Baking is definitely not my forte. I hate all the mess and clean up and rebel at sticking to the strict, precise measurements and directions, particularly when it comes to making a cake. Most of my cakes tend to slump in the middle and look like a six-year-old did the frosting.
But when I saw this simple cake featured in last month’s Bon Appétit, I knew I could handle making it. Furthermore, the recipe would be a perfect opportunity for me to showcase our fabulous California strawberries, in season now. I prefer the local ones from Carlsbad, but it’s pretty easy to pick up stellar berries in any market of grocery store. Strawberries absorb pesticides very easily, so I always try to buy organic berries. They are a bit more fragile than sprayed strawberries, and more expensive, but well worth it.
The original recipe calls for frozen raspberries, which I nixed. Perhaps that is why my cake baked more quickly than the suggested cooking time of 50-60 minutes. I cut back on the salt, as usual, and added some Meyer lemon zest to make the flavors pop. I decided to garnish the cake with a little sifted confectioner’s sugar.
It’s nice, simple cake to celebrate Spring, a moist and dense cake, almost a light version of a cheesecake. Larry just ate two pieces…
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups whole milk ricotta
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup organic strawberries, hulled and quartered, divided use
- confectioner's sugar (optional garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
- Using a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Using a medium-sized bowl, mix together the eggs, ricotta, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth. Fold into dry ingredients until just blended.
- Add the melted butter, stir, then gently fold in ¾ cup of the berries.
- Pour batter into cake pan and scatter remaining berries on top.
- Bake until golden brown and when a tester comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.
- Allow to cool on pan 20 minutes before turning out on a plate. Garnish with confectioner's sugar and serve.