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Cake made with "ricotta" and chocolate of the nuns of Querceto

(Dolcino di ricotta e cioccolato delle monache di Querceto)

  • 200 grams of sheep's "ricotta" (kind of cottage cheese)
  • abundant flakes of plain chocolate
  • powder cinnamon
  • the skin (but just the yellow part) of an orange
  • 2 cloves
  • 4-5 cm of a crumbled cinnamon bar
  • sugar
  • a pinch of table salt
Take a small saucepan and put 2 big spoons of orange, the skin of the orange, the cloves and the cinnamon and let them boil very slowly for 2-3 minutes. Add 3 spoons of sugar and go on with this slow cooking, turning very often. After 10 minutes check if the syrup will start to get thicker, if not add some more sugar and then a small pinch of salt. Boil for 5-6 minutes more and then take out for the heat ant let it cool down. In the meanwhile mash and melt the "ricotta" (in a small soup tureen and using a fork) and when the syrup will be cold, pour it (taking care to add a right quantity in order to have a very thick mixture) over the "ricotta". Turn and mix very well all this stuff, then cover with a pellicle and put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
At the right time fill 4 small cups with the above mixture, sprinkle with some powder cinnamon and then cover each filled cup with a layer of chocolate flakes.
This recipe represents a sweet souvenir of the childhood, remembering the excursion to the hills during the autumn afternoons The excursions to the hills surrounding the village of Sesto Fiorentino, until the cloister of Querceto, together with the grandfather, a veteran of the First World War, who always came with us to take our afternoon snack. One slice of bread with sugar and wine or, sometimes, some bread with oil and salt.
Sometimes it was possible to have the cake with ricotta and chocolate - and this was our hope leaving home for the excursion.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati


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