Flowery-strawberry ricotta and sunflower seed cakes

This is a wonderful light cake, full of flavours and colours.  On the sunflower seed bottom you have one layer of lemony ricotta topped with strawberry-mascarpone cream. Both layers would deserve their own cake, but this desert was made for a special celebration, so I thought I would just as well double the fun. And it does worth the extra effort! You will love the refreshing-lemony ricotta melting together in your mouth with the fruity mascarpone and honeyed sunflower seed crust.0IMG_3244 - Copy

If you also want to make it for a special occasion you can try and look for edible flowers on the local markets, (in the summer you can find them on the Nieuwemarkt in Amsterdam for example) they will make this desert so beautiful it will be worthy to crown any celebration. If you aren’t able to get the flowers, go ahead and top it with a handful of fresh strawberries, it will still be a beauty. With either option wait with the decoration until just before serving, the flowers are then the prettiest and the strawberries won’t dry out.

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This recipe is a tiny portion, made in two 8cm springfoms, if you don’th have that you can make it in one 18 cm springform, but feel free to double or triple the portion for more people, then just use the 24cm springform. The cake will eventually need a bit more time to harden, but overnight is still more than enough.

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Ingredients (serves 4):

Crust:

  • 60g buckwheat flour
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 20g butter
  • 2 tablespoon honey

Ricotta layer:

  • 75g ricotta cheese
  • 100g kwark or thick greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemonzest
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 gelatine leaf (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated gelatine)

Mascatpone layer:

  • 100g mascarpone cheese
  • 80g strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 gelatine leaf (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated gelatine)

Start with the crust, preheat oven to 180°C, tip flour and sunflower seeds in a blender, mix until seeds are coarsely chopped then add butter and honey and mix to combine. Lightly grease two 8cm springforms, split the dough in two and push in the forms to create a smooth layer. Bake for 10 minutes and let it cool to room temperature (30 minutes).

While it is cooling mix ricotta with kwark, lemonzest and juice and honey. Wash and halve strawberries and in a blender combine with mascarpone and honey. Put the gelatine in cold water, let it soak for a few minutes then squeez it out and put in a small bowl. Boil some water and add 6 tablespoons of the hot water to the gelatine. Mix until it is molten. If it is still not completely molten heat it up in a few seconds in the microwawe or putting the bottom of the bowl in hot water. When it is around room temperature add half of it to the ricotta while constantly whisking and add the other half to the mascarpone in the same way.

Share ricotta cream in the 2 forms and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.* Then add the mascarpone layer, cover forms and set it in the fridge overnight.

Before you take the springforms off carefully rinse the outside with some warm water (from the tap). When you can see that the sides are coming off from the metal remove springform. Decorate it right before serving with strawberries and flowers and a drizzle of dark honey.

* This way the top of the ricotta cream will get firm and the layers won’t mix. If you don’t have the space in the freezer then just melt half of the gelatine first, add to the ricotta, cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. When the top of it is slightly firm melt the rest of the gelatine, add to mascarpone and top ricotta layer carefully.

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