I pride myself on my ability to cook/prepare multiple items at the same time, whether it is making soup and baking bread or rolls or making several different vegetable dishes at the same time. It is the juggling act that gives me such a thrill for using my time and energy with such efficiency.
Sometimes my multitasking gets away from me.
This is especially true when I forget that I am using the oven for something other than baking, such as proofing bread or cultivating yogurt. Twice have I preheated the oven with no-knead bread (and its plastic cap!) sitting in the oven, destroying the plastic (and the bowl). This time it was the yogurt that got cooked. Preheating the oven to 500 degrees curdled the yogurt something fierce! But the thrifty cook that I am, I smelled it before tossing it and lo and behold, it smelled fresh, almost sweet, like a tangy ricotta cheese!
The high heat caused the yogurt to separate; straining two and half quarts of yogurt cum ricotta produced three cups of ricotta, more than enough for this recipe. I added a teaspoon of salt since that is my usual preparation when making homemade ricotta.
If you look at the labels for this blog, you’ll notice the dessert to vegetable ration is kind of ridiculous: 18 to 163! So when I decide to make a dessert, it better be worth it. No hyperbole, this was one of the best desserts I have ever had, really, ever. It was fabulously rich but not too sweet. The orange zest (and my additional of a pinch of salt) made it sing! Everyone adored it, including the “not a big dessert fan” folk. (Yes, we do exist!)
As for Proud Italian Cook’s Chocolate Ricotta Tart recipe, I had to add some additional sugar since my baking chocolate was not semi-sweet but 100% cacao, no sweetner added (a tad bitter!) Either recipe will work well.
Chocolate Ricotta Tart
from Proud Italian Cook
4 1/2 oz bakers’ chocolate (100% cacao)
1/3 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest from 1 orange
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon salt
raw pie crust for 8 inch springform pan, with some leftover for latticing on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolates in top of double boiler and melt. In medium mixing bowl combine cheese, sugar, extract, orange zest, rum and salt. Add melted chocolate and fully blend. Place pie crust in pan and trim to fit. Spoon in filling (it will be very thick) and spread evenly. Cut latice strips for top and bake for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. This cheese tort improves with age.
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Roasted Chicken with Fennel, Potatoes and Olives at Talk of Tomatoes
Chinese Sesame Asparagus Salad at Blue Kitchen
Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze at Stacey Snacks