Friday 17 August 2018

Summer Berries and Ricotta Cake.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Happy Friday!
Today, I'm sharing this showstopper of a recipe especially for Eid Al-Adha which is next week.
I had originally planned to share this cake for Eid Al-Fitr but wasn't able to post it in time. The actual recipe was shot in May which is why the photos are so sunny and bright. A far cry from the weather here today which is grey and can you believe it, a little cold!

So, Eid is next week and we are in the middle of planning our menu. As this is the Festival of Sacrifice marking the Hajj season and the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (as), lamb is most definitely on the menu. I'm thinking we may roast a leg in spices. It will come out with a spiced masala gravy which should be delicious served over rice.

As I am the Muslim girl that bakes, desserts are most definitely on the menu. I love baking things depending on the season and with Eid Al-Adha falling in the Summer this year, something with fresh berries and cream is the way to go.

My offering for you guys this year, is a three layer Summer Berries and Ricotta Cake. It starts with three honey vanilla cakes which are sandwiched together with a light ricotta whipped cream, a fresh berry sauce, crushed meringues, and lots more berries. A fitting way to celebrate a Summer Eid!

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1. Vegetable Oil
2. Sugar
3. Honey
4. Vanilla Essence
5. Egg Yolks
6. Eggs
7. Baking Powder
8. Salt
9. Plain Flour
10. Coconut Milk
11. Lemon

For the Ricotta Whipped Cream:

1. Cream Cheese
2. Ricotta Cheese
3. Double Cream
4. Vanilla Essence
5. Honey

To Assemble:

1. Strawberries
2. Raspberries
3. Honey
4. Meringue Nests
5. Citrus Fruit (Lemon, Grapefruit etc)

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, let's bake the cakes. Put the oven on to 180C or Gas Mark 4.

Grease and flour three 20cm round cake tins.

You may also line the tins with greaseproof paper if you're nervous about the cakes coming out in one piece.

I made this cake batter in a big mixing bowl and with an electric hand mixer.

Start by pouring in 250ml Vegetable Oil.

Add in 230g Sugar. I used caster sugar.

For more sweetness and flavour, we're now going to add in honey. I used a clear honey but you're more than welcome to experiment with any others you might have in the cupboard.

Pour in 290ml Honey.

Next, add in 2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence.

Now, the eggs. First, separate 3 Egg Yolks from their whites. You can use the whites in your morning omelette or maybe in some kung pao chicken?

Drop them in!

Finally, take 3 large Eggs.

And, crack them in too!

So all together, it's 3 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs.

Whisk until everything is mixed well.

Then, add in:
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt

Whisk in!

Gradually add in 600g Plain Flour, mixing or whisking until you can longer see the flour. This is a lot of cake batter so make sure to get the spoon right through the mixture to any pockets of flour hiding in the middle.

To finish the batter, coconut milk. I love putting coconut milk into my cake batter ever since I first baked these tiramisu nutella cupcakes!

Pour in 320ml Coconut Milk. Any leftover is great in a smoothie!

Whisk until well combined and smooth!

Last but not least, grate in the Zest of 1 Lemon. Adding the zest at this point won't make the cake really lemony - if you do want a lemony cake, add the zest at the start with the honey. I would do the zest of 2 lemons for extra zing!

Stir in the lemon zest and the cake batter is done!

Divide the cake batter equally between the 3 cake tins.

Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes at 180C or Gas Mark 4.

The cakes are baked when they are golden, cracked in the centre, and a skewer poked into the centre of each cake comes out clean with no wet batter on it. Cool the cakes in their tins for 5 minutes.

Then, take the cakes out of their tins.

And, cool completely on wire racks.

While the cakes cool, let's make the ricotta whipped cream. Start by beating 115g room temperature Cream Cheese until smooth. This time, I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

The main ingredient in the cream is ricotta cheese. It makes the lightest pancakes and is also great in this whipped cream as it's a bit lighter than the traditional cream cheese.

Add in 480g Ricotta Cheese, at room temperature.

And, pour in 235ml Double Cream.

Whisk until everything is well combined and the cream has thickened up until stiff but still a little soft.

Finish by flavouring the cream. Add in 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence.

And, 4 tablespoons Honey. You can add more if you want a sweeter whipped cream.

Whisk until the vanilla and honey are well combined in.

Taste and adjust the cream, if needed. The whipped ricotta cream is done!

Next, let's make a quick berry sauce to layer between our sponges. In a bowl, mash together 100g sliced Strawberries and 80g Raspberries.

Until you have a smooth-ish sauce!

We'll also need more berries to decorate and fill our cake. I used 2 x 400g boxes of Strawberries and 2 x 150g boxes of Raspberries.

Let's assemble our cake! I like to assemble it on the platter or stand that I'm serving it on. 

Put one cake on the platter and squeeze over plenty of Honey.

Then, spread over about 1/3 of the Ricotta Whipped Cream.

Spoon over about 1/3 of the Berry Sauce that we made earlier.

Next, take a box of meringue nests.

Crush and sprinkle 1 Meringue Nest over the sauce.

You can't beat the combination of berries, whipped cream, and meringue. Add cake and we have a real winner!

Finish this layer by pressing in sliced Strawberries and Raspberries. Don't put on too many otherwise the cake will be hard to cut.

Carefully place the second cake on top.

And, decorate in the same way as earlier.

Finally, place on the third cake. Decorate the top with more whipped cream, berries, berry sauce, crushed meringue, and a grating of Lemon Zest.

The cake is ready to serve! A flowers to make it look extra pretty and we're ready to eat!

This cake is best eaten at room temperature otherwise store it in the fridge. Take it out about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy this showstopper with your favourite people!

Summer Berries and Ricotta Cake.

a 3 layer honey lemon cake with ricotta whipped cream, berries and smashed meringues.

Prep Time: About 40 minutes.
Bake Time: About 30 minutes.
Serves: About 15 people.


For the Cake
250ml Vegetable Oil
230g Caster Sugar
290ml Honey
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence
3 large Egg Yolks
3 large Eggs
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
600g Plain Flour
320ml Coconut Milk
Zest of 1 Lemon

For the Ricotta Whipped Cream
115g Cream Cheese, at room temperature
480g Ricotta Cheese, at room temperature
235ml Double Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
4 tablespoons Honey

For the Berry Filling
2 x 400g boxes Strawberries
2 x 150g boxes Raspberries
Honey, as needed
Meringue Nests, as needed
Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon

Bake the cakes:

  • Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180C. Grease and flour three 20cm round cake tins
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, honey, vanilla essence, egg yolks, and eggs until they're well combined. Add the baking powder, salt, and flour and mix until you can no longer see them. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until combined. Finally, stir in the lemon zest.
  • Divide the cake batter equally between the 3 cake tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden, cracked in the centre, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean with no wet batter on it.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges and taking the cakes out of the tin. Cool the cakes completely on wire racks.
Make the ricotta whipped cream:
  • Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric whisk until smooth. Add the ricotta cheese and double cream. Beat until well combined and the cream has become fluffy. Stir in the honey and vanilla. Taste and adjust the sweetness, if needed.
Make a berry sauce:
  • In a small bowl, mash together 100g chopped strawberries and 80g raspberries until you have a sauce.
Assemble the cake:
  • Place one cake onto the serving platter or stand. Squeeze over some honey and spread on a layer of the ricotta icing. Spoon over some berry sauce and break a meringue nest over too. Finally, press on the raspberries and sliced strawberries.
  • Put the second cake on top and repeat the process.
  • Put the third cake on top and repeat the process. This is the top of your cake so decorate with whole strawberries, raspberries, and grated lemon zest too.
  • Slice the cake and serve. It should be stored in the fridge when not in use but tastes best at room temperature.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your Summer cake!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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