That said, my mom and grandma love mixing fruit with stuff, especially chocolate. My mom's favourite stocking stuffer is a Dark Terry's Chocolate Orange, and my grandma's weakness is chocolate-dipped berries and cocoa-banana smoothies. The stylists I bring treats to every time I go for a haircut like anything chocolate, so I always know where to look for inspiration!
A while back I made a good deal of creamy Richer Ricotta after buying a few cartons of half & half on sale on a whim. Around the same time, I came into a basket of mixed blackberries and raspberries which I originally was going to put in a pie... until Mom started mixing a handful of them and a scoop of ricotta with her yoghurt pudding at night. For some reason, that became a "lightbulb" moment for me, and I immediately zipped over onto Pinterest where I knew I had saved a chocolate and berry cake made with ricotta cheese.
A brief scan of Playful Cooking's recipe and a few tweaks later (namely adding whole grains, using Pure Via Granular Stevia for half the sugar and making my version an eggless one), a decadent mixture of ingredients found their way into the oven. While it was baking away, I whipped up some Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting and let it chill while the cake cooled.
Even without frosting, I could tell this cake was going to be a big hit - it was tender and moist without being soggy or dense, had a finely textured crumb speckled with berries and a present but not dominant sweetness. I was surprised that it was tempting even me, given that not only was it a fruity "quad-fecta" (banana, applesauce, blackberries and raspberries) but it was a fruit medley with chocolate and "other stuff"). My mom swiped my trimmings as I was frosting and cutting the cake and declared I was playing favourites by giving it to the girls at the salon and not her!
Fruity Ricotta Chocolate Cake
Makes one 10" springform pan, 16 slices
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ cup canola oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup Pure Via Granular Stevia
2 large bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup full fat ricotta (ideally homemade)
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup warm coffee
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used local blackberries and raspberries)
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 10" springform pan.
- Whisk the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas until smooth.
- Beat in the oil, applesauce, sugar, PureVia, ricotta and yoghurt until well combined.
- Add half the flour, blending well, then all the coffee and the remaining flour.
- Fold in the berries.
- Bake for about 1 hour, tenting with foil after 30 minutes.
Total Fat: 18.2 g
Cholesterol: 21.7 mg
Sodium: 127.7 mg
Total Carbs: 44.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 5.3 g