Holiday Cake: Torta di Ricotta e Candita

THIS IS NOT A FRUITCAKE! (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

I love a good fruitcake, filled with nuts and spices and good candied fruit, if you can find good !!! (also known as "Fruit GlacĂ©" in France, and "Frutti Candita" in Italy.

The title of the cake is in Italian, only because I used my special stash of Italian glazed candied fruit (frutti candita) that I brought back in my luggage on my last trip to Venice.

I have had it over a year wrapped in the fridge, using it oh so sparingly.

What am I saving it for? 
The time is now.   Enjoy your life! 
Use that candied fruit in the back of the fridge, damn it!

I made a luxurious ricotta cake and added the special confections.   I used candied whole Sicilian clementines, red & green cherries and candied zucca (some sort of square of pale colored squash, which I diced up).   I also added in dark and golden raisins.

Of course I know it is impossible to get this kind of fruit in the States.....I have tried without any luck.  When lockdown is over, first thing I am doing is going to Italy to buy more of this goodness.  :)

This would be the perfect cake for the holidays......and you could always glaze the fruit yourself!!!   (just a thought).

Here is how I made it:

1 1/4 cups white sugar
10 tablespoons of butter (1 stick, plus 2 tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 eggs
15 oz. of fresh ricotta
zest of 1 orange & lemon
1/3 cup of golden and dark raisins
7 oz good quality candied fruit (candied orange, squash, & cherries)

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder

confectioners sugar for dusting (plus about 1/4 cup to mix in with the fruit to prevent sticking)

In a small bowl, toss the candied fruit with confectioners sugar (about 1/4 cup).  This will prevent the fruit from sticking together.

With a paddle attachment of a mixer (or your muscles), beat the sugar with butter and extracts for 2 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, then add in the zests and ricotta cheese.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients. You don't want to overmix the batter.

Add in the raisins and the candied fruit and mix together.  The batter will be very thick.

You can bake this in a 9" round pan or 9" loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 325F and bake for 30 minutes more.

Let rest a few minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.  

Dust with confectioner's sugar.

This cake stays MOIST for days and freezes beautifully.


Ciao Chow Linda said…
I'm a big fan of pound cakes -- and dried fruits, especially in winter. I posted a pound cake with dried fruits on my blog a couple of years ago, but I didn't have these delectable ones from Italy, alas. You know, these beautiful dried fruits (and veggies like the zucca) are used in mostarda, a condiment that is right up your alley. It's served mostly with bollito misto, but would be great on a cheese platter too. Look it up -- I have a feeling that you will make these with your next batch of dried fruit from Italy. Oh, and that wrapping paper surrounding the dried fruit is really special too.
Unknown said…
Agree with everything Linda said, I went crazy for mostarda in Florence, and even made my own once I returned home. This cake looks scrumptious!
Bebe said…
Lest anyone be confused, with the exception of the dark and golden raisins, the fruits are glaceed - candied - not dried. The ones from Provence are wonderful because they are succulent, not gummy.
Anonymous said…
Hoping to make it this coming weekend. Just want to confirm one step.

The instructions reference: "In a small bowl, toss the candied fruit with confectioners sugar (about1/4 cup)."

Is the 1/4 cup sugar in addition to the 1 1/4 cups of sugar that is mixed with the butter?
Stacey Snacks said…

Toss the candied fruit with 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.....this will prevent the fruit from sticking together.

That has nothing to do with the 1 1/4 c regular white granulated sugar (not confectioners) that the recipe calls for.

The powdered sugar is completely separate.