One of my favorite holidays is Easter. The weather is so pretty and I always feel inspired to bake as many Easter breads and treats as I can in one short weekend. I baked this Easter Chocolate Chip and Ricotta Ciambellone for a big Italian party we were at on Easter Sunday.
This Easter party was a a very late lunch. It wasn’t a brunch and it was way too early to be considered dinner. Everyone contributed by bringing something sweet or savory. Almost all of the guests were Italians from Italy. I knew I had to make some typical Italian Easter breads and also make something that everyone would like. This Chocolate Chip and Ricotta Ciambellone (ring cake)was just the perfect treat! I had quite a lot of ricotta on hand as I made a pizza rustica (pizza gain-pizza chiena)and also a pastiera Napoletana. I also made this Crescia al Formaggio, which goes just perfectly with Prosecco and different salumeria.
I was a little nervous about how the Italian ladies would react to my contribution. I know that in every region a dish is made a little differently and also I know that many Italian women are picky about something being called “Italian”. Imagine my delight when everyone was oohing and ahhhing over everything I made. One of the guests named Laura was curious as to what kind of ricotta I used. She explained that when her mom visits from Sicily, she makes her own ricotta to make some Easter treats. I told her there just wasn’t enough time in the day for me to make ricotta and that I used the brand Galbani. She was super interested to try it and really liked the texture and the flavor. I know how good homemade ricotta is. Maybe another time I’ll plan better and make my own ricotta for the sweet and savory Easter treats, but in the meantime, the one I used worked out just fine!
Easter Chocolate Chip and Ricotta Ciambellone
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 butter melted
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 Tablespoon lemon liqueur or lemon juice
- zest of one organic lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- malted Easter eggs for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour Bundt pan (or you could use baking spray, as I did).
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff. Remove from the mixer and add to small bowl; set aside.
- In the bowl of the mixer, beat the butter, ricotta and sugar until blended, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the egg yolks one at a time.
- Add the lemon liqueur (or juice), zest and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fold in the egg whites a little bit at a time until incorporated.
- Spoon into prepared cake pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes
- Every oven is different so check your cake with a skewer at about 35 minutes to see if done.
- Let cool and remove from cake pan. Dust with confectioner's sugar.
- Decorate with malted Easter eggs in the middle if serving for Easter.