May 6, 2014

Rhubarb almond (or ricotta) delicacy

I had a picture of it in my head before I made it. I wanted whole stalks of rhubarb on top, as if they were lying on my kitchen table.

I just needed a good base. Early Saturday, still in bed, I was concentrating very hard on the topic. I knew I'd have friends/family coming over that day. I'm always a little more concentrated/excited when that happens.

And, like in my previous rhubarb post, I went for an Italian recipe...I just stretched the batter again to make the cake thinner and to fit the long, untouched stalks of the vegetable.

Begging of May, coincidently with the first appearance of rhubarb, our store starts selling strawberry ice cream.

During Winter, you can only buy chocolate and walnut there. 

So, we stalked up our fridge with a couple of containers. It's not my favorite but we've missed it a bit. 

I served it on top of this lightly sweet and slightly tart cake.

The rhubarb delicacy made for an attractive centerpiece on my coffee table... with ice cream containers on the side and happy faces around.

Recipe adapted from La Prova del Cuoco and Gray Apron
time: 30 min preparation + 45 min baking 


800 g (1 3/4 lb) rhubarb stalks, ugly ends cut off
90 g (6 Tablespoons) butter room temperature
130 g (2/3 cup) sugar
2 eggs, separated yolks from whites, room temperature
180 g (6.5 oz) ricotta* (see notes below) room temperature
grated zest from 1 lemon
pinch of salt
80 g (3/4 cup) almond meal
100 g (2/3 cup) regular flour
50 g (5 1/2 Tablespoons) corn (or potato) starch
4 g (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
45 ml (3 Tablespoons) cognac
3-4 Tablespoons raspberry preserves, heated to liquid
handful chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 170 C/340 F (fan forced function). Line a half baking sheet (30x40cm/12x16inch) baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together almond mealflourcorn starch and baking soda.

In a bowl of a standing mixer, using a whisk attachment, beat buttersugaregg yolkspinch of salt and lemon zest together for about 2 minutes. Blend in ricotta (or almond pulp) till smooth. Add cognac. Change attachment to a paddle. Incorporate flour mix on low speed just till combined.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites till soft peak forms. Using a spatula, slowly blend the beaten whites into the prepared mix. Don't over mix it, 30 moves should be enough. Spread the batter onto the prepared lined form. 

Arrange rhubarb.  Press them in slightly. Place the baking sheet in the hot oven for 40-45 minutes, till cake is browned around the edges. Remove from the heat. Paint rhubarb stalks with raspberry preserves. Drop almond pieces.

  • * last year, I made this cake with ricotta; this year, I used almond pulp form almond milk I made in the morning; 
  • the almond pulp was too dry so I added almond milk to get the texture similar to ricotta;
  • it's not the first time I use this substitution and it seems to always work;
  • this year, I didn't have cognac in my cabinet so I used whisky; cognac adds more flavor to the cake; I could barely taste the whiskey;
  • the original recipe that I saw on RaiUno last year had pieces of apples on top with plenty of raspberry sauce to go with - nice;
  • I was out of frozen raspberries to make the sauce but I had strawberry ice cream instead - nice!


  1. This is so pretty. I don't do much with Rhubarb and I should because it's really quite good. I think the last thing I made was an ice cream which was amazing. This is lovely, I'll have to give it a try.

  2. Goodness gracious, this looks like quite a delicious recipe! Swooning a bit here.. yum!

  3. This looks beyond delicious Ela. The rhubarb over here ain't looking as red and beautiful as yours. An excellent recipe!

    1. It's red OK, but green too. I brushed it with raspberries for more drama. :)

  4. You definitely achieved the drama! The color really pops. Plus, I love the ice cream with it. :)

  5. I love the color! What a pretty looking dessert :)

  6. Hooray!!! I bought a second rhubarb plant today...hopefully in another year, I'll have a much better crop! This is one stunning cake.

  7. I love love rhubarb... looks good and delicious with ice-cream yummms :D

  8. Hi Ela, this is absolutely gorgeous and elegant, you are the queen for sure.

  9. This is gorgeous! I can't believe I have never baked with rhubarb!

  10. That cake looks so beautiful! And delicious, too!

  11. What a nice dessert and very attractive looking too. I am sure your guest enjoyed this.
    I love strawberry ice cream it is one of my favorites. The colors go well together. Blessings, Catherine xo

  12. Isn't this so pretty, it sounds so good too!

  13. Another fabulous rhubarb treat, love the long stalks untouched.

  14. I'm sure your guests were very happy with dessert; beautiful creations!

  15. Oh my goodness this looks so delicious!!

  16. This looks really pretty!

  17. This looks absolutely fantastic! I love rhubarb, and this is a sight for sore eyes, a stunning cake - truly :D x

  18. Wow, this looks gorgeous - I love how pretty the stalks look! Sounds delicious with the strawberry ice cream :)

  19. This is so beautiful!!!I bet iot tastes heavenly!
    Have a lovely day, dear Ela!