Today’s Cake – Neil Perry’s Chocolate and Ricotta Cake

I liked the look of this when I saw it in Good Food, so had to give it a try.  As this has very little flour (cornflour), the texture is more like a mud cake.  I skipped the candied fruit (not a fan) but a dash of Grand Marnier or similar would work well.

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Ingredients
9 egg yolks
365g icing sugar, sifted
12 egg whites
150g Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
45g cornflour dark chocolate shavings, to serve

Ricotta filling
250ml double cream
500g ricotta
150g icing sugar, sifted
100g mixed candied fruit, roughly chopped

Chocolate butter cream
250g butter
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp milk

Making it
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease and sugar 2 x 23cm round cake tins.
2. Whisk the yolks and 240g icing sugar to ribbon stage.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and 125g icing sugar to soft peaks.
4. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the yolks, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
5. Before they are completely combined, add the cocoa and cornflour and fold in gently.
6. Divide the mixture between the cake tins.
7. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C and bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes to cool, then turn them onto racks to cool completely.

For the filling
1. Beat the cream until stiff.
2. Purée the ricotta and icing sugar in a food processor, adding the fruit towards the end.
3. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the cream.

For the butter cream
1. Beat the butter with an electric beater on high speed for 8 minutes, until pale and creamy.
2. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for 3 minutes.
3. Add the milk and beat again until well combined.

Assembly
1. Split the cakes in half horizontally.
2. Spread a bottom layer with one-third of the filling and repeat with 2 more layers. Top with the remaining cake.
3. Top with the remaining cake.
4. Spread the top and sides of the cake with chocolate butter cream and finish with shavings of chocolate.

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