Yield: 6 to 8
Time: 70 minutes
This simple cake makes a winning dessert for a special dinner and it is sure to please guests at your next brunch. Ricotta cheese creates a dense, tender cake while crunchy hazelnuts and sweet raspberries add a balanced touch of seasonal flavors and textures.
- ¾ cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, divided
- Whipped cream for garnish, optional
- Chopped roasted hazelnuts for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Spray inside of the pan, including the parchment, with non-stick cooking spray.
Place ¼ cup of the hazelnuts in a small food processor or spice grinder and pulse until they resemble a fine meal. Crack or half part of the remaining hazelnuts and set aside the cracked and whole nuts.
Add hazelnut meal and flour to a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, ricotta, and vanilla. Fold this into the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms.
Reserve half of the raspberries. Stir the remaining berries into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Top with the reserved raspberries and remainder of whole and halved hazelnuts.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the hazelnuts look like they are browning too quickly, place a tented piece of aluminum foil over the cake while it continues to bake.
Let the cake cool for 20 minutes. Carefully invert the pan over a plate to release the cake. Flip the cake back over so that the raspberries and hazelnuts are on top. Slice and garnish with whipped cream, if desired, and more chopped hazelnuts before serving.