This recipe was specifically adjusted from the already published one for homemade cottage cheese, as the soft cheese ingredient, to include commercial ricotta cheese, as more readily available ingredient, and to use Well and Good white rice flour from their Raw Ingredients range. Recipes with the inclusion of soft cheeses allow to make the texture of gluten free bakes to be soft, moist, springy and fully baked, without the addition of any separate fat ingredients, either butter or oil. Using only rice flour, without starches, gums and any other additives, makes these cakes a very healthy bake, with good nutritional value and high protein content. The process of batter preparation is simple and takes only 10-15 minutes. I bake these mini-cakes every week as a sweet snack without any guilt.
The batter can be baked as muffins, smaller size soft, plain or jam biscuits, or even as a tray bake with canned fruits in it.
for 12 large mini-cakes (plain or with jam or berries), 12 medium size muffins, 24-30 soft plain or jam biscuits
- 200g ricotta cheese
- 20ml lemon juice
- 20ml milk (can be replaced by another 20ml lemon juice)
- 1 tea spoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 100g sugar
- 10g vanilla sugar
- 120g rice flour (I used Well and Good white rice flour)
- 6g, 1 tea spoon baking powder gluten free
- unsalted butter to grease baking trays
- 1 tea spoon lemon zest (optional)
- berry jams with chia seeds (they do not leak during baking, regular jams will go liquid, make a mess on a tray and burn)
- fresh berries
- pieces of canned peaches, dried on paper towel from their moisture, if the batter is baked as a flat cake
- iced sugar for dusting
- preheat fan forced oven to 170C
- grease baking trays with butter (I used large macaroons tray for mini cakes, mini-pies tray, semi-spheres tray, eclairs tray and flat cookies baking sheet for biscuits)
- sift rice flour and baking powder in a bowl, mix them together with a whisk
- in another wide bowl add lemon juice, milk and vanilla extract to ricotta cheese (add lemon zest if using)
- cream the mixture into a homogeneous soft paste
- in a third bowl beat eggs with sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and triple in volume, I have found that using the whisk attachment of the stick blender does the job faster, in only 3-4 minutes
- add 3 serving spoons of beaten eggs to ricotta cheese paste
- combine them together starting with spatula and finishing with a hand whisk
- add these softer ricotta cheese paste to the rest of beaten eggs
- combine with a whisk, if the mixture has small lumps of ricotta cheese blend the mixture until more homogeneous
- add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
- combine with a whisk to get homogeneous batter, the consistency of the batter depends on ricotta cheese moisture (it will bake nicely from any consistency)
- spoon the batter into baking trays, for nice uniform cakes use pastry bag
- insert small quantity of chia jam or fresh berries, if desired
- bake in preheated fan forced oven on the upper or/and middle level for 25-30 minutes
- rest cakes on a wire rack
I like the crust to the soft inside ratio in these cakes. The crust is thin, hard and crunchy. The inside texture is soft and chewy, it does not crumble easily. After many bakes of cottage/ricotta cheese batters using flat baking sheet,
semi-spheres baking tray,
mini-pies and eclair baking trays,
I have found that baking tray for large macaroons is the most practical and easy option to use.
The size is perfect for the batter portion in the recipe, the tray is very easy to grease, the bottom of the baked cakes is nice and flat, the cakes slide without any effort from the tray, and 30 min of baking time works all the time for any batter consistency in my oven.
These are soft and moist cakes/biscuits, perfect for a cup of tea or coffee. My husband, however, transformed his cake into completely indulgent dessert with creme Anglaise, I made the day before to use leftover egg yolks.
It is delicious!