Mini Ricotta Honey Cakes

mini ricotta honey cakes

These mini cakes combine moist mini honey ricotta cupcakes topped with whipped ricotta, blackberries and pistachios. Drizzle the whole thing with more wildflower honey and you have one tasty bite (or two)!

mini ricotta honey cakes

How pretty is a blackberry sliced in half? I didn't have plans to slice them but they were so large a whole berry was just going to be too much. I'm glad I did!

mini ricotta honey cakes

Mini Ricotta Honey Cakes

mini ricotta honey cakes

Ricotta Honey Cakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup ricotta, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons wildflower honey
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Whipped Ricotta Cream

  • 2 cups ricotta, drained
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Garnish

  • blackberries
  • pistachios 
  • more wildflower honey for drizzling

Ricotta Honey Cakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a mini cupcake pan by lightly greasing or adding cupcake liners. 

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. 

In a second bowl, mix together ricotta, eggs, sugar, honey, orange zest, vanilla bean paste and orange juice until just combined. Gently fold the ricotta mixture into the dry ingredients. Once it comes together, mix in the melted butter. 

Spoon the batter into the cupcake pan and fill 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 10-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the sides just begin to brown. 

Whipped Ricotta Cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the ricotta, sugar, cream, and orange zest with the whisk attachment. Once combined, increase the speed to high and whisk until thickened and smooth. 

Top the cooled cakes with a dollop of the whipped ricotta cream. Add blackberries and sprinkle with pistachio pieces. Drizzle each cake with wildflower honey just before serving. 

Makes ~3 dozen mini cupcakes

*To drain the ricotta I wrapped it in cheesecloth and squeezed out the extra moisture. Don't skip this step. It is key to getting the right consistency for both the whipped ricotta topping and cake batter. 

mini ricotta honey cakes
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart

This tart combines a silky blueberry buttermilk filling with a sharp, buttery shortbread crust and is topped with a warm cinnamon almond crumble. The crumble is your favorite part of a blueberry muffin baked off just by itself and sprinkled on top of the creamy tart after baking.

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart-6.jpg

I did some experimenting with the crumble topping. First, I added it to the tart half way through baking but the crumb still sunk to the bottom of the tart and didn't add the texture that I was looking for. Baking it off separately allowed for a crunchy texture that balanced out the creaminess of the filling.

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart-3.jpg

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart-5.jpg

Lemon Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt

Blueberry Buttermilk Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Cinnamon Almond Crumb

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

lemon shortbread crust:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees f. 

Cream together the butter and confectioners sugar for a full minute until it has lightened in color and is fluffy. Then add the egg yolk, salt, and lemon zest and mix until it comes together. Add the flour in to the mixture gradually and mix until it forms a dough. It will start out dry and crumbly but keep going and it will all come together. Once the dough comes together, let rest for 5 minutes to firm up. 

Then, roll the dough gently on a floured surface into roughly an 10 inch circle. Place the dough in a  9 inch tart pan and use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom and side. Pinch together any cracks. Use the side of a measuring cup to press the dough into the sides and cut off any excess from the top of the pan. 

Generously dock the bottom and sides of the dough and par bake for 8-10 minutes until it begins to brown. 

Remove the crust, let cool while you prepare the filling and lower the oven temperature to 350 degree F. 

Blueberry buttermilk filling:

Whisk together eggs until frothy. Then add butter, sugar, pinch of salt and flour and mix. Make sure you are using softened butter (like sitting on the counter over night softened butter). Add in buttermilk, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and mix until everything comes together. If you still have some small lumps of butter that is okay. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and top with a scattering of fresh blueberries. 

Place the tart in the oven for 35-40 minutes until set. 

Cinnamon almond crumble topping:

Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt together with your hands until it forms the texture of wet sand and forms crumbs. Mix in the almonds and place on a cookie sheet lining with a silicon mat or parchment paper. 

When there is 20 minutes left on the tart, add the crumble topping to the oven and bake until it begins to brown

Blueberry Buttermilk Tart-7.jpg
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Chocolate Cherry Shortcake

Chocolate Cherry Shortcake-5.jpg

I've made several versions of this recipe. First, the biscuits were pretty but didn't have much chocolate flavor. Then, they were yummy but not very pretty. After a few more tries and experimenting, I think I've got the recipe pinned down. Yummy flavor and pretty to look at too. You eat with your eyes first, right? 

Chocolate Cherry Shortcake-2.jpg

Summer cherries really shine in the adaption of the southern strawberry shortcake. Although the addition of the amaretto is optional to the whipped cream and cherry filling it really brings out the cherry flavor. 

CHOCOLATE CHEERY SHORTCAKE

Chocolate Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk 
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate coarsely chopped chips
  • course sanding sugar and sliced almonds for topping

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees  and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, stir together the first five ingredients. Break up any lumps and then add the cubed butter. Using your hands work the butter into the flour mixture. Gently press the butter between your thumbs and forefingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Don't go overboard on this however, incorporating the butter too much can result in a crumbly biscuit. Then, gradually add the buttermilk while mixing. I like to continue to use my hands but feel free to use a spatula. Just as the dough begins to come together mix in chocolate pieces. All of the flour mixture my still not be incorporated at this point and that is okay.

Once the chocolate is incorporated into the dough turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Turn the dough on itself 5-6 times until until it fully comes together. Gently pat the dough into a round about one inch thick. Using a 3 inch round cutter, cut out  biscuits. Bring the scraps together and cut out the remaining biscuits.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator until firm about 20 minutes (5 minutes in the freezer if you're in a hurry). Since we incorporated sugar into our dough, it can cause the biscuits to spread like a cookie inside of rise like a biscuits. So, like preventing cookies from spreading we need to chill the dough before baking. DO NOT skip this step. Unless you would like chocolate blobs instead of biscuits. ;)

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. With  about 5 minute left in the oven, remove the dough from the refrigerator and brush the tops with a little more buttermilk. Then, sprinkle them genourously with sanding sugar and almond slices. It is harder to check for doneness with a chocolate dough. Since well, they are already brown! Look for the exterior of the biscuit to dry and that the color has actually lightened slightly. You can also use a toothpick and check that it comes out almost clean. 

Allow the biscuits to cool completely before assembly.

Sweet Cherry Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups whole pitted sweet cherries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon amaretto (optional)
  • pinch of salt

In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the cherries and water. Cover the mixture and let cook until the cherries release their juices and become soft about 8-10 minutes. 

Then, mix together the sugar and corn starch. Remove the cherries from the heat and stir in the sugar and corn starch mixture. 

Return the pan to the heat and cook on low. Heat the mixture until thicken and all of the corn starch has been cooked off, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and amaretto. Make sure to do this on low heat so that the filling will not thicken too much before all of the corn starch has cooked off. 

If your sauce does thicken before the cornstarch taste is removed. Add a little water and continue to cook until thick and no cornstarch taste is left. 

Amaretto Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto 

With a whisk by hand or using a stand mixer, whisk the cream until it starts to thicken. Then, add the sugar and continue to beat until you reach the desired consistency. Once your cream and sugar has been whipped add the amaretto and fold in until incorporated. 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Fresh Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie-2.jpg

This pie is a great use for the abundance of tomatoes and fresh herbs this time of year. The tomatoes are drained before being added to the pie to prevent the pie from becoming too soggy. Top with more of your favorite fresh summer herbs and serve with a simple salad for a light summer meal. 

Fresh Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie-3.jpg

Fresh Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie-6.jpg

Ingredients:

  • Store bought or your favorite pie crust recipe
  • 2 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, chives and a little lemon thyme)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano

Instructions:

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with the salt and sugar and let sit for 30 minutes and then flip slices and sit for another 30. 

While your slices drain, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare the pie dough and place in a 9 inch pie pan. Dock the dough on the bottom and sides and use a fork or spoon to flute the edges. Place the pie dough in the oven to blind bake for 9-11 minutes until slightly brown. 

While your dough is blind baking, in a medium pan place butter, sliced onion and a sprinkling of salt on medium heat. Caramelize the onions and keep stirring periodically until they are nice and brown. If the edge start to burn you can add little water to the pan. Once, your onions are caramelized set them aside. 

Remove the pie crust from the oven and let cool slightly. Then, reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F. 

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, gruyere, and parmigiano reggiano. 

Layer the drained tomato slices, chopped fresh herbs and caramelized onions into the pan. Then, top with cheese mixture. I also held back a few slices to top the pie. 

Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is bubbly and brown. 

Let the pie cool before slicing but it can be served warm or at room temperature. 

Fresh Tomato Pie
Fresh Tomato Pie
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Brown Butter Cookies

Fresh peach ice cream is sandwiched between two brown butter, brown sugar, ginger cookies. Then, the sandwiches are drizzled with white chocolate and sprinkled with crystalized ginger. The cookies are spicy and buttery and the ice cream is refreshing and a little tangy. 

Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches-1.jpg

One of my favorite summer treats is fresh peach ice cream. I made David Lebovitz's peach ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop but you can use your favorite peach ice cream recipe or pick up your favorite brand from the market. His recipe is delicious and if you don't own the book and want to make ice cream at home, you should pick it up. 

Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches-5.jpg

Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Brown Sugar Cookies

Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches-4.jpg
  • your favorite peach ice cream
  • white chocolate for drizzling
  • diced crystalized ginger for garnish

Ginger Brown Butter Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • additional brown sugar for rolling

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick). As, the butter melts and begins to bubble, the milk solids will rise to the top. Continue to cook the butter until the milk solids turn brown, fall to the bottom and begins to have a nutty aroma. Keep a watchful eye and be careful not to burn the butter. 

Remove the butter from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and let cool while you gather the remaining ingredients. 

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the cooled brown butter, and remaining 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter together until fully combined. Then, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. 

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until the dough comes just together. 

Chill the dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until firm. Scoop the dough by the tablespoon and then roll in the additional brown sugar. Then, place dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet and press down slightly to flatten. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the sides just begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Once cooled, sandwich a scoop of softened peach ice-cream between two cookies. Drizzle the tops with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crystalized ginger pieces. 

You can enjoy the ice-cream sandwiches immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer to enjoy later. 

With this recipe, I made 12 ice cream sandwiches with a few cookies to spare. 

 

Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches-3.jpg
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bourbon Summer Fruit Cobbler

Bourbon Summer Fruit Cobbler

This is every girls favorite "a cup, a cup, a cup" peach cobbler turned up a notch. Why stop at just peaches? Throw in some more of your favorite summer fruits, like blueberries and sweet cherries. Then add brown sugar and every southerners favorite libation... bourbon and you have an impressive Sunday supper dessert. 

Bourbon Summer Fruit Cobbler

Bourbon Summer Fruit Cobbler

Bourbon Summer Fruit Cobbler
  • 2 cups sliced peaches (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup pitted halved sweet cherries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • more dark brown sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Mix together the sliced peaches, cherries, and blueberries with the bourbon and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Let that sit while you mix together the rest of the batter. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the white sugar and flour. While stirring, mix in the milk gradually until all flour and any lumps are incorporated. 

Pour the melted butter into a seasoned cast iron skillet. Then, pour batter mixture over butter. Scatter the fruit on top. Then, sprinkle over any juice/bourbon that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle a little more dark brown sugar on top and place the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cobbler is bubbly and has begun to brown. 

Serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream. 

Bourbon Summer Fruit Cobbler
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Plum Upside Down Cake

This cake is the perfect use for summer stone fruit. You could even switch out the plums for whatever your favorite summer stone fruit might be. Cherries, peaches, apricots, any of these would be delicious. The almond cake base complements the sweetness but also the tartness of the plums. To play off of this tang, I like to top this cake with a little sweetened sour cream but whipped cream would be equally delicious. 

Plum Upside Down Cake-4.jpg

Plum Upside Down Cake

Plum Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe red plums
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Sliced toasted almonds and confectioners sugar for garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and place it on an baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Believe me, you don't want to do this after adding the cake batter to the pan. Unless you enjoy cleaning up buttery plum syrup. Also, always hold a springform pan from the bottom not the sides. Learn from my mistakes lol)

Thinly slice the plums and arrange them in a single layer in the prepared springform pan. Then, sprinkle the plums with the brown sugar. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and pour over the plums while warm. Let that sit while you prepare the cake batter. 

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together flour, almond meal flour, baking powder, and salt. 

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time. Once combined add the extracts. Then, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined. 

Add the batter on top of the sliced plums in the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove the side from the cake.  Place a serving dish over the top of the cake and then invert and remove the bottom of the pan. If any syrup or plum sticks just place it back on the cake top. (Nothing a little powdered sugar and almonds can't cover)

Sprinkle with toasted slice almonds and confectioners sugar. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature but I prefer it warm. 

I also topped each slice with a little sweetened sour cream. Just mix 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar in 1 cup of sour cream and dollop on top. 

Plum Upside Down Cake
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream Slice

4th of July Ice Cream Slice-2 copy.jpg

This patriotic dessert is perfect for your 4th of July cookout. Everything comes together easily and you can even use store bought cookie dough for the crust. Just combine your favorite vanilla bean ice cream with fresh berries for a refreshing and creamy red, white, and blue slice. The hardest part of the recipe is waiting overnight for it to set. 

4th of July Ice Cream Slice-1 copy.jpg

Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream Slice

Ingredients:

  • 4 pints softened vanilla bean ice cream or gelato
  • handful of diced strawberries
  • handful of diced blueberries
  • handful of sliced raspberries

Cookie Crust

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

Add the egg to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually add flour and baking powder and beat until the dough comes just together. 

Add the dough to the prepared cookie sheet. Shape and roll the dough into roughly a 10 by 5 inch rectangle. (The dough will spread and cookie will be trimmed. So, no need to be perfect.) Chill the dough and pan in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until firm. 

Bake the cookie rectangle for 20 minutes or until the sides just begin to brown. Let cool on pan. 

While your cookie is cooling, prepare a 1.5 pound loaf pan by lining with plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap extends over the sides so that it can cover all of the contents.

Layer the softened (not soupy) ice cream and diced berries into the prepared loaf pan. Using a spoon or spatula gently smooth the ice cream and push down into the corners so that the pan is completely filled. Top with the cooled cookie and with a sharp knife trim any overlap off the sides. Cover the entire thing with the plastic wrap. Chill in the freezer overnight, 6 to 8 hours. 

Un-mold the ice cream and top with more fresh berries. (The berries are frozen in the photos but I prefer, for texture, to add the fresh berries right before serving.) You can use a knife or off set spatula dipped in warm water to help un-mold the ice cream and also smooth the sides of any creases from the plastic wrap.

4th of July Ice Cream Slice-3 copy.jpg