As much as I love French patisseries and cakes, it is great to see the more rustic and generous cakes that are available in Brisbane.  I visited Pearl Café last week and it’s a joy to see what cakes are on offer. This time there was a cake the looked crumbly and was dusted with icing sugar and toasted pistachios. It looked so inviting that I ordered a piece. It was delicious. When we stayed with my husband’s relatives in Sicily they often made cakes like these full of seasonal fruit and nuts grown on their own farm.


When I returned home I did a little research and added a few touches of my own and came up with this recipe and I’m very pleased with the results. The cake has a crumbly base and top that sandwiches a ricotta chocolate and chopped dried fig filling. It is fresh and not too sweet.



3 Cups All-purpose Gluten Free Flour (You can use normal flour)
2 Cups Almond Meal
1 Cup Castor Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Zest from one lime
250 grams of unsalted butter, Cut Into Cubes
1 Large Egg
Ricotta Filling:
500 grams of Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Castor Sugar
1 Tablespoon Amaretto Liqueur (or liqueur of choice)
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Semi Dried Figs
3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chunks or Chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 11 inch (28 cm) spring-form or tall sided tart pan with removable bottom.
Combine the flour, almond meal, castor sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse.
Add the butter cubes and pulse just until the mixture turns into crumbs the size of breadcrumbs. Add zest of one lime. Add the egg and pulse until mixed throughout. (Your mixture will still be very crumbly at this time, but you should be able to press it together with your fingers).
Divide the crumb mixture in half and place in two separate bowls.
Add the ricotta, sugar, and egg to the food processor and pulse just until combined.
Add the chopped figs and chocolate and pulse until the fruit and chocolate are still lumpy but well mixed into the ricotta mixture.

Take half your crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of your prepared pan and about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches up the sides.
Spoon in your ricotta mixture and smooth it evenly over the bottom crust.
Sprinkle the other half of the crumb mixture over the ricotta filling, pressing it gently into the ricotta.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and just beginning to crack on top.
The center may still be a little soft when pressed with your fingertips, but the outer edges should be firm.
Allow to cake to rest in the fridge before releasing from spring form tin.
Serve in wedges either slightly warm or at room temperature.
Store leftover cake well wrapped in the refrigerator.


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