Strawberry Almond Ricotta Cake
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This is a luscious cake that starts with an Almond Jaconde brushed with amaretto syrup, then layered with ricotta cheese, fresh strawberries, and sugared almonds. A beautiful dessert to serve when fresh sweet strawberries are available.

Make ahead Tips: Make this dessert over a two-day period. The day before make the Almond Jaconde, wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To save refrigerator space the cake can also be sliced into the four pieces as described in the assembly instructions, layered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. Also make the sugared almonds and amaretto syrup the day before. The second day make the ricotta filling, whipped cream topping and assemble the cake.
Recipe type: Dessert | Almond Jaconde | Ricotta Filled Cake
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
1 tablespoon melted butter plus parchment paper for preparing pan
Almond Jaconde Cake:
  • 1 cup almond flour (finely ground blanched almonds)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Amaretto Syrup:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto Liquor Tip: substitute 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract if you prefer
Sugared Almonds:
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
Ricotta Filling:
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • About 1½ cups fresh cut-up strawberries, about ¼-inch pieces (about one 16-ounce container)
Whipped Cream Topping:
  • ¾ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare one 12x17x1 inch Jelly Roll pan; lightly grease the pan with melted butter or vegetable shortening, line with parchment paper, and then brush the top of the parchment paper with melted butter. Tip: Use a large enough piece of parchment paper to allow overhang to make easier to remove after baking. Greasing the pan first holds the parchment paper in place. Use about 1 tablespoon of melted butter to grease the top of the parchment paper.
Almond Jaconde Cake:
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add the almond flour, sifted confectioners’ sugar, and 3 large eggs. Using the whisk attachment, beat on low speed about 1 minute or until blended, and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and drops in ribbons when the beater is lifted.
  2. Sprinkle about one-half of the flour over the top of the egg mixture and with the mixer on low speed beat just until the flour disappears. Sprinkle the remaining flour on top and blend into the egg mixture just until the remaining flour disappears. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside while preparing egg whites.
  3. Egg Whites: In another large mixing bowl and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the granulated sugar; continue beating just until stiff peaks form and the egg whites are still shiny.
  4. Using a balloon type wire whisk or large rubber spatula, gently fold about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the almond batter to lighten the batter, and then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  5. Quickly pour the melted butter in a stream over the batter and fold into the batter to completely incorporate the ingredients, and taking no more than 15 to 20 seconds as the batter can deflate quickly.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon or large offset spatula.
  7. Bake: Bake for 10 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Place a fresh sheet of parchment paper on top of the cake and quickly flip the pan over. Remove the pan and carefully peel the parchment off the cake, then replace the original parchment and flip the cake back over onto the original parchment, and place on a wire cooling rack for the cake to cool completely.
  9. The cake may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Tip: To save refrigerator space the cake can also be sliced into the four pieces as described in the assembly instructions, layered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.
Amaretto Syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the water and sugar. Bring to a boil while stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Add amaretto liquor or vanilla extract. Set aside or cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble cake. Tip: The amaretto syrup can be made ahead of time if desired and refrigerated for up to 1 week. It can be used either chilled or at room temperature. This recipe makes about ¾ cup of syrup. Not all of the syrup will be used for this cake. Leftover syrup can be refrigerated and used in other desserts or drinks.
Sugared Almonds:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking pan or jelly roll pan with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg white until foamy. Add the sugar and whisk to mix. Add the almonds and stir until the almonds are completely coated.
  3. Spread the almonds evenly in the prepared pan and bake, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown. Remove from oven and stir or break them up with your hands. Set aside to cool.
Ricotta Filling:
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine ricotta, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.
  1. Using a kitchen knife carefully cut the cooled cake in half length-wise and then cut each half in half width-wise. You will have 4 rectangular pieces each about 6 inches x 8½ inches.
  2. Use a large flat serving plate, preferably rectangular, that will accommodate the finished cake of about 8 x 10 inches. Use a large metal spatula or cake lifter to invert one of the cake pieces onto a serving plate. Use a pastry brush to brush about 2 tablespoons amaretto syrup over the cake piece. Spread 1 cup of the ricotta filling evenly over the top of this cake piece, then scatter about ½ cup cut-up strawberries over the top.
  3. Place a second cake piece on top, brush about 2 tablespoons amaretto syrup over the cake, spread 1 cup ricotta filling evenly on top. Roughly chop about ½ cup of the sugared almonds and scatter over the top of this second layer.
  4. Place a third cake piece on top, brush about 2 tablespoons amaretto syrup over the cake piece, spread remaining 1 cup ricotta filling evenly on top and scatter about ½ cup cut-up strawberries over the top.
  5. Place the last cake piece on top, brush about 2 tablespoons amaretto syrup over the cake piece. Refrigerate the cake while preparing the whipped cream topping.
Whipped Cream Topping:
  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the sugar and vanilla, continue beating until thick and stiff.
  2. Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Spread the whipped cream topping evenly over the top. Scatter another ½ cup cut-up strawberries and ½ cup sugared almonds over the top.
  3. Refrigerate the cake at least one hour to stabilize the ricotta filling and whipped cream topping before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
Recipe Notes
Pan: one 12x17x1 inch Jelly Roll pansPan Prep: parchment lined and lightly greased with melted butter Oven Temp: 425° Storage: Cover and refrigerate

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