About this recipe:This pretty cake is quick and easy, but still delicious and impressive. It is made by layering a sweetened soft cheese mixture, syrup-dipped sponge fingers and cherry jam.
200g ricotta cheese or fromage frais (8% fat)
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
few drops of pure almond extract
24 trifle sponge fingers (boudoir biscuits)
6 tbsp cherry jam
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
6 whole fresh cherries (optional)
sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
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Method Prep:2hr20min › Ready in:2hr20min
Beat the soft cheese with 75g of the sugar and the vanilla extract.
Gently heat 6 tbsp of water in a saucepan with the remaining sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the almond extract then pour into a shallow dish and leave to cool.
Line a rectangular loaf tin, measuring 20 x 10cm and 7cm deep, with cling film, leaving enough excess hanging over the sides so as to cover the dessert before chilling it.
Briefly dip eight of the sponge fingers in the syrup. Arrange them, side by side, in the tin, sugar-side down. (Dip the biscuits just enough to flavour them, but do not soak or they will break up.)
Spread with half the cherry jam, then half the soft cheese mixture. Put another layer of eight syrup-dipped biscuits on top, the rest of the jam, then the remaining cheese mixture.
Finish with the remaining biscuits, dipped in the syrup. Wrap the film over the top, put a rectangular piece of cardboard on top and lightly weigh it down. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, peel back the film and carefully turn the cake upside down onto a serving plate. Remove the film. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and decorate with fresh cherries and sprigs of mint, if liked. Serve cut into six slices.
For an adult flavour, replace the almond essence with 1 tbsp Kirsch.