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Cocoa and ricotta cake. About a weekend kitchen project

Cocoa and ricotta cake

Stroll through the stalls of one of the food markets that, every Sunday morning, you can find in my neighborhood.

I am one among many, the still floppy cotton shopper slung over my shoulder lazily waiting to be filled.

I glance at the food the stalls offer, looking more carefully at my favorites.

I take my time observing the tiny table of the man selling no herbicide aromatics and flowers, one euro a bunch. Amazing that smelling and touching something that will not give allergies costs so little. Thoughts run to some endless fields of tulips that are lush as ever and sprout every year as if by magic from the ground. Although it is not a matter of magic, it is a matter of chemistry.

I return to my square and the mission to be accomplished. Disguised as an ordinary person wandering distractedly around the market, I have a specific goal: to get my hands on as much cottage cheese as possible.

Long weekend calls for some kitchen projects

The prospect of a long weekend and an awful weather forecast shines before me.

These days, I repeatedly ask my husband to check it, and he confirms that a disturbance is on its way that will bring cold northern winds, sharp drops in temperatures, and rain.

Cold weather and free time, to be traversed at a slow pace, mean that I will have the opportunity to lock myself in the warmth of my kitchen for days, forgetting what is outside to devote myself only to what is inside, namely the house and my family.

For this reason, I planned my grocery shopping well in advance.

In the middle of a cold, wet storm, I don’t want to find that I don’t have enough of that or this.

I mentally review what I have already set aside between the pantry and refrigerator while quickly scrolling through the list of missing things.

Seasonal vegetables, tomato puree, which I have to buy since I didn’t make it last year, butter, milk, grated Parmesan cheese, which I will need for at least a couple of recipes, prosciutto cotto for meatloaf, an easy and
good-tasting recipe that has been missing from my table for a while, and fresh ricotta. That is the true goal of today’s market’s mission since I plan to make ricotta and parsley tortelloni, the typical ones from Bologna, and a typical cupboard cake.


Cocoa and ricotta cake

Cocoa ricotta cake

I am obsessed with ricotta cakes, which I often pompously call dessert when they are in every way home ciambelle.

Mine is a family affair, a legacy passed down from my grandmother to my mother and me.
Grandma grew up in the countryside, where a few eggs and some ricotta were always present.

Her repertoire of home cakes was incredibly extensive. It also varied in flavor, although the ingredients, diverse in proportion and quantity, were always the same: flour, eggs, sugar, and milk. She added flavorings, cocoa, chocolate, and ricotta to this solid base. Each component became a nuance of flavor, making her creations unique and special.

In fact, ricotta, from cow’s milk, has always been much appreciated and used in my home.

Ricotta was the filling in many fresh kinds of pasta, used to soften meatballs, stuff lettuce rolls (you can find the meat version on the blog), and was a welcome star in many desserts.

Due to a health problem that drove my allergies crazy, I suddenly became allergic to dairy products. I had to go without them for a long time. Lactose-free products are a good substitute, but I still felt nostalgic for cow’s milk cottage cheese. Now that this problem has receded, I indulge in a few slices of delicious cheese and my beloved cottage cheese in moderation.

Needless to say, you may have already guessed that I came back from the market with a kilogram of fresh ricotta. I’m not ready to tell you about tortelloni yet; I can’t wait to leave you with this recipe for cocoa ricotta cake that I like to think of as a cake made, ideally, by four hands with Sara, who would have approved the final result.

This fluffy, moist cocoa ricotta cake is a cupboard cake that does not need to be stored in the refrigerator; it stays fresh and fragrant for several days.

Buona cucina, Monica

Cupboards cake

If you like the almond taste, try making the 5 minutes cake, a typical ciambella recipe from Emilia-Romagna.

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Cocoa ricotta cake

Ccoa ricotta cake

Cocoa ricotta cake is a typical cupboard cake that is made with a few simple ingredients
Course Cupboard cakes
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Cocoa ricotta cake, ricotta cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 persone


  • 20 cm diameter round mold


  • 200 g of 00 flour
  • 1 sachet of baking powder, 16 g
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200 g of cow or mixed ricotta
  • 2 regular eggs
  • 120 g of icing sugar
  • 20 g of bitter cocoa
  • 150 g of natural white yogurt
  • 50 g of dark chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 180C degrees (356F).
  • In a bowl, combine the baking powder and salt with the flour, mix, and set aside.
  • In another, mash the ricotta cheese with a fork and then add icing sugar. Stir quickly before adding eggs. Beat with electric whips until smooth.
  • Add cocoa, flour, and yogurt, stirring quickly with a metal spoon before blending the mixture with the electric whips.
  • Add chocolate chips and mix with a metal spoon.
  • Line a mold with moistened and squeezed baking paper, pour the mixture into the mold, and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, let cool, and dust with powdered sugar.
  • The cake will keep fresh, out of the refrigerator, for several days.

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