Ricotta Cake topped with
Balsamic Strawberries &
Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
Part 1: Balsamic Strawberries
- Slice up about 8 medium sized strawberries (you can always add more if you want!)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar (you can add more, depending on the sweetness of your berries and your personal preference).
Part 2: Ricotta Cake
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
- 1 egg, seperated
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon flour (I used a gluten free baking mix and it worked great)
In another bowl, beat your egg white. You can use a hand mixer, but I used one of these old-school egg beaters and it worked just fine. Slowly add in the remaining one tablespoon of sugar, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold your egg whites into the ricotta mixture, being careful to keep the fluffiness of the egg whites while having them fully incorporated.
Pour batter into your ramekin and bake for about 30 minutes. The middle should be fairly firm and not jiggle too much when shaken. When it's ready, let it cool in the dish while you prepare your caramel sauce. The cake will fall a little bit while cooling.
Part 3: Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cream
- 1/3 ample cup creamy peanut butter (or 2 of the Jif On-The-Go cups)
Once boiling, uncover the pan and continue to boil until the liquid turns a straw color. Once that happens, turn down the heat to a nice medium. You're waiting for the liquid to turn a deep amber; while you're watching for that, in another pot simmer your heavy cream. If the cream simmers before your sugar turns amber, cover the cream and pull it off the heat.
Once you achieve that dark amber color, pull your sugar mixture off the heat. Pour about a quarter of your warm cream into the mixture, and wait for a bit of the bubbles to subside. Then add the remaining cream and whisk (note this is the first time you are whisking or stirring! If you do that before this step, you are likely to mess up your caramel!). Add in your peanut butter, and whisk until creamy.
If something goes wrong the first time you do it and your caramel goes to hard ball stage (becomes a hard, sugar candy mess) or burns, don't be discouraged. I messed up two batches trying a different recipe, and very nearly ruined a third. While many recipes give you temperatures and times to watch for, I found that the best indicator was color. Also, the addition of the peanut butter gives you some flexibility; if you're caramel goes a bit long, it will give the sauce a toasty peanut-brittle-y sort of taste (which I actually loved). Oh, and here's a picture of one of my bad batches (LOL! This one had you stirring though the whole process... obviously doesn't work!)
P.S: If you need a pick-me-up (and the idea of peanut butter caramel didn't do the trick), watch this Lindy Hop competition dance video. I'm obsessed; I just sit and smile when I watch it (which I've done more than once in the past 12 hours). New hobby? I'm thinking so.