|My ricotta cake: One of the official images by Nick Hallen, courtesy of Grana Padano|
If you are my friends on Facebook or any other social media platform, you have surely shared my delight of winning the Grana Padano Top Chef Blogger Competition. I have posted photos of the event, and my beaming face, not quite believing that my cooking was worthy of the winner's title.
The event was beautifully organised, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I was all atremble, like a wobbly jelly, inside.
|One of the official images by Nick Hallen, courtesy of Grana Padano|
The task was to cook one sweet and one savoury dish, using Grana Padano as one of the ingredients. I decided to cook a family recipe with a twist. The recipe I have chosen to present at the competition has been passed to me by my husband's zia Giuseppina. I have slightly adapted it.
3 medium eggs
200g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
300g self-raising flour
35g grated Grana Padano
100g butter, melted
zest of 1 orange, grated
2 drops of vanilla extract (Holy Lama Spice Drops)
for the icing:
juice of 1/2 orange mixed with enough of icing sugar to get a runny icing
Beat the eggs with the ricotta cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl, then sift the baking powder and flour in the bowl. Add the grated Grana Padano, orange zest, vanilla extract and melted butter and mix well.
The cake batter is quite thick. Spoon it carefully in a well oiled bundt cake tin. Put the tin in an oven preheated to 180C for 50 minutes. Check with a wooden toothpick if it's ready. You might need to lower the temperature and bake it for another 10 minutes, until the toothpick comes clean.
Mix the icing sugar with the orange juice and pour over the warm cake.
It keeps well for a few days, wrapped in foil.
It was quite an experiment, adding grated Grana Padano to the batter, but it worked beautifully.
When you bake a butter pound cake, you are often asked to add a good pinch of salt. In case of this ricotta cake the Grana adds a piquant salty note to the cake.
I have used Holy Lama Spice Drops (vanilla extract) but you can use a good quality vanilla essence (1tsp).
|Francesco Mazzei, me, Joanne Wright, Elisabetta Serraiotto, Frank Lampen and Federica from Pasta Bites (photo by Nick Hallen, courtesy of Grana Padano)|