Have you ever found yourself with lots of ricotta and had no idea what to do with it? Well you’ll never have that problem again, because you’ll know that this is what you should do with it! These Ricotta “Lattes” are a fun, easy, no-bake, no-cook dessert that are seriously delicious. A perfect summer dessert.
Not a drink – a perfect, no bake summer dessert recipe, perfect for summer entertaining.
When I was in Toronto last, I stopped by my favourite cheese maker/Italian market and stocked up on goodies. Their house-made ricotta was 2 containers for $6. So tempting, although I wasn’t sure I really needed two. I bought two anyway. And then, when I was checking out, they gave me yet another container of ricotta, for spending over $50. And then there were three.
Madly searching for ricotta ideas, I came across a fun and easy dessert from Giada De Laurentiis that she called Ricotta Cappuccino. This is my take on her idea. I decided mine is a latte, since I added a mascarpone whipped cream on top, which sort of reminded me of the steamed milk froth (if you use your imagination :).
Beyond a great way to use up ricotta, I might suggest these Ricotta Lattes are quite possibly the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. First, they’re easy to make and involve absolutely no-baking or cooking. No oven to heat up the house in the hot summer months. Secondly, you can make these ahead, both the puddings and the whipped mascarpone topping. And finally, this dessert is light, not too sweet and refreshingly cool for a warm weather after-dinner treat. These are probably best suited for adults, due to the coffee flavour, but any kids who enjoy a Starbucks frappuccino, will certainly not object to these, I suspect.
As I mentioned, I started with store-made fresh ricotta, which is nice and dry. The supermarket kind will work just fine, though you’ll want to drain off any excess liquid before pureeing. As for the mascarpone, you don’t need a lot. A small container is all you need. You could also make your own, if you like! I do recommend using a food processor, if you have one, as it will make the smoothest pudding. A blender would be a second choice and if all else fails a hand or stand mixer. It will still taste delicious, it may not be quite as smooth, though.
The mascarpone whipped cream topping is really stable, so you can whip it up and pipe a few hours ahead, refrigerate and it will be just fine. Sprinkle with crushed biscotti just before serving though, so it doesn’t get soggy.
I just put a small dollop of the mascarpone whipped cream here, so you could see the pudding. In real life, I use more (covering the top) and I suggest you do too, because it’s delectably delicious. It’s also a great foil against the espresso pudding. I used cinnamon biscotti, but almost any flavour would work here – almond or even chocolate, would be especially nice.
- Ricotta Espresso Pudding:
- 400 g. (14 oz.) ricotta cheese (drained of excess liquid, if necessary)
- 1/4 cup mascarpone
- 1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp. espresso powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
- Mascarpone Whipped Cream:
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1/2 cup mascarpone, cold
- 2 Tbsp. icing (confectioner's) sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream, for thinning, if necessary
- 4 Biscotti (any flavour), homemade or store-bought, crushed, for garnish
- For the puddings: If your ricotta is liquidy, drain through a fine-mesh strainer. Add ricotta to your food processor and process until very smooth, scraping down the sides a couple of times, about 2-3 minutes. Add the mascarpone, vanilla, espresso powder and icing sugar. Process again, scraping down the sides at least once, until very smooth and combined. Taste for sweetness, and add a bit more, if you like. Note that the coffee flavour will strengthen a bit as it sits. Spoon mixture into serving small coffee/tea cups or individual dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- For the whipped cream: Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and icing sugar and whip until combined and stiff. Add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream if whip is too thick. You can pipe onto puddings now, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or you can just refrigerate whipped cream separately and pipe before serving. If piping ahead, be sure that the whipped cream doesn't extend past the top of the cup, so that you can still cover them with plastic wrap. To pipe, fill a piping bag with a large tip and pipe on to the top of the puddings, covering completely or a large dollop in the middle. If you'd rather not pipe, you can simple place a dollop of the whipped cream on top before serving.
- For the biscotti crumble: Place biscotti into a ziploc bad. Smash with the end of a rolling pin until broken into small chunks and crumbs. Sprinkle over desserts just before serving (don't sprinkle biscotti on ahead of time, as they will become soggy).