Another week, another bake from my pastry course from Puff the Bakery a.k.a. the best thing I’ve bought this year. This week it was time to try out the hazelnut, and ricotta cake, with decadently dark chocolate ganache on top. I’d put off baking this for a little bit for two reasons: (1) I feel a bit ambivalent towards it – it doesn’t make my mouth water, and (2) I’m sensitive to items high in lactose, cheese is ok but I usually have problems with ricotta and cream. Today though, I decided to throw caution to the wind and bake up a storm.
After a few challenging bakes on the course, I was surprised how easy this was to throw together, I basically mixed the wet ingredients with the dry. The majority of the rise in the cake came from whipped egg whites, and it only required a tiny amount of flour which means you could always make it gluten-free (like the twice-baked chocolate cake from the other day). It’s always nice to have a good, gluten-free cake recipe to hand, as I always feel for the friends and family who can’t tolerate gluten and miss out on the sweets.
When it was in the oven, the cake made the whole house smell like Nutella – never a bad thing! It really smelled divine. Whilst it was cooling I had a go at making the ganache which did not go well. I think I over-heated the ganache as the chocolate and cream mixture started to split after a while and I was left with a very oily concoction. I thought I could save it with a special trick, but I couldn’t remember what, so I turned to the internet and found this helpful post. Remelting and adding a little more cream and chocolate seemed to work at first, but eventually, the same thing happened so I decided to try again. Thankfully, the third time was the charm.
It’s not the best looking cake, but it’s not meant to be. It’s the type of cake you slowly eat whilst you’re having a cup of tea and reading a magazine, or catching up on the latest gossip with a friend. I wasn’t too keen on the taste at first: it was a little too sour and tangy for my tastes, but the more I went on and enjoyed the divinely nutty and moist texture the more I liked it.
This is probably my least favourite from the Puff bakes, but that’s maybe doing this cake a disservice. It’s moist, nutty, chocolatey, and a solid all-rounder, and it’s something I definitely wouldn’t have baked without this course.