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Chocolate ricotta cake

This perfect match of rich chocolate and airy ricotta makes for an irresistible cake.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus setting
  • Serves 8
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Chocolate ricotta cake
Chocolate and ricotta are a great match. Add some coffee and you've got a trifecta of winning flavour.


  • 400 gm digestive biscuits (1 packet)
  • 35 gm cocoa powder, preferably raw (⅓ cup)
  • 125 gm butter, softened
Ricotta filling
  • 550 gm firm ricotta, drained, at room temperature
  • 250 gm mascarpone
  • 200 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 25 gm cocoa powder, preferably raw (¼ cup)
  • 80 ml espresso coffee (⅓ cup)
  • 2 sheets titanium-strength gelatine, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 150 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks
  • 100 gm roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Whipped chocolate frosting
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 300 gm dark chocolate (60%-64% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 100 gm light muscovado sugar


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170C. Butter a 24cm-diameter springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Process biscuits in a food processor until finely ground, then add cocoa, butter and 1 tsp salt and process to combine. Press evenly into the base and 2cm up sides of prepared tin, and bake until base is toasted and butter melts into crumb (15-16 minutes). Cool.
  • 2
    For ricotta filling, process ricotta, mascarpone, icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor until smooth. Bring coffee to the boil in a small saucepan. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan, then remove from heat and stir until dissolved (1-2 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes, then add coffee to ricotta mixture and process to combine. Fold in whipped cream and hazelnuts, then spread evenly over base, smoothing top, and refrigerate until set (4-5 hours).
  • 3
    For frosting, bring cream to the boil in a saucepan, then add chocolate and sugar and stir until melted. Transfer to an electric mixer and whisk until cooled and thickened to a spreadable consistency (5-10 minutes). Spread frosting over cake, and serve cut into wedges. The cake will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days (remove from fridge 15 minutes before serving).