Gingerbread and ricotta cake

Purely by accident, while making gingerbread cookies with a 6 year old boy I decided on a whim to save some of the dough. I simply knew something would pop up but I newer anticipated that it would become such a delight. It took me few days to play with the idea and ricotta was there from day one as a main base for the filling. Then I realised that chocolate can never fail you (of course if you are a chocolate lover) and a gingerbread base seemed to be a good choice for this combination.

I baked the base a few days before I decided on a filling. Being a gingerbread dough that actually helped and it just improved the cake’s richness altogether. Plus the stress of making a whole cake in one day practically disappeared. Both base and filling are easy to make and you need just minutes to do it. I would’ve said that this is a winning combination if I didn’t known better. Since I do, I would say – this is a life time keeper!

The first one I made was a tiny one, just for tasting. The family gets to taste it first and my husband’s first words (after a long mouthful silence were) – “I can’t wait for the real one”- referring to the size mainly. I kept the size small though as I knew that we were not going to resist it easily, so between the two of us, one small cake is just enough! The little one still lives in a kid’s world with a strong preference for sweets. We take advantage of that for now, as we know things will change – for sure.

This cake can be served for a gala dinner or a less formal one. Also it’s very nice for morning tea or as a sweet snack after lunch. On the first day the cake was crunchy from the outside and creamy and soft inside. The next day (if it lasts that long) the crust becomes softer as the moisture from the filling  does its job. I love this little treat! The gingerbread reminds me of childhood and brings memories that way and the filling tells me how adventurous cake-making can be. All together it’s a cake embroidered with past and future with divine presentation.

Gingerbread crust cheese tart

1/3 of gingerbread dough (I highly suggest to make a whole batch and use the rest for gingerbread men)

500 gr ricotta

150 gr butter

100 gr powdered sugar

100 gr grated chocolate

50 gr chocolate for decorating (I used a block of chocolate scraped with a knife)

I used 15 cm round mould for this cake.

Spray the mould with oil before assembling the dough.

Roll the dough to a 3-4 millimetre thick sheet and cut the round shape using the actual mould/cake tin as a size helper. You’ll need another long strip for assembling the cake. Measure your mould if using a different one or if using the same size baking tin you’ll need a 45 cm long strip. The width of the strip should be approximately  the height of your mould.

Place the round part to the bottom of the mould first and add the long strip, “gluing” them together and to the sides of the baking tin. The dough is quite forgivable and if you brake some parts it’s ok as you can easily glue them back together.

Bake for 18-20 minutes on 180C. Once baked leave in the baking tin for a few minutes before taking the cake/crust out. Leave on the cooling rack to cool completely.

For the filling it’s quite important to use room temperature butter. Since I don’t use microwave, I have to think ahead and take the butter out of the fridge to soften at least an hour before I need it. In a large bowl whisk the butter and the sugar until creamy. Add the ricotta and mix until all well combined. Add the chopped chocolate and mix with a spatula.

Fill in the crust with the ricotta filling and sprinkle with extra chocolate for decoration.

The cake is ready to be served!

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