I do not know what has the pistachio that looks so good with sweet things, but somehow it seems that pistachio and sugar are made to be together. This recipe is inspired by Italy and it occurred to me to do it during my last trip there. The sponge cake has almond flour instead of wheat flour and together with the ricotta makes it a very juicy cake. Its flavor is very soft on its own, but with a touch of lemon and pistachio cream they create a simply perfect combination.
I’ve skipped my publication calendar to put this recipe on the top of the list because I put some pictures on instagram Stories and I believe you liked it a lot. As I was telling you, during my last trip to Italy, besides enjoying the beautiful landscapes of that country, I was doing research and tasting as many sweets as I could 🙂
In Italy they have a very fine and elaborate patisserie and what caught my attention is that they make many sweets with pistachio. For them it is a very normal ingredient. In particular I fell in love with pistachio ice cream that I ate in Milan, without a doubt the best I have ever eaten in my life.
So I got a jar of pistachio cream and also a package of authentic Ricotta cheese with the sole purpose of making a pistachio cake. The pistachio cream surely you can find it in Gourmet stores, I have been looking for and it is commercialized in Spain. It’s basically like cocoa and hazelnut cream, so you know how to look for it but pistachio green color. Mine had some white chocolate as well.
And here we go almost from vacation to vacation! From Italy to Barcelona, from where I am writing to you right now. I arrived yesterday and I do not want to let more days go by without publishing that I know myself and then I do not do it. After our visit to family and friends in my beloved land, we will spend a week between Provence and the French blue coast. To the Provence I am in full season of lavender, so look out for the pictures!
Almond lemon Ricotta cake with pistachio buttercream (gluten-free)
- 120 g of soft butter
- 200g of sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 4 eggs
- 240g almond flour
- 300g Ricotta cheese
- 100g icing sugar (I have used brown icing sugar)
- 50g soft butter
- 70g cream cheese (philadelphia type) at room temperature
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp pistachio cream or pistachio praline (look for it in gourmet stores or Italian shops)
- 70g chopped pistachios
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cover the bottom and sides of a pan with 20 cm in diameter with baking paper .
In a bowl, mix the butter with 100g of the sugar for at least 10 minutes until the mixture is creamy and whitish. Separate the eggs and add the yolks one by one to the butter mixture.
Add the vanilla extract and the lemon zest whisking until they are integrated. Add the Ricotta cheese and the almond flour and mix until they are integrated.
In another bowl, whisk the whites with the remaining 100g of sugar. It incorporate 1/3 of the meringue to the dough, mixing in soft and enveloping movements. Add the rest of the whites mixing again in enveloping movements so that the dough does not lose air.
Pour all the dough into the pan and bake for about 50 - 55 minutes or until the pinching it with a wooden stick, it comes out dry. Allow the cake to cool inside the oven with the door open.
To prepare the cream, mix the butter with the icing sugar until it is creamy, at least about 5 minutes. Add the cream cheese and continue beating at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the pistachio cream and beat at high speed for 1 more minute.
To assemble the cake, cut the cake into two equal halves. Cover the sponge cake with half the cream and sprinkle with half the chopped pistachios. Cover with the other half of sponge cake and cover with the rest of the cream and the other half of the chopped pistachios.