Ricotta Nut Torte

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Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 12 servings

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

•2 cartons (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
•1-1/2 cups sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 cup chopped Diamond of California® Pecans
•1 milk chocolate candy bar (7 ounces), grated

BATTER:
•2/3 cup shortening
•1-2/3 cups sugar
•3 eggs
•1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon salt
•1-1/4 cups 2% milk

FROSTING:
•2 cups heavy whipping cream
•1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•Whole hazelnuts and chocolate curls, optional

Method

•For filling, in a small bowl, beat ricotta cheese and sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla. Fold in pecans and chocolate. Cover and refrigerate.
• In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
• Pour into three waxed paper-lined 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
• Cut each cake in half. Place one bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup filling. Repeat layers four times. Top with remaining cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
• In a large bowl, beat cream until thickened. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over top and sides of cake. Garnish with hazelnuts and chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

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