Savory and sweet—hazelnuts and ricotta cheese give this unique cake a wonderful combination of flavors.
Servings: Serves 10
Ingredients 1 3/4 cups shelled hazelnuts1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened, plus more for greasing1 1/4 cups sugar8 eggs , separated1 cup ricotta cheeseFinely grated zest of 5 lemons 1/2 cup all-purpose flour5 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate , grated
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-inch deep, 12-inch cake pan and line with wax paper. Roast nuts in oven until their skins are loosened, about 10 minutes. Peel skins off by rubbing hot nuts in a dish towel. Coarsely chop in a food processor.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and light. Add egg yolks one by one. In a separate large bowl, beat ricotta lightly with a fork. Add lemon zest and chopped nuts. In another large bowl, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Fold butter mixture into ricotta mixture, sift in flour and fold in beaten egg whites. Spoon into prepared cake pan and bake 35 minutes, or until set.
Remove cake from pan, let sit for 5 minutes, and, while warm, cover with chocolate, which should immediately melt.