Prep 25 mins
Cook 10 mins
This cool dessert is silky-sweet ricotta flavored with espresso coffee and spices. The cheese is packed into a pie dish, chilled, and then unmolded onto a cake plate. Cut into wedges and streaked with a warm espresso chocolate sauce. From The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, and found at splendidtable.com.
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1⁄4 cup very strong espresso
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 lb high-quality whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
- 1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks and chilled
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1⁄4 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1⁄2 ounce bittersweet chocolate
- 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Line an 8-inch pie pan with plastic wrap. Combine the gelatin and cold water in a small saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the espresso and cinnamon. Stir over medium heat to dissolve the gelatin. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
- Puree the ricotta in a food processor, or press it through a fine sieve. Turn it into a medium bowl and stir in the espresso mixture, sugar, chocolate, and cream. Mix well. Spread in the pie pan, tapping to settle. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
- To make the sauce, combine the espresso powder with the hot water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve. Blend in the cocoa, chocolate, and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir over low heat until the chocolate melts. Add the half-and-half, and heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 100 degrees. The sauce should be the consistency of thin cream. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar to taste. The sauce holds well, covered, for an hour or two. Stir as you rewarm it over medium heat before serving.
- Serve the ricotta cream cool, not cold, sliced into wedges. Drizzle each portion with 2 tablespoons of the warm sauce.