I dream of Chicho | Blueberry Ricotta Dream Cake

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but guys, this may be the best thing I’ve ever made. At least, it is according to my guinea pigs work friends who test most of my baking experiments.

Flour and Stone may very well be my favourite cafe/bakery in the country. There’s no sprinkles, no #trendspo, no unicorn coloured anything in their kitchen. Nadine Ingram and her team keep it simple, a little nostalgic. But what it all is, most importantly, is very, very good.

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Nadine’s Lemon Dream cake is insanely popular – a simple sponge-like cake, topped with crunchy meringue and smothered with whipped cream and lemon curd. It’s an OG crowd pleaser, and rightly so.

A little closer to home is the crew from Chicho Gelato. I love them for the same reasons – Chez and Carly buck trends while pushing the boundaries of traditional gelato flavours. Their frequent collaborations with other local chefs produce outstanding results, and I firmly believe them to make the best gelato in Perth.

On a steamy February night, my friends and I joined the crowd lining up to get into Chicho’s William Street gelateria. I’m not a strong decision maker at the best of times, and picking a single flavour from the menu was proving to be an antagonising Sophie’s choice situation. My innie-meenie-minie-mo method of making a decision in a hurry settled on the blueberry and ricotta, and, well, you know what they say about history.

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It was creamy but not so smooth to be textureless. Not too sweet. A hint of lemon? Regardless, it was love at first taste. A standard so high, I may very well be ruined for all gelato forever (yes, that is Careless Whisper you can hear playing in the background).

So, I’ve combined my two great loves into one, and I present to you the Blueberry Ricotta Dream Cake. It’s messy and rustic, crumbly and moreish. I promise you, you’ll want to eat this every single day.

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Blueberry Ricotta Dream Cake

Adapted from Gourmet Traveller

250 gm butter, softened
250 gm caster sugar
2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
4 eggs, lightly beaten
225 gm self-raising flour
25 gm cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
50 ml milk

Meringue
180 gm eggwhites (from about 4 eggs)
300 gm caster sugar

Blueberry curd – I used this recipe

Ricotta cream – I used this recipe, with a little added lemon zest.

 

Preheat your oven to 160C. Line two equal-sized cake tins with baking paper, and grease well. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat together with sugar, butter, and vanilla for 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down between additions until completely combined.

Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl in two batches, folding gently. Add the milk, and fold to incorporate. Divide the batter between the two cake tins and set aside.

To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add the sugar, spoonful by spoonful, and continue whisking until a firm peak is held, and the mixture is glossy. Spread half the meringue over each of the cakes, swirling for decoration.

Place the cakes in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes and the meringue is golden. Due to the meringue layer, you can’t test the cake for doneness, so if in doubt leave in the oven for an extra couple of minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin. Once cool and ready to assemble, spread the ricotta cream then blueberry curd over the bottom cake, then sandwich the ‘prettier’ of the two cakes on top. Dust with icing sugar, then serve.

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Note: The blueberry curd can be made a week in advance, the ricotta cream about three days in advance, if you want to make things easy on yourself.

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