The recipe for this Tuscan cake is based on a ratio of weight (cups and ounces are given too, though you can see it's a lot easier to remember in grams!). It's an old-fashioned recipe that I found in a cookbook by Claudia Spargi on the cuisine of Tuscany's Maremma region.
It makes a cake that is springy, moist and delicately flavored—the kind of cake Italians would call a "breakfast cake" and the perfect blank canvas, too, for those who want to play around with adding more to it. Traditional Italian favorites might be lemon or orange zest, vanilla extract, a splash of rum or sambuca, or chopped nuts, chocolate, or dried fruit. A layer of sliced apples or pears over the top would be delicious, too. The options are pretty much endless.
It keeps very well, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Leave as is or dust with confectioners' sugar.
6 to 8
(10 1/2 ounces) fresh ricotta
(1 1/3 cups) superfine sugar
eggs (use 'large' size / 60 gram eggs)
(2 1/3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
Beat the ricotta, sugar, and eggs together until creamy. Whisk together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the wet mixture along with any flavoring you may want to use (see headnote).
Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined baking tin (I used a loaf tin but a round, 8.5-inch cake tin works as well) and bake for about 40 minutes at 350° F (180° C) OR until golden brown and springy on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.