Ricotta, Fruit And Almond Cake

This cake is quite different to the cakes I normally make and unlike any cake I have tried before.  It has dried apricots and currants mixed through the cake itself and then more scattered over the top along with some flaked almonds.  The dried fruit is first soaked in a little Grand Marnier and lemon juice which adds a little extra flavour.

But it is the 6 eggs and ricotta which makes this cake moist and delicious.  Even after 2 days this cake proved to be still perfectly moist and scrumptious.

I adapted this recipe slightly from a recipe in our school cookbook.  You could try different dried fruits and nuts to suit your taste but keep the base recipe the same.  You could also soak the dried fruit in something different like orange juice.  I thought soaking the fruit in a little brandy would make this a lovely, light Christmassy fruit cake.

Not only does it stay moist but it travels well.  I made this last week and packed some up for our trip down south.

We drove 10 hours south to Dubbo to take the kids to Taronga Western Plains Zoo.  It was so nice to get away and have an adventure.  We camped for 3 nights which the kids loved and then we cycled, drove and walked through the zoo.  So much to take in and it was a first for Essie and Elliott.  It was a first for them to see lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, everything.  All the kids found the meerkats and lemurs the most entertaining but my favourite has always been the elephants.

The kids are quite good when we drive long distances.  I had a few kids books on MP3 for their entertainment as well as a clipboard each with different activities and paper for drawing and writing down the towns we passed through.  Toowoomba – Millmerran – Goondiwindi – Boggabilla – Moree – Narrabri – Coonabarabran – Gilgandra.  Getting the spelling just right was an activity in itself.

It was so much fun that I have already started brainstorming the next family trip.  Will be sure to take this cake along but I will have to do a little research next time on where to find good coffee on the road.

ricotta, fruit and almond cake

1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons lemon juice
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
6 eggs
200g ricotta
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.  Grease and line a 22cm round springform tin.

Soak the currants and dried apricots in the Grand Marnier and lemon juice for about 1 hour.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix through the ricotta and lemon zest.  Sift over the flour and baking powder and fold through with half the currant/apricot mix.  Pour into the cake tin.

Scatter over remaining currant/apricot mix and then the flaked almonds.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours – 2 hours or until cooked through.  Cool in tin for about 1/2 an hour before unclipping the springform tin.  Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

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