I have wanted to share this pudding with you ever since I started Dig In, because it is so fabulous, decadent and amazing. Fabulous to make, decadent to behold, and just plain amazing to eat. Alas, too many recipes, not enough time (or stomach capacity), and this layered pudd got pushed to the bottom of the list.
There are still two huge ice-cream containers of dad’s raspberries and loganberries in my freezer from last summer – and the loganberries have already started flowering, ready for this summer. It’s always a good idea to clear out the old to make space for the new! So while I had been ‘saving’ these ruby-coloured frozen jewels, I decided the hoarding had gone on long enough. It is, after all, November.
(I realise therefore that this is not ‘seasonal’ cooking, so if you don’t have a stash of summer berries hiding in your freezer, please feel free to bookmark this page for when the fresh stuff starts to appear.)
This pudding is an adventure to make because, to get those multiple layers, you need to pull out multiple skills and multiple bits of kitchen equipment, bowls and spoons. This is a not a simple melt-and-mix pudding; I have absolutely nothing against those, but every now and then it’s good to do (and use) it all. At least I am sparing us the fiddliness of making individual serves here, which I seem to recall the original recipe specified; I probably realised that way madness lay and one baking dish was quite sufficient, thank you.
Besides, sometimes you don’t want the dainty portion control of an individual mini-cake. You want to scoop out a large spoonful of that rich hazelnut flavour, creamy baked ricotta-ness and tart-sweet, here-comes-summer fruit.
I hope it was worth the wait.
Hazelnut cheesecake pudding
Copied out many years ago and adapted from a Gourmet Traveller (in the GT it was 'Layered ricotta crumble cake').
- The oven needs to be preheated to 180 but do this just before getting your fingers dirty with layer 4. Grease a small/medium sized baking dish.
- Layer 1: cream 80 grams soft butter, 3/4 cup sugar and the zest of one lemon for a few minutes, then add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup sour cream. Lick the beaters then fold thru 2/3 cups plain flour, 50 grams hazelnut meal, 30 grams almond meal and 1 tspn baking powder. Spread in your prepared baking dish.
- Layer 2: in your food processor, whizz up 350 grams ricotta (by preference, the more-solid stuff from the deli), 1 egg yolk, and 1/4 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar). Smooth this over the top of layer 1.
- Layer 3: scatter enough fruit of your choice over layer 3. You can use frozen or fresh berries; rich dark plums would also be a good match to the pudding's other flavours.
- Layer 4: using your fingers, rub together 10 grams soft butter, 1 tbspn sugar, and gradually add enough hazelnut meal to form a moist crumble - I think I got to about 4 tbspns. Scatter over the fruit. This does not cover the fruit (and admittedly looks rather prissy), but it's the hint of texture you're after.
- Wipe fingers clean and pop the dish in the oven, baking for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes - or until you can stick a knife in the centre and be assured the cake is cooked (it's a little tricky to tell with the fruit layer). Serve warm or even cold when the cheesecake layer has set.