Monday, May 23, 2011

Almond Ricotta Cake with Grilled Peaches

Nothing is more lovely than the first signs of summer.  For us in Texas, that started in March, but the true signs of summer, like fresh local tiny peaches at the Whole Foods are sure signals that barbeque season is here to stay.  This is the perfect dessert to finish off a grilled meal with friends, which is just how I enjoyed this cake.  Nothing is more wonderful than an evening outside with chickens pecking in the background eating home-grown greens, pasta made with fresh chicken eggs and pesto with basil from the garden.  

The cake is moist and light, fluffy and golden.  It has a nice bite to it from the almonds.  I prefer the taste and look of whole almonds compared to blanched--a little bit of brown almond peel enhances the color and texture of the cake.  

Peaches on the grill are incredibly wonderful.  My friends thought the idea was somewhat strange but when the peaches gave off their fruity aroma, they were instantly sold.  You have to try this cake!

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 ¾ cup sugar divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
6 eggs separated
1 cup raw whole almonds
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup milk

5 peaches

Fresh vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, pulse almonds until they are finely ground but before they become pasty.  Pulse flour, salt and baking powder until well combined.

With electric mixer on high, whip egg whites.  Slowly add ½ cup sugar while mixer is on.  Whip until soft peaks.  Set aside in medium bowl.

With electric mixer, beat butter, ricotta and 1 ¼ cup sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla, almond extract and egg yolks, mix to combine.  Slowly beat in flour/almond mixture and then add milk until well combined.  Fold in 1/3 egg white mixture with a rubber spatula, and then fold in the rest of the whites.

Grease 11x7 baking pan and add batter.  Bake approximately 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife comes out clean when cake is poked.  Allow to cool.

Split peaches in half.  Grill until golden brown and fragrant.

1 comment:

  1. That looks amazing, I'm going to try it.

    Grilled peaches and grilled Hatch peppers chopped up together is a great salsa.