Hazelnut Chocolate Ricotta Tea Cakes
I made these hazelnut chocolate ricotta tea cakes a couple of months back, and I have to say, I’ve rarely been more surprised by a dessert. There are few more classic combinations than hazelnut and chocolate, of course, and the ricotta may sound like an unusual addition, but it was a smart choice and I’ll explain why.
The majority of the flour in these cakes comes from roasted and processed hazelnuts, with almond flour and just a touch of wheat flour to give the cakes a little more structure. Nut flours, of course, are very dense, which is why I was expecting these cakes to be something akin to a bran muffin or some other stodgier bake, but the addition of the ricotta, along with the whipped egg whites, gave them a great balance. I can’t take credit for that idea, though, as this recipe is very slightly adapted from one I found in Ottolenghi’s cookbook Sweet.
Overall, these are a great little unique treat hearty enough to help you welcome cooler weather, just sweet enough to call a dessert, but also not so outrageous that you would feel ridiculous eating them, in fact, like a bran muffin, for breakfast or brunch. (This is the second post in a row where I’ve said that, but working with more decadent desserts like brownies, cookies and buttercream frosted cakes all day at the bakery sometimes leaves me longing for desserts that are a little less sweet and a little more balanced — which is where blog bakes come in.)
I will say, they sound like more trouble than they actually are, in my opinion, as Ottolenghi recipes often do, but they aren’t too finicky, especially if you opt to bake them out in a muffin tin instead of using the 3-inch ring molds like I did. Greasing and lining those was probably the most finicky part. But the result was definitely worth it, and in my opinion, they don’t even necessarily need the ganache topping — they taste amazing as is, straight out of the oven.
I hope you guys are all doing well — I know these posts have been a little impersonal (although I’m told most people like that, we all know it’s not my usual style). I’m just trying to get on a schedule and stick to it for a while, even if that means being straight to the point. I’m also posting a lot more over on Instagram with a little more daily life type stuff, so find me over there @followtherivernorth if that’s more your speed. In the meantime, let me know if you decide to try out this recipe and how you liked it. Or just drop me a line to let me know how you are.
Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.