazillionth time, I came across la torta di ricotta, or how they translated it as 'flourless hazelnut and ricotta cake'. Mmm sounds delish! I have decided this will be the dessert portion of the dinner, and I wanted to share the recipe with all of you.

It is really difficult for me to find a recipe that does not contain gluten. (Glutein is a protein found in foods such as, but not limited to, wheat and barley. Once you think about it, wheat is found in a lot of different types of food.) Anything I eat MUST be gluten-free due to the Celiac Disease that I have. I have tried several ways to make substitutions, but it is very hard to replicate the wheat taste. This recipe though does not consist of any flour which is a major plus.


For the cake:

1 egg
75 g. (2 1/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
500 g. or 1 lb. ricotta cheese
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
30 ml or 1 fl.oz. of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur, which actually may contain wheat from which the alcohol is made)
75 g. or 2 1/2 oz of toasted hazelnuts

For mascarpone cream:

1 egg
45 g or 1 1/2 oz. caster sugar
400 g or 13 oz. mascarpone
60g or 2 oz. dark chocolate shavings


Preheat oven to 110 degrees Celsius or 225 degrees F. Grease a 25 centimeter (10 inch) spring form cake tin. To make the cake, place the egg, sugar and vanilla seeds in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the ricotta, zest and Frangelico and mix well. Remove from the food processor and fold in the hazelnuts. Pour into the prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the sides can be pulled away with the fingers and will not stick. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

To make the mascarpone cream, cream the egg and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and mix until smooth. When the cake is cool, cover with the mascarpone cream and sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top.

This recipe can be found in the November 2009 issue of Italy Magazine.

Buon appetito!


  1. That sounds delicious. I never realized that alcohol could have gluten in it!

  2. I can't wait to make it!

    Yes, it can. It depends on how the alcohol is made. Is made of wheat, barley, potato? If it's made from wheat grain and barley, it will have gluten in it. Drinks like wine are made from fruit, and distilled alcohol is fine.

    Here is a list of alcohols that are safe: