Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It would be unfair to call the recipe a complete dud, but, boy, oh, boy, it sure comes close. The recipe was originally developed for Martha Stewart's website and I really expected more from it than was delivered. I wanted to try a few new desserts this week and the Silver Fox's birthday gave me the perfect excuse to experiment. We all know you get what you pay for. This cake, chosen for its ease of preparation, is the cook's corollary of that old adage. The cake, while relatively expensive to make, was easy to assemble and took about 15 minutes to prepare. There were hints of problems along the way. Warning flags should have been raised when the recipe directed folding whipped cream into a mixture that had the consistency of semi-set concrete. I blithely soldiered on, convinced that somehow it would all come together and a miracle would occur. It didn't. Six hours later, I had a dry, grainy cheesecake with close to no flavor, despite the copious use of orange liqueur and chocolate. I have no one to blame for this fiasco other than myself. After weeks of suggesting you read the comments submitted by followers of recipe sites, I failed to follow my own advice. Everyone of the problems I encountered had been experienced by others who attempted the recipe. Had I taken the time to read them, I could have spared myself a lot of grief and some serious coin. While I did not care for this cake, there were folks who did, so I'm including it here with a caution. Sorry, Martha. The cake is dense, grainy and strangely flavorless, but if you want to try it, here's the recipe.

Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray
14 ounces semisweet chocolate (do not use chips)
2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers (about 44 cookies)

Directions:
1) Prepare pan: Remove sides from a 9-inch round springform pan. Place a sheet of waxed paper over bottom, leaving an overhang; lock sides onto bottom, firmly securing paper. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray; line sides with a strip of waxed paper 28 inches long and 4 inches wide.
2) Make chocolate-ricotta mixture: Break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. Place in a heatproof medium bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
3) In a food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl. Add warm chocolate; blend until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.
4) Assemble cake: Arrange half of cookies in an overlapping pattern to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half of chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. Cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, and smooth top. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
5) Before serving, release sides of pan and remove waxed paper from sides. Using bottom piece of waxed paper, pull cake onto a platter; with a metal spatula, lift cake and remove waxed paper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut cake into 10 slices (wipe off knife, and dip in hot water after each slice). Yield: 10 servings.








One Year Ago Today: Marinated Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Garlic Aioli












Two Years Ago Today: Strawberry Glace Tart








You might also enjoy these recipes:
Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cheesecake - Amanda's Cookin'
Lemon Ricotta and Mascarpone Cheesecake - Italian Food Forever
Italian Ricotta Cheesecake - Sticky, Gooey, Creamy Chewy
Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake - Lazaro Cooks
Lime and Ricotta Cheesecake - Chocolate Shavings
Eggnog Ricotta Cheesecake - Baking Bites
Gingerbread Ricotta Cheesecake - Nami-Nami
Light Ricotta Cheesecake - Antics of a Cycling Cook
Ricotta Cheesecakes - The Cluttered Pantry
Ricotta Cheese Tart - Delicious Dishings

86 comments:

Pondside said...

I think I'll pass on this one - your word is good enough for me!....and I'm not a fan of cheesecake - chocolate or otherwise.

ButterYum said...

Bummer - hate when that happens. Thanks for your honest assessment of the recipe. Martha's team should go back to the drawing board on this one.

Cloudia said...

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>


><}}(°>

<°)}}><

Sunanda said...

Wow!! It has come out absolutely perfect.... love the color very much..

Sunanda's Kitchen

Kurinji said...

Cake looks so soft and yum!
Kurinjikathambam

Faith said...

Hmmm I have had a couple of duds from Martha lately....
and I have seen other people too!!! That's too bad!!! It looks beautiful!

Meg Johnston said...

There's nothing worse for a baker than your hard work going to waste Better lick next time.

Priya said...

Cake looks super irresistible, addictive and marvellous..

Jeannie said...

Your strawberry glaze tart looks better :D

Jay said...

loved your version dear..must try this one..


Tasty Appetite
Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

It's not easy for a chocoholic to look at this beautiful chocolate cake at midnight... It looks so delicious and what a perfect cake!

Coleen said...

Why is it that this kind of recipe failure usually happens when its a special occassion or company is coming? Thank you for posting this informatin, saved a lot of people from making it. Did you make the Silver Fox something else?

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I am popping over from Gg - Notes on the Journey to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for your recent support during my dad's open heart surgery. He is doing so well.

Over 60 comments with prayers and well wishes, including yours. Such sweetness. It helped me not feel quite so alone, having recently moved to Chicago.

Fondly,
Glenda

ps. It makes me smile to know that even Martha has duds.

Lenia said...

It looks so fine that makes me wanna try it!But your assessment will keep me from making it!Thanks for the honesty,dear!Have a lovely day!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

It looks fantastic but after your comments I think I will not bother to try. Disappointing especially as it was for a birthday. Have a good day. Diane

Ratolinha said...

Mas que maravilhoso bolo. Uma tentação à gula.
beijo

Sara Louise said...

My mouth is watering! I'm sucker for icebox cakes :-)

Ana Rita said...

It looks perfect but then again...

Kisses,
Rita

tandysinclair.com said...

thank you for your honesty when writing a recipe! Have a blessed day :)

Treat and Trick said...

Tempting and beautiful looking cake!

Suman Singh said...

Drooling..I want to have a slice of that cake now!Looks divine!!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

That looks absolutley PERFECT. How incredibly delicious. A perfect summer dessert.
Mary

Debbie said...

Ugh - I hate when I take the time and buy the ingredients to make something and it's a dud. It just drives me crazy!!! I know the feeling too when you realize that something is not quite right. I have learned though to not let it get to me. I used to literally fling things like this in the trash and swear to never bake again!!! LOL....I have to say though that the cake does look wonderful!

Angie's Recipes said...

Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy this cheesecake. However, it does look pretty nice to me.

The Blonde Duck said...

Just like icebox pie!

Kim said...

Oh! even Martha has flaws... I never tought something like this:) Be sure that I will follow your advices and never prepare this cake:)

Clint said...

Well, now I have found something else I like about you----you are human! Another reason I cannot miss your daily posts.

Cooking Creation said...

I hate when that happens and it must have been especially hard when it happens with cheesecake!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Mary, I am still holding my sides from the chuckle I am enjoying! So sorry your cake was less than expected, but I am sure it was delicious despite its not meeting your high standards. I so enjoyed that even you occasionally have outcomes that do not please yourself. Gives us mere mortals hope. ;) I am sure whatever you whip up today will wipe this experience right out of your mind! blessings ~ tanna

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Too bad it stunk because it looks really good! Disappointing :(

Rita said...

It looks good but... You are inspring me to post my recipe for a tried and true recipe that I have been making for 40 years. Frozen Mocha Cheesecake.
Stay tuned.
Rita

dr.antony said...

Tempting,though I try my level best to resist.That strawberry tart looks heavenly!

bellini said...

It's sad when we have such high expectations and are let down.Ricotta just wouldn't add the tang that a cheesecake made with creamed cheese we know and love.:D

The Harried Cook said...

Ugh! Hate when that happens! But if it's any consolation - you still managed to make it look delicious :) I feel the same way about reading reviews. I am nervous cooking from cookbooks these days, because I am so dependent on reviews :)

Kat said...

Sorry this didn't work out for you. Over the years, I have tried a couple of Martha's recipes and was never impressed. I am not sure if any of the recipes are tested before they are posted on her site.

Jenn said...

Sorry to hear it didn't deliver because it sure does look good. I think I will definitely take your advice though and skip this one.... but it sure does look good!!! :)

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

I have to say though that sometime the comments are wrong and you have to go on your own judgement, it's a learning curve! But for what it's worth you have photographed it beautifully and it looks very good :)

Mickey said...

Been there. It does look beautiful though :)
mickey

Young Adventures... said...

That is disappointing Mary! Well, it looks and sounds delish. Thanks for giving us the heads up that it wasn't a winner.

yummychunklet said...

Ooh, thanks for the tip. I may have to give this cake a pass. Though, yours looks tasty!

June said...

Gosh, I'm sorry Mary. Don't you hate when that happens? I've had several Martha duds myself and consequently don't go there much anymore.

Marmande in the Kitchen said...

That's such a bummer when a recipe doesn't turn out. I have actually experienced that more than once with recipes from that source, hmm. It looks pretty, though!

Emily Malloy said...

I haaaaaaaaaaaaate duds! I've had too many from Martha.

Freakin' Martha.

sweet road said...

this looks easy enough... i'll try it!

Faith said...

Oh no, sorry this didn't turn out as hoped! It can be so frustrating when that happens...

Hope you have a wonderful day, Mary!

Gloria said...

Mary,Mary, this look absolutely amazing and yummy!! wonderful! gloria

Wendy Irene said...

I'm going to follow your advice and start reading the comments to new recipes :) That is a great idea!

Sarah Walton - The Hedonista said...

Thanks for commenting on my site - it helped me to find you! what lovely posts, recipes and tips. Looking forward to keeping up with your work

Stefania said...

Deliziosa torta al cioccolato
ciao

The Sweetylicious said...

this look so chocolaty and delicious! (:

balancejoyanddelicias said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. You have some wonderful recipes. I love ricotta and chocolate, this cake looks delicious!

Holly said...

Definitley had my share of recipe fails. Too bad cause it looks good. : (

Ilke said...

You know I have heard the same comment for some other dessert recipes from Martha's page or magazines. Maybe they just put the recipe without even testing, or the test kitchen chefs might not have sweet tooth or something. Thanks for the review. I also made a mousse from her site, and found it lacking taste a couple months ago, it just went to the trash bin because we did not care for it. No Martha recipes for a while!

Ola said...

I'm a ricotta and chocolate maniac - you took my heart by this recipe :) Have a great day!

Miriam said...

It may not have turned out, but the pictures are lovely :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

That Girl said...

My cake experiments have been a little hit out miss lately too.

From the Kitchen said...

Yesterday my husband said he was going to make a ginger cake. Good, I thought--something that I can post while "under the weather". My first bite told me something was not right. It was spicy hot on my ailing tongue. "This is really gingery" I gasped. "How much ginger?" "Three tablespoons" he answered. WHAT? I looked at the recipe from the Chicago Tribune and that's what it called for--obviously a mistake. You win some and lose some! Your icebox cake looks good.

Best,
Bonnie

Mamatkamal said...

Oh, even Martha is not perfect! I thought I was the only one who has hard time with cheese cakes! Thanks for your assessment of the recipe, this will for sure help lots of bakers who would like to try this recipe in future. Have a great day Mary!
Cheers

sara said...

Hm, it doesn't seem like there are enough ingredients! I have started reading comments on recipe sites more and more; sometimes they are very helpful. Thanks for the review!

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

I understand how disappointing it is to spend a long time creating something that does not work. I definitely will not be trying this one. :) With cheesecake the recipe really does make a huge difference.

Catherine said...

Sounds delicious. blessings, Catherine

cajunlicious said...

Such a bummer Mary, but it looks great.

meeshiesmom said...

I'm not a fan of cheescake, but I agree with your advice. I always read the comments for a recipe that is out of my comfort zone. Sorry that it didn't work out, but I think I lke these kinds of posts almost as much as the ones that have great results. We've all been there...

Tracy said...

Too bad this is one case where form definitely takes a distance second to function. and fun.. or the lack there of.
I suppose if you're going to be disappointed at least this is a beautiful one.

L.T. said...

I love you honesty!

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

well...it sure does look beautiful! Sometimes I wonder if outlets like MS ever even kitchen try out the recipe before they publish it?? you gotta wonder. Have a great day Mary!

Swathi said...

Icebox cake looks delicious with ricotta cheese and chocolate.

Rambling Tart said...

Oh Mary, you made me laugh today. :-) I love that you posted a flop. It LOOKS amazingly good. How disappointing to spend so much time and effort on something that did not work. :-(

Sue said...

I hate when that happens, but it sure LOOKS beautiful!

Pegasuslegend said...

I love the way this looks I truly want to try this and printed it out... now reading your reviews I diffinitely am not too sure knowing your opinion would surely make me reconsider.. I love the chocolate and just am use to Grandma's lemon flavor, thanks for your reviews.. I am torn on this one.. the family loves the chocolate and havent tried yet!

Joanne said...

Oh no! What a sad fate for that good chocolate!

Pacheco Patty said...

I saw the name of your cake and thought, probably just like you, wow this sure sounds good. Too bad, how disappointing especially when you use all those ingredients and the result is more of a dud than the delicious cake you were expecting. I've tried recipes for cookies from MS that I thought were disappointing, oh well, baker beware!

Elaine said...

How disappointing, especially since you were doing this for the Silver Fox's birthday! Thank you for going ahead and posting it and for reminding us about the importance of reading reader comments.

Design Wine and Dine said...

Hmmm, it still looks delicious but I'll take your word!

Tender Branson said...

I've been reading comments on sites for the exact same reason. Don't have the time to try things out that turn out blah. I've found martha's stuff can either be really good or really lackluster.

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

Ok, but it LOOKS good. :) Sorry I've been awol - Blogger has not been loading for me for days - it took 3 tries to get to you tonight, too! Hope your hubby had a wonderful birthday just the same.

Al Dente Gourmet said...

Oooh, This looks absolutely superb--My mouth is watering now :) Loving this recipe and I'd definitely must try this fabulous combination!

Hugs,

Aldy.

Nuts about food said...

It looks really good and was thinking of trying it until I read the post. It is so true, it is so important to read comments. Just because something is online it doesn't mean it is foolproof, or good! Thank you for reminding us!

My Little Space said...

Bookmark this recipe, Mary. It sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy & have a lovely day.
Kristy

Spicegirl said...

I've had a few Martha duds as well. Too bad about this one, I've really enjoyed baking with ricotta lately and thought it would be fun to try it in a cake.

Stacey Snacks said...

I am so surprised, since Martha's baking recipes are usually pretty reliable, and a ricotta cheesecake can't be beat.....but I will take your advice and skip it!

Lucie said...

Oh no--it sure looked nice! Glad to read about recipes not to try though!

Kate said...

You know, it's not all that often I see people post recipes and commentary about things that DIDN'T work. That's really helpful, honestly, and I loved this post as a result!

It's sort of like a bad book review...tells me what NOT to try!

Lori said...

The idea of the cake sounds really fabulous. Too bad it did not work out. I have to say in my experience I have had several Martha recipes that went awry. Same thing- I should have heeded the warning signs but pressed on. Convinced of her vast knowledge base. Now I mainly use her recipes as a guide if I use them=basically not trusting her baked stuff unless I have seen similar things done.

Veggiechiliqueen said...

We made a version of this in a cooking class, except it also had 1/2 cup mascarpone and only 1/2 cup whipping cream. I just tried making the recipe at home using 1 cup mascarpone and skipping the 1/2cup heavy cream. The texture is softer (like tiramisu), but perfectly smooth (not grainy; I thought I was going to burn out my Cuisinart motor trying to get it smooth!!). It still seems to lack flavor, though, and it was certainly expensive to make (I paid close to $10 for the ricotta, about $6 for the mascarpone and $4 for the chocolate wafers). Wish I'd read the comments at Martha Stewart first!!!

Veggiechiliqueen said...

We made a very similar version in a cooking class that called for 1/2 cup mascarpone and 1/2 cup whipped cream; we had the same issue of trying to fold the cream into the chocolate mixture (it ended up like concrete!). I just tried making the recipe at home using 1 cup mascarpone instead of the cream, and the texture is perfectly velvety like tiramisu, but it still seems to be lacking in flavor despite the high-end chocolate. Wish I'd read this blog (and the comments over at Martha Stewart) before spending $20 on ingredients!!

AddThis

Related Posts with Thumbnails