Baking Class: The cheese cake

Use ricotta to create the delicious holiday favorite

By NERIA BARR
May 29, 2014 17:55
4 minute read.
Cheese cake

Cheese cake. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Gad Dairies is holding a Shavuot celebration together with 20 leading cafes and restaurants that will be offering their “best cheese cake” made with the dairy’s cheeses. During the 10 day festival the chefs of the participating places will be offering the cakes at special prices.

Among them are Cafe Italia, Campanello Cafe Delicatessen and Hemda Cakes, who have adapted their recipes for the home baker. Both Cafe Italia and Campanello are Italian restaurants and the cakes are accordingly influenced by traditional Italian desserts made with ricotta. Hemda, a bakery, also uses ricotta, but in a take on the classic yeast roses. The festival will be held until June 7. For more details go to www.facebook.com/gad.dairy.

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RICOTTA PIE – CAFÉ ITALIA Makes 8 This is a classic Italian pie that is great as a dessert or with coffee.

For the crust:
✔ 200 gr. butter
✔ 100 gr. sugar (8 Tbsp.)
✔ 1 egg
✔ 80 gr. almond flour (8 Tbsp.)
✔ 260 gr. flour (2 cups minus 2 Tbsp.)
Filling:
✔ 160 gr. sugar (about 3/4 cup)
✔ 50 gr. butter
✔ 3 eggs
✔ 400 gr. Gad 5% ricotta cheese

Prepare crust: Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor only until the dough forms.

Remove from the food processor and roll out until about 0.5 cm. thick.

Line the pie form with the pastry, cut excess, cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Blind-bake the crust in a 180° oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and lower heat to 160°.

(To blind-bake a pie crust line the chilled shell with foil or parchment paper, fill the pan with dried beans or rice, to keep the shell from melting, shrinking and bubbling up.) Prepare filling: Mix the ingredients together, pour into the half-baked pie crust and bake for 40 minutes at 160°.

Serve chilled.

ROMAN RICOTTA CAKE – CAMPANELLO CAFE DELICATESSEN
Makes 8 More of a dessert than a cake, this Italian classic is the perfect ending to a holiday meal.

✔ 2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
✔ 55 gr. dried or fresh apricots
✔ 2 Tbsp. raisins
✔ 50 ml. almond liquor or sweet wine
✔ 675 gr. Gad 5% ricotta cheese
✔ 200 gr. sour cream (4⁄5 of a regular container)
✔ 115 gr. honey (about 1⁄3 cup)
✔ 3 eggs, separated
✔ Lemon zest
✔ Butter Heat oven to 160°.

Chop the apricots, mix with raisins and soak both in the liquor for 30 minutes.

Generously butter 8 individual baking dishes or 1 large one.

In a large bowl mix together ricotta cheese and sour cream, add egg yolks and honey and mix well until honey is incorporated.

Add the soaked fruit and mix again.

Whisk the egg whites until foam is firm but not dry. Fold the foam into the cheese mixture.

Pour the mass into the buttered baking dishes.

Bake for 45 minutes.

RICOTTA ROSES WITH TOFFEE TOPPING – HEMDA CAKES
This is a perfect coffee cake, not only for Shavuot.

For the dough:
✔ 330 gr. flour (21⁄3 cups)
✔ 15 gr. yeast
✔ 100 ml. milk
✔ 2 eggs
✔ ¼ cup sugar
✔ 100 gr. butter, cut into small cubes
✔ Pinch salt
For the filling:
✔ 500 gr. (2 containers) Gad Ricotta Fresca
✔ 165 gr. sugar (3⁄4 cup + 1 Tbsp.)
✔ 2 egg yolks
✔ 22 gr. corn flour (about 7 tsp.)
✔ 22 gr. melted butter
✔ ½ stick vanilla
Toffee topping:
✔ 250 gr. sugar
✔ 250 ml. cream
Prepare dough: Place flour, yeast, milk, eggs and sugar in a mixer bowl and knead until smooth. Add butter gradually and knead until it is incorporated. Add salt and knead 2 more minutes.

Prepare filling: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, folding it carefully so as not to “break” the ricotta.

To assemble the cake: Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll the dough out and spread half of the filling on each leaf. Roll each part into a roulade, and cut into 5 “roses.”

Turn the rolls and arrange them in an oiled round 20-cm.

baking form.

Leave to rise in room temperature for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 170° and bake until brown (40-50 minutes).

Meanwhile prepare the toffee topping: In a skillet cook sugar until it is caramelized, but be careful not to let it get too dark or it will be bitter.

Carefully pour cream into the caramel while mixing. Continue mixing until the mixture is smooth and remove from heat.

When cake is baked, remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before glazing it with the toffee topping. Cool completely before serving.


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