Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake

It would be unfair to call the recipe a complete dud, but, boy, oh, boy, it sure comes close. The recipe was originally developed for Martha Stewart's website and I really expected more from it than was delivered. I wanted to try a few new desserts this week and the Silver Fox's birthday gave me the perfect excuse to experiment. We all know you get what you pay for. This cake, chosen for its ease of preparation, is the cook's corollary of that old adage. The cake, while relatively expensive to make, was easy to assemble and took about 15 minutes to prepare. There were hints of problems along the way. Warning flags should have been raised when the recipe directed folding whipped cream into a mixture that had the consistency of semi-set concrete. I blithely soldiered on, convinced that somehow it would all come together and a miracle would occur. It didn't. Six hours later, I had a dry, grainy cheesecake with close to no flavor, despite the copious use of orange liqueur and chocolate. I have no one to blame for this fiasco other than myself. After weeks of suggesting you read the comments submitted by followers of recipe sites, I failed to follow my own advice. Everyone of the problems I encountered had been experienced by others who attempted the recipe. Had I taken the time to read them, I could have spared myself a lot of grief and some serious coin. While I did not care for this cake, there were folks who did, so I'm including it here with a caution. Sorry, Martha. The cake is dense, grainy and strangely flavorless, but if you want to try it, here's the recipe.

Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart


Nonstick cooking spray

14 ounces semisweet chocolate (do not use chips)

2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers (about 44 cookies)


1) Prepare pan: Remove sides from a 9-inch round springform pan. Place a sheet of waxed paper over bottom, leaving an overhang; lock sides onto bottom, firmly securing paper. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray; line sides with a strip of waxed paper 28 inches long and 4 inches wide.

2) Make chocolate-ricotta mixture: Break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. Place in a heatproof medium bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

3) In a food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl. Add warm chocolate; blend until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.

4) Assemble cake: Arrange half of cookies in an overlapping pattern to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half of chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. Cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, and smooth top. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

5) Before serving, release sides of pan and remove waxed paper from sides. Using bottom piece of waxed paper, pull cake onto a platter; with a metal spatula, lift cake and remove waxed paper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut cake into 10 slices (wipe off knife, and dip in hot water after each slice). Yield: 10 servings.

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