Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ricotta Cakes with Berry Sauce

Cheese.. it's what for dessert!

So, I jumped on the new "plan your meals weekly" trend, and I have to say, so far, I love it! I spend so much less at the grocery store each week because I can plan around what we already have and just buy what we don't. For example, I wanted to make Mozzarella stuffed meatballs this week, so I planned in a Margherita pizza as well to use up the rest of the cheese. But, back to dessert... I had made stuffed shells last week, and had some ricotta leftover. I knew there wasn't enough for another meal, so I turned to dessert. I fired up my FoodGawker account and searched away. After sifting through a lot of cheesecake (not enough ricotta for those, either) recipes, I found one called Ricotta Cakes. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I read the recipe, and sure enough, I had just enough cheese to pump these babies out. Woo!

The original recipe serves 8, so I reduced it down to 2 servings, since that's really all we needed. The following recipe fit gorgeously in my 4oz ramekins and were just enough for an awesome, low calorie dessert! (I've also been on a calorie counting kick. I'm still trying to drop the baby weight, a year later!)

The recipe breaks down as follows:

125g (about 1/2c) Ricotta Cheese
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 T honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g (just under 1/2c) mixed berries*

*you can use any berry you wish. I just happened to have frozen mixed berries on hand. They can be fresh or frozen as well.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees(F). Combine the cheese, egg, honey and vanilla in a small bowl. Lightly grease your ramekins (or whatever your cooking vessel may be). Pour mixture in evenly and bake for 20 minutes. While your cakes are baking, combine berries with a little bit of water in a small saucepan. Cook until soft. Cool slightly and then run through a blender until smooth. When cakes are finished, allow to cool and serve with sauce.

I have to say, I was a little worried upon putting them in the oven. They were very loose and more like a liquid than a cake batter. Mine took a little longer than 20 minutes (about 25), but they came out beautifully.  As you can see above, I removed mine from the ramekins and placed them in my super colorful bowls for serving. I also ignored the blender step and just took my potato masher to the berries. I figured the cakes were smooth enough, the dessert needed some texture. The original recipe did not mention if they should be served warm or cold, so I just let them cool to the point I could hold the ramekin to get them out and served them up. I'm sure they would taste just as great cold, and could be an awesome party dessert!

Overall, I was extremely pleased with these little babies, and this will be my go to dessert for any extra ricotta I may have in the future. The best part.. ok, well one of the best parts is they check in at a mere 169 Calories! What's not to love about that!


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